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.

Obama Nominates Hyten to Lead U.S. Strategic Command

Gen. John E. Hyten
Gen. John E. Hyten

President Barack Obama has nominated U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten as the new commander of U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom).

Hyten had headed Air Force Space Command since 2014. President Obama has nominated Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, who serves as the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations, to replace Hyten at that position in overseeing space operations.

“I want to congratulate Gen. John Hyten on his nomination by President Obama to be commander of U.S. Strategic Command,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a press release.

“I’ve known and worked closely with Gen. Hyten for several years, and over the course of his three-and-a-half decades in the Air Force, he has been a model for generations of men and women in uniform,” Carter said. “And he’s done so in a wide range of roles: from commanding airmen at the squadron, group, wing, and major command levels, to leveraging America’s space assets in support of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, to helping our military confront 21st-century threats in new domains like space and cyberspace.”

Hyten will replace Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney as Stratcom’s commander. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.


Angry McCain Demands Answers on ULA No-bid Decision

John McCain
John McCain

WASHINGTON, D.C. (John McCain PR) ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter yesterday to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Department of Defense’s national security space launch program and its continued reliance on Russian-made rocket engines. Chairman McCain expressed his concern about dubious claims made by United Launch Alliance (ULA) as to why it will not compete for the first competitive launch opportunity for the launch of a GPS III satellite. In particular, Chairman McCain called for a freeze on launch subsidy payments until an audit takes place to assess ULA’s claim that it cannot differentiate launch costs. Additionally, Chairman McCain criticized ULA’s apparent attempts to create an artificial need for relief from legislative restrictions on the use of Russian rocket engines enacted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.