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SMDR for Mon., October 9, Vol. 17, Issue 21

Newsletter Air Force Seeks Bids For New Launch Vehicles The U.S. Air Force released a solicitation late Oct. 5 that envisions developing new, domestically produced space launch vehicles to end the service’s reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines. According to the request for proposals, issued by the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force plans […]

State Department Approves $15 Billion THAAD Sale To Saudi Arabia

The State Department approved a possible $15 billion sale of a Lockheed Martin [LMT] Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to Saudi Arabia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Oct. 6. DSCA notified Congress of the sale on the same day. Saudi Arabia requested 44 THAAD launchers, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 THAAD Fire […]

Australia To Outfit New Frigates With Aegis Missile Defense System

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Oct. 3 that nine proposed future frigates being built in the 2020s will include the Lockheed Martin [LMT] Aegis missile defense system. Speaking at the opening of the country’s largest naval conference in Sydney, Turnbull said the Aegis Combat Systems will be made by Lockheed Martin in cooperation with Saab’s Australia branch. […]

Australia To Create Space Agency

Australia’s government has decided to form a national space agency to coordinate and lead the country’s space activities, which are scattered across many agencies. Michaelia Cash, Australia’s acting minister for industry, innovation and science, said Sept. 23 that the new agency will help the nation’s space companies grab a greater share of the global market. […]

National Space Council Nears First Meeting, Pence Says

The newly revived National Space Council plans to hold its first meeting “in just a few short weeks” in Washington, D.C., Vice President Mike Pence said late Sept. 25. Pence, the council’s chairman, made his comment while touring NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to get an update on agency efforts to send […]

SpaceX Kickstarts Work On New Mars Rocket

SpaceX has begun “serious development” of a new rocket that it plans to use to start colonizing Mars in the 2020s, company founder Elon Musk announced Sept. 29. SpaceX has already ordered tooling and started erecting a facility to assemble the rocket, Musk said at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. The company has also been testing a […]

Satellite Traffic In Low Earth Orbit Needs Rules, Lawmaker Says

With low Earth orbit (LEO) becoming increasingly crowded with U.S. and foreign satellites, there is a growing need to craft operating rules to prevent collisions, a key congressman said Oct. 2. Policymakers are discussing LEO satellites “but we’re not talking about it fast enough,” said Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Science, […]

Air Force Seeks Bids For New Launch Vehicles

The U.S. Air Force released a solicitation late Oct. 5 that envisions developing new, domestically produced space launch vehicles to end the service’s reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines. According to the request for proposals, issued by the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force plans to award launch service agreements (LSAs) to fund the […]

Air Force To Hold First GBSD Review Since Contract Awards

The U.S. Air Force, which awarded two contracts in August to mature designs for the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), plans to hold the program’s first major review in October, a program official said Sept. 28. The system requirements review will ensure the prime contractors, Boeing [BA] and Northrop Grumman [NOC], fully understand the system’s requirements, said Col. Heath Collins, […]

Air Force Taps Lockheed, Rockwell To Design ICBM Control System

The U.S. Air Force has picked Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Rockwell Collins [COL] to begin designing a replacement for the aging Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS), which allows command-and-control aircraft to launch land-based, nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Rockwell Collins have been awarded three-year contracts valued at $80.8 million and $76.3 million, respectively, for the […]