Commerce, DOD Outline Space Achievements in Exit Memos

The GOES-R satellite will be NOAA's most sophisticated weather observation spacecraft and is expected to improve forecasts and tracking substantially. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
The GOES-R satellite will be NOAA’s most sophisticated weather observation spacecraft and is expected to improve forecasts and tracking substantially. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The departments of Defense and Commerce have outlined their achievements in space in a pair of exit memos. The Obama Administration also outlined its space achievements in the Office of Science and Technology exit memo.

There is no mention in the Department of Transportation’s exit memo of the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which is playing an increasingly important role in the sector.

Below are excerpts from those memos from the Defense and Commerce departments.

Taking the Long View, Investing for the Future
Department of Defense Exit Memo
Secretary Ash Carter

While at times in the past space was seen as a sanctuary, new and emerging threats make clear that’s not the case anymore, and we must be prepared for the possibility of a conflict that extends into space. Under the Administration’s National Space Security Strategy, DoD is meeting the challenges of an increasingly contested space domain.

As the threat in space has matured, we have countered it with more than $22 billion in investments to defend and improve the resiliency of our assets in space and put potential adversary space systems at risk, helping ensure the advantages of space are available for U.S. forces in the future.

Organizationally, we created the Joint Interagency Space Operations Center (JICSpOC) to integrate our space operations with other agencies. We designated the Secretary of the Air Force as the Principal DoD Space Advisor, strengthening the leadership of the space enterprise by sharpening authorities and responsibilities.

The next Administration must ensure that we can provide capabilities like reconnaissance, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and secure communications that enable our operations in other domains, and must ensure and defend these capabilities against aggressive and comprehensive space programs of others.

A Record of Past Progress and a Roadmap for the Future
Department of Commerce Exit Memo
Secretary Penny Pritzker

Deploying the Nation’s Next Generation Weather Satellites

During this Administration, we have developed and deployed the nation’s next generation of geostationary and polar orbiting weather satellites, which serve as the backbone of weather forecasts.

We just launched the most advanced weather satellite ever built. Called GOES-R, it will revolutionize forecasting and save lives by collecting three times more data and providing four times better resolution, enabling more effective and targeted warnings of severe weather events.

Given the current age and capabilities of our polar orbiting satellites, we must prioritize and execute the planned 2017 launch of JPSS-1 [Joint Polar Satellite System-1] to ensure there will be no gaps in satellite coverage.