Celestron’s RASA 36 - Protecting Global Communications Systems and Producing World-Class Astroimages

Since the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957, humanity has relied on earth-orbiting satellites to play an ever-increasing role in global communications. Today, thousands of satellites and hundreds of thousands of pieces of “space junk” orbit our planet. Just one stray piece of space junk could damage crucial satellites and disrupt communications on a worldwide scale. The field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is devoted to monitoring the space environment and protecting our satellites from debris by detecting and mapping space junk in orbit. In no small way, SSA makes our globally connected way of life possible.

In 2015, SSA professionals discovered that Celestron’s Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph is an ideal instrument for SSA applications. Its fast focal ratio and wide field of view allow it to detect even small pieces of space junk traveling at extraordinarily high rates of speed. Currently, there are dozens of RASA telescopes in use around the world every night scanning the skies to protect our satellites at a fraction of the cost of other systems.

Celestron’s team approached SSA experts to collaborate on an even better telescope to meet this important need. The result is RASA 36. Assembled at our Torrance, CA, headquarters from start to finish, this ultra-precise optical instrument can detect individual pieces of debris measuring less than 1 meter.

Our in-house team of optical experts has worked round-the-clock for months to produce RASA 36 telescopes to meet overwhelming demand from SSA organizations. Now, we’re prepared to make this incredible telescope available for another application: advanced astroimaging.


About RASA 36

  • A breakthrough 36 cm aperture, f/2.2 optical system designed for professional applications that require both a wide field of view and resolution.
  • 4-element lens group utilizes extra-low dispersion (ED) glass for images free of false color, coma, and field curvature.
  • 60 mm optimized image circle maintains pinpoint stars to the far corners of the largest available sensors.
  • Extended spectral range takes advantage of sensor response in the 700-900 nm range, allowing a brighter overall signal to be detected.
  • Redesigned focusing system minimizes focus shifting or other unwanted motion of the primary mirror, enabling easy and stable focus.