Editor’s note: In response to media requests during the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., in April, U.S. Air Force Space Command released July 16 a list of its top priorities in its areas of responsibility, space and cyberspace. At the top in the space category are protected, survivable communications and missile warning, capabilities provided by the Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Space Based Infrared System satellite programs, respectively. Protection of Air Force and Defense Department computers and networks ranked No. 1 in the cyberspace category. The full document is reprinted here.
While we in the U.S. space industry may have different roles, we do share the same ultimate goals — protecting our national security and working to deliver exquisite capabilities for the country.
PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) has ordered two telecommunications spacecraft from Europe’s Astrium Satellites, including one to replace a spacecraft lost in mid-2011 in a launch failure, as part of a planned nine-satellite expansion, RSCC and Astrium said March 27.
SAN FRANCISCO — The strategic guidance intended to reshape U.S. force structure as troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and policymakers gird for a prolonged era of reduced federal spending holds the promise of increased funding for military space programs, according to defense analysts.
In an article for Harvard International Review, Space News Editor Warren Ferster examines whether the United States will maintain its position as the global leader in space as it confronts a difficult period of transition and uncertainty.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The U.S. Air Force is likely to face increasingly austere budgets in the years ahead, and with a steady set of mission requirements, it must plan future space missions differently, the commander of Air Force Space Command said April 12.
I think our space leaders understand the unrelenting pressures that are placed on the acquisition, deployment and operation of space missions — the community faces tremendous competition on budget priorities, all while our young troops have grown more dependent on and demand more and more capabilities provided from space. U.S. government space budgets are not going to continue rising, at least for many years. They are even likely to decline. Spacecraft acquisition programs are struggling as they have been saddled with non-executable technical, schedule and cost baselines, and onerous acquisition rules. Our major acquisitions are suffering severe cost growth and overrun problems. Additionally, capabilities have become contested at the same time that they are critical to our warfighters. So, how do we assure that space capabilities will remain available for our troops on the ground, at sea, and in the air? Given the need, the obvious reaction to the budget reductions of cutting back on systems and capabilities is just not a viable answer.
When NASA’s X-43 flight test vehicle separated from its Pegasus rocket booster and accelerated to high-Mach speeds powered by an air-breathing scramjet, the premise and promise of hypersonic flight were forever validated. With a first Mach 7 flight in March 2004, followed by a Mach 10 flight in November 2004, the hydrogen-burning X-43 vehicles were the culmination of nearly five decades of research in hypersonic air-breathing flight.
Satellite communications played a critical role in restoring telecommunication services to the U.S. Gulf Coast Region. When the land-based telephone and broadcast networks went down — satellites remained on the job. Satellites provided redundancy, ubiquity and resiliency that were unavailable from land-based networks.