Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Space Alert
Tracking military space policy and satellites
DefenseAlert - 12/12/2014

The Air Force anticipates the total cost of Raytheon's next-generation Global Positioning System operational control segment development contract will surpass $1.7 billion, about $100 million above the cost negotiated when the program was restructured this summer.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

The Defense Department has spent more than $130 million to store 15 satellites over the past five years and expects to spend approximately $206 million between 2015 and 2019, according to a Government Accountability Office report that recommends the Defense Department develop guidance for satellite storage.

DefenseAlert - 12/10/2014

The fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending bill released by Congress this week would bridge the Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter program's $100 million funding gap, add $479 million to buy four additional F-35s, and provide $125 million for an extra competitive space launch, according to a summary of the compromise legislation.

DefenseAlert - 12/09/2014

As concerns grow about an increasingly contested space environment, the Defense Science Board is launching two studies aimed at exploring new technologies and architectures that increase resilience in military space programs.

DefenseAlert - 12/08/2014

Stringent information assurance requirements are driving delays to the next-generation Global Positioning System ground control station, according to the head of Air Force Space Command.

DefenseAlert - 12/05/2014

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall has ordered a review of the Air Force's Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System because of execution and requirements stability issues.

Inside the Navy - 12/08/2014

The Navy continues juggling Mobile User Objective System satellite launches and the ability to buy terminals compatible with the constellation's waveform or upgrade existing devices, according to the service's acquisition chief.

DefenseAlert - 12/05/2014

While SpaceX and the Air Force have missed a Dec. 1 target for certifying the company to compete as a new entrant in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, the commander of Air Force Space Command said Dec. 5 that he expects the company to complete the certification process by the end of the month.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

The Space and Missile Systems Center is pegging the ceiling value of a key sensor sustainment contract at $866 million over the next five years, according to information released this week.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

As the Air Force is in the midst of an enterprise look at its current and future space architecture, the Air Force Research Laboratory is developing a strategy for incorporating open-system concepts in future space programs.

Inside the Air Force - 11/21/2014

Concerned that the Obama administration's space arms control policy and posture toward an international space code could impede upon the United States' missile defense and counter space capabilities, two Republican lawmakers are asking the State Department to clarify the policy and ensure that it won't limit the nation's ability to respond to threats in space.

Inside the Air Force - 11/21/2014

The high demand for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has pushed the bulk of the Defense Department's intelligence capabilities to U.S. Central Command.

Inside the Air Force - 11/21/2014

A strategic posture review of the Air Force's space portfolio, which is in final coordination, validates the service's pursuit of a more diverse future architecture, according to the service's top military acquisition official.

Inside the Air Force - 11/21/2014

The Air Force is working closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop its recommended way-ahead for a new domestic rocket engine, and a top service acquisition official says those details will be unveiled as part of its fiscal year 2016 budget request.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

A recent space information sharing agreement between U.S. Strategic Command and the European Space Agency will give the command an increased awareness of the space environment that could help inform launch trajectories, maneuvers, and positioning of U.S. on-orbit assets.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

The Air Force has released a draft request for proposals for the fifth Operationally Responsive Space launch, slated for 2017.

DefenseAlert - 11/07/2014

The Air Force this week awarded a long-awaited contract to a Raytheon-led team for a multibillion-dollar consolidated launch range support program.

DefenseAlert - 11/07/2014

The Air Force has just begun to develop its acquisition strategy for its new weather satellite program and expects to have a plan in place by year's end.

DefenseAlert - 11/06/2014

The Air Force has expanded its exploration of ways to protect satellite communications by considering non-space systems -- including ground and aerial assets -- in an ongoing disaggregation analysis for the Protected Satellite Communication System analysis of alternatives, a potential precursor to a major acquisition effort.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/06/2014

Before the Pentagon makes a decision concerning shifting its space-based capabilities from larger, more complex satellites to multiple, smaller satellites or payloads, defense officials need to have a better handle on costs and benefits of this disaggregation, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

DefenseAlert - 11/04/2014

The Pentagon has mapped out a new program to cultivate a domestic rocket supplier in a bid to reduce reliance on Russia for first-stage engines used to lift national security payloads into orbit, according to the Air Force.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

As the Air Force prepares for its next-generation Space Fence system to be operational in 2019, the Air Force Research Laboratory is soliciting solutions from industry for processing the abundance of data the new object-tracking radar will provide.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

The Air Force launched its eighth Global Positioning System IIF satellite on Oct. 29, completing the fourth successful GPS IIF launch this year.

Inside the Army - 10/27/2014

The Army's top acquisition official says she is requiring that all programs make room in the budget for any upgrades needed to transition systems to the Military-Code Global Positioning System developed by the Air Force.

