Chief Master Sergeant Details Path Forward for Developing the U.S. Space Force

Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger A. Towberman speaks at the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier)

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force Roger A. Towberman took the stage at the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference here Sept. 21, to share his vision for the future of Guardian development.

Towberman focused on the five objectives outlined in the Space Force’s human capital management plan, termed the “Guardian Ideal,” released earlier in the day.

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Raymond Describes U.S. Space Force Achievements, Plans, Challenges Ahead

Chief of Space Force Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond gives an update on the U.S. Space Force during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Sept. 21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Areca T. Wilson)

By Charles Pope
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) —Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond used a list of “firsts” and achievements across the Space Force’s brief history Sept. 21 to illustrate how the nation’s newest military service is “purpose built” for success at a time when the nation “can no longer take space for granted.” 

“Space is clearly a warfighting domain and we’re convinced that if deterrence were to fail, we’re going to have to fight and win the battle for space superiority,” Raymond told an audience of more than 2,000 during his keynote address at the Air Force Association Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. “Let me be clear; we don’t want to fight in space. We want to deter that from happening.” 

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Army, Navy SATCOM Mission Areas Shifting to U.S. Space Force

WASHINGTON (U.S. Space Force PR) — The Chief of Space Operations announced the transfer of Army and Navy satellite communications billets, funding and mission responsibility to the U.S. Space Force.

Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond made the announcement at the Air Force Association meeting in Washington, yesterday. The transfers are scheduled to be effective Oct. 1, 2021, if the DOD budget is passed and signed.

“We’re one team with our sister services and over the last year-and-a-half we have worked with the Army and the Navy and the Air Force to determine which capabilities come over to the Space Force,” Raymond said. “The intent was to consolidate (and) increase our operational capability; increase our readiness and do so in a more efficient manner.”

The changes are “a first tranche,” he said.

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South Korea to Boost Military and Civil Space Spending, Transfer Satellite and Launch Vehicle Technology to Private Sector

Test model of the Nuri (KSLV-II) booster. (Credit: Ministry of Science and ICT)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

South Korea plans to invest more than $14.25 billion over the next decade to improve its military and civil space capabilities. The Republic of Korea will transfer satellite and launch vehicle technology to the private sector to boost the nation’s domestic capabilities and improve its international competitiveness. The nation is also deepening defense and civil space cooperation with the United States.

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Feinstein, Padilla & Carbajal Urge Air Force to Consider Vandenberg as Permanent Base for STARCOM

Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-71 satellite lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. (Credit: ULA)

WASHINGTON (Dianne Feinstein PR)—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and Representative Salud Carbajal (all D-Calif.) today expressed support for making Vandenberg Space Force Base the permanent location for the Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) amid reports that the previous U.S. Space Command basing decision was based on politics, not merit.

“As you know, Vandenberg Space Force Base already plays an important role in space training and operations. Vandenberg trains space operators at the Air Education and Training Command’s 381st Training Group; manages missile testing; and launches satellites into polar orbit,” the members wrote in a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. “Further, Vandenberg’s proximity to California’s world-renowned aerospace industry, universities, and research institutions makes it well-suited to support the permanent establishment of STARCOM.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

September 10, 2021

Mr. Frank Kendall
Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force
Washington, D.C. 20330-1670 

Dear Secretary Kendall:

We write to express support for Vandenberg Space Force Base as the permanent location of the Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) and to ask that you ensure the selection process is based on a rigorous and objective evaluation of each proposed site.  We are concerned about reports that the previous Administration’s decision to establish U.S. Space Command at Redstone Arsenal was based on politics instead of the merits, and ask you to ensure this does not happen in future basing decisions. 

We are also concerned about the decision to temporarily base STARCOM at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  As you know, Vandenberg Space Force Base already plays an important role in space training and operations.  Vandenberg trains space operators at the Air Education and Training Command’s 381st Training Group; manages missile testing; and launches satellites into polar orbit.  Further, Vandenberg’s proximity to California’s world-renowned aerospace industry, universities, and research institutions makes it well-suited to support the permanent establishment of STARCOM.

We trust that under your leadership, future basing decisions will be carried out in an impartial manner and will follow established processes.  We look forward to working with you and your staff on behalf of Airmen, Guardians, and their families.  Thank you for your consideration, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.  

