Navy Helicopters and Air Force Pararescue Forces Conduct Astronaut Recovery Exercise

Air Force pararescue forces from the 48th rescue squadron remove a mock-astronaut from a SpaceX Dragon capsule during a validation exercise. The exercise was meant to validate the joint-capability of Navy helicopter squadrons and Air Force Guardian Angel Pararescue forces in their shared mission to recover astronauts at sea. (Credit: U.S. Space Command/Sean Castellano)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.  (U.S. Space Command PR) –  U.S. Space Command held an exercise Aug. 1-5 at Patrick Space Force Base, Fl., in preparation for the upcoming launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5, targeted for no earlier than September 29, 2022.

As the Department of Defense’s Human Space Flight Support Manager, USSPACECOM coordinates global DoD support for the rescue and recovery of human exploration events for NASA’s Artemis and Commercial Crew Program missions.

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SCOUT Wins Phase II AFWERX SBIR to Advance Space Domain Awareness

Real-time position and orientation analysis of a CubeSat using a SCOUT fly-by digital twin. (Credit: SCOUT Space)

FRL/RIE and Space Force Delta 2 will work with SCOUT to advance SDA metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22, 2022 (SCOUT Space PR) — SCOUT Space Inc., a spaceflight hardware, software, and data provider developing solutions for improved safety and transparency in space today announced they have been granted a Phase II SBIR contract through AFWERX, the Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department Air Force. SCOUT will work with AFRL/RIE (Intelligence Systems Division) and the Space Operations Command (SpOC) Delta 2 to advance classical space domain awareness (SDA) metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing.

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This Week on the Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, July 19 — 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): Guests: Dr. Daniel Tompkins Bioplastic machines to grow greenhouses in space. Self-replicating living structures

Wednesday, July 20 — 10 PM PDT (12 AM CDT; 1 AM EDT): Hotel Mars with Harold C. Connolly Jr. Guests: John BatchelorDr. David LivingstonDr. Harold C. Connolly Jr. Is Bennu a rubble pile?

Thursday, July 21 — 10AM PDT (12 PM- CDT; 1 PM EDT): Guests: Lori Garver Lori talks her new book, “Escaping Gravity.” Give her a call.

Friday, July 22 — 9:30 PDT (11:30 AM CDT; 12:30 EDT): Guests: Mike Snead The USAF as an aerospace force and much more

Sunday, July 24 — 12 PM PDT (3 PM EDT; 2 PM CDT): Guests: Dr. Christopher Morrison nuclear propulsion advances, nuclear power, fusion and more

U.S. Air Force Completes USSPACECOM Draft Environmental Assessment

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Department of the Air Force has completed the draft environmental assessment of the preferred alternative and other five reasonable alternatives for U.S. Space Command headquarters as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The draft document was made available July 13 for a 30-day public comment period in accordance with the NEPA process.
 
The final environmental assessment will take into account comments received for the DAF to consider before making a final basing decision for the command’s headquarters. As recommended by the Department of Defense Inspector General and directed by the Secretary of Defense, the DAF will also review concerns regarding full operational capability for U.S. Space Command headquarters, as well as review the DAF’s analysis criteria for “childcare,” “housing affordability,” and “access to military/veteran support” to verify that identification of the preferred alternative was supported.

Once the NEPA process is complete, the Secretary of the Air Force will select a location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.

The draft environmental assessment, along with information about how to submit a comment, is available online here.

Suborbital Spaceflight by the Numbers

New Shepard launches on its 21st flight of the program on June 4, 2022. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Part II of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The first half of 2022 was a busy period in suborbital space with 23 launches conducted that did not involve tests of ballistic missiles or defensive systems. Twelve people flew above the Karman line, new boosters and space technologies were tested, and the first commercial suborbital launch was conducted from Australia. And some science was done.

We covered the above mentioned flights in depth in a story published on Tuesday. In this piece we’ll look a broader look at who launched what, when, where, why and on what.

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Reaction Engines Begins Testing of Breakthrough High-mach Propulsion Technology Under Contract with U.S. Department of Defense

Engine on the test stand. (Credit: Reaction Engines)

ABINDON, UK (Reaction Engines PR) — Reaction Engines today revealed the start of a new testing campaign to expand the performance envelope of their high-Mach enabling technology through the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program at the Department of Defense and supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

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AFRL Sponsorship Recipient Wins NASA Space Manufacturing Contract

United Semiconductors, LLC facility in Los Alamitos, Calif. (Credit: United Semiconductors)

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH. (AFRL PR) — Air Force Research Laboratory research sponsorship recipient, United Semiconductors, LLC (USLLC), is one of eight companies selected to work on a three-year, $21 million NASA contract to manufacture tools in space.

