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SMDR for Mon., March 27, Vol. 17, Issue 7

DoD Budget Features $54 Billion Boost, NASA Budget Reduced By One Percent

The fiscal year 2018 budget blueprint released the morning of March 16 featured, as expected, a $54 billion boost in defense spending, but it also trims NASA’s budget by roughly 1 percent, according to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney.Mulvaney told reporters March 15 the federal government’s overall budget would not add…

DoD SATCOM Pilot Program Phase 1 Awards Due In Weeks

The Pentagon is set to award at least one contract, maybe more, for its satellite communications (SATCOM) Pilot Program Phase 1 within weeksof mid-March, according to a service spokeswoman.Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Annmarie Annicelli said March 23 in an email that the total value of Pilot Program Phase 1 is $3 million. The number of…

Thornberry Walks Back ULA Vulcan Intervention Suggestion

House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) will not intervene in United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) downselect of a first stage booster for its next-generation rocket, despite declaring in a recent letter that the company should provide Congressional approval of such a decision if the company requests Air Force money for the vehicle’s development.“My…

SSL Sues Orbital ATK For Stealing Dragonfly Program Proprietary Data

Space Systems Loral (SSL) filed a lawsuit on March 22 alleging Orbital ATK [OA] stole its proprietary data relating to the NASA Dragonfly project.In the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, SSL alleged NASA Marshall Space Flight Center notified SSL last December that an employee of Orbital ATK accessed files on NASA’s NX server,…

Orbital ATK Says It Acted Properly And Will Defend Against SSL Lawsuit

Orbital ATK [OA] has responded to a March 22 lawsuit by Space Systems Loral (SSL) alleging Orbital ATK stole its proprietary data relating to the NASA Dragonfly project.In the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, SSL alleged NASA notified the company last December that an employee of Orbital ATK…

Air Force Won’t Stop ULA Divestment Of Delta IV Heavy

The Air Force won’t stop United Launch Alliance (ULA) from divesting its Delta IV Heavy rocket, despite a pair of key lawmakers ordering the service to do so.“That was a memo to us and not a law or language,” Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Military Deputy, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch told reporters…

Top Launch Execs Focus On Small Satellite Impact, Opportunities

The launch market is entering an unprecedented era of diversity as smaller satellites become more popular, according to executives from major launch providers.The diversifying launch market was a key focus of the highly anticipated launchers panel March 8 at the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington. Executives from major launch companies seemed to agree that smaller…

SDA, AGI Launching Next-Generation Space Traffic Management Service

The Space Data Association (SDA) and Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) have entered into a multi-year agreement to launch an updated Space Data Center (SDC) space traffic management service, according to an AGI statement.The space traffic management service will be powered by AGI’s Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC). SDC 2.0, which will be available to all…

Navy To Start Receiving New Standard Missile-3 Interceptor Variant By Late 2018

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) plans to begin delivering the new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor to the U.S. Navy by the end of calendar year 2018, a program official said March 15.“Our focus right now is getting through the IIA development, getting the IIA into production,” said Navy Rear Adm. Johnny Wolfe,…

Lockheed Delivers Record-Breaking 60 kW Laser To Army For Air-Defense Testing

The Army is set to receive a powerful laser weapon from Lockheed Martin [LMT] capable of shooting enemy weapons from drones to missiles out of the sky at the fraction of the cost of traditional air defense systems.Lockheed has completed design, development and demonstration of the 60 kW beam “combined fiber laser” and is prepping…