space

Gen. William Shelton, commander of US Air Force Space Command.

WASHINGTON: Watch the skies. While they’re far from falling, the head of Air Force Space Command said today, the heavens aren’t the “peaceful sanctuary” they once were, either. Nothing short of a nuclear missile could pull the plug on a satellite constellation as robust as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Gen. William Shelton said, semi-reassuringly.… Keep reading →

Falcon 9 production at SpaceX

[UPDATED with SpaceX comment] WASHINGTON: For the first time in a decade, the Air Force has opened its primary space launch program to competition. That’s something startup rocket company SpaceX and Congress have pushed for vigorously. It’s also a long-anticipated blow for the United Space Alliance — formed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin – which has… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

The U.S. defense industry, being reshaped by declining post-war budgets, globalization, and the increased pace of technological change, must work with the Pentagon and take proactive steps to maintain our historic preeminence on the battlefield. Our industry does not easily embrace change. In fact, history demonstrates that shifts in the defense industry have largely been… Keep reading →

chinaj31stealth-1362603329

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.” China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a… Keep reading →

Falcon 9 production at SpaceX

COLORADO SPRINGS: SpaceX does not look likely to get what it most wants from Capitol Hill in its battle against the United Launch Alliance and the Air Force: more launches sooner. Support for competition between the two companies remains vibrant, with Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Jim Clapper, director… Keep reading →

DNI JAmes Clapper at NSS 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS: The intelligence community is on the verge of “revolutionary” technical advances. Spy satellites and other systems will be able to watch a place or a person for long periods of time and warn intelligence analysts and operatives when target changes its behavior. Satellites and their sensors could be redirected automatically to ensure nothing is missed. “We will… Keep reading →

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski

COLORADO SPRINGS: For years the Air Force space acquisition mafia fought the idea of Operationally Responsive Space. Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), for the most part, made fabulous, big and really expensive satellites at a wonderfully slow pace. Operationally Responsive Space posited cheaper and more rapidly built smaller satellites. They weren’t nearly as capable… Keep reading →

Joint Space Operations Center artists conception

COLORADO SPRINGS: Australia, Britain, Canada and United States have signed a symbolically important Memorandum of Understanding committing them to “a partnership on combined space operations.” As is often the case with such international agreements — especially on such a highly sensitive area as space operations — figuring out what it means and how things may… Keep reading →

Gen. Willie Shelton

COLORADO SPRING: Message to Elon Musk of SpaceX: the head of Air Force Space Command is not really happy with you, and he personally supports development of a new rocket engine that would mean the United States did not have to depend on the Russians’ RD-180 rocket engine. I asked Gen. Willie Shelton, who will… Keep reading →

Delta 4 Heavy ULA launch

COLORADO SPRINGS: After more than a month during which upstart rocket company SpaceX defined the debate about how much America should pay to launch big satellites into space, the Boeing-Lockheed United Launch Alliance crawled out from under its own rock and let fly. Feisty CEO Michael Gass sat opposite a phalanx of defense and space… Keep reading →

chinesecyberguys

COLORADO SPRINGS: The United States invented the Internet, but we may not rule it any more. “We are certainly behind right now. We are chasing our adversary, for sure,” one of the Air Force’s top cyber warriors, Col. Dean Hullings, told an audience of about 350 here at the National Space Symposium‘s one-day cyber event. Hullings,… Keep reading →

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