Briefs

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  Space News Business

Briefs

posted: 21 March 2007
11:10 am ET


Two European Missions To ISS Face Delays




The launch of Europe’s unmanned cargo vehicle to the international space station (ISS) aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket has slipped to November. At the same time the launch of Europe’s Columbus crew laboratory to the ISS is shifting to December. Both changes were made in response to the revised U.S. space shuttle launch schedule that is being adjusted as a result of the hail-damage recently sustained by the shuttle Atlantis.

The reshuffling of the station’s traffic schedule caused by the shuttle’s delay is only one of the reasons Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which is to carry thousands of kilograms of food, water and fuel to the station, will not make its late-summer launch date, according to Europe’s space station director, Daniel Sacotte.

The ATV’s previous schedule, calling for a launch between July and September, was going to be difficult to maintain regardless of the shuttle schedule as the European Space Agency struggled to complete integration of Russian and European components on the vehicle and resolve outstanding performance issues.

“I certainly am not going to say I am happy with a delay,” Sacotte said in an Oct. 16 interview. “But in this case, a July-September launch was going to be difficult for us. Now we have more than enough breathing room.”

The ATV is designed to perform many of the functions of a manned vehicle, including the ability to approach the station, then stop and back off if necessary before a final docking. Its arrival must coincide with the availability of a docking port, and even with the sun’s position relative to the station so that ATV’s laser-guided rendezvous sensors are not confused by backlighting of the station on approach.

ESA officials want ATV to be launched before the Columbus lab to avoid possible cash payments to NASA for Columbus overhead charges. ATV is considered part of Europe’s payment in kind for station services paid for by NASA.


Goddard Reopens Contract; Will Get More Bidder Info

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is taking a little longer than planned to decide which company will get a $400 million engineering support services contract it awarded to SGT Inc. of Greenbelt, Md., in December only to rescind the award six weeks later following a protest by the contract’s long time incumbent Swales Aerospace, Beltsville, Md.

NASA spokesman Ed Campion said the agency held discussions March 14-15 with SGT and Swales and intends to amend the Mechanical Systems Engineering Services contract solicitation the week of March 19 to permit the bidders to submit additional information. He said an award is expected “before the end of May and possibly sooner.” Previously, Campion had said a selection would be made by mid -March.

Meanwhile, Swales has filed a lawsuit against an SGT consultant in connection with the competition. Swales contends in a lawsuit filed in Prince George’s County, M d., that the consultant, a former Swales employee, used propriety Swales information to help SGT in its bid.

Campion said March 16 that NASA had no comment on the lawsuit. SGT did not respond by press time to a phone call seeking comment.

GeoEye
Buys Aerial Imagery firm in Kansas

GeoEye has acquired the aerial remote sensing firm M.J. Harden Associates Inc. from General Electric Co. (GE).

Geoeye, a Dulles, Va .-based commercial satellite imagery provider, announced in a press release March 15 that it will operate Mission, Kan. -based M.J. Harden, which has about 60 employees, as a wholly owned subsidiary. GeoEye acquired M.J. Harden’s outstanding stock March 15. As part of the acquisition agreement, M.J. Harden will continue working with GE’s PII Integrity Services Division.

The acquisition will provide GeoEye with the capability to provide higher resolutions than their satellite imagery with M.J. Harden’s digital aerial imagery, and is hoped to expand their customer base.

“Since most of M.J. Harden’s customers are in the commercial segment, we think we can help them do more in the federal government sector. At the same time, we hope to expand the products they offer their customers,” GeoEye President and Chief Executive Matthew O’Connell said in a prepared statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

U.S. Air Force Delays Last DSP Launch Until Summer

The launch of the U.S. Air Force’s last Defense Support Program (DSP) missile warning satellite will be delayed until sometime this summer due to an accident during testing of its Delta 4 launch vehicle, according to a senior service official.

Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, told reporters during a March 14 conference call that liquid oxygen had leaked on the launch pad during a recent fueling test of the Delta 4 Heavy launcher at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The super-cold fluid caused a crack in the pad, he said.