DefenseAlert - 10/17/2014

Lawmakers have rejected dozens of Pentagon-proposed changes to reallocate prior-year funds, forcing the U.S. military to scrap plans to immediately shift nearly $600 million between programs -- including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Ground-based Midcourse Defense efforts -- while protecting funds for key Army radio and helicopter modernization projects.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

The Air Force has made some headway in developing a contracting mechanism for sending government payloads to space on commercial satellites, but industry and service leaders said this week that program-level officials need incentives to adopt these practices for current and future architecture augmentation.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

The Pentagon comptroller has withdrawn plans to allocate $100 million to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program in the final version of the fiscal year 2014 omnibus reprogramming action, crippling Air Force plans to add an extra EELV launch mission in FY-15 and thereby giving SpaceX an additional opportunity to compete against incumbent United Launch Alliance.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

As part of an effort to build an integrated network of space situational awareness assets and to ensure long-term viability of the enterprise, Air Force Space Command is looking for contractors capable of sustaining and modifying its ground-based optical and radar sensor systems.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

The completion of the merger of Orbital Sciences and ATK, two major players in the defense industry's space systems sector, could face a slight delay due to external regulatory processes.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

The Air Force is on track to submit the results of a Space-Based Infrared System Follow-on analysis of alternatives to the Pentagon's acquisition executive by December and will continue reviewing those findings through mid-2015.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

The Space and Missile Systems Center's revised acquisition strategy for a key sensor sustainment contract has moved through a critical approval, the Air Force announced this week.

DefenseAlert - 10/08/2014

The Defense Department recognizes the imperative to centralize funding of commercial satellite communication services and develop standardized metrics for evaluating its bandwidth needs, but a DOD report delivered to Congress late last month emphasizes that developing a long-term strategy will take substantial initial investment and experimentation.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

Air Force Space Command has a vision for a three-satellite Space-Based Space Surveillance system follow-on constellation, but its plan has not yet made it through the budget process, according to the command's top officer.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

Lockheed Martin said this week that the navigation payload for the first next-generation Global Positioning System satellite is moving through key acceptance tests that should be completed by the end of the year, with the tests contributing to the planned 2015 delivery of the satellite to the Air Force in 2015.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/25/2014

An investigation by the Defense Department Inspector General found that there were no significant gaps or weaknesses in acquisition policies and procedures for necessary systems engineering, design, quality and safety, also known as mission assurance, dealing with spacecraft and strategic systems.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

As industry teams announced this week their intentions to participate in the Air Force's advanced rocket engine development program, service officials stressed the urgency of gathering market input and developing an accelerated acquisition plan as soon as this fall.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The commander of Air Force Space Command said this week that the service has increased the resources it is allocating toward SpaceX's certification as an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle provider with the goal of having the company eligible to fly national security space launches by the end of the year.

Inside the Air Force - 09/12/2014

The Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Weather Center of Excellence expects that a broad agency announcement issued in the spring could yield, among other things, new approaches for understanding the impact of the space environment on U.S. space assets.

Inside the Air Force - 09/12/2014

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is working with other government space agencies to establish a plan to better leverage the benefits of solar electric propulsion in U.S. space systems and hopes to have a plan in place next year.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board has been directed to examine the way forward for remotely piloted aircraft as the service looks beyond current operating environments to more heavily defended airspace.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

Although the Air Force's new Space Fence is being designed to operate primarily in low-earth orbit, a pair of studies the service issued last winter, prior to the program's entry into the engineering and manufacturing development phase, reveal that the system can provide valuable medium-earth orbit observation without compromising its primary mission.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

SpaceX has, to date, completed eight of the 19 engineering review boards required for certification of its Falcon 9 rocket booster as an approved national security space launch provider, and the Air Force continues to eye a December 2014 deadline for completing the company's certification process.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

As the Space Fence program moves forward through the engineering and manufacturing development phase, the Air Force's primary logistical focus is on preparing the radar system's future site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands for groundbreaking early next year.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/04/2014

U.S. Strategic Command has recently entered into a new space situational awareness data-sharing agreement with a European organization that provides weather and climate-related satellite products to users.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The next several months of setting schedules, allocating resources and preparing designs for review are crucial to building the foundation for the Air Force's next-generation Space Fence program and assuring that the effort has a strong start, the service's Space Fence program manager told Inside the Air Force this week.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

Lockheed Martin announced this week a partnership with an Australia-based company to build a ground-based, electro-optical space situational awareness system in Western Australia that Lockheed says could complement the capabilities the company is on contract to provide the Air Force through the next-generation Space Fence.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The Air Force is using funds provided by Congress in fiscal year 2013 to accelerate the delivery of enhancements to its Space-Based Infrared System ground architecture by two years -- an upgrade that will allow the service to better exploit the data being collected by the constellation.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The Air Force is looking for potential industry sources to upgrade its Wideband Global Satellite Communication ground terminals to improve their anti-jamming capability.

Inside the Navy - 08/25/2014

The third Mobile User Objective System satellite is on track for a January launch despite a delay due to a hardware deficiency discovered during thermal vacuum testing, according to a Lockheed Martin executive.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

Raytheon, the prime contractor for the Air Force's next-generation Global Positioning System ground control segment anticipates delivering the first of three software blocks in November of 2015, almost a year later than originally planned, under new schedule thresholds the company and the service established this summer.