Hypersonic strike: China demonstrates FOBS technology.
Debris removal as a dual-use capability.
Cybersecurity and space systems.
Commercial launch demonstrations.
Commercial space stations?
Space Force and acquisition reform.
Space Force notes.
Hypersonic strike and (maybe) even a "Sputnik moment."
On September 20th US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall took the occasion of his keynote address to the Air Force Association to warn that China might be developing a capability to deliver "global strikes from space." Subsequent questions revealed that he had in mind a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS, to revive the Cold War acronym), and also that he disclaimed any specific knowledge of any particular Chinese system under development. Breaking Defense, in its coverage of the address, spoke to a number of outside experts who were uniformly skeptical of Secretary Kendall's warning.
But it's turned out that the Secretary was right. Not only is China developing such systems, but it actually tested one, and back in August at that. The Washington Post and others reported that China has tested a hypersonic vehicle capable of performing as a fractional orbital bombardment system able to deliver nuclear weapons. The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, said last week in a Bloomberg interview that, "I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”
Some observers thought "Sputnik moment" overheated. An essay in Foreign Policycalls the tests "bad news, but not a significant breakthrough." A piece in World Policy Review argues that the phrase is likelier to darken counsel by inducing panicky reactions than it is to serve as a useful moment of clarity. It shows that China has developed some surprising technological prowess, and thereby improved its own deterrent position, but such back-and-forth is to be expected in great power competition.
In fairness to General Milley, the Sputnik metaphor wasn't his own; he was reacting to statements by others who'd characterized it as such. A hypersonic FOBS is worrisome for a number of reasons. It presents a novel attack phenomenology, for one thing. It could, for example, deliver a weapon over the South Pole as opposed to the North Pole trajectories most US missile defense sensors have traditionally been deployed to detect. It would fly a flatter trajectory than a ballistic missile, would be significantly faster than other strategic threats, and, finally, would be maneuverable. All of these characteristics complicate the missile defense problem, and so the hypersonic threat is one to be taken seriously.
An op-ed in TheHill asks, rhetorically, who should be in charge of the US response to this threat, and answers "Space Force." The author argues that the new Service should be tasked with developing and deploying a boost-phase detection and intercept system capable of stopping such weapons in the early stages of their flight.
In-orbit conflict, and debris removal as a dual-use capability.
Breaking Defense reviews ways in which China, Russia, and the US are working to hold one another's satellites at risk, and to defend their own against the competition's efforts. The work involves improved ways of tracking, monitoring, and approaching satellites. All three of the leading space powers are working, to varying extents, on all three.
Some of those capabilities are inherently dual-use. Space debris has become a growing concern insofar as clutter not only promises to make human spaceflight marginally more dangerous, but to put orbital systems generally at risk. A number of programs are in progress to develop a capability to capture and deorbit debris. Those technologies, of course, are inherently dual-use. Any ability to maneuver alongside an object in orbit and capture it could be used against an adversary's satellites as easily as it could be used against unwanted junk.
Space.com reports that on October 23rd a Long March 3b put a developmental debris-removal satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite's mission is to test "space debris mitigation technology." The UK is also looking into orbital debris removal: Via Satellite reports that Astroscale has been selected to lead this British development and demonstration mission.
As low earth orbit grows increasingly crowded, debris and satellite deconfliction aren't the only problems. WIRED writes that new constellations comprising large numbers of small satellites are already producing enough light pollution to have an effect on astronomy. Space.com also discusses the problem, and sees "no easy fix."
Cybersecurity and space systems.
Threats to space systems are as likely to be cyber as they are kinetic, and governments increasingly recognize this. Space News reports that the US National Reconnaissance Office, as it moves toward increased use of commercial imagery, has established cybersecurity standards providers must meet if they wish to do business with the NRO. (For an industry perspective on cybersecurity for space systems, see this overview of the challenges and recommendations for appropriate response recently published by Booz Allen Hamilton.)
Space systems are generally recognized as making essential contributions to a range of critical infrastructures, and US policies designed to improve the security and resilience of such infrastructures in the face of continuous, pervasive, and growing cyber threats will have their effect on the space sector as well. US National Cyber Director Chris Inglis told Via Satellite that he hoped effective information sharing and measures designed to avoid mutual interference among the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors would serve the best interests of space operations.
