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Milsatcom First Test For SMC 2, Systems Engineers LinQuest

Posted by Theresa Hitchens on


“Everybody is watching SMC right now,” says Chris Beres of LinQuest, which has secured a new contract to help the Air Force with its SMC 2.0 revamp.

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SMC Issues Final RFP For Five EELV Launches; SBIRS & 4 Classified Payloads

Posted by Colin Clark on


CLARIFIED: Adds SMC Comment On Launch Providers WASHINGTON: Last night the Air Force released the final Request For Proposals for five launch contracts for NRO and Air Force Space Command. The most intriguing payload is a code-word program, shared by the NRO and Air Force Space Command, known as SILENTBARKER, which has been described as… Keep reading →

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Space Council Should Tackle Air Force Weather Sats: Rep. Babins

Posted by Colin Clark on


                CORRECTED: Raytheon Builds VIIRS WASHINGTON: The Trump Administration’s new Space Council should tackle the thorny interagency problem of how much the Air Force will do to provide weather data to the US government, says the chairman of the House subcommittee that deals with space policy. More than… Keep reading →

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SpaceX ‘Kicking Major Butt’ To Launch X-37B For First Time, Not ULA’s Atlas V

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Insights On Signficance ONRCO Mum So Far ON Switch GEOINT: In news sure to rock the launch industry, the mighty United Launch Alliance today failed to be named as the company launching the X-37B spaceplane. Instead, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will carry it for the first time, marking what is believed to be the… Keep reading →

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Give DoD 18 RD-180s; Alternatives Too Late, Too Costly

Posted by Doug Birkey on


When the National Defense Authorization Bill comes to the Senate floor, lawmakers will face an important choice regarding the future of national security space launch. The Defense Department has relied upon United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV and Atlas V rockets — the latter powered by the Russian-built RD-180 engine. Maintaining redundant launch system capabilities —… Keep reading →

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HASC OKs 18 RD-180s; Adds $100M For New Designs

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The House Armed Services Committee is certainly no friend to today’s Russia as ruled by Vladimir Putin, but even they now support the Pentagon’s plans to use 18 Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines. The HASC approved by voice vote an amendment by Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado to the National Defense Authorization Act that would… Keep reading →

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‘We Need To Hold Our Noses,’ Buy Russian RD-180 Engines: SecDef

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Ash Carter made many reporters’ day this morning when he pithily put the case for the Pentagon to continue buying Russian RD-180 rocket engines until the United States has two tested and reliable launch providers capable of replacing the highly reliable and relatively cheap Atlas V built and operated by the United Launch Alliance. “We… Keep reading →

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It’s Preliminary: ULA Won’t Be Sanctioned

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: It’s not officially official, but the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall, says the Treasury Department has not found any reason for sanctions to be applied against the United Launch Alliance. “The preliminary indications from Treasury (Department) are that they do not apply,” Kendall told reporters after a lunch address to the Washington Space… Keep reading →

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GAO Urges DoD To Take Care On New EELV Competition; Gather Data First

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s push to open the EELV to greater competition may be counterproductive to the best management of the program. The Government Accountability Office says this approach “could limit program oversight and scheduling flexibility” for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. Why? It’s simple really: “The Air Force plans to develop an acquisition strategy for… Keep reading →

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ULA Fires Back At SpaceX At Space Symposium; Details Launch Costs

Posted by Colin Clark on


COLORADO SPRINGS: After more than a month during which upstart rocket company SpaceX defined the debate about how much America should pay to launch big satellites into space, the Boeing-Lockheed United Launch Alliance crawled out from under its own rock and let fly. Feisty CEO Michael Gass sat opposite a phalanx of defense and space… Keep reading →

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