DSP-23, to be the first operational payload launched by the heavy-lift variant of the Delta 4 , had been scheduled for an April 1 liftoff.

News of the accident was previously reported by Florida Today.

The Air Force is taking a cautious path due to the high priority of the DSP satellite, Hamel said. While a review team is close to identifying the cause of the leak, the Air Force is not going forward with a launch before it can be assured of a high probability of success, Air Force Undersecretary Ronald Sega said during the conference call.

The DSP satellites were expected to be replaced by the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) starting in 2002, but the SBIRS program has been delayed repeatedly, primarily due to technical issues. The Delta 4 Heavy initially was expected to launch DSP-23 in August 2005, but the mission has been delayed in part because the rocket failed to put a dummy payload into a sustainable orbit during a December 2004 demonstration mission.

Tonya Racasner, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, said in a written response to questions that two cracks had appeared on the pad under the servicing equipment used for the booster cores following testing Feb. 28. There was no damage to the rocket during the testing, she said.

In addition to the delay associated with the accident review following the inital Delta 4 demonstration flight, the DSP-23 launch was further delayed as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-N occupied the launch pad at Cape Canaveral until it launched in May 2006, Racasner said. Delta 4 launch priority was then shifted to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the launch of a National Reconnaissance Office satellite in in June 2006 and a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft in November 2006, she said.

Ariane
5 Designers Studying Use of Russian Upper Stage

Designers of Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket are studying the use of the Russian-built Fregat upper stage, now used on Russia’s Soyuz launch vehicle, as an upper stage for Ariane 5 for missions that require multiple restarts in orbit.

European government and industry officials said Fregat, which has its own guidance and navigation system and can be restarted up to 20 times in flight, could be an option to launch part of future satellite constellations, including the Galileo navigation and timing constellation of satellites now under development.

European governments have agreed to fund research and early development of Vinci, a made-in-Europe restartable upper stage for Ariane 5, but this motor is unlikely to enter service before early in the next decade.

Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium, which completed its first 2007 Ariane 5 launch March 11, is planning five more Ariane 5 launches this year. Launch of Intelsat‘s Galaxy 17 and SES Global’s Astra 1L telecommunications satellite is set for May 3, according to Arianespace Chief Executive Jean-Yves Le Gall.

Le Gall said March 11 that the recently decided ramp-up in Ariane 5 production will permit seven Ariane 5 launches in 2008 and eight in 2009.

Griffin Promises To Keep SOFIA Operations at Ames

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin pledged to keep the SOFIA science operations center SOFIA at the U.S. space agency’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

SOFIA, short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a telescope-equipped 747 jetliner NASA is developing in cooperation with the German space agency. After reconsidering a decision to cancel the project amid cost overruns and schedule delays, NASA decided last year to move SOFIA’s program management from Ames to the Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

NASA budget documents released in February said the agency had not decided whether SOFIA’s science operations would be relocated as well. Responding to a question from an Ames-area lawmaker, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Griffin said SOFIA’s science operations were staying put.

“The science operations center is going to remain at Ames,” Griffin said during a March 13 budget hearing before the House Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee. “There is absolutely no possibility that we will move the science operations center to Dryden.”

Griffin said the operations center would provide 70-80 jobs at Ames.

First Piece of Japan’s Kibo Arrives at NASA Kennedy




The first piece of the Japanese Experiment Module for the international space station arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida March 12 and is set to undergo launch preparations, according to a NASA press release issued that same day .

The Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section, which left Yokohama, Japan, Feb. 7, will be launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour later this year. The pressurized module, one of three main elements of the Japan Experiment Module, will be used to store equipment and supplies, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Web site.

Also called Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module is Japan’s primary contribution to t he space station and its first human space facility, according to the announcement. Kibo will provide more space for astronauts to perform scientific experiments, including an area that will allow for open-space experiments, according to JAXA.


Eutelsat
W2A To Include Harris-built Mesh Antenna

 

Harris Corp. will build a 12-meter-diameter unfurlable S-band satellite antenna to be used for mobile video, radio and data transmissions in Europe under a contract with Alcatel Alenia Space, Melbourne, Fla.-based Harris announced March 12.

