satellites

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

General Sarah Zabel @ AFA 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR: The good news is the Air Force has almost finished a new strategy to protect its high-tech gear from hackers. The bad news? The problem is huge, the processes are nascent, and the intimately interrelated issue of electronic warfare is, at the moment, not part of the discussion. Sure, cybersecurity is the scary,… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin employees and guests watch the launch of the WorldView-3 satellite Wednesday.

  [UPDATED: WorldView-3 launched successfully Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at 11:30 am Pacific time, 2:30 pm Eastern] When DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite soars skyward tomorrow – weather permitting – most attention will naturally be on the parts that go up. But the bus-sized imagery collection satellite is just the high-tech tip of an… Keep reading →

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 →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

[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 →

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 →

Intelsat-Epic-702MP-Satellites-Boeing-Image-Credit-The-Boeing-Company-posted-on-AmericaSpace

WASHINGTON: For more than a decade, the US military has fumbled and groped and stumbled and, gradually, figured out ways to buy a mix of commercial satellite communications and dedicated military satellites so it could communicate and watch video from Predator, Global Hawk, and Reaper drones in theaters where military bandwidth was precious. For much… 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 →

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