Sunday, April 20, 2014
Space Alert
Tracking military space policy and satellites
Inside the Air Force - 04/18/2014

The Air Force is seeking launch service providers for its fifth Operationally Responsive Space mission -- the centerpiece of which will be a small satellite designed to supplement the service's space-based observation capability.

Inside the Air Force - 04/18/2014

The Air Force this week named Maj. Gen. Samuel Greaves the new director of the Space and Missile Systems Center, replacing Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, who has been nominated to serve as the Air Force's military deputy for acquisition.

DefenseAlert - 04/17/2014

The size of the Pentagon's major weapon system acquisition portfolio held steady over the last year at $1.6 trillion, with seven programs added and six programs removed because they are near the end of the procurement cycle.

Inside the Air Force - 04/11/2014

A joint team of Air Force, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Lockheed Martin engineers are working to address an anomaly that occurred after last week's launch of an Air Force meteorological satellite involving the faulty deployment of the spacecraft's solar array.

Inside the Air Force - 04/11/2014

The Air Force doesn't plan to launch a new satellite as part of its follow-on to the Space-Based Space Surveillance program until 2021, but officials say that a recently announced experimental mission could serve as a gapfiller for the much-needed capability.

Inside the Air Force - 04/11/2014

By May, the Defense Department should no longer be reliant on a Chinese company for satellite communication coverage over Africa, a space policy official told Congress this week.

Inside the Air Force - 04/04/2014

The Air Force and the United Launch Alliance successfully launched a more than 20-year-old satellite this week -- the 19th space vehicle in the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program constellation.

Inside the Air Force - 04/04/2014

The long-term vision for Space Fence, the Air Force's next-generation space situational awareness system, is to establish two radar sites. However, the same funding constraints that have impeded progress on the first site could delay plans for future development.

Inside the Air Force - 03/28/2014

As the Air Force prepares to send the 19th Defense Meteorological Satellite Program space vehicle into orbit next week, service officials are working to decide whether to launch the 20th, and last, satellite in the 50-year-old constellation.

DefenseAlert - 03/26/2014

The Air Force and the United Launch Alliance estimate it would cost $1 billion to build an alternate to the Russian-built, first-stage engine used to power the Atlas V rocket booster.

Inside the Army - 03/24/2014

Exelis successfully integrated its Global Network On-the-Move Active Distribution (GNOMAD) system into a Stryker vehicle during the Army Expeditionary Warfighting Experiment at Ft. Benning, GA, the company announced.

Inside the Air Force - 03/21/2014

The United Launch Alliance could begin building the Atlas V launch vehicle's first-stage engine domestically within three or four years, according to a company spokesman.

Inside the Air Force - 03/21/2014

The Air Force wants to launch a new weather satellite as soon as 2020 as gaps in the availability of critical military weather capabilities could be imminent, according to budget documents released last week.

Inside the Air Force - 03/21/2014

Exelis has initiated acceptance testing for a key component of the next-generation Global Positioning System's navigation payload, which has faced significant technological delays that have pushed back the system's first satellite launch by one year.

DefenseAlert - 03/17/2014

The Air Force may review the procurement of Russian-built rocket engines for United Launch Alliance's Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle in light of recent events in Ukraine, according to the service's top civilian.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

As the Air Force and Lockheed Martin work to solve technical problems with the next-generation Global Positioning System's Exelis-built navigation payload, Boeing is pitching its own payload as an alternative.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

Executives at Lockheed Martin and Boeing this week offered differing opinions about the service's plans to disaggregate the future Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite constellation.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

The Air Force recently issued a draft request for proposals for commercial satellite services over western Africa -- a move that the Defense Department says could be a first step toward changing the way it procures bandwidth from commercial providers.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

Despite the Air Force's optimism and stated interest in pursuing disaggregated space architectures and commercially hosted payloads, officials in the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office are concerned the service's enthusiasm isn't matched by the knowledge and planning required to execute a clear way forward.

DefenseAlert - 03/12/2014

A soldering problem has forced the Navy to push back the completion of the third satellite in its next-generation satellite communication system, a Navy official told Inside the Navy.

DefenseAlert - 03/10/2014

Despite the Air Force's optimism and stated interest in pursuing disaggregated space architectures and commercially hosted payloads, officials in the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office are concerned the service's enthusiasm isn't matched by the knowledge and planning required to execute a clear way forward.

DefenseAlert - 03/07/2014

The launch of the Air Force's first next-generation Global Positioning System satellite won't occur until 2016 due to a delay in the delivery of space vehicle's the navigation payload.

Inside the Air Force - 03/07/2014

The Air Force's fiscal year 2015 budget request proposes scrapping plans to build two additional Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites in favor of a smaller, disaggregated future constellation.

Inside the Air Force - 03/07/2014

The Air Force's next weather satellite will be smaller and have a more focused mission than previous failed recapitalization efforts, service officials told reporters this week.

DefenseAlert - 03/05/2014

The Air Force in its fiscal year 2015 budget request is slowing its plans for purchasing next-generation Global Positioning System satellites -- a move that significantly reduces the number of launches available for competition between 2015 and 2017.

Inside Missile Defense - 03/05/2014

The Air Force's $8 billion fiscal year 2015 budget request released this week includes research and development funding for Space Fence -- a next-generation space situational awareness system that has faced delays and an uncertain future under sequestration.

