The space object in highly elliptical orbit is always presented as an image point on the ground-based imaging equipment so that it is difficult to resolve and identify the shape and attitude directly. In this paper a novel algorithm is presented for the estimation of spacecraft shape. The apparent magnitude model suitable for the inversion of object information such as shape and attitude is established based on the analysis of photometric characteristics. A parallel adaptive shape inversion algorithm based on UKF was designed after the achievement of dynamic equation of the nonlinear, Gaussian system involved with the influence of various dragging forces. The result of a simulation study demonstrate the viability and robustness of the new filter and its fast convergence rate. It realizes the inversion of combination shape with high accuracy, especially for the bus of cube and cylinder. Even though with sparse photometric data, it still can maintain a higher success rate of inversion.