Author Archives: Marc Selinger

A Falcon 9 launch in January 2014. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Says Its Rocket Did Not Doom Zuma Spacecraft

SpaceX insisted Jan. 9 that its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which lifted off two days earlier with the U.S. government’s secretive Zuma payload, was not to blame for the apparent failure of the mission. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement that after a “review of all data to date, Falcon […]

Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Scott Named To Senate Armed Services Committee

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will fill a vacancy on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Jan. 9. Scott will replace former Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who lost his re-election bid last year. The appointment preserves the Republican Party’s one-seat majority on the committee. The SASC’s membership already includes […]

A Falcon 9 launch in January 2014. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Launches Secretive Zuma Spacecraft

SpaceX launched the U.S. government’s mysterious Zuma spacecraft late Jan. 7 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Built by Northrop Grumman [NOC], Zuma lifted off on a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket on its way to low Earth orbit for an undisclosed agency. Northrop Grumman had no immediate comment on Zuma’s fate, but SpaceX, which […]

AF Seal_500

Air Force Mulling How To Meet Hill Mandate To Kill New Space Directorate

The U.S. Air Force is evaluating how to implement a congressional requirement that it disband its new space operations directorate, service Secretary Heather Wilson said Jan. 5. “We will comply with the law but there’s a lot of different ways to do it,” Wilson said at a Washington Space Business Roundtable luncheon. “We still have […]

Boeing Gets Contracts To Build F-15s For Qatar, KC-46 For Japan

Boeing [BA] has formally snagged two major foreign orders for military planes: F-15QA fighters for Qatar and a KC-46 tanker for Japan. The Pentagon announced Dec. 22 that Boeing was awarded a $6.2 billion contract to build 36 F-15QAs for the Qatar Emiri Air Force by the end of 2022. The F-15QA will be the Qatari […]

capitol

Rood Cleared To Lead DoD Policy Shop

The Senate confirmed former Lockheed Martin [LMT] International executive John Rood to be undersecretary of defense for policy by an 81-7 vote late Jan. 3. Among those voting no was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who complained that many top defense officials appointed by the Trump administration come from major defense companies, creating potential conflicts of […]

An armed MQ-9 Reaper taxis down a runway.
Photo: U.S. Air Force

Air Force Nearing Completion Of ISR Plan

The U.S. Air Force, which is writing a report on how it hopes to improve its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the coming years, plans to finish the document in “early spring,” a key general said Jan. 4. The “Next Generation ISR Dominance Flight Plan” will be “pretty comprehensive,” addressing “all things for ISR […]

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.). (Photo courtesy of office of Rep. Bridenstine.)

Senate Returns NASA Pick To White House

The controversial nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be NASA administrator has been returned to the White House, a congressional aide said Jan. 3. The move came after key senators, including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), an influential voice on space matters, objected to the idea of having a politician run what has traditionally been […]

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches June 28, 2015, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Photo: NASA.

SpaceX Aims To Launch Secretive Zuma Spacecraft This Week

The U.S. government’s mysterious Zuma spacecraft, whose launch was postponed from November, is now slated to lift off Jan. 5, according to SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry Zuma to low Earth orbit underwent a propellant loading test Jan. 3 on its launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX tweeted. […]

Boeing's F-15. Photo: Boeing.

Boeing Gets Contracts To Build F-15s For Qatar, KC-46 For Japan

Boeing [BA] has formally snagged two major foreign orders for military planes: F-15QA fighters for Qatar and a KC-46 tanker for Japan. The Pentagon announced Dec. 22 that Boeing was awarded a $6.2 billion contract to build 36 F-15QAs for the Qatar Emiri Air Force by the end of 2022. The F-15QA will be the […]