The integration of ICBMs and space operations creates synergy and also signals a commitment by the U.S. to deterrence in and out of the space domain.
Protecting satellites and signals from jamming or hacking is taking on outsized importance in nuclear forces modernization.
An Orbital ATK Minotaur 4 rocket lifted off from Cape Canveral, Florida, early Saturday morning, carrying the U.S. Defense Department's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS)-5 satellite. The launch comes as a debate is flaring up again about whether companies should be able to use converted surplus intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) motors to launch commercial satellites
The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is designed to intercept and destroy missiles during the midcourse of their trajectory through space.
The present-day debate about a policy change to allow the use of ICBM motors to provide lower cost commercial launches mirrors one from the early 1990s.