SpaceX sent the Arabsat-6A communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit April 11, completing the Falcon Heavy rocket’s first commercial launch.
Virgin Galactic scrubbed the Feb. 20 flight test for SpaceShipTwo, the air-launched suborbital spaceplane, due to high winds in Mojave, California. The flight test is now scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22.
Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson noted the U.S. is on the verge of a boom in commercial space, although the health of the industry is “always a little bit of a concern."
The Pentagon has to figure out how it will respond to China’s rapid advances in space technology, warned Chris Shank, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office.
The company’s namesake says he now has sufficient capital to see his Queensland, Australia-based venture through to a first launch of an orbital rocket in 2020 but acknowledges he’s still looking for a domestic launch site.
Bezos: At a time of increasing global competition, “You have to be able to go to space more frequently, with less lead time."
Hyten: At some point someone has to decide it’s time to pull the plug and invest in the future.
The Air Force is seeking to take advantage of American industry investments in launch vehicles and ensure they are modified to meet national security space requirements.
Air Force aims for reliable launch services in spite of dramatic changes in commercial, military space
In the future, the U.S. Air Force will launch satellites of all different sizes for customers with varying degrees of risk tolerance.
The Launch Service Agreement fits the Air Force’s broader goal to get out of the business of “buying rockets” and instead acquire end-to-end services from companies.
Congress expects to receive from Hyten in June a “warfighting concept of operations” for space. One of the topics will be how to prepare the military for space operations.