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Virgin Orbit Plans First UK Launch for Late August

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LONG BEACH, Calif. — With three successful launches under its belt, Virgin Orbit is planning two flights this summer to demonstrate its agile air-launched booster system, including the first-ever satellite launch from the United Kingdom, a company executive said this week.

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Redwire Reports First Quarter Net Loss of $17.3 Million

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Redwire reported a first quarter net loss of $17.3 million on revenues of $32.9 million. The adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) loss was $4.7 million for the quarter.

“Delays in contract awards, macroeconomic challenges, including inflation and supply chain delays in contractor start dates had a negative impact on performance,” the company said in a statement.

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The Truth is Out There, Just Maybe Not in Roswell

Forlorn aliens who crashed their spaceship greet visitors to the International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, NM. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The key to every good mystery? Merchandising

Part I of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

ROSWELL, NM — History is filled with many unanswered questions. Did Atlantis ever exist? What about those mysterious creatures rumored to inhabit the American northwest and a cold lake in northern Scotland? Are they real or ancient myths that people continue to believe despite all evidence to the contrary?

As interesting as those mysteries are, there is an even bigger one. Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe? Have we ever been visited by beings from other worlds?

Roswell answers both questions with a resounding yes.

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Feinstein, Rubio Introduce Senate Bill to Create Space National Guard

WASHINGTON (Dianne Feinstein PR) — Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this week introduced the Space National Guard Establishment Act, a bill to create a Space National Guard. This is the Senate companion to legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) last year.

Active-duty space units in 2019 were moved out of the Air Force and placed in the new Space Force upon its establishment, but no corresponding move was made to create a Space Force National Guard component.

Today there are more than 1,000 National Guard members performing the space mission from within the Air National Guard, which creates organizational problems now that the rest of the space enterprise falls under Space Force. This bill does not expand the force, but corrects this misalignment.

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Calvelli Swears in as U.S. Air Force Space Acquisition and Integration Lead

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Frank Calvelli was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration during a Pentagon ceremony this morning, following his confirmation to the role by the U.S. Senate, April 28.
 
Prior to his confirmation, Calvelli worked at the National Reconnaissance Office and within industry. In this new role, he becomes the first service acquisition executive for space and serves as the senior acquisition executive for space programs within the Department of the Air Force.
 
“Congratulations to Frank on his long-awaited Senate confirmation and we are fortunate to welcome him to the Department of the Air Force team,” said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. “Frank’s in-depth experience, knowledge and leadership will be invaluable to acquiring the transformational space-based systems we need to stay ahead of our pacing challenges, and in ensuring the U.S. Space Force meets its obligations as the great enabler and protector of the Joint Force.”
 
Calvelli’s priorities in his new role will revolve around enhancing the Department’s speed and collaboration in developing systems for the U.S. Space Force, while also synchronizing efforts across the Department of Defense and with broader government and international partners, to get new capabilities into the hands of warfighters.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space to Continue Support of U.S. Air Force Geospatial Intelligence

Contract to provide GEOINT, Infrastructure support and training for the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System and Air National Guard locations worldwide

ARLINGTON, Va., May 12, 2022 (Raytheon PR) – Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, was awarded a five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to continue Geospatial Intelligence system mission support and training for the U.S. Air Force’s Distributed Common Ground System, or AF DCGS, and Air National Guard locations worldwide. 

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NASA Invites Comment on Initial Plans for Mars Sample Return Program

Lockheed Martin will lead development of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (pictured), cruise stage for the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander, and the Earth Entry System that will help return the first ever Martian rock samples to Earth. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is requesting public comment on the scope of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the agency’s proposed Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. Comments will be accepted through the mail and online through Monday, May 16, 2022.

The agency also is hosting two virtual public meetings about the proposed program at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, and 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at:

https://jpl.webex.com/meet/msr

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U.S. Air Force Announces Candidate Locations for STARCOM HQ, Deltas

The Department of the Air Force will begin site surveys in late April or early May 2022 to determine the location that is best suited to host the U.S. Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command Headquarters. The assessment will be based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost. (Credit: U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Department of the Air Force selected six candidate locations for U.S. Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command Headquarters, April 4.

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