The mesh antenna will be placed aboard the W2A satellite owned by Eutelsat Communications of Paris. The S-band mobile payload will be used by a joint venture specially created by Eutelsat and satellite-fleet operator SES Global to test the service in Western Europe. The satellite is scheduled for launch in 2009.

SES Global and Eutelsat estimate that the cost of building and integrating the antenna and accommodating the on board satellite power and mass requirements for the S-band mobile mission will cost 130 million euros ( $170.6 million), which they will finance in equal shares.

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X Prize Foundation Party Raises Over $2.7 Million

 

The X Prize Foundation, which sponsors contests to develop commercial space technology, raised more than $2.7 million at a party that brought together icons from academia, film, business and politics, according to a press release March 7.

The event, dubbed “Radical Benefit for Humanity,” took place at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters March 3. Over 300 people attended, including Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, sponsor of the Ansari X Prize Anousheh Ansari and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

A trip aboard Zero Gravity Corp.’s microgravity-simulator aircraft with world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and a U.S. flag that once stood on the Moon were among the prizes auctioned off.

“This unique combination of philanthropic support, with San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Hollywood joining forces, really has taken our Foundation to a whole new level,” Bibi Kasrai, head fundraising counsel for the X Prize Foundation, said in a prepared statement.

Space University Session Coming to Ames in 2009

 

The International Space University’s Summer Session Program for 2009 will be held at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., NASA announced March 7.

Approximately 120 postgraduates and young professionals will participate in the nine-week session, to run from mid-June to August.

Established in 1987, the International Space University offers classes in disciplines including engineering, the physical sciences, satellite applications, life sciences, policy, management and humanities. It is headquartered in Strasbourg, France.

“This is the first time in the program’s history that this prestigious summer session will be held at a NASA center, and I’m very proud that we will have a key role in developing future leaders in the global space community,” Ames Research Center Director Simon “Pete” Worden said in an official statement.

OSU Telemedicine Center Orders Spacenet Services

 

The Telemedicine Center at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences has selected Spacenet Inc. to provide satellite network services for a new mobile clinic, the McLean, Va.-based company announced March 6.

The Telemedicine Center will use Spacenet’s Connexstar service for data communications and Voice over Internet Protocol, which allows the use of telephone services with the Internet.

“The OSU Mobile Telemedicine Clinic will provide a valuable service for the state of Oklahoma by offering access to specialty medical services throughout the region with an emphasis on rural areas,” Jon Barnaby, network operations manager for the Telemedicine Center, said in a prepared statement . “The use of Spacenet’s satellite services provides the flexibility and reliability that we need to support the advanced communication requirements of a mobile telemedicine clinic.”

AAE Nabs Contract for Satellite-Ready Vehicles

 

AAE Systems Inc. will supply up to 30 disaster-response vehicles equipped with satellite communications systems under a contract with an undisclosed customer in the Middle East, the satellite equipment manufacturer announced March 1.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AAE will install its systems aboard Toyota Land Cruisers, the company said. The systems, featuring AAE’s Eclipse multi-frequency DMA DAMA satellite router, will enable services including voice, video conferencing and video surveillance over Internet protocol, the company said.

BayCity To Sell Ipstar Service in New Zealand

 

New Zealand rural-communications provider BayCity Group will sell Shin Satellite’s Ipstar two-way satellite broadband service in that country  under an exclusive contract that commits BayCity to sell more than 100 million New Zealand dollars ($69.1 million) worth of Ipstar bandwidth and terminals over 12 years, Thailand-based Shin announced March 13.

Under the contract, BayCity Communications has agreed to sign up 60,000 new Ipstar users in New Zealand within five years. Shin estimates that the total New Zealand market for the satellite-broadband service is 125,000 households, including 70,000 farms and other rural businesses.

Through its Farmstar Ltd. subsidiary, BayCity has been an Ipstar service provider since 2004.