Inside the Air Force - 02/28/2014

Nearly a year after settling on an elaborate, multi-contractor acquisition strategy for an Air Force Space Command sensor sustainment program, the service has changed its mind and gone back to its original contracting strategy -- hiring a single member of industry in a winner-take-all competition.

Inside the Air Force - 02/28/2014

ORLANDO, FL -- The Air Force later this year will launch the first two satellites of a new space situational awareness and surveillance program aimed at complementing the service's ground-based sensors by providing coverage in geosynchronous orbit.

Inside the Air Force - 02/28/2014

An Air Force Global Positioning System satellite was thrust into orbit without a hitch on Feb. 20 aboard a Delta IV rocket booster provided by the United Launch Alliance.

DefenseAlert - 02/21/2014

ORLANDO, FL -- The Air Force later this year will launch the first two satellites of a new space-based surveillance program aimed at complementing the service's ground-based sensors by providing coverage in geosynchronous orbit.

DefenseAlert - 02/21/2014

An Air Force Global Positioning System satellite was thrust into orbit without a hitch last night aboard a Delta IV rocket booster provided by the United Launch Alliance.

Inside the Air Force - 02/21/2014

Following a nearly 18-month investigation slated to end in April, the Air Force and the United Launch Alliance believe they have proved that thrust issues experienced during an October 2012 Delta IV rocket launch are not systemic, officials said last week.

DefenseAlert - 02/14/2014

Following a nearly 18-month investigation slated to end in April, the Air Force and the United Launch Alliance believe thrust issues that occurred during an October 2012 Delta IV rocket launch are not systemic, officials said today.

DefenseAlert - 02/13/2014

The field of potential near-term competitors poised to challenge Lockheed Martin and Boeing's national security space launch monopoly has thinned to a single challenger, with only SpaceX on course to be certified by the Air Force to compete for government payload launch contracts beginning in FY-15.

Inside the Navy - 02/10/2014

A recent demonstration funded by Lockheed Martin proved the Mobile User Objective System satellite signals exceed the Navy's requirement and reach as far as the Arctic, and allied nations are now interested in the capability.

DefenseAlert - 02/07/2014

Ongoing delays with the navigation payload for the Air Force's next-generation Global Positioning System satellite will delay the delivery of the satellite and could push the launch date past the current 2015 target.

Inside the Air Force - 02/07/2014

The Air Force is considering increasing the pool of mid-size launch providers eligible to compete under its Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 contract and could solicit bids as soon as the middle of this year.

DefenseAlert - 02/04/2014

Federal agencies involved in export control reform are prioritizing the release of new rules governing the export of satellites, spacecraft and military electronics, according to multiple government officials.

Inside the Air Force - 01/31/2014

China's pursuit of a "diverse and complex" counterspace program threatens to significantly reduce the effectiveness of the entire American military apparatus in the event of war, a joint hearing of two House Armed Services subcommittees was told on Jan. 27.

Inside the Air Force - 01/31/2014

As the Air Force works to boost its space situational awareness capabilities, the Air Force Research Lab's Directed Energy Directorate is playing an important role in developing tools to help observe, collect and process data about objects in space.

Inside the Air Force - 01/24/2014

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is set to enter Phase One of its XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane program with the awarding of contracts due in the next few months.

Inside the Air Force - 01/24/2014

The Air Force is considering transferring command-and-control operations of its aging weather satellite constellation to NASA or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ground systems in an effort to save money while maintaining the capability through the end of its service life.

Inside the Air Force - 01/24/2014

Boeing recently demonstrated an anti-jamming capability that can be transmitted through existing satellite constellations -- part of an ongoing Air Force effort to map out its future protected military satellite communication needs.

Inside the Air Force - 01/24/2014

A modification to the process for charging the Air Force's Global Positioning System IIR and IIR-M satellite batteries could extend the life of the constellation by 27 years, according to officials at the Space and Missile Systems Center.

Inside the Air Force - 01/17/2014

The pending transition of an Air Force division tasked with acquiring space command-and-control goods and services from one major command to another has led the service to completely re-examine its acquisition strategy for a potentially multibillion-dollar sustainment construct for missile warning sensors and radars.

Inside the Air Force - 01/17/2014

An omnibus spending bill unveiled early this week by House and Senate appropriators includes a $520 million cut to Air Force satellite and launch-vehicle procurement, with the most significant portion of that reduction, $365 million, coming from Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle purchasing.

Inside the Air Force - 01/17/2014

An experimental, space-based infrared sensor the Air Force turned off in November continues to provide the service with important data that officials say will carry forward into ongoing sensor development work and will have near-term applications for high-profile programs like the Space-Based Infrared System.

Inside the Air Force - 01/10/2014

SpaceX this week completed what could be the final of three launches required for the company to qualify to compete its Falcon 9 v1.1 spacecraft for future Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class missions.

Inside the Air Force - 01/10/2014

The Air Force's new deputy under secretary for space said this week that he expects the ongoing debate over the future of the Operationally Responsive Space office to continue into fiscal year 2015 as the service works to close the office and incorporate its tenets throughout its space programs.

Inside the Air Force - 12/20/2013

The Air Force could revive the defunded Space-Based Surveillance System follow-on program within the next year should an ongoing analysis determine that existing research compiled over the last 20 years is enough to qualify the program for a milestone A decision.