space and missile systems center

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

CAPITOL HILL: Who buys the bandwidth? Today the military has two separate, unequal, and inefficient systems for acquiring communications. But Congress is pushing hard to consolidate — probably at the expense of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). “I have been in situations where we needed to have SATCOM [satellite communications] and we didn’t have… Keep reading →

WGSd Block II satellite 17 Jan 2012

CAPITOL HILL:  The space community harbors many incredibly bright people, including a very few who are willing to say what they really think in public. A full house at the Capitol Hill Club was treated last week to a bravura performance of straight talk by Dave Madden, executive director of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.… Keep reading →

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh

ORLANDO: More than half-way into his tenure as Air Force Chief of staff, Gen. Mark Welsh has shifted focus from the service’s airmen to its weapons, declaring today that “we must modernize the Air Force. This isn’t optional. We must do it. And It will be painful because we will have to make hard choices.” Welsh’s speech… 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 →

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 →

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon named three Air Force officers to high-level assignments in military space today: the man who oversaw the first successful launch of the troubled Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), a veteran of the space shuttle program, and the outgoing overseer of the nation’s ballistic missile defense efforts. Keep reading →