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Salud Carbajal
Member of Congress 

Alex Padilla
United States Senator 

ManTech Wins $476 Million U.S. Space Force Contract for Systems Engineering and Integration Supporting Launch Enterprise Programs

HERNDON, Va., Sept. 07, 2021 (ManTech PR) — ManTech (Nasdaq: MANT), a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs, has been awarded a $476 million contract by U.S. Space Force to provide systems engineering solutions for the agency’s Space and Missile Center – now redesignated as Space Systems Command (SSC).

With this 10-year prime contract award, ManTech continues its support for a wide array of mission critical space launch programs with launch service integration, fleet surveillance and certification for space and missile systems at Space Force facilities at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Vandenberg Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. As part of this contract, ManTech is Bringing Digital to the Mission with its investment in Intelligent Systems Engineering solutions to support the Space Force goal of fielding a digital engineering ecosystem fostering both innovation and speed of delivery.

“As the trusted partner of this prominent customer since 2010, we are proud and excited to take the next steps in advancing the missions of U.S. Space Force,” said Andrew Twomey, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ManTech’s Defense Sector. “Applying the world’s finest Intelligent Systems Engineering capabilities, we will meet the standard set by U.S. Space Force – ‘Way Above’ – to build on America’s dominance in space.”

About ManTech

ManTech provides mission-focused technology solutions and services for U.S. defense, intelligence community and federal civilian agencies. In business more than 52 years, we excel in full-spectrum cyber, data collection & analytics, enterprise IT, systems engineering and software application development solutions that support national and homeland security. Additional information on ManTech can be found at www.mantech.com.

Representatives Lamborn and Crow Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Establish a Space Force National Guard and Reserve

WASHINGTON (Doug Lamborn/Jason Crow PR) — U.S. Representatives Doug Lamborn and Jason Crow, both members of the House Armed Services Committee and Co-Chairs of the House Space Force Caucus, joined in introducing the Space National Guard Establishment Act. This bipartisan legislation will establish a Space National Guard as a Reserve component of the Space Force, our nation’s newest military branch.

“For 25 years, our National Guard space units have provided operational and tactical assistance to protect our nation’s vital interests in space and enhance our military lethality,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn. “Today, they work side-by-side with their active-duty counterparts, both in uniform and often as civilian contractors, bringing vital experience to the mission that enhances our national security space enterprise. This important legislation would officially create the Space National Guard. Colorado has more Guardsmen conducting space missions than any state in the Union. I am happy to join Rep. Crow on this important issue.” 

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Phase Four Wins U.S. Space Force Contract at SpaceWERX Pitch Day

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has secured a contract with the U.S. Space Force at the SpaceWERX Pitch Day held on August 18th, 2021 for the company’s propellant-agnostic Maxwell engine. Under the contract, Maxwell will utilize ASCENT, a green propellant developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, to enable multi-mode propulsion capability, which combines the high thrust capabilities of chemical propulsion and the high efficiency capabilities of electric propulsion.

“Space is rapidly becoming congested and contested,” said Phase Four CEO, Beau Jarvis.  “The U.S. Space Force and commercial satellite operators must increase the maneuverability of their spacecraft to operate safely and minimize on orbit risks.”

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Kendall, Raymond Stress Importance of Space and Space Force’s Success in Separate, High-profile Speeches

Frank Kendall

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co (AFNS) — Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall offered unambiguous support Aug. 24 for the still evolving U.S. Space Force, noting the critical role space plays in the nation’s security, the essential functions space enables in everyday life, and why access must be assured as space becomes more congested and contested.

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of space-based systems to national security,” Kendall said during his keynote address at the 36th Space Symposium, an influential, weeklong gathering of military, commercial, and academic space experts from around the world. The speech was Kendall’s first major address since becoming the 26th Secretary of the Air Force on July 28.

“Strategic stability depends on space-based reliable early warning and communications systems,” Kendall said. “… I can assure you that this Administration will continue the work of establishing, equipping, training, and sustaining the newly formed Space Force and of increasing the resiliency of our essential space systems.”

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Space Force Pitch Day Awards $32.3 Million to 19 Small Businesses

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – SpaceWERX officially lifted off Aug. 19 during the virtual Space Force Pitch Day. The event closed with 19 small businesses securing Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contracts to advance their cutting-edge space technologies.

