Video Caption: Following the September 11th attacks, there was a celebrity telethon to raise money for relief efforts. Here is Jim Carrey telling a story about a rescue in one of the Twin Towers in New York. I filmed this from my 10th story apartment in Pentagon City that a had a view of where the plane at hit the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has opened up its launch contracts for both large and small satellites to competition, but in a way that will likely disappoint upstart launch provider SpaceX.
For large payloads, the U.S. Air Force will go forward with a scaled back bulk buy of up to 36 Atlas V and Delta IV rocket cores over the next five years from its current sole-source supplier, United Launch Alliance. It will open up an additional 14 cores to competitive bidding, giving SpaceX the opportunity to bid with its Falcon rockets.
For smaller payloads, incumbent provider Orbital Sciences Corporation will face competition from SpaceX and Lockheed Martin Corporation for launch contracts worth up to $900 million.
Space Newsreports that a Pentagon analysis has found multiple causes for the sharp rise in cost for the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, which includes United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles:
The Pentagon’s acquisition czar cited a contracting arrangement that offers little incentive to control costs as a contributor to soaring prices on the program that launches the vast majority of U.S. government satellites.
In a July 12 letter to lawmakers, Frank Kendall, U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the projected cost of the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) rocket program over 150 missions has more than doubled since 2004, to nearly $70 billion. The primary drivers of the cost growth are unstable demand, international market vagaries and industrial base issues, he said….
Report: Space playing field becoming more level Air Force Times
While the United States has enjoyed its position at the top of the space industry for decades, U.S. policymakers are now going to have to contend with a much more crowded and level playing field in space, according to the Pentagonâ€™s interim Space Posture Review that was sent to Congress in early March.
â€œAn increasingly congested and contested environment threatens both U.S systems and the ability of the global community to access and use space,â€ says the report, a copy of which was obtained by Defense News. â€œIncreasing competition in the global marketplace and increasing global expertise in fielding space capabilities also challenge the historical advantages of the U.S. industrial base.â€
Smallsats Could Get Boost in Global Financial Crisis Aviation Week
Small satellites have been widely regarded as second-rate by Pentagon and intelligence community officials, who opt for massive, high-technology spacecraft lasting a decade or more in orbit. But the time may finally be at hand for skeptics to begin accepting smaller.
‘Space as a contested environment’ debuts by Capt. Ben Sakrisson Air University Public Affairs Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base
A new Special Area of Emphasis topic titled “Space as a Contested Environment,” was introduced by U.S. military officials here March 30 at the 25th National Space Symposium.
Special Areas of Emphasis are established by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, to address areas of great importance to the joint military community. This SAE highlights the space domain’s emergence as an environment where U.S. operations and superiority maybe challenged.
U.S. military vows to track 800 satellites by October 1 Reuters
Spurred by last month’s collision of two satellites high above the Earth, the U.S. military plans to begin tracking all 800 maneuverable spacecraft currently operating in space by October 1, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Monday.
“Military planners responsible for finding space resources to support troops on the ground think the time may be ripe to advance the 40-year-old space solar power concept to help reduce the logistics train behind forward-deployed forces.
“The Pentagon wants to rocket troops through space to hot spots anywhere on the globe within two hours, and planners spent two days last month discussing how to do it, military documents show.”
“Some critics are skeptical. The concept defies physics and the reality of what a small number of lightly armed troops could accomplish in enemy territory, said John Pike, a military analyst who runs Globalsecurity.org. ‘This isn’t even science fiction,’ Pike said. ‘It’s fantasy.’
“Private rocket pioneer Burt Rutan says the plan is technologically possible. ‘This has never been done,’ Rutan said in an e-mail. ‘However, it is feasible. It would be a relatively expensive way to get the troops on the ground, but it could be done.'”