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SMDR for Mon., June 19, Vol. 17, Issue 13

Air Force To Stand Up New Space Ops Directorate Aug. 1

The U.S. Air Force plans to launch a new office Aug. 1 to further “integrate, normalize and elevate” its space operations, the service announced June 16.Located at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon, the office, or directorate, will consolidate space functions from multiple parts of the Air Staff and will be the service’s leading advocate…

DoD’s Nuclear Posture Review Looking At Each Triad Leg, Secretary Mattis Says

The U.S. Department of Defense is scrutinizing all three legs of the nation’s aging nuclear triad as part of its nuclear posture review, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said June 14.“We’re looking at each leg of the triad and we’re looking at each weapon inside each leg,” Mattis testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel.…

Air Force Exploring Infrastructure Upgrades For Training Space Forces

The U.S. Air Force is taking a “hard look” at the additional training infrastructure it needs to enhance its ability to simulate advanced space threats and prepare warfighters for combat, a space official said June 9.“I don’t know what that looks like for all of us,” said Col. David Miller, commander of the 460th Space Wing…

Air Force Ahead of Schedule for New START Compliance, Gen. Rand Says

The United States is months ahead of schedule to meet its obligations in capping the U.S. nuclear arsenal under the bilateral New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia, according to a top Air Force official.Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said on June 7 at a Senate Armed Services Strategic…

Senate OKs Continued Use Of Russian Rocket Engines For NASA Missions

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed an amendment to an Iran-Russia sanctions bill (S. 722) June 15 to ensure NASA and its industry partners can keep relying on Russian-made rocket engines.Supporters said the amendment makes a "technical" correction to the bill to allow Orbital ATK [OA] to continue using its Antares rocket to launch astronauts to the International…

U.S. Needs Defense Against Space Objects, Rep. Rohrabacher Says

Lawmakers should consider making NASA or another agency responsible for defending against an asteroid or other space object that could hit Earth and kill millions of people, according to a leading space advocate in Congress.“We should demand someone, whether it’s NASA or whoever, actually has a system where they say ‘punch the red button, it’s…

House Bill Seeks ‘One-Stop Shop’ For Commercial Activity In Space

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved a bill by voice vote June 8 that would create a “one-stop shop” in the Commerce Department to authorize private-sector activity in space.Those activities are now spread across three agencies, creating a burdensome and legally uncertain environment that has hampered the ability of U.S. firms to receive…

South Korea THAAD Deployment Delayed For Environmental Assessment

The South Korean defense ministry will begin a full environmental impact assessment of the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, delaying the deployment of four additional launchers.This decision on June 7 by the South Korean presidential office, the Blue House, comes after it conducted a probe looking into…

Boeing’s Caret Flattening Defense And Space Segment

Boeing [BA] Defense Chief Leanne Caret on June 13 said she is eliminating two of the defense segment’s three reporting sectors in favor of smaller entities that will report to directly to her, simplifying and flattening the organization to speed decision making and make the business more competitive.The reorganization and streamlining will also result in 50…

Air Force X-37B Spaceplane To Ride On SpaceX Rocket For First Time

The next launch of the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B reusable unmanned spaceplane is scheduled for August and will occur aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the first time, service officials said June 6.The mission, the fifth for the Boeing [BA]-built Orbital Test Vehicle, will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Each of the previous four…