Space 

Pentagon budget funds ‘small launch services’ to gain greater access to space

Defense budget establishes a “small launch” program with a dedicated funding line of $192.5 million over five years WASHINGTON — It’s been widely reported that the U.S. military views its satellites in space as prime targets of enemy aggression. But opinions diverge over how to deter and defeat potential attacks. One school of thought is that satellites could be made less attractive targets if the military were able to launch new ones into orbit at will, within minutes or hours of an attack. This approach appears to be gaining traction…

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Space 

SN Military.Space | DoD space budget: Billions for next-gen satellites, launch vehicles; New funding lines for ‘rapid acquisitions’

You’re reading the SN Military.Space newsletter we publish Tuesdays. If you would like to get our news and insights for military space professionals before everyone else, sign up here for your free subscription. HOT TOPIC: New direction for DoD space investments. Pentagon 2019 budget proposal ‘pivots’ to next-generation satellites Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. (Credit: USAF) It had been hinted for months that the Trump administration’s FY-19 defense budget would make serious investments in military space in response to growing threats…

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Top Stories World 

How does flu spread? This experiment seeks answers

Students are also asked to download an app, also designed by a student there that tracks their movements. The cellphone app can show whether they were exposed to roommates or someone in a study room. College residence halls are perfect breeding ground for respiratory viruses such as flu. “You’re sharing the same air in small rooms,” said Dr. Barbara Albert, head clinician helping oversee the study. “They may not even know they’ve been in contact with somebody else.” “We are all breathing out potentially infectious viruses.” “We are all breathing…

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Space 

DARPA planning responsive launch competition

WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has a checkered history of supporting development of new launch vehicles, is planning to start a competition offering prizes for responsive launch systems. The DARPA Launch Challenge won’t be formally announced until April, but Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said it is part of an effort to harness growing commercial capabilities to address threats to national security space assets. “How do we build less expensive systems on rapid timescales? How do we re-inject a sense of innovation into…

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Space 

Judge rejects motion to dismiss SSL-Orbital ATK suit

WASHINGTON — A federal judge denied a motion by Orbital ATK to dismiss a lawsuit filed last year by Space Systems Loral seeking damages for alleged unauthorized access to information about its satellite servicing technologies. In an order published Feb. 2, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson denied a motion by Orbital ATK to dismiss four counts in SSL’s lawsuit seeking damages for unauthorized access. The judge granted a motion to dismiss two other counts, concluding they were superseded by laws invoked in the other counts. The case stems a December…

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Top Stories World 

SEA HUNTER: The self-driving drone ship that scours waters WITHOUT single crew member

The ’Sea Hunter’ is a 132ft vessel designed to hunt down enemy submarines as it travels thousands of miles.  Powered by two diesel engines, the ship can reach speeds of 27 knots and uses cameras and radar to track its location and spot other ships.  The ship will also be able to operate for an astonishing 30 to 90 days at sea without a crew.  A prototype of the autonomous ship has been transferred to the US Navy and could be set to join naval operations this year.  It cost…

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Top Stories World 

Donald Trump looks to fund laser-powered bat drones amid World War 3 fears

Earlier this week, the US Defence Enterprise Science Initiative announced a competition for basic science grants to build “new paradigms for autonomous flight, with a focus on highly manoeuvrable platforms and algorithms for flight control and decision making”. An accompanying Broad Agency announcement said: “The biological study of agile organisms such as bats and flying insects has yielded new insights into complex flight kinematics of systems with a large number of degrees of freedom, and the use of multi-functional flight surface materials. “Wireless power transmission could augment existing technologies and…

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Space 

Orbital ATK lands second Intelsat satellite servicing deal

Orbital ATK’s Tom Wilson: ‘We’ve got interest from across the industry in additional vehicles’ WASHINGTON — Orbital ATK almost two years ago struck a groundbreaking deal with Intelsat to add years of service life to an aging communications satellite. The companies on Thursday announced they are solidifying their partnership with a second contract to service another satellite. Orbital’s first “mission extension vehicle” known as MEV-1 is scheduled to launch later this year on a Proton rocket from International Launch Services. In a vote of confidence, Intelsat has signed an order…

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Top Stories World 

US reveals SECRET WEAPON: Flying aircraft carriers with SWARMS of ‘Gremlin’ drones

The huge aircraft will quickly release armies of drones to assault enemy targets before returning to dock with their flying mothership. A US defence department research agency has fixed a price with two weapons companies to develop the drones, named ‘gremlins’, and expects to conduct a demonstration of the system next year. The gremlins could be sent high beyond the reach of enemy weapon systems and would cost less than the missiles an adversary would need to shoot them down. The aircraft could also be used up to 20 times.…

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Science 

Dig Deep: DARPA Contest Aims to Take People Underground

A new DARPA challenge aims to help people navigate in the subterranean world of human-made tunnels, natural caves and subway tunnels. More From the seas to mountain peaks, humans have colonized almost every inch of Earth’s surface. Now, humans may soon be able to routinely venture below the planet’s surface, at least if the military has any say in the matter. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced its latest challenge, called the Subterranean or “SubT” Challenge. The global competition asks entrants to develop systems that can help…

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