GAO: Space Force Should Present More Transparent Schedule, Cost Risk Data for Next Gen OPIR Program

Next Generation

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Space Force provide congressional defense committees with more transparent data about cost and schedule risks facing the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) missile warning satellite program to improve congressional oversight and decision-making. The first Next Gen OPIR satellite is expected to launch in 2025. 

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Gen. John Raymond: Space Force to Handle Army, Navy SATCOM Operations

Gen. John Raymond

Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations and a two-time Wash100 Award winner, said the U.S. Space Force will be responsible for U.S. Army and U.S. Navy satellite communications, in an effort to consolidate SATCOM missions. Raymond said at the Air Force Association meeting that USSF would receive this authority on Oct. 1st, if the Department of Defense's budget is finalized and approved.

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NASA Reorganizes Structure for Exploration Systems, Space Operations; Administrator Bill Nelson Quoted

Bill Nelson

NASA has split an existing mission directorate into two separate ones focusing on exploration systems and space operations, respectively. The space agency said Tuesday its current Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate will divide to support a growing number of low-Earth orbit space operations and deep space programs, including Artemis.

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Frank Kendall: Air Force Should Improve Analysis, Engineering Capabilities Amid Tech Competition

Frank Kendall

Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force and a three-time Wash100 winner, said he believes the service should improve its engineering capacity and strengthen its analysis capability to make informed decisions on technology requirements. “We’re in a technological competition. Our potential enemies out there are designing systems that are intended to defeat the ones we’ve designed. ... So I think we need to up our technical game quite a bit,” he said.

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Army Activates 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force in Germany for Defeating A2/AD Networks; Col. Jonathan Byrom Quoted

Electronic Warfare

U.S. Army Europe and Africa has activated the 2nd Multi-Domain Task Force, a group tasked to stop adversary anti-access/area-denial networks in land, air, water, space and other environments. The 2nd MDTF will be based at the Clay Kaserne installation in Wiesbaden, Germany, and will be led by Col. Jonathan Byrom, the Army said Friday.

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NASA’s Pam Melroy: Artemis to Involve Longer Lunar Stay, Prepare for Future Mars Trips; Karla Smith Jackson Comments

Pam Melroy

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy has pointed out that astronauts under the Artemis lunar program will return to the moon “to stay this time” and prepare for future Martian trips. She explained that a 20-year approach to land on Mars is currently in the works with support from an aligned acquisition strategy and the Biden administration's fiscal 2022 proposed budget.

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FAA Asks Public to Help Inform Environmental Review of SpaceX Rocket

Starship Prototype

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) seeks public comments on a draft review that assesses potential environmental impacts of SpaceX's future Starship launch system. The draft programmatic environmental assessment covers the aspects of launch, reentry, debris recovery, associated construction and road closure related to Starship. Interested parties may submit input through Oct. 18th.

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Space Force Eyes New Capabilities to Improve Satellite Control Network’s Capacity; Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting Quoted

Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting

The U.S. Space Force is looking to increase the capacity of the Satellite Control Network – a system of ground stations and tracking antennas used by the U.S. military to operate and communicate with satellites - by exploring new capabilities that could keep pace with the future growth in space activities.

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AFRL Opens New Wargaming, Simulation Laboratory at Kirtland AFB; Col. Eric Felt Quoted

Eric Felt

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has broken ground on its new Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation (WARS) Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. AFRL said the over 10,600-square-foot laboratory will starting housing analysis, wargaming and simulation efforts for its organizations focused on directed energy technologies and space vehicles in the spring of 2023.

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DARPA Unveils Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node Program; Greg Kuperman Quoted

Space-BACN Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new program that seeks to develop a reconfigurable optical communications terminal that would enable different small satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit to communicate with each other. DARPA has issued a solicitation for the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node program and will accept abstracts for optical aperture and reconfigurable modem technical areas through Oct. 4. 

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