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Hawaiians protest construction of seven U.S. Space Force telescopes - "negatively impact mental, emotional and spiritual health"

Hawaiians protest construction of seven U.S. Space Force telescopes - "negatively impact mental, emotional and spiritual health"
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Many residents of Hawaii are opposed to the plans of the US Space Forces to build new telescopes designed to track satellites and prevent collisions in orbit. The US Air Force Department proposed to build up to seven new telescopes and an optical laboratory at the summit of Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

The project called "Advanced Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS STAR)" will occupy about a hectare of land near the Haleakala Observatory. A series of three public meetings on the project was held from May 13 to 15, allowing community members to express their concerns.

At one of the recent meetings, local Hawaiians strongly objected to the construction of the telescope. "This is a continuation of colonial projects," said one of the protesters.

Despite objections, American military officials note that the construction is necessary for the national security of the United States and awareness of space. "The more things in orbit, the more objects, the more chances for collision. The more objects in space, the more telescopes we need to more frequently track objects in space," said a military official during a public meeting with residents.

At previous meetings, the US Air Force faced criticism regarding the proposed AMOS STAR facility, especially after a leak of 700 gallons of diesel fuel from a faulty generator at the space observation complex last year. Native Hawaiians claim that the project desecrates sacred places and negatively impacts their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Other telescope projects in the Hawaiian Islands have also faced similar opposition in the past.

Plans for the AMOS STAR facility include up to seven telescopes, enclosed in domes, which will be built on a developed site adjacent to the Haleakala Observatory and the 15th Space Observation Squadron of the Maui Space Observation Complex, where the new telescopes will be remotely operated. The construction of the new facility will require fiber optic connections, paved access and parking lots, and other improvements on the site.


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