Archive: Space

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

Lawmakers Plan To Keep Close Eye On DoD Space Overhaul

The House Armed Services Committee intends to closely monitor how the Department of Defense implements the space management overhaul recently mandated by Congress, the panel’s chairman said Jan. 16. The committee wants to ensure that the reorganization gives space the increased attention it needs and assigns more accountability to space decision-makers, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) […]

SpaceX launches the JCSAT-16 commercial communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket. Photo: SpaceX

DoD Still Mum On Fate Of Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft

Four days after the U.S. government’s classified Zuma spacecraft apparently failed after being launched on a SpaceX rocket, the Department of Defense remained mum on exactly what happened. At a Pentagon press briefing Jan. 11, DoD spokeswoman Dana White declined to comment on the matter, referring questions to SpaceX. “We’re not going to be able […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Artist rendering of Coast Guard cubesat.

Coast Guard Planning Launch Of First Satellites

The Coast Guard in 2018, with the help of other government partners, is planning to launch its first ever satellites, which will be used to demonstrate the use of the platforms for search and rescue mission in the Arctic region. One of the Coast Guard’s partners, the Science and Technology branch of the Department of […]

Artist's rendering of a GPS III satellite. Image: Lockheed Martin.

New GPS Receiver Cards To Exceed DoD Cost Estimate By Billions, GAO Says

Installing new Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver cards on more than 700 different weapons systems will cost billions of dollars more than the Department of Defense’s estimate of $2.5 billion through fiscal year 2021, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). DoD’s estimate reflects the existence of full or partial funding […]


Air Force Eyes Autonomous Flight Safety For All Space Launches

The U.S. Air Force says it plans to implement an autonomous flight safety system (AFSS) for all of its space launches in the next five years to make its operations more efficient. During traditional Air Force launches, a flight termination system uses various sensors, including telemetry, radars, optics and command destruct antennas, to allow operators […]