Archive: Space

President Donald Trump.  (White House photo)

Trump Tells DoD To Form Space Force, But Senator Says He Can’t Do That

President Trump announced June 18 that he has told the Department of Defense to start forming a space force to ensure U.S. space dominance, but a key lawmaker insisted that DoD cannot proceed without congressional approval. “Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish […]

The International Space Station. Photo: NASA

Senate Panel Backs Space Station Funding Beyond 2025

The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) has rebuffed the Trump administration’s proposal to end federal funding for the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025. In a new report explaining its fiscal year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill, the committee said it supports maintaining ISS funding “beyond 2025 until a viable alternative exists to achieve NASA’s […]

Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (Air Force photo)

Air Force Center Sees New Teams As Key To Faster Space Acquisition

The U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is forming several teams to increase communication and coordination across the 6,300-person organization and ultimately reduce the time it takes to acquire satellites and other equipment. SMC, which is headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, is currently “stove-piped by mission area,” meaning […]

Orbital's Minotaur IV launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 26, 2017, carrying the ORS-5 space-tracing satellite. Photo: Orbital ATK.

Air Force Studying Alternatives To Troubled ORS-6 Satellite

The U.S. Air Force has scrubbed the launch of a weather demonstration satellite, citing unspecified “technical issues” with the spacecraft’s bus. The Air Force’s Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), formerly the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office, had planned to launch the ORS-6 satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February. The mission would […]

The UK's Royal Air Force recently launched its first small satellite, Carbonite-2. (Credit: SSTL-Beaucroft-Photography)

UK Nears Completion Of First Defense Space Strategy

The United Kingdom is drafting its first defense space strategy and intends to unveil it this summer, citing growing threats to its space operations. The strategy, which Gavin Williamson, the UK’s defense secretary, recently announced at the first-ever UK defense space conference in London, “will set out plans to protect UK operations against emerging space-based […]

Air Force Space Command chief Gen. John Raymond. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Hikes Funding For New Space Consortium

The U.S. Air Force’s new Space Enterprise Consortium, which promotes the development of industry prototypes, is getting a five-fold increase in funding because the service is pleased with its results, according to a top Air Force space official. Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper recently approved raising the consortium’s $100 million ceiling to $500 million […]

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DARPA Launch Challenge Program Nears Releasing RFI For Potential Payloads

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) will soon issue a request for information on commercial and government payloads it could use in an upcoming launch competition, an agency official said May 23. The RFI will be “coming out in the next week or two,” said Todd Master, program manager for the DARPA Launch Challenge. […]

The twin GRACE-FO satellites will follow each other in orbit around Earth, separated by about 137 miles.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Set To Launch Water-Watching Satellites

NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) say they are on track to launch a pair of Earth-observing satellites May 22 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Built by Airbus Defence and Space in Germany, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites are set […]

Orbital's Minotaur IV launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 26, 2017, carrying the ORS-5 space-tracing satellite. Photo: Orbital ATK.

Air Force Pursuing Makeover For Operationally Responsive Space Office

The U.S. Air Force is beefing up the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office to help the 11-year-old organization improve its ability to quickly develop urgently needed space capabilities, service Secretary Heather Wilson said May 17. The Air Force is adding about 50 people to the office, which is based at Kirtland Air Force Base in New […]

Artist's illustration of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Photo: NASA.

More Delays In NASA Space Missions Won’t Be Tolerated, House Panel Says

The House Appropriations Committee is warning NASA that lawmakers will not put up with further delays in the agency’s space-exploration missions. In a new report explaining the fiscal year 2019 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, the committee expresses concern that the delays have occurred despite “record investments” in NASA.  “These slips are intolerable and must not continue,” the committee […]