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Breaking Defense

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Falcon Heavy

Lots of DoD Small Launchers, But What Will They Launch?

Posted by Theresa Hitchens on


“The external and internal communication regarding [DoD] smallsat strategy is not consistent and not clear,” Carissa Christensen, CEO of Bryce Space and Technologies, said wryly.

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Pentagon Eyes Military Space Station

Posted by Theresa Hitchens on


The fact that the Defense Innovation Unit is even considering the idea of a space station in orbit is a pretty big deal — and an even bigger deal if it grows over time to accommodate a human crew.

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All Systems Were GO! SpaceX’s Big Falcon Heavy

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: No lives were on the line. It wasn’t lofting a billion dollar spy satellite. But the SpaceX Falcon Heavy test launch demonstrated today that the world’s largest