Commercial launch demonstrations.
This month's high-profile commercial space travel demonstration came courtesy of Blue Origin, whose New Shepard carried a crew of four civilian passengers on a suborbital round trip from Texas to the Karman Line and back. The October 13th flight carried William Shatner, the actor who created the role of Captain Kirk in Star Trek, and who became, at the age of 90, the oldest person to fly into space. Mr. Shatner described himself, Space.com writes, as being "moved to tears" by the experience. Blue Origin received congratulations on its flight from the founder of its competitor SpaceX: Business Insider reports that Elon Musk told Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos that sending Mr. Shatner up and returning him safely to Texas was "cool." SpaceX plans its next crewed orbital flight, originally scheduled to go up on Halloween, for this month. The company also begun ground tests of its Tintinesque Starship Super Heavy, the vehicle it sees as its "Gateway to Mars."
Other competitors are working on their technology. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic thinks it will resume crewed flights in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Wall Street Journal reports. And Boeing continues to work through valve issues in its Starliner, which it now believes may have been exacerbated by its Florida launch site's warm, humid climate. The company has slipped its launch for NASA into 2022.
Commercial space stations?
Blue Origin is also working on a commercial space station. TheHill reports that the company's Orbital Reef will serve as a “mixed use business park.” Blue Originhopes, with its partner Sierra Space, to put the Orbital Reef up between 2025 and 2030.
Space Force and acquisition reform.
Making the US Defense acquisition system less sclerotic and better able to field new technology quickly and affordably has long been regarded as a challenge, and Space Force set itself a goal of designing its procurement processes to avoid some of the friction and rigidity it would otherwise inherit from its parent services. Breaking Defense surveys the field and gives Space Force mixed reviews, seeing some successes and some failures. In general, industry gave the new Service poorer reviews on its efforts for reform than did Defense Department respondents.
Some of that disparity may be accounted for by the space industry's sense, as revealed by an Aerospace Corporation survey, that industry remains encumbered by a confusing, even contradictory, regulatory burden. In fairness to Space Force, that regulatory burden is not being imposed by the most junior Service, but it's part of the environment with which it must contend.
Other Space Force notes.
The US House Intelligence Committee has approved giving Space Force its own intelligence center, Breaking Defense reports.
What sort of reserve component Space Force will get remains undecided, with Congress and the White House taking markedly different views on the matter. Congress, Politico says, is inclined toward the creation of a Space National Guard, but the White House doesn't like that idea at all.
The US Navy seems largely to have given up its organizational space equities to the youngest Service (although obviously the Navy will retain its operational dependence upon space systems). The US Army, in contrast, intends to hang onto its own Space Brigade, Air Force Magazine reports. While a number of Army personnel and assets have been transitioned to Space Force, the 1st Space Brigade will stay put. The Army believes it essential to retain that capability.
And, of course, Space Force is trying to get out from under the shadow of the Air Force.
Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting .
Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
'Global Strike From Space;' Did Kendall Reveal Chinese Threat?(Breaking Defense) WASHINGTON: When Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall used his Sept. 20 keynote speech at the annual Air Force Association conference to claim that China is developing the ability to launch “global strikes from space” against US targets, it raised more than a few eyebrows and sent military analysts scrambling. After all, the decision to bring up…
Don’t Turn China’s Hypersonic Missile Test Into a ‘Sputnik Moment’(World Politics Career) The recent Financial Times report that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon has pundits, generals and members of Congress worried about a “Sputnik moment.” This is indeed something U.S. leaders should labor to avoid—not because it represents a new security threat, but because it implies undue panic.
The Case for Asset-Based Financing for the Space Sector(Via Sateliite) Both long standing and recent trends in the space industry have shed light on new needs for financing space activities. The development of new ventures in the space sector has created new demands for financing while displaying peculiar characteristics shared by only a handful of other industries.
