space and missile systems center

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 →

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 →

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 →