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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USSF Space Test Enterprise Vision Integrates Test Across Capability Lifecycles

ARLINGTON, Virginia (AFNS) — The Space Force has released its Space Test Enterprise Vision to communicate the service’s intent and provide the amplifying guidance needed to execute the Space Force’s test and evaluation mission. 

“The test vision and the associated test culture it portends are critical elements of the Guardian Ideal and our core values,” said Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations. “While we expect every Guardian to be bold and innovative in pursuit of concepts and capabilities that protect U.S. interests in space, the commitment to mastery of our missions also demands that we be confident in the effectiveness of those capabilities.  Test – integrated test – gives us that confidence.”

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches NROL-85 Mission From Vandenberg

Falcon 9 launches the NROL-85 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: NRO)

CHANTILLY, Va. (NRO PR) — The National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched the NROL-85 mission aboard a reflown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E located at Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) in California today at 6:13 a.m. Pacific Time. The Falcon 9 reusable rocket booster returned safely to Landing Zone 4 after delivering the national security payload to orbit.

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Coverage Set for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Briefing, Events, Broadcast

Official portrait of Crew-4 astronauts Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins and Kjell Lindgren. (Credit: NASA-J.Valcarcel/ R.Markowitz/N.Moran)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission sending astronauts to the International Space Station.

The launch is targeted for 5:26 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 23, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, dubbed by Crew-4 as Freedom, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 24.

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Ansys Helps Protect National and Global Security Through Digital Mission Engineering and Space Domain Awareness

Northrop Grumman will employ Ansys’ simulation and digital mission engineering solutions to develop a radar site to monitor high orbits in space

Rendering of the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC). (Image Credit: Northrop Grumman)

PITTSBURGH (Ansys PR) — Ansys (NASDAQ: ANSS) Government Initiatives (AGI) is supporting Northrop Grumman in developing, testing, and delivering a Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) in support of the U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) Space Domain Awareness mission.

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L3Harris Awarded $117 Million Space Object-Tracking Modernization Contract

  • Supports US Space Force efforts to protect satellites
  • Maintains and upgrades space domain awareness and command and control systems
  • Third-year option continues work first awarded in 2020

MELBOURNE, Fla., April 06, 2022 (L3Harris Technologies PR) — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has been awarded $117 million for option-year three of a U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command contract to continue maintaining and modernizing infrastructure to track objects in space. The Maintenance Of Space Situational Awareness Integrated Capabilities (MOSSAIC) program has an estimated contract value of $1.2 billion over 10 years.

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US Space Force Releases Decades of Bolide Data to NASA for Planetary Defense Studies

This photograph taken by an International Space Station astronaut shows a bright meteor from the Perseid meteor shower in Earth’s atmosphere. The brightest meteors are known as fireballs, or bolides. (Credit: NASA)

Hosted by JPL’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the data can be used by the science community to better understand how asteroids break up when entering the atmosphere.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — An agreement between NASA and the U.S. Space Force recently authorized the public release of decades of data collected by U.S. government sensors on fireball events (large bright meteors also known as bolides) for the benefit of the scientific and planetary defense communities. This action results from collaboration between NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) and the U.S. Space Force to continue furthering our nation’s efforts in planetary defense, which include finding, tracking, characterizing, and cataloguing near-Earth objects (NEOs). The newly released data is composed of information on the changing brightness of bolides as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere, called light curves, that could enhance the planetary defense community’s current ability to model the effects of impacts by larger asteroids that could one day pose a threat to Earth.

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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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Space Systems Command Awards Slingshot Aerospace a $25 million Contract for Enhanced Space Simulation and Astrodynamics Training Platform

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SSC PR) — Space Systems Command (SSC) recently awarded a $25.2 million, 39-month contract to Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. of El Segundo, California. Both SSC and SpaceWERX provided funding for the contract to acquire and host visualization and intelligence support products.

The contract is sought to develop two key products – the Slingshot Orbital Laboratory (SOLab) and the Digital Modeling & Advance Visualization Environment (DMAVE) digital twin tool.

“The intent of the SpaceWERX Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program is to scale technology development over the “valley of death” by capitalizing on the most promising emerging commercial solutions to deliver better capabilities to the warfighter, faster,” said Lt. Col. Walter McMillan, director of SpaceWERX. “Each year, the STRATFI program places its ‘big bets’ on the most innovative technologies that meet critical mission gaps. Slingshot’s space education and simulation products have garnered support from across the Space Force operational and acquisition community as we see tremendous value in the technology.”

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AFRL’s Cislunar Highway Patrol System Seeks Industry Collaboration

Artist’s conception of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System. (Credit: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AFB, New Mexico (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate is seeking partners to design and inform the capabilities of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) satellite, to provide space domain awareness beyond Geosynchronous orbit, in the region of the moon that is experiencing increasing activity.

A draft Request for Proposals was posted last week, on the NSTXL.org website, and companies who are part of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) are encouraged to submit ideas by the deadline of 11 a.m. MST on April 1, 2022.

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Kendall, Brown, Raymond Outline Changes Necessary to Defend the Nation, the Need to go Fast and Succeed

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks during the McAleese FY2023 Defense Program Conference in Washington, D.C., March 9, 2022. Kendall spoke about the challenges and priorities for the Department of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Speaking separately at an influential gathering two blocks from the White House March 9, the Department of the Air Force’s highest ranking civilian and military leaders offered emphatic variations on a similar theme – the need to modernize faster, think faster, and nurture the cultures needed to confront potential threats and adversaries.

“I am focused on modernization,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said during a keynote address closing the 13th Annual Defense Programs Conference staged by McAleese and Associates.

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Space Systems Command Selects General Atomics & Orion Space Solutions for Weather System Program

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USSF SSC PR) — The USSF Space Systems Command (SSC) Space Development Corps has completed all System Final Design Reviews (FDRs) for the Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) program, and, through competitive evaluation, subsequently exercised options to develop and launch two separate sensor prototypes to Orion Space Solutions and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS).

Orion Space Solutions, a non-traditional vendor, will launch a one-year EO/IR CubeSat prototype demonstration in fall 2022. Next, GA-EMS has been selected to launch a three-year EO/IR SmallSat prototype with the capability to deliver operational data by 2025.

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Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace to Develop Polar-Orbiting Next-Generation Missile Warning System Sensor

Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace will design and develop the two mission payloads for the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar program. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Satellites to provide continuous early-warning missile detection coverage over the northern hemisphere

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., March 1, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Ball Aerospace will design and develop the two mission payloads for the U.S. Space Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar (NGP) program.

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Northrop Grumman Awarded US Space Force Contract for Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability

Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Ground-based radar system designed to continuously detect, track and maintain custody of deep space objects

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 23, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a $341 million contract by the U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) to develop, test and deliver a Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) in support of its Space Domain Awareness mission.

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U.S. Denies Allegations That Starlink Satellites Had Close Encounters with Chinese Space Station

Shenzhou 13 launches to Tiangong space station.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The U.S. had denied claims that a pair of SpaceX Starlink satellites came close to hitting the Chinese space station last year.

“Because the activities did not meet the threshold of established emergency collision criteria, emergency notifications were not warranted in either case,” the U.S. said is a note verbale sent to the United Nations. “If there had been a significant probability of collision involving the China Space Station, the United States would have provided a close approach notification directly to the designated Chinese point of contact.

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