SSC Invests Into Esrange Space Center for 2022 Launch(Via Satellite) Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has taken a step toward launching satellites from northern Sweden in 2022. SSC announced Oct. 6 that it has signed a 12 million euro ($13.9 million) loan agreement with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) to finalize a new spaceport at Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, northern Sweden. The
NRO to Start New Procurement Effort to Take Advantage of Commercial Capabilities(Via Satellite) The U.S. agency that has spent its 60 years developing exquisite satellite systems to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for government needs said on Thursday it will shortly begin a new procurement effort designed to quickly assess and take advantage of commercial capabilities to meet
NGA Renews Maxar's G-EGD Imagery Contract for Second Option Year(Via Satellite) The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has renewed its contract with Maxar Technologies to provide imagery and geospatial data for the Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery (G-EGD) program. The renewal, which was effective Sept. 1, allows Maxar to continue providing more than 400,000 U.S. government users
US Space Force Seeks Better Awareness of GEO(Via Satellite) The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command is seeking information from companies able to provide sensors to improve the space domain awareness of objects in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). “The government has identified a need for evolutionary or revolutionary space-based SDA sensors to augment current and planned
Space Force Plans Up To $2.3B In COMSATCOM Contracts(Breaking Defense) The planned buy with the largest potential value is for DoD-wide SATCOM services from commercial operators of p-LEO constellations, with multiple awards totaling $875 million slated in August 2022.
CACI adds space, intel firms to growing tech portfolio(Defense News) Defense contractor CACI International on Thursday announced it made two acquisitions in the last quarter, in line with plans to increase its technology-focused business, according to CEO John Mengucci.
Muon Space Raises $10M Seed Round for Climate-Focused Constellation(Via Satellite) Climate-focused satellite constellation startup Muon Space has raised a $10 million seed funding round, led by Costanoa Ventures. In addition, Space Capital, Congruent VC, Ubiquity Ventures, South Park Commons, and Climactic VC also participated in the funding round announced Wednesday. Muon Space plans to build
Rocket Lab Buys Software Company for $40M in Second Acquisition - Via Satellite -(Via Satellite) Rocket Lab has made its second acquisition, Advanced Solutions, Inc. (ASI), a space software company, for $40 million. The launcher announced Tuesday that the acquisition has been completed, and includes the possibility of an additional $5.5 million performance earnout. Colorado-based ASI. offers flight software,
4iG to Acquire Majority Stake in Spacecom for $68M(Via Satellite) Spacecom, the Israeli satellite operator, is going through an acquisition that will place the majority of the company under Hungarian ownership. Hungarian telecommunications company 4iG announced Oct. 12 that its subsidiary Hungaro DigiTel (HDT), a joint subsidiary of 4iG and Antenna Hungária, has entered into a
Private Equity Firms White Hat, Magnetar Invest $100M in Comtech(Via Satellite) Comtech Telecommunications is receiving a $100 million capital injection that the company said will accelerate growth in its satellite technology, 911 business, and M&A strategy. The company announced Monday that current shareholder White Hat Capital Partners LP and Magnetar Capital are investing $100 million
HawkEye 360 CEO Says Next-Gen Satellites Reaped $50M in New Contracts This year(Via Satellite) HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini said Thursday that the radio frequency (RF) data and analytics firm's newly launched next-generation satellites have enabled the company to secure more than $50 million in new contracts since the start of 2021. The company's formation-flying satellites are designed to detect,
Hughes Signs JUPITER Satellite Systems Contract with Egyptian Government(Via Satellite) Egypt's state-owned National Company for Telecommunications Services (NCTS) has contracted Hughes Network Systems to develop the ground systems that will support the operation of the government's TIBA-1 Ka-band satellite. TIBA-1's mission is to bridge Egypt's digital divide and provide connectivity to those in rural
Boeing Takes $185M Charge in Q3 for Second Orbital Flight Test(Via Satellite) The Defense, Space & Security segment for Boeing took a $185 million earnings charge in the third quarter of 2021 to pay for the second uncrewed Orbital Flight Test for its Starliner spacecraft for NASA. Boeing announced the charge Wednesday in its Q3 earnings results. The Orbital Flight Test for Starliner is
Eutelsat Confirms Takeover Attempt by Billionaire Telco Investor(Via Satellite) Patrick Drahi, the Franco-Israeli telecoms entrepreneur who founded Altice NV and recently became BT’s largest single investor, sent an unsolicited proposal to take over Eutelsat, the French satellite operator confirmed in statements issued late Wednesday and early Thursday. In the statements, Eutelsat revealed that
Eutelsat Increases Stake in OneWeb, Announces Globacom Deal(Via Satellite) Eutelsat now has a close to 23% stake in OneWeb. The company announced Oct. 6 that it is spending another $165 million to increase its stake in OneWeb from 17.6% to 22.9%. Eutelsat will now be the second-largest shareholder behind Bharti Global, which holds 30%, strengthening its position as a key shareholder and
BlackSky Appoints Susan M. Gordon to Board of Directors(Valdosta Daily Times) BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) welcomes Susan M. (Sue) Gordon to its Board of Directors. Ms. Gordon is the former principal deputy director of national intelligence, the nation’s highest-ranking career intelligence officer. In that capacity, Ms. Gordon managed the operations of the intelligence community and was a key advisor to the President and National Security Council.
