hosted payloads

DARPA Phoenix program

WASHINGTON: Imagine self-healing satellites built in space. One sensor breaks down and another sensor elsewhere on the satellite takes up the slack. And the satellites are launched in modular pieces, on a series of different rockets, then are assembled by a robot arm in orbit. Parts can be replaced. The satellite can be refueled to… Keep reading →


UPDATED: Air Force General Praises CHIRP, Hosted Payloads

COLORADO SPRINGS, NATIONAL SPACE SYMPOSIUM: After almost a decade of discussion, hope and frustration, the time appears to finally be ripe for what the space industry calls hosted payloads, the Remora fish of satellites. Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →


ORLANDO: The United States has boosted into orbit new spy satellites that mark “the most significant change to our overhead architecture in at least three decades,” said the head of military intelligence, Mike Vickers.

Vickers also said these National Reconnaissance Office’s satellites comprise “a truly integrated system of systems for the first time.” Sadly for you, dear reader, the well-known leader of the first war in Afghanistan – the one against the Soviets – did not share any other details. Instead, he delivered his speech and left the conference at speed. Keep reading →