Atlas V launches NROL 39

WASHINGTON: Ever since the Air Force restructured its launch contracts for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program with the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, the underdog, Elon Musk, has cried foul and is pressing his case on Capitol Hill and in the media. The stakes got higher this morning during a sparsely attended hearing of… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Australia used both black and white and multispectral satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe satellites shot on March 16 to search for the purported wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. A source familiar with the issues said DigitalGlobe supplied several types of imagery other than the black and white satellite photos. The Australians used multispectral but… Keep reading →

NORAD Santa trackers

PENTAGON: OK, I’m lying. I’m at home typing this because it’s Christmas Eve here in Washington, but my heart is at the Pentagon… One of the enduring holiday treats for military folks is NORAD’s Santa tracking website. When I checked this evening Old Saint Nick was somewhere over far northwestern Chad and was estimated to… Keep reading →


  The makers and operators of America’s spy satellites have lofted at least 13 assets on their way to orbit with the early morning launch today of NROL-39, atop the always impressive Atlas V rocket. The main payload may be a highly advanced space radar, according to several educated guesses (which is about the best… Keep reading →


The latest victim of the federal government shutdown is a crucial player in the space and intelligence world, the Aerospace Corporation, which has had to cut back the work of 60 percent of its 3,500 employees. “The Aerospace Corporation started implementing a partial work shutdown on Oct. 3, after the Air Force’s Space and Missile… Keep reading →


As the Department of Defense continues to wrestle with the high costs and often slow pace of military technology and acquisition programs, it would do well to take a closer look at that other bastion of high-tech government programs: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA’s low-cost missions from yesteryear just might hold the secret… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: It’s going to be a long, hot and depressing summer and nothing will really improve over the next six to nine months in terms of sequestration. That’s the bad news. The good news is of the, “well, it could have been a lot worse” type. A budget train wreck isn’t likely, said a former… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: For those who aren’t part of the insular space community, you need to know that the National Space Symposium is the most important conference on space issues in the world. Everyone goes: the intelligence community; the Air Force; Army; Navy; industry; allies; even senior Chinese officials show up fairly regularly these days. Some 9,000 people attend in a good year.

But this year no one from NASA – that’s right, those people who gave us the Moon landings, Mars Rover, Voyager and are sort of synonymous with space — will attend NSS at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs next month. Keep reading →

New DASD for space policy: Douglas L. Loverro appointed to SES. Loverro was executive director for the Space and Missile Systems Center colinclarkaol

WASHINGTON: The head of Air Force Space Command worries that tightening defense budgets and looming force structure cuts could reduce his critical space and cyber capabilities.

“Because these capabilities are so vital, and the need to maintain local and global capabilities, space and cyber capability doesn’t really scale well with force structure reductions,” Air Force Gen. William Shelton said Wednesday. “You either maintain global coverage or you don’t.” Keep reading →

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