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Space Alert

May 26, 2011

The Air Force has formally advised lawmakers that cost estimates for a $7.3 billion Pentagon weather satellite program -- the former National Polar-orbiting Observational Satellite System -- have breached statutory thresholds established to flag weapon system programs with possible acquisition difficulties.

May 13, 2011
The Navy's next-generation, ultra high-frequency satellite has encountered another major delay and won't be launched until next year, service officials told lawmakers at a hearing last week, downplaying concerns about a breach of Nunn-McCurdy cost thresholds.
May 11, 2011

Air Force officials will urge House lawmakers to reconsider their recommendation to deny advanced appropriations for a new space acquisition plan, but service officials believe the program can move forward using incremental funding, according to a top service official.

May 3, 2011

A top House panel supports the goals of the Air Force's new Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency strategy but does not approve of current plans for its implementation, according to congressional  documents.

April 25, 2011

Multibillion-dollar efforts to build nuclear ballistic missile submarines, Army vehicles and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will spearhead a new Defense Department initiative challenging program managers to deliver weapons under budget.

April 21, 2011

The Defense Department needs to make changes concerning its space programs because they are too expensive, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter said Wednesday.

February 15, 2011

Air Force officials would like to save at least 10 percent in space acquisition costs with their new Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency strategy, money they hope to invest in new technologies including protected communications-on-the-move, according to a service official.

February 15, 2011

The Air Force plans to invest $197 million in maturing technologies for the new long-range penetrating bomber, according to the fiscal year 2012 budget request released today.

February 4, 2011

The Pentagon intends to make a "stronger commitment" to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles program in its soon-to-be-released budget request as it establishes a new approach to space acquisition, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn said today.

Announcing the release of the first National Security Space Strategy, Lynn told reporters that the commitment to the launch vehicle program and the Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE) approach are “concrete manifestations” of the department's desire to protect U.S. advantages in space and the space industrial base.

January 21, 2011

The Army
plans to operate satellite technology comparable to its unmanned aerial
vehicles, with plans to launch an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
nanosatellite later this year.

January 6, 2011

Lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon and the White House's intelligence director to develop an integrated process for national security space architecture activities to steer key investment decisions.

January 6, 2011

Lawmakers angling for more advanced commercial imaging satellite capacities have set a new aperture requirement for telescopes, but they also let the defense secretary waive the rule in the interest of national security.

October 22, 2010
Ashton Carter, the Pentagon's acquisition executive, has established new rules for developing and procuring space systems, issuing guidance that effectively concludes work started by his predecessor to pull purchases of unclassified military satellites -- that total approximately $11 billion annually -- under the umbrella of regulations that guide acquisition of other major weapon systems.
September 30, 2010

The Pentagon is advancing development of the Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar while seeking new ways to coordinate the program with a key Air Force radar initiative, according to Defense Department, service and industry officials.

September 28, 2010

The Pentagon's pending National Security Space Strategy will focus on deterring and defeating threats to U.S. space systems and increasing those systems' resilience to intrusion, according to the Defense Department's No. 2 policy official.

During a packed Aerospace Industries Association event this morning, James Miller, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, previewed five key points of the space strategy -- which is in the final phases of development.

September 27, 2010

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee wants to terminate the most advanced variant of the Air Force's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system and has slashed $1.2 billion from previously appropriated modernization programs, some of which have not adhered to full-funding financial regulations, according to previously unreported details of the panel's new military spending proposal.

August 27, 2010
Despite claims to the contrary on previous Pentagon reprogramming requests, the first launch of a Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite is scheduled for the summer of 2011, not December of that year, and Congress' recent denial of funds to deal with technical issues will not affect that launch date, a Navy spokesman said last week.
August 27, 2010

The Air Force plans to realign multiple space oversight positions at the Air Staff level following the completion of a major review of space management and responsibilities at the Pentagon, according to service documents.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley directed several changes in an Aug. 25 memorandum and named the Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton as the “focal point” for space within service headquarters. Donley also placed David Van Buren, assistant secretary of the Air Force of acquisition, in charge of space procurement.

August 18, 2010

The Defense Department has adjusted its $1.6 trillion portfolio of major weapon systems being developed and acquired, formally ushering in 11 new programs and completing paperwork on four major efforts whose procurement runs are complete or nearly finished.

July 29, 2010

The Defense Department's acquisition directorate is poised to bless the start of production for the next phase of a major Pentagon satellite program.