Space

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PAS11: A warning from the rocket men

The space sector could be one of the first to feel the most serious squeezes from budget pressure, but a top engine manufacturer wants to preempt the pain.


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The guardians of the astronauts

The airmen of the 920th Rescue Wing have just two more space shuttle launches to oversee in their role as the protectors of the astronauts.



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Cost of Trident Rocket Motors Jumps by 85 Percent

The cancellation of NASA’s Constellation rocket program last year and the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet has contributed to significant cost spikes for the solid fuel rocket motors the Navy uses on its Trident sea launched ballistic missiles which are the only solid rockets in use today.


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All U.S. Aircraft Could Talk to Each Other, Someday

The Air Force’s Chief Information Officer, Lt. Gen. William Lord just shed some more light on how the Pentagon is working to solve the timeless problem of getting all its jets, satellites and ground vehicles to talk to one another.


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PRC Starts Seeking Space Coop

One of China’s top space executives is scheduled to come to the US and speak next month at the National Space Symposium, the nation’s premier…


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US May Come Back to MEADS

Lockheed Martin believes there is a good chance the US will recommit to the tri-nation MEADS missile defense program, driven by its smaller manpower requirements, ease of transport and higher reliability. And Germany and Italian officials told a senior Lockheed official that they remain committed to MEADS and other countries may well join the program sometime in the next two years.


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Sat Pics Flowed Within Hour of Quake

Within an hour of the great quake striking Japan, the companies that supply commercial satellite pictures to the intelligence community and the Pentagon had dropped everything and begun providing images of stricken areas. Geoey and DigitialGlobe stopped shooting images for commercial clients and “began emergency collection” of images which were then pumped in almost real time through a computing cloud and on to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s special web portal set up for such purposes,


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AF Space Buying Strategy Dismissed

The Air Force’s new space acquisition strategy, called Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Strategy, came under fire today from experts who said it would lead to higher costs and a less resilient industrial base.


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HPSCI Vice Questions New Spy Sat

The United States must consider an alternative approach to buying a highly sophisticated, multi-billion eye in the sky spy satellite, the vice chairman of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee said this morning. “I think it’s a major issue,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland told reporters this morning. He said he is working with DNI Jim Clapper on the best approach to providing troops and the White House with the best mix of capabilities.


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Good Requirements Not Enough: OTE

The equipment for Son of FCS — most of it recently canceled by the Army — met the service’s requirements but did not meet the much more demanding standard of actually improving how soldiers fought, according to the Pentagon’s top operational tester.


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Furloughs For Half DoD Civvies If Shutdown

UPDATED: House Passes Two Week Budget Reprieve

The Defense Department would be forced to furlough half of its civliian employees if the government were to shut down, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn told the Senate today. On top of that, Lynn said the department would be hard-pressed to pay its both its civilian and military employees in mid-March should a shutdown occur.


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Space ‘Poster Child’ For Cost Increases

ORLANDO–Tougher contracts, less ambitious and more flexible requirements must be pursued if the Air Force and the US military are to get the space systems they need, says the head of Air Force Space Command. “We’ve become the poster child for things that are late and expensive.”


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New Wireless Tech Jams GPS

UPDATED: With LightSquared Company Comments

ORLANDO– Deputy Defense Secretary Bll Lynn has raised concerns with the Federal Communications Commission about a new technology used by a company called Light Squared that jams both military and civilian GPS signals. The Federal Aviation Administration shares the Pentagon’s worries. Air Force Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, disclosed the Pentagon and FAA’s concerns at the Air Force Association winter conference today.


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DoD Budget: The Week Ahead

Monday is budget day. At 2 p.m. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, will begin unveiling details of what…


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Carter Signals OKs for Smaller Mergers

New York — The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Ash Carter, told a room full of Wall Street investors and defense industry leaders that he and his boss are likely to offer regulatory smiles to mergers involving among smaller defense companies, and, especially mid-tier service providers. This is, Carter made clear, not an event akin to the famous Last Supper, where Defense Secretary Les Aspin told the defense industry it was going to merge and that many of the 15 industry chieftains in the room that night in 1993 would not have a company to lead in the near future.


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Senators Warn Clinton On Space Code

A solid group of 37 Republican senators, led by Sen. Jon Kyl, tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton they must be told whether the Obama administration plans to negotiate and sign on to a Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. The Feb. 2 letter says the senators are “deeply concerned” the administration may pursue an agreement they fear poses “a multitude of potential highly damaging implications for sensitive military and intelligence programs… as well as a tremendous amount of commercial activity.”


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Senate Bows To Obama on Earmarks

UPDATED: “A Big Capitulation;” Watch Election Contributions

When President Obama threatened in his State of the Union speech to veto any bill containing earmarks, several people I spoke with later snickered. How is this relatively inexperienced former senator going to put the kibosh on one of the Hill’s most treasured rights. Then our world tipped slightly yesterday with word that Sen. Daniel Inouye, one of the most respected and powerful members of Congress and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced what he called an “earmark moratorium.”


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Weather Sat Program Slammed

The White House, Congress NASA, NOAA, Defense Department and prime contractor Northrup Grumman failed time and again in their management and oversight of the multi-billion dollar weather satellite program known as NPOESS. The failures led to billions of dollars in cost overruns, schedule delays and scarred the space acquisition community for years.


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Majority Sez Cut DoD, Not Entitlements

A majority of the American public wants budget cuts to come from the Defense Department budget, not from Medicare or Social Security, according to a new poll. The poll asked: “If you had to choose one, which would you be willing to change in order to cut government spending.”