space

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CAPITOL HILL: The war ground on today between San. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and his colleague Sen. Richard Shelby on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. Shelby, knowing he had a policy friend in Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, asked her about the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine essential to US satellite launches… Keep reading →

Robert Work

PENTAGON: The Pentagon says it wants a revolution and the 2017 budget to be unveiled today funds a host of high-tech weapons, from arsenal planes to Hyper Velocity Projectiles to robots. But for Deputy Defense Secretary  Bob Work, the real bleeding edge of innovation is not a weapon, no matter how impressive. It’s a secretive command… Keep reading →

Russian-made RD-180 engines propel an Atlas V rocket heavenward.

WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain continued his crusade to stop the Pentagon from using Russia’s highly reliable and cheap RD-180 rocket engines to launch American military satellites during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today. The Arizona senator and the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, introduced a bill today designed to overturn language in… Keep reading →

CSIS image

WASHINGTON: If the United States is serious about “rebalancing” to Asia, it needs to invest some serious cash. Strategic small change won’t deter China or reassure our increasingly anxious allies, says a new report from the influential Center for Strategic & International Studies. And that means the CSIS study’s sponsor — Congress — must get its… Keep reading →

Russian-made RD-180 engines propel an Atlas V rocket heavenward.

WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain has fired another salvo at the United Launch Alliance over its use of Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines, telling Defense Secretary Ash Carter he wants an audit of ULA’s “business systems” and he restricts the usehe wants that and more information by Dec. 21. This latest kerfuffle arose after ULA’s decided to refrain from bidding… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: Russia and China are investing heavily in cyber and electronic warfare, but they’re not shutting down US satellite downlinks yet. Instead, we have met the enemy and he is us — we think. “In 2015 thus far, we have had 261 cases where we have been jammed from getting information from our satellites down… Keep reading →

JSPOC

NATIONAL HARBOR: The Air Force vision is of a seamless global network, swiftly spotting threats and taking them down with smart bombs, computer viruses, or (one day) lasers as the situation demands. The reality? Not so seamless. Air Force Space Command, for example, houses both the military’s space operations center and a new cyber ops… Keep reading →

JSPOC

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: The new Intelligence Community-military space operations center the military is creating may replace the long-established JSPOC, two top commanders said, but a lot has to happen first. The nascent JICSPOC — Joint, Interagency, & Coalition Space Operations Center — will start as an experiment before potentially becoming a backup to JSPOC and then… Keep reading →

Russian-made RD-180 engines propel an Atlas V rocket heavenward.

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: American ingenuity can absolutely build a rocket engine to replace the Russian-made RD-180, the Pentagon’s top buyer said today. The wide-open questions are: how soon can they do it; and how much will the Pentagon have to pay. “The big problem isn’t the technology, it’s the time,” Frank Kendall told reporters at the… Keep reading →

Falcon 9 launch SpaceX

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s push to open the EELV to greater competition may be counterproductive to the best management of the program. The Government Accountability Office says this approach “could limit program oversight and scheduling flexibility” for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. Why? It’s simple really: “The Air Force plans to develop an acquisition strategy for… Keep reading →

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