Greenland Telco Signs Deal for Satellite Capacity on Hispasat Amazonas Nexus(Via Satellite) Hispasat has signed a new deal with Greenland's state-owned communications company, Tele Greenland, to bring satellite connectivity to remote communities. The telco will lease capacity on the Amazonas Nexus satellite until the end of the satellite's lifetime, Hispasat announced Oct. 8. Hispasat said this agreement
L3Harris Secures Second Weather Forecasting Accuracy Study Contract from NASA(Via Satellite) L3Harris Technologies will conduct a second advanced study for NASA that aims to significantly improve the accuracy and timeliness of U.S. weather forecasting, according to the terms of a new contract the organizations announced Thursday. Slated to begin this month, the study will involve L3Harris testing and
Kleos Space Picks ISISPACE to Manufacture its Observer Mission(Via Satellite) Kleos Space has signed new contracts with satellite builder Innovative Solutions in Space (ISISPACE) and global launch services provider Spaceflight to build and manage the launch its fourth satellite cluster of four satellites, the Observer Mission (KSF3) in mid-2022, the company announced Oct. 19. Kleos
OneWeb Distributor Alaska Communications Signs BBTC as Customer(Via Satellite) Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative (BBTC), which serves the Bristol Bay area of Alaska, will soon be using OneWeb’s satellite capacity to connect its offices and facilities. OneWeb distributor Alaska Communications announced the new customer agreement on Tuesday. The service will begin in November. Eventually, BBT
Exolaunch Looks to Boost Business and Policy Presence With New US Offices(Via Satellite) German rideshare provider Exolaunch is expanding its business presence in the United States, by opening offices in Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colorado, and hiring Chris Hearsey as CEO of subsidiary Exolaunch USA. The Tuesday announcement comes about a year after Exolaunch first said it planned to expand with a
DSCA Director Heidi Grant Lands New Job at Boeing Defense, Space & Security(Via Satellite) Boeing has hired U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Director Heidi Grant to lead Boeing’s defense, space and government services sales teams, the aerospace manufacturer announced Oct. 14. She succeeds Jeff Shockey, who departed the company in July. Mike Manazir, who has served as Shockey's interim
Rodolphe Belmer to Leave Eutelsat, Take Role as Atos CEO(Via Satellite) Eutelsat Communications announced Wednesday afternoon that CEO Rodolphe Belmer will step down at the beginning of 2022. He is leaving to become CEO of French information technology company Atos, which generates more than $12 billion in revenue annually. Belmer leaves just one month after Eutelsat rejected an
Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler to Retire as Company Plans Chapter 11 Exit(Via Satellite) After almost seven years as CEO and more than 18 years at Intelsat, CEO Steve Spengler plans to retire once the company completes Chapter 11 financial restructuring and selects a successor. Intelsat announced the change Thursday morning, and said Spengler will lead the company until then. The Intelsat news came as a
Steve Spengler Reflects on a Tumultuous Period for Intelsat(Via Satellite) Intelsat has had a tumultuous 18 months and has made some of the biggest headlines in the industry, going through Chapter 11 restructuring. Acquiring Gogo Commercial Aviation while in bankruptcy in 2020 was a surprise, but the move has already improved the operator’s financials and its position in the mobility market.
