Bipartisan House Space Caucus Formed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Doug Lamborn PR) – Today, Representatives Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Brian Babin (TX-36), Jason Crow (CO-06), Michael Waltz (FL-06), and Charlie Crist (FL-13) announced the creation of the House Space Force Caucus.

The co-chairs of the caucus also invited their House colleagues to join and support the sixth branch of the U.S. military. The Caucus  will serve as an organization dedicated to educating Members and their staff about the U.S. Space Force as well as advocating on the Hill on behalf of our nation’s youngest military Service.

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Boeing-built Space Force Satellite Passes Design Review

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 7, 2020 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Space Force successfully completed the first major engineering design review for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)-11+ communications satellite. This successful review demonstrates that Boeing is ready to proceed to the final system design phase. Production will begin next year at Boeing’s El Segundo factory, with delivery scheduled for 2024.

WGS-11+ features a modern digital payload that performs at twice the operational capability of its predecessors, increasing the availability of military-grade communications. Leveraging advances in Boeing commercial technologies, it will provide secure communications to connect U.S. and allied forces globally.

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DOD Official Outlines Space Strategy

WASHINGTON (DOD PR) — In June, the Defense Department released its Space Strategy document. That document lays out the department’s four-pillar strategy for work that needs to be done in space within the next decade and beyond.

Justin T. Johnson, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, discussed that strategy at a virtual Heritage Foundation event today.

The first line of effort, he said, is for the U.S. Space Force to build a comprehensive military advantage in space.

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Boeing Wins $298 Million Contract to Develop Next-generation Satellite System for U.S. Space Force

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct 1, 2020 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE: BA] has received one of three development contracts to build a satellite payload prototype and develop a new secure, resilient satellite communications architecture for the U.S. Space Force’s Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program.

ESS will be a military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) system. It is a critical component of the U.S. Space Force’s strategy.

The initial ESS development contract is valued at $298 million. Contracts for the full ESS system are expected to be awarded in 2025.

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U.S. Defense Payloads to Fly on Reused SpaceX Boosters

Falcon 9 lifts off with the SAOCOM 1B satellite. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SMC PR) — The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) recently signed a contract modification to reuse a Falcon 9 first-stage booster – for the first time on a National Security Space Launch mission – starting with the fifth Global Positioning System (GPS)-III satellite, scheduled to launch next year.

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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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NASA, U.S. Space Force Sign MOU to Deepen Cooperation

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — While advancing plans for unprecedented lunar exploration under the Artemis program, NASA also is building on a longstanding partnership with the Department of Defense with a new memorandum of understanding announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force (USSF) Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond.

The agreement, discussed during a Sept. 22 Mitchell Institute virtual event, commits the two organizations to broad collaboration in areas including human spaceflight, U.S. space policy, space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research, and planetary defense.

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AFWERX Announces EngageSpace, Premier Collaboration Event for Space Industry

LAS VEGAS (AFNS) — AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force’s innovation catalyst, announced Sept. 16 that registration is now live for EngageSpace virtual event. Join AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Force and the Space Frontier Foundation for this two-day virtual event on September 29-30.

With its highly interactive format and diverse participants, this event is designed to revolutionize how the space ecosystem works, dismantle the walls between sectors and close the “believability gap” for what’s possible in space.

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Orbit Logic Awarded AFRL/AFWERX Space Situational Awareness Planning & Analysis Contract

GREENBELT, MD (Orbit Logic PR) – Orbit Logic, a leading provider of planning and scheduling software, announced today that it has been awarded an AFWERX Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The award will enhance the Heimdall Fire Space Situational Awareness (SSA) planning solution. Heimdall Fire is an existing software solution consisting of Orbit Logic COTS software products configured for SSA observation planning.

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Xage Partners with the U.S. Space Force to Introduce Blockchain-Protected Zero Trust Cybersecurity for Space Architecture Resiliency

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 17, 2020 (Xage Security PR) — Today, Xage Security announces that they have been awarded a contract by the Air Force Research Lab, to evaluate and prepare for the delivery of end-to-end data protection across military and civilian assets to support command and control for the U.S. Space Force (USSF). Xage’s solution enables the USSF to enforce verification for any system access, efficiently protect resources even when out of contact, and ensure data can be trusted and protected from source until delivery to the operational units.

The U.S. Space Force was designed to protect space – the highest ground of any battlefield – by developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces. Space systems employ a variety of services, both commercial and defense, that rely on connectivity, positioning, wide area geographical sensing, and secure, precise data.

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Bridenstine, Raymond to Discuss NASA-U.S. Space Force Collaboration

Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will participate in a virtual discussion on the agency’s collaboration with the United States Space Force at 9:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 22. This Space Power Forum event will stream live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force, will join Bridenstine in this discussion, hosted and moderated by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies as part of its Space Breakfast Series.

As NASA advances its plans to explore the Moon under its Artemis program, the two will discuss areas of collaboration that include support for human spaceflight, emerging space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research, and planetary defense.   

For more information about America’s Moon to Mars exploration plans, go to:

https://www.nasa.gov/moontomars

Rocket Lab Completes Final Dress Rehearsal at Launch Complex 2 Ahead of First Electron Mission from U.S. Soil

Electron on the launch pad at Wallops Island. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., 17 September 2020 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, a leading satellite manufacturer and launch provider, has successfully completed a wet dress rehearsal of the Electron vehicle at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Virginia.

With this major milestone complete, the Electron launch vehicle, launch team, and the LC-2 pad systems are now ready for Rocket Lab’s first launch from U.S. soil. The mission is a dedicated launch for the United States Space Force in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program and the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Small Launch and Targets Division. 

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USSF and NOAA Begin Joint Operations of Infrared Weather Satellite

A view of the Earth from the EWS-G1 satellite taken on September 1, 2020. Originally launched in 2006 as GOES-13, the satellite provided operational weather coverage over the United States’ East Coast for 10 years before being replaced in the GOES-East position by GOES-16. The transfer to the Department of Defense and relocation of EWS-G1 is the culmination of joint efforts between SMC, NOAA and NASA. (Credit: U.S. Space Force’s MARK IV-B Program Office)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (U.S. Space Force PR) – The U.S. Space Force has declared Initial Operational Capability of the Electro-optical Infrared Weather System Geostationary (EWS-G1) spacecraft. EWS-G1, formerly known as GOES-13, was transferred to the U.S. Air Force by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2019 under an agreement between the U.S. Air Force and NOAA for Interagency Cooperation on Collection of Space-Based Environmental Monitoring Data.

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Northrop Grumman Wins $298 Million Contract for New Military Satellite

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Sept. 17, 2020 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Space Force for the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program to develop a modernized strategic communications space segment with enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities. During the rapid prototyping phase, the company will deliver the preliminary design for ESS’ space segment and a ground-based demonstration.

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Driven by ‘a Tectonic Shift in Warfare’ Raymond Describes Space Force’s Achievements and Future

Gen. John Raymond

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Jay Raymond, presented an ambitious blueprint Sept. 15 for cementing the nation’s superiority in space while also forcing change closer to home by slashing bureaucracy, refocusing training and instilling a culture across the Space Force that puts a premium on speed, technology and innovation for “this digital service.”

Noting “we are on the cusp of a tectonic shift in warfare,” Raymond said during his keynote address on the second day of the Air Force Association’s 2020 Air, Space & Cyber Conference that the law creating Space Force “gives us a huge opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper to build a service from the ground up.”

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