The new contract relieves Ipstar New Zealand of the responsibility of marketing the service to end users in New Zealand. The company will maintain its presence in the country as operator of the Ipstar gateway Earth station in Auckland.

General Dynamics Completes MUOS Ground System Review

General Dynamics C4 Systems of Scottsdale, Ariz., recently completed a key design review of the ground-based control-segment for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation mobile communications satellites, according to a company news release dated March 7.

The General Dynamics is a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., on the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). The satellites, the first of which is scheduled to launch in 2010, are designed to provide communications links to U.S. forces on the move, on land and at sea.

John Weidman, vice president for national systems at General Dynamics C4 Systems, said in a March 15 interview that the company now will begin an analysis of how to support the MUOS ground system over 10 to 15 years. The analysis will consider equipment longevity, parts that may need to be acquired in advance to avoid obsolence issues and storage.

General Dynamics also will begin work on the software for the ground system, with testing scheduled to begin in the second half of 2007, Weidman said.

Boeing Delivers 500th PAC-3 Seeker to Lockheed Martin

 

Boeing Integrated Defense Systems of St. Louis has delivered the 500th seeker for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptor, according to a March 8 company news release .

Boeing delivered the seeker, which helps the PAC-3 interceptor home in on its target , to PAC-3 prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. in December, but the milestone was marked during a ceremony March 8 at Boeing’s missile defense facilities in Huntsville, Ala., according to the news release.

Boeing’s PAC-3 seeker work includes production, assembly, integration and testing at the Huntsville facility, while program management is based in Anaheim, Calif.

Indian Satellite Could Help Fill Landsat Coverage Gaps




The U.S. government will evaluate the use of India’s Resourcesat Earth observation satellite to fill in gaps in U.S. Landsat satellite coverage and, with India, will investigate “potential collaboration on medium-resolution land-imaging systems,” according to the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.

The working group was created in 2004 following a U.S.-India summit that outlined areas of future collaboration on science and technology projects.

The working group’s latest meeting occurred Feb. 28 in Washington and noted plans for an Indian ground station to receive data from the U.S. National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite system.

The United States is contributing two payload instruments to India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar-orbiter mission, set for launch in March 2008 — a collaboration that was facilitated by the 2004 summit.

Resourcesat-1, also known as IRS-P6, was launched into polar low Earth orbit in October 2003.

The working group issued a statement March 1 that said in part: “[S]cientific information should be shared as widely and quickly as possible to enable its fullest use for research purposes in the interests of the public good.”

Jeff Miotke, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for science, space and health, and Michael O’Brien, NASA assistant administrator for external relations, led the U.S. delegation. The Indian delegation was led by R. R. Navalgund, director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Satellite Applications Centre.


Saab To Supply Parts for Boeing-Built MSV Satellites

 

Saab Space of Sweden will provide 204 signal-radiating elements to be installed on two large mobile-communications satellites being built by Boeing for Mobile Satellite Ventures’ hybrid satellite-terrestrial system in North America, Gothenberg-based Saab S pace announced March 9 .

Boeing will integrate the Saab Space hardware into the 22-meter-diameter unfurlable L-band antenna featured on each MSV satellite .

Under the same contract with Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, Saab will provide six antennas — three per spacecraft — to permit the satellites to deliver and receive commands from ground controllers in Ku-band.

The two MSV satellites are scheduled for launch in 2009 and 2010. Saab said its L-band antenna components for MSV build on its previous work on the Boeing-built Thuraya mobile-telephone satellites and the ICO two-way mobile spacecraft now under construction at Space Systems/Loral.

Each MSV satellite will deliver 11 kilowatts of power at the end of its life.

Slovenia To Become Member of Eumetsat

Slovenia will become the 21st national member of Europe’s meteorological satellite organization, Eumetsat, following an agreement announced March 9 by the Darmstadt, Germany-based organization.

Eumetsat Director-General Lars Prahm said the Slovenian Hydrometeorological Institute will use Eumetsat data to improve its weather forecasting and to better monitor environmental data.

Eumetsat operates five Meteosat satellites in geostationary orbit over Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean region, and the Metop-A satellite in polar low Earth orbit, which was launched in October and is still being commissioned.

