The request for information is one of the first steps to commercialize some of the service’s satellite operations and transfer others to a new common ground system.
For stakeholders in the U.S. government space enterprise, the most important agenda item for Congress is passing a budget for the new fiscal year that will keep high-priority programs on track. Unfortunately, an uglier scenario — budgetary chaos — is looming.
All new satellites built for the U.S. Air Force must be compatible with an experimental ground system that was designed primarily for research missions and is viewed as a steppingstone to a common ground architecture for major operational constellations, a senior service official said.
The successful launch of the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System communications satellite Sept. 2 rounds out a multibillion-dollar constellation that has been in development for more than a decade. But the launch is also a reminder that more than three-and-a-half years after the February 2012 launch of the first satellite, some two years behind schedule, the MUOS system’s advanced capabilities remain unavailable.
The secretary of the U.S. Air Force would have a greater level of oversight over all Defense Department space programs, according to a draft memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.
The Air Force has twice taken a pair of space surveillance satellites out of test mode and used them to make observations in geosynchronous orbit.
DARPA is studying technology that would enable the installation of antennas aboard satellites already on orbit, the latest of a series of exploratory efforts in satellite servicing and on-orbit assembly.
Weather has pushed back the Atlas 5 launch of a U.S. Navy mobile communications satellite that had been scheduled for Monday morning.
The chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force said he does not envision the Defense Department relinquishing control of Air Force satellites.
The U.S. Army’s efforts to field a rocket for launching small, low-orbiting satellites on short notice continue to come up empty.
The head of U.S. Air Force Space Command is pressing ahead with an initiative to commercialize some of the service’s satellite operations and move others to a new common ground system.
The head of Air Force Space Command said Aug. 10 that while he sees clear benefits to small satellite systems, he expects the military to follow the lead of commercial developments.
The U.S. Air Force may need to guarantee SpaceX and United Launch Alliance a set number of national security launches if the service hopes to have to two financially viable families of rockets available in the future, according to a report completed in April.
The U.S. Air Force contends United Launch Alliance needs as many as 22 RD-180 rocket engines to compete against SpaceX for dozens of national security launches that start going out for bid later this year, according to a U.S. senator.