Spire Global Names Theresa Condor as First COO(Via Satellite) Spire Global has named Theresa Condor as the company’s first chief operating officer (COO). As COO, Condor will be responsible for Spire’s Weather, Aviation, Earth Intelligence, and Space Services business units worldwide. The company announced the appointment on Oct. 26. Condor was formerly executive vice president
Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin Team Up for Commercial Space Station(Via Satellite) ​​Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin are working together to develop the first commercial space station, known as Starlab. The companies announced the collaboration Thursday, and they expect Starlab to be in operation by 2027. Nanoracks will be the lead, using its experience in commercial International
Blue Origin, Sierra Space to Build Orbital Reef ‘Business Park’ in Space(Via Satellite) Blue Origin and Sierra Space have plans to build a commercial space station, described as a “business park” in space for research, industrial, international, commercial, and tourism customers. The companies plan to build the station — called Orbital Reef — with the help of Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering
Blue Origin Puts Safety Conversation Center-Stage for Shatner Launch(Via Satellite) Blue Origin made safety a primary focus of the conversation around its second human spaceflight launch on Wednesday as the company faces allegations and concerns relating to leadership, safety, and workplace culture. Recently Blue Origin has come under fire after Alexandra Abrams, the former head of Employee
Boeing Working Through Starliner Valve Issue(Aviation Week) Boeing is nearing the end of a winding technical analysis of a valve problem that scotched plans for an uncrewed orbital flight test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in August.
OneWeb Considers Indian Launch Capabilities for Future Missions(Via Satellite) OneWeb is exploring launching future satellites in its constellation from India, the home of its chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal. The company signed letter of intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to potentially use the Indian-built PSLV (Polar
EnduroSat Signs Launch Contract With German Isar Aerospace(Via Satellite) EnduroSat has signed a launch contract with Isar Aerospace, a German smallsat launcher in development, to launch its satellites on rideshare missions between 2022 and 2025. Financial terms of the deal and the specific number of launches were not disclosed in the Monday announcement. EnduroSat is based in Bulgaria,
Spire Upgrades Maritime Data Platform with Open-Source Query Support(Via Satellite) Space-based data, analytics, and services provider Spire Global released an updated version of its maritime data service on Wednesday. The upgrade, "Maritime 2.0," aims to improve Spire's marine data capabilities, including vessel location, weather forecasting, Automatic Identification System (AIS) global shipping
Honeywell Releases New Magnetometer for Small Satellites(Via Satellite) Honeywell is aiming to make a big impact in the small satellite market with the release of a new 3-Axis system designed to measure the Earth's magnetic forces. Honeywell said its newest 3-Axis Space Magnetometer is now fully qualified and will be rolled out to meet the needs of the emerging new space segment, where
HySpecIQ Picks BridgeComm's Optical Downlink Terminals for LEO Constellation(Via Satellite) HySpecIQ has selected BridgeComm's high-speed optical downlink for its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation, the companies announced Monday. Bridgecomm said these laser communication downlink terminals and network of optical ground stations will provide high data transmission capabilities for the HySpecIQ mission.
Eutelsat Signs Broadcast Capacity Agreement with Ukraine’s Zeonbud(Via Satellite) Ukrainian broadcaster Zeonbud has signed an agreement with Eutelsat Communications for capacity on the EUTELSAT 9B satellite for broadcast distribution. The long-term contract was announced Monday. Eutelsat capacity will power Zeonbud’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network and “potentially extend its offer
Planet Unveils Next-Generation Pelican Satellite Fleet(Via Satellite) Planet plans to upgrade its SkySat satellite fleet with a higher resolution constellation called Pelican, the company announced Tuesday during its user conference. Planet said the better resolution on the Pelican constellation will show fine details like road markings. It is designed to exceed SkySat’s global