Raytheon Gets $5.7 M for Air-Launched Interceptor

 

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., a $5.76 million contract to continue development of an air-launched missile interceptor, according to a Pentagon contract announcement dated March 8.

Under the contract, Raytheon will continue studying the viability of integrating a seeker used on the Sidewinder missile into an Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile . The interceptor would be fired from an F-15 aircraft against both cruise and ballistic missiles under a concept that Raytheon calls the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element .

OHB Gets Extension for SmallGEO Satellite Work

 

OHB-System will continue its design work on small telecommunications spacecraft for geostationary orbit under a Phase-B development contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), OHB and ESA officials said.

The contract, signed March 7, is valued at 13 million euros ($17 million) and is part of a 113 million-euro ESA program called SmallGEO, which is funded mainly by the German government but includes a half-dozen junior partners as well. OHB and other participating companies also are financing a small share of the total program costs.

The SmallGEO program, approved by ESA in December 2005, is intended to keep Europe, and Germany in particular, active in what is seen as a growing market for relatively small commercial telecommunications satellites.

Astrium Satellites, one of Europe’s two principal satellite prime contractors, which has a substantial presence in Germany, is developing a similar product line with the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The first SmallGEO satellite is expected to be launched in 2010 as part of a public-private partnership in which a private-sector operator will finance development of a telecommunications payload.

MDA To Extend Boeing Airborne Laser Contract

 

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) will have to extend its Airborne Laser contract with Boeing due to the delay, from 2008 to 2009, of a flight demonstration in which the system will attempt to shoot down a target missile, a company official said.

Greg Hyslop, vice president and program director for the Airborne Laser with Boeing Missile Defense Systems of Arlington, Va., said the company’s current prime contract on the program runs through 2008. The MDA has allocated funding to support a flight test in August 2009, but Boeing believes the critical demonstration could occur during the first quarter of that calendar year, he said.

The 2007 budget for the Airborne Laser is $629 million. The MDA is asking Congress for $549 million for the project in 2008, and anticipates requesting another $432 million in 2009.

The current value of Boeing’s Airborne Laser contract is $2.1 billion, said Rick Lehner, an MDA spokesman. That total covers a series of contracts awarded from 1996 to 2003, he said.

The flight demonstration, in which the modified Boeing 747 aircraft will attempt to shoot down a short-range missile using a high-power chemical laser, was delayed due to challenges associated with the weapon’s complex optical targeting system, Hyslop told reporters March 12 during a series of briefings on Boeing’s missile defense work.

In addition to the main laser, the aircraft will carry less powerful lasers for target tracking and measuring atmospheric turbulence that can distort the weapon’s beam. That distortion will be corrected for by adaptive optics on board the aircraft. Hyslop characterized the Airborne Laser’s beam control/fire control laser as the most complex optical system ever built.

The beam control/fire control lasers will be tested in flight this year against an instrumented target mounted on the side of an aircraft, Hyslop said. Those tests are slated to wrap up this summer.

The main chemical laser, which was tested on the ground at lethal energy levels in 2005, has been disassembled and is undergoing refurbishment, Hyslop said. It will be integrated with its host aircraft once the current round of flight testing is over in preparation for the shoot-down test, he said.

U.S. Exec Says Galileo Should Focus on Military

The president of a U.S. manufacturer of navigation receivers said Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation project is doomed to failure unless it scraps its current business model and concentrates on selling products to European armed forces and other allied militaries.

Javad Ashajee, president of Javad Navigation Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., said Galileo will never work as a commercial, profit-making business due to its high maintenance costs and because of its unstable commercial-market prospects.

“Galileo is not going to be a money-making business,” Ashajee said March 7 at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit. “The business plan does not show profit. Galileo can survive only as a military system. The military is the only one that needs this system and has the money to pay for it.”

Javad Navigation Systems is one of the first U.S. companies to become part of Galileo Services , a European association designed to promote Galileo. Ashajee said he supports Galileo but that it cannot work as a profit-making enterprise that requires the private sector to invest billions in its deployment and maintenance.