The newly launched SpaceWERX will play a vital role in pursuing innovative technologies for the U.S. Space Force. It will operate as part of AFWERX, the Department of the Air Force’s innovation arm.

“What better way of introducing the new organization than bringing in new partners, locking in new investments and going after great space technology,” said Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, SpaceWERX Director. “We’re excited to be partnering with these great companies and the great technology they bring to the table.”

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Xplore Receives USAF Contract to Develop a Commercial Navigation & Timing Service for Cislunar Space

REDMOND, Wash. (Xplore PR) — Xplore Inc., an innovative commercial space company providing Space as a Service® has announced a follow on contract with the U.S. Air Force, (USAF) to continue developing their positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solution as a commercial service for cislunar space. Xplore’s current Phase II effort culminates in a hardware in the loop testbed that will demonstrate the required performance to enable precision cislunar missions while laying the foundation for a subsequent on-orbit test of the PNT system. This Phase II SBIR, awarded for commercial and technical innovations between the Earth and the Moon, provides the Air Force with the necessary capabilities to extend precision operations to the Moon and across cislunar space.

The PNT system Xplore is developing enables exploration, operations and commercial activities in cislunar space — a vast region that extends past the Moon to the edge of interplanetary space and is over ten thousand times the volume than nearly all space operations around the Earth. An equivalent GPS-like navigation and timing solution for this expanse does not currently exist, and Xplore’s revolutionary solution leverages its internal platform development to provide critical infrastructure services beyond geosynchronous orbit.

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Space to Become ‘Most Vital Domain’ For National Security, Say Defense Leaders in New KPMG/Space Foundation Report

  • Content based on interviews with nearly two dozen industry and defense leaders
  • Report determines that space domain partnerships are central to national security
  • Countries are realigning defense organizations to recognize the importance of space

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 17, 2021 (Space Foundation PR) — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, in partnership with KPMG International, today released a new report exploring how space will define the future of national security. The report “Navigating Space: A Vision for Space in Defense,” finds that space will likely define the future of national security and as the pace of innovation quickens, defense organizations see space domain partnerships as central to their national security.

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SpaceWERX Launch Drives AFWERX Small Business Focus on Universities and On-orbit Capability

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (USAF PR) – On August 19, SpaceWERX will officially launch. The kickoff will include a virtual Space Force Pitch Day highlighting the key partnership between the Department of the Air Force and small businesses by awarding up to $34 million to innovative startups competing for Small Business Innovation Research Phase II contracts. At the launch, SpaceWERX will also announce key initiatives to jumpstart the fall campaign.To join the SpaceWERX ecosystem click here

As a part of AFWERX, SpaceWERX will play a vital role in pursuing innovative technologies for the United States Space Force. The Department’s newest innovation arm will create platforms for space operators, lab engineers, and acquisition professionals to collaborate with the brightest minds in academia and industry pursuing novel solutions. Moreover, SpaceWERX will continue to leverage proven AFWERX tools such as the SBIR Open Topic, Challenge platform, STRATFI initiative, and Prime program. 

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Astra Space Reports Quarterly Loss of $31.3 Million

ALAMEDA, Calif., August 12, 2021 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended June 30, 2021.

“Astra achieved several key milestones in the first half of 2021 to further its mission to improve life on Earth from space,” said CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Chris Kemp. “Astra obtained significant funding to further our plan for rapid, low-cost access to space by completing the Holicity merger and associated PIPE transaction. We delivered on key customer initiatives by winning our second NASA contract in a row (TROPICS) and signing a long-term launch deal with Planet Labs. And last week, we announced Space Force as our first commercial customer for a test launch planned during a sixteen-day window beginning August 27, 2021. I am pleased with our execution and want to thank the entire Astra team for their dedicated efforts. We all look forward to the upcoming launch.”

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SMC Partnering with Astra for Upcoming USSF Launch

Rocket 3.1 after liftoff from Kodiak Island in Alaska. (Credit: Astra)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USSF PR) — The United States Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center will partner with Astra, a wholly-owned U.S. company based in Alameda, California, to perform a demonstration launch for the Department of Defense from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska later this month.  

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