Space 

Plan to modernize air and space systems takes Air Force out of its comfort zone

Secretary Wilson: “This budget changes the way in which we intend to execute battle management command and control.” WASHINGTON — In the budget request that was submitted to Congress last week, the U.S. Air Force made investment decisions that just a few years ago would have been jaw-dropping. A $7 billion surveillance aircraft program is being jettisoned in favor of an information network that connects sensors from across the battlefield and in outer space. And billion-dollar satellites known to be engineering marvels are being replaced by simpler, less costly platforms.…

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Space 

Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne renegotiating AR1 agreement

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company’s AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine’s long-term future. In a Feb. 14 response to questions submitted by SpaceNews, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) confirmed that Aerojet Rocketdyne is seeking to revise the Rocket Propulsion System (RPS) award the company received in 2016 to reduce the fraction of development costs the company has to pay. That award, known as an other transaction authority…

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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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Science 

SpaceX blew up its own booster rocket after it splashed down in the ocean

A booster rocket from a recent SpaceX launch survived a spashdown in the ocean, leading to a potentially hazardous situation. Although a military air strike was considered, the company took matters into its own hands. More Subscribe on YouTube Elon Musk has had a busy year so far, what with sending his sports car into orbit and trying to get flamethrowers through customs. He still found time, however, to blow one of the old SpaceX rocket boosters (which had “landed” in the ocean) into smithereens after its mission was over.…

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Science 

Russian Hackers Tricked Key U.S. Defense Workers into Opening Up Their Emails

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian cyberspies pursuing the secrets of military drones and other sensitive U.S. defense technology tricked key contract workers into exposing their email to theft, an Associated Press investigation has found. What ultimately may have been stolen is uncertain, but the hackers clearly exploited a national vulnerability in cybersecurity: poorly protected email and barely any direct notification to victims. The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing…

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Space 

Military certification the next big test for Falcon Heavy

Air Force certification could take as many as 14 or as few as two flights. WASHINGTON — The inaugural launch on Tuesday of the world’s most powerful rocket sets the stage for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to begin the qualification process to compete for lucrative U.S. government contracts. The U.S. Air Force has already booked the massive rocket for a June launch of a test payload. But the Falcon Heavy may have to nail many more missions before it passes the threshold to be certified by the U.S. Air Force. Certification could take…

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Space 

Op-ed | How will the Earth-observation market evolve with the rise of AI?

This op-ed originally appeared in the Jan. 29, 2018 issue of SpaceNews magazine. For the Earth-observation industry, 2017 was an eventful year. Several trends emerged that could transform the market landscape as profoundly as the proliferation of smallsats already have. We witnessed significant investments in Earth-observation startups leveraging machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence, or AI, to extract invaluable insights from the growing abundance of satellite imagery.We also saw the continued transition of Earth-observation satellite operators from merely selling imagery to selling value-added services. Last year, startups building…

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Space 

Mattis incensed there’s still no budget – DepSecDef at Space Command – Military pulling for Falcon Heavy

The SN Military.Space newsletter delivers news and insights to military space professionals every Tuesday. Sign up for your free subscription. HOT TOPIC: Mattis to Congress: Do your job; defense strategy, nuclear posture mean nothing if they’re not backed by resources U.S. government funding again expires this week and the only budget proposal in sight is one on the House floor today to fund the military for the remainder of FY-18 but only extend funding for the rest of the government for six weeks. The Senate is not expected to go…

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Space 

SpaceX wins accolades for Falcon Heavy success

ORLANDO, Florida — A rare combination of politicians, space advocates and even competitors lauded SpaceX for its successful inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy Feb. 6. Among those congratulating the company for the test flight of the heavy-lift rocket was President Donald Trump. In a tweet late Feb. 6, he congratulated SpaceX and its chief executive, Elon Musk. “This achievement, along with @NASA’s commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best!” he stated. Congratulations @ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch. This achievement, along with…

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Science 

Time for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to fly: Watch live video of the final countdown

[embedded content] CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The maiden launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is arguably the biggest thing to hit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011. RELATED: SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy rocket for first time, putting a sports car in space Liftoff was set for 3:45 p.m. ET (12:45 p.m. PT) today, amid concerns about upper-level winds.. Hundreds of journalists have signed up to cover the launch from NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A, where Apollo moon rockets and space shuttles have blasted…

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