To the Moon! U.S. Space Force’s Operational Area Just Got Much Larger

The Moon seen from the International Space Station. The image was taken by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli during his second mission to ‘MagISStra’ on 20 March 2011. Paolo commented on the image: “Supermoon was spectacular from here!” (Credit: ESA/NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I looked a bit more into this memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed earlier this week by NASA and the U.S. Space Force (USSF) to deepen cooperation between the two agencies. And there’s a really fascinating aspect to it.

“With new U.S. public and private sector operations extending into cislunar space, the reach of USSF’s sphere of interest will extend to 272,000 miles and beyond — more than a tenfold increase in range and 1,000-fold expansion in service volume,” the MOU said.

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China’s Ambitious Plans to Dominate Cislunar Space

China’s Yutu 2 rover drives off the Chang’e-4 lander. (Credit: CNSA)

Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine China’s plans to achieve a commanding position in cislunar space. [Full Report]

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China is determined to establish a commanding position in cislunar space, seeing it as a strategic location from which to dominate the final frontier.

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USAF Seeks SBIR Proposals for Cislunar Space Operations

In what might be a reaction to China’s ambitious space program, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will award funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to proposals for commercial technology that will allow it to operate in cislunar space.

“As the space beyond geosynchronous orbit becomes more crowded and competitive, it is important for the Air Force to extend its space domain awareness responsibilities to include this new regime.. To support this new body of work, the Air Force is seeking commercial innovation in support of space domain awareness for future cislunar operations,” the service said in a pre-solicitation notice.

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Purdue Center to Focus on Development of Earth-Moon Economy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue University PR) — To create a sustainable presence beyond Earth, humans need to further expand into the region encompassing Earth and the moon, called “cislunar space.” That takes building an infrastructure that opens up economic expansion, just as the interstate highway system spurred economic growth in the U.S.

Purdue University is leading an effort that will provide national leadership in the development of cislunar capabilities and advance the space-based economy through collaboration with industry, academia and government agencies.

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A Look at NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Plans


Last month NASA officials gave a series of presentations about the space agency’s deep-space exploration plans to the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Committee. I have excerpted slides from those presentations to provide an overview of what the space agency is planning.
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Orbital ATK Advocates Lunar Orbiting Base

Cislunar station (Credit: Orbital ATK)
Cislunar station (Credit: Orbital ATK)

Former NASA Astronaut Frank Culbertson Proposes Four-Person Crew-Tended Lunar-Orbit Habitat to Be in Place by 2020

Company’s Flight-Proven Cygnus Spacecraft Could be Used as a Building-Block Habitat Leading to Lunar Research and Mars Exploration

Dulles, Va., 18 March 2016 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today advocated for a manned lunar-orbit outpost as America’s next step in human space exploration.

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The Space Show Schedule


This week on The Space Show with David Livingston….

Monday, October 13, 2012, 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back WAYNE WHITE, space attorney. Wayne will be discussing new approaches to space property right, debris mitigation, and more.

2. Tuesday, October 16 , 2012, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): We welcome you to the first ever Space Show audition/try-out program for being a guest on the program. If you want to be a guest on the program, give us a call and your best ten minute presentation to convince us to do a full Space Show with you on your specific topic or project.

CLASSROOM: 3. Friday, October 19, 2012, 9:30-11 AM PDT (11:30- 1 PM CDT, 12:30PM-2:00 PM EDT): We welcome DRS. PAUL SPUDIS & JIM VEDDA to this special Classroom discussion regarding Cislunar space development and the importance of doing so at this time. As is the case with all Classroom format programs, listener questions should be succinct and to the point. They need to be appropriate to our discussion.

4. Sunday, October 21, 2012, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). We welcome DR. ERIK SEEDHOUSE who will discuss his new book, “Astronauts For Hire: The Emergence of a Commercial Astronaut Corps.”