Space

Gen. John Raymond: Space Force to Capitalize on Small, Fast Satellites

Gen. John Raymond

Gen. John Raymond, the U.S. Space Force's chief of space operations, said microelectronics and advanced propulsion can enable small satellites that can be deployed in large numbers while having the computing power to rapidly transmit data. He said at an Arizona State University-sponsored virtual conference that USSF wants to capitalize on these technologies as the military updates satellite networks.

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Orion Spacecraft Production Progresses for Artemis Mission; Program Manager Cathy Koerner Quoted

Orion Spacecraft

NASA is almost finished working on the Orion spacecraft to be used for the first Artemis mission, which will lead to a series of flights aimed at reviving manned space exploration. The space agency said Friday that it is now working on Artemis II's assigned Orion and has also concluded welding activities for Artemis III's pressure vessel, with the support of prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

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AFRL Chief Heather Pringle: Partnerships With Industry Sought for Space Tech Development

Heather Pringle

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is looking to expand its partnerships with the industry and with academic institutions to develop space capabilities supporting the U.S. Space Force (USSF). AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle pointed out at the 36th National Space Symposium that partnerships with private companies help the organization “deliver transformational capabilities” while increasing its exposure to ideas and innovation. 

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Shannon Curry Named Principal Investigator for NASA’s Mars Atmosphere Exploration; Bruce Jakosky Quoted

Shannon Curry

NASA has appointed planetary scientist Shannon Curry to serve as principal investigator for the space agency's first mission to study the atmosphere of Mars. She replaces Bruce Jakosky, who led the orbital operations of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission for seven years and will continue to work as a member of the mission team.

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Military Seeks Expeditionary, Hybrid Satcom Services for the Future; Brig. Gen. Robert Collins Quoted

Brig. Gen. Robert Collins

Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, the U.S. Army's program executive officer for tactical networks, said the military wants to purchase end-to-end services and resilient hardware that can receive satellite communications in harsh environments. He spoke Wednesday at the Satellite 2021 conference about the military's need for a tactical, expeditionary network.

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Col. Timothy Sejba: Space Tech Prototyping Contracts Could Reach $1B During 2021

Space Tech Prototyping

Col. Timothy Sejba said the U.S. Space Force expects to award nearly $1 billion in prototyping contracts for the first year of the branch's new other transaction agreement with the Space Enterprise Consortium. USSF selected National Security Technology Accelerator in January to act as the manager of “SpEC Reloaded" and administer up to $12 billion in prototype development funds over a 10-year period.

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Doug Schroeder: DOD-Formed Group Reviews Small Satellite Investments

Pentagon

Doug Schroeder, oversight executive at the Defense Department's research and engineering office, said a group of DOD representatives has identified more than 100 small satellite investment programs across the U.S. Air Force, Army, Space Force and Marine Corps. He told an audience at the SATELLITE 2021 event that service branches mostly invested in satellite systems that can support remote sensing and communications activity.

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GAO: DOD Should Find Options to Meet Narrowband Satcom Capability Needs

Next Generation

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) explore options for delivering narrowband satellite communications capabilities to meet near-term requirements and reassess its future narrowband satcom needs. “Reexamining its narrowband communications needs will enhance DOD's ability to field a timely replacement for MUOS and ensure warfighters have needed communications tools in the future,” the GAO report reads.

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US, South Korea Formalize Space Security Partnership

Space Security

The U.S. Space Force signed a memorandum of agreement with the South Korean air force to strengthen the two countries’ space security cooperation and create a joint space policy consultative body. Under the MOA, the two military agencies established a foundation to further improve military cooperation in space policy, space data sharing and technological support.

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NASA, Northrop Complete Webb Telescope’s Final Testing Regimen

James Webb

NASA and Northrop Grumman engineers have completed the final testing phase for the James Webb Space Telescope and are preparing to ship the new observatory to a launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. The space agency said Thursday that cleanroom technicians are working to ensure JWST hardware will arrive safely at the launch pad location on the northeastern coast of South America.

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