He said that with the United States, Russia, India, Japan and probably China offering access to their current and future satellite navigation systems free of charge, Galileo cannot be expected to generate sufficient revenue to pay the interest on the debt incurred to build the system — much less make a profit.

Ashajee said the United States and Europe should join forces on future development of Galileo and the U.S. GPS navigation system, with each system opening 25 percent of its contract opportunities to companies from the other side of the Atlantic.

Ga lileo’s European Union backers have invited China, Israel, India and other nations to join the project as investors, an idea Ashajee said can only undermine U.S.-European cooperation in satellite navigation.

“Galileo should not have these nations as financial contributors,” Ashajee said. “It upsets political alignments and NATO.

Eutelsat
Customers Kept Off Ailing Satellite

 

Satellite-fleet operator Eutelsat Communications will keep its broadcast customers off the Hot Bird 2 satellite pending an investigation into Hot Bird 2’s status following a March 14 partial power failure, Eutelsat spokeswoman Vanessa O’Connor said March 16.

Paris-based Eutelsat transferred all Hot Bird 2 direct-broadcast television customers to the newer Hot Bird 8 spacecraft, co-located at the same 13 degrees east orbital slot, in the hours following the partial power failure and said the customers will not need to make any adjustments to receive Hot Bird 8 signals.

O’Connor declined to specify the nature of the power failure, and specifically declined to speculate about whether the failure, occurring during eclipse, the time the satellite is in the Earth’s shadow and has to rely on battery power, was likely to recur. She said Hot Bird 2 has since been returned to full service. Launched in November 1996, Hot Bird 2 is an Astrium Satellites Eurostar model designed to operate for 15 years. Hot Bird 8, also built by Astrium, was launched in August 2006.

Eutelsat also announced March 15 that it had moved its Eurobird 10 satellite, formerly known as Hot Bird 3, to an orbital location at 4 degrees east longitude, inaugurating a new orbital position for Eutelsat. The satellite, now renamed Eurobird 4, lost about half its capacity in mid 2006 when a solar array sustained damage as the satellite emerged from an eclipse period. It retains about half its original capacity.

MDA Tests Airborne Laser Targeting System

 

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed the first phase of flight testing for the laser-targeting system aboard the Airborne Laser aircraft, according to an MDA news release dated March 16.

The testing off the coast of California included multiple shots of the Tracking Illuminator Laser (TILL) at a picture of a missile painted on the side of an airborne KC-135 aircraft, according to the news release. The TILL is intended to tracking a ballistic missile and find the best spot on the rocket body to aim the high-powered chemical laser that is intended to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight.

USAF Pays $10 Million To Improve RL-10

 

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $10 million contract to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to make improvements on the RL-10 upper-stage engine used with the Delta 4 and Atlas rockets that carry the bulk of the military’s satellites to orbit, according to a Pentagon contract announcement posted online on March 15.

The work, which will run through December 2007, is intended to improve manufacturing functions and increase the reliability of the RL-10 engine as part of the Air Force effort to ensure the success of space launches, according to the contract announcement.

Air Force Makes Many Changes in Space Jobs

 

Several U.S. Air Force brigadier generals are moving to new positions later this year, according to an Air Force document.

Brig. Gen. William N. McCasland, the vice commander at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, will become the director of space acquisition in the office of the undersecretary of the Air Force. McCasland will be replaced at the Space and Missile Systems Center by Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, who currently serves as commander of the military satellite communications systems wing.

Pawlikowki’s spot will be filled by Brig. Gen. Susan Mashiko, who currently serves as program executive officer for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, a joint Air Force-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration effort to develop a new generation of weather satellites that can replace existing polar-orbiting weather satellites operated by the two agencies.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Kathleen Roberts, who currently serves as special assistant to the deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), will become the NRO’s director for signals intelligence systems acquisition and operations.

New System Delivered For 2008 Deployment

 

General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins recently delivered the first Integrated Computer Systems (ICS) to the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, according to a joint news release issued March 6.

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