Space

Derek Tournear on Space Development Agency’s Move to Space Force

Derek Tournear

Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency (SDA) and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said SDA has begun its transition to the U.S. Space Force. SDA, which officially launched in March 2019 as part of the office of the undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, should be fully integrated with the space-focused military branch by October 2022.

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Navy to Apply Space Awareness Tech Across Ships; Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi Quoted

Michael Bernacchi

The U.S. Navy plans to implement various space technologies across over 30 warships to support the Department of Defense's overall space pursuits, Defense One reported Thursday. Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi, the director for strategy, plans and policy at U.S. Space Command, said that the Navy wants to install space domain awareness technologies on ships.

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Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting: Space Force Needs More Sensors to Track Satellites, Debris

Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting

Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, head of Space Operations Command, said the U.S. Space Force needs additional sensors to monitor the increasing numbers of satellites and space debris but faces uncertainty when it comes to securing funds for programs like the Space Fence 2 site in Australia.

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Gen. James Dickinson: Space Command Reaches Initial Operational Capability

Gen. James Dickinson

Army Gen. James Dickinson, head of U.S. Space Command, said Spacecom has achieved initial operational capability, which marks an inflection point for the Department of Defense’s 11th combatant command. "United States Space Command has matured to the point where we have strategic effects,” he said.

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Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall Details Reorg Plans for Space Development Agency, Acquisition Office

Frank Kendall

Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force and a three-time Wash100 winner, aims to complete the transition of the Space Development Agency to the Department of the Air Force's acquisition enterprise before the deadline mandated by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. “By statute, this is scheduled to occur on 1 October 2022, but there is no need to wait until then." 

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STARCOM Launches as Space Force’s Final Field Command; Gen. John Raymond Quoted

Gen. John Raymond

The Department of the Air Force officially launched the U.S. Space Force’s final field command during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Monday. Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Shawn Bratton assumed leadership of Space Training and Readiness Command after Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force and a three-time Wash100 Award, approved STARCOM’s organizational structure on Aug. 13.

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NASA Tests Vibration Modes of SLS Rocket; Chief Engineer John Blevins Quoted

SLS Rocket

NASA’s Florida-based Kennedy Space Center is now testing different vibration modes of the Space Launch System, a rocket designed to launch the Orion spacecraft to the Moon. Distinguishing between SLS's natural and vibration frequencies can help the rocket's flight software and navigation system safely control flight. The testing effort will take 10 hours a day over a series of several, consecutive days. 

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NASA Eyes Commercial Partnerships for Next Space Station Development; Phil McAlister Quoted

Phil McAlister

NASA plans to partner with commercial companies for the development of future space-based facilities as the International Space Station nears the end of service life. Phil McAlister, the agency's director of commercial spaceflight, said at Nextgov’s Emerging Tech Summit that they anticipate the ISS's retirement within the decade's latter part.

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NASA Announces Winners of Competition for Lunar Ice-Digging Tech

Break the Ice

NASA has named the 13 winners of a $500,000 prize competition that sought technologies and ways to dig through the moon's icy regolith, in response to the need for water in future lunar exploration missions. The space agency said Thursday its Break the Ice Lunar Challenge was championed by Florida-based Redwire Space, which won $125,000 for a two-rover ice-digging system.

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NASA OKs IMAP Mission’s Transition to Implementation Phase

Interstellar Mapping

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Princeton University and their partner institutions have received approval from NASA to start implementing a mission meant to help analyze the flow of particles from the sun and understand the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium. The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission is scheduled to launch in February 2025.

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