HawkEye Commissions New Cluster of Satellites Post-Launch(Via Satellite) HawkEye 360's new cluster of satellites has entered commercial service after it was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on June 30. The trio of satellites, known as Cluster 3, has begun initial operating capability and has begun to deliver Radio Frequency (RF) data and insights to customers. HawkEye now has nine
SpaceLink CEO Says OHB's Galileo Heritage Was Key Factor in Constellation Award(Via Satellite) OHB Systems AG (OHB) will build the satellites for SpaceLink’s data relay constellation in a contract that is expected to exceed $300 million in value. The companies announced the deal on Thursday, and are in the process of finalizing the contract. SpaceLink, a subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems (EOS), plans to
OneWeb Starts Service Demonstrations After Latest Launch(Via Satellite) OneWeb is kicking off broadband service demonstrations after a Thursday Arianespace launch brough its constellation to 358 satellites. A Soyuz rocket, operated by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate, took off from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome at 6:40 pm. local time on Thursday, Oct. 14. All 36 OneWeb satellites
Telesat Picks Ciena for Backhaul Network Techology(Via Satellite) Telesat has chosen Ciena to deploy routing and switching platforms for terrestrial backhaul solutions for its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation Lightspeed. Ciena is a networking systems, services, and software company based in Maryland. It will supply the hardware and software that will provide high-speed,
Leaf Space Adds Significant New Ground Station Capacity(Via Satellite) Leaf Space is adding five new ground stations in West and South Australia, British Colombia, Iceland and Bulgaria, the company announced Oct. 14. The aim is to further increase Leaf Space's capability to provide GSaaS solutions to its customer base. Leaf Space, which is based in Lomazzo, Italy, will now operate 15
Dish Network Signs 5G Network Cloud Partnership with Nexsys-One(Via Satellite) Dish Network contracted Nexsys-One to provide an end-to-end, cloud-based network deployment software solutions for Dish's planned nationwide 5G network build. Nexsys-One is a privately owned cloud-based Telecom enterprise software provider. Its platform automates forecasting and tracking, and will automatically
Inmarsat Details IoT Connectivity Partnership with Hiber(Via Satellite) Inmarsat is pursuing a new partnership with satellite Internet of Things (IoT) startup Hiber. Inmarsat will provide the satellite connectivity backbone on which it Hiber will continue to build Hiberband, its low-cost, low-power IoT, the companies announced Oct. 12. Mike Carter, president of Inmarsat Enterprise told
SES-17 On Way to Final Orbit After Successful Launch(Via Satellite) The newest SES satellite SES-17 is on the way to its final placement in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) after a successful launch by Arianespace over the weekend. Arianespace launched SES-17 on Sunday, Oct. 24 on an Ariane 5 rocket from the Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 11:10 pm local time. The satellite
Enabling the Edge: Cloud Capabilities Push Satellite Forward(Via Satellite) Cloud computing – pushing an organization’s data away from on-premise servers to the virtual environment – is commonplace today for enterprises, with nearly seven in 10 businesses already using cloud technology in one capacity or another, and many reporting dramatic jumps in efficiency and revenue growth
Massive Technical Leaps Push Satellite to the Fronthaul of 5G IoT(Via Satellite) Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s “big day for American leadership” was Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 — The start of a public auction of 120 megahertz of 3.7 gigahertz C-band spectrum to be repurposed for 5G. Pai’s 5G FAST plan, which he spent years promoting as the creator of, “millions of jobs, billions of dollars in investment, innovation on our shores, and stronger economic growth,” grossed $80.9 billion in government revenue.
Renting the Ground: The Growing Future of Ground Segment as a Service(Via Satellite) New Space is greedy for ground. Traditional Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites are stationary relative to the Earth — they hang at a fixed point in the sky and a single ground station can be in constant line-of-sight contact. But the New Space non-GEO constellations — in Low- or Medium-Earth orbit (LEO or MEO) — move across the sky, requiring multiple ground stations across the globe to stay in touch.
Between E-3 And Eyes In Space, The Air Force Needs A Bridge, Now(Breaking Defense) The Air Force has valiantly breathed life into the decades-old E-3 Sentry platform, but as top service officials recently suggested, it can no longer wait for the jump to space-based systems, the authors write in this op-ed. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Bradley Bowman, Maj. Lauren Harrison and Ryan Brobst argue that as Russia…
Agricultural Use Cases for Satellite Push Beyond GPS, to Analytics and Telecom(Via Satellite) The agriculture industry is accustomed to using satellite technology for GPS purposes, and now pushing deeper into satellite technology and using or exploring the use of imagery and sensing, and telecom capabilities. Al Savage, manager of the Starfire Network for John Deere spoke virtually on Wednesday as part of
ESA to Integrate Iceye’s SAR Data into Copernicus Mission(Via Satellite) Iceye’s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery will be integrated into Europe’s Copernicus imagery program, the company announced with the European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday. Iceye is the first European New Space company to take part in this program. Copernicus is the world’s largest Earth Observation (EO)
ESA Signs On as Customer for Kepler Aether Service(Via Satellite) The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Kepler Communications a 500,000 euro ($581,000) contract to test satellite hardware terminals. Kepler Communications is working to build an in-space data transfer network called Aether. This ESA award is part of a project exploring satellite telemetry and control using
Ovzon to Supply DoD With 50 Mobile Satellite Terminals(Via Satellite) Ovzon has won a new contract worth close to $2 million to supply the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), with satellite terminals, the company announced Oct. 18. Ovzon will provide an unnamed DoD customer with 50 of its new, ultra-small, Ovzon T6 mobile satellite terminals. This represents the largest single order to
Astroscale to Lead UK Study of Active Debris Removal Mission(Via Satellite) The UK Space Agency has awarded Astroscale’s U.K. subsidiary a bid to an study active debris removal project The feasibility study will prepare the groundwork for an Active Debris Removal (ADR) mission to remove two defunct satellites from space in 2025. The proposed study, called Cleaning Outer Space Mission
Northrop Grumman Connects Warfighters to the Future(Northrop Grumman Newsroom) During a sophisticated flight test of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), developed by Northrop Grumman, data from Army, Air Force and Marine Corps sensors and weapons systems were fused on a network. This...
Capella Space Signs Research and Development Agreement with US Army SMDTC(Via Satellite) Capella Space has signed a research and development agreement with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC) to use its data from space. Capella announced Oct. 21 that SMDTC will integrate its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data into the U.S. Army's Payload Development Lab. Capella said the
SES Expands Partnership with University of Luxembourg With Joint Lab(Via Satellite) SES is expanding its partnership with the University of Luxembourg to encompass more cybersecurity elements, the company announced Oct. 14. Together with the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), the two organizations will create a joint lab that will explore
Cyber Advisor to President Biden Details Cybersecurity Points for Space(Via Satellite) Invoking a famous quote about the United States and Great Britain, the U.S. cybersecurity advisor to President Joe Biden said that cyber and space communities are separated by a common challenge, one these communities don’t always realize. Chris Inglis, national cyber director and advisor to the president, said
New US military branch gets its own intelligence wing(Space War) Moscow (Sputnik) Oct 05, 2021 - The wing itself is an interim organisation, which will eventually be transformed into the National Space Intelligence Center, taking over part of the activities which at present are carried out by t
Senate Appropriations Directs NASA to Pursue Second HLS With $100M(Via Satellite) The Senate Appropriations Committee went above NASA’s budget request for fiscal year 2022 in its appropriations bill released Monday, but asked the agency to pursue a second Human Landing System (HLS) for the Moon with just $100 million. The Appropriations Committee is providing $1.295 billion for HLS, an increase
Has Space Force Helped Improve Space Acquisition? Survey Respondents Are Split(Breaking Defense) While almost 20% of overall respondents believe that the Space Force is not effective “at all” at improving space acquisition, there is a major split between views of DoD and industry; just 4% of DoD respondents said Space Force hasn’t helped, while 23% of industry respondents held that view.
Space Force Shakes Up Acquisition Again(Air Force Magazine) The Space Force confirmed it will reorganize space acquisition and space policy authorities starting Oct. 18 in an effort to streamline decision-making.
Space Force Eyes Commercial P-LEO SATCOM(Breaking Defense) "If the Space Systems Command is going to acquire other commercial services in the same fashion that CSCO has been acquiring commercial SATCOM, then that will not serve the warfighter well," said Rebecca Cowan-Hirsch, senior vice president for government strategy and policy at Inmarsat.
Why the Army Clings to Its Space Troops(Air Force Magazine) Transferring more Army space assets or capabilities to the Space Force would harm the Army’s ability to defend itself and attack efficiently, the Army says.
A career in the Space Force awaits WFT lineman once his playing days are done(Washington Post) For more than a month, Nolan Laufenberg was without a status. The former Air Force Academy offensive lineman signed with the Denver Broncos in May as a college free agent but was released before the start of the NFL season, leaving him without a football home and little certainty beyond the game. Such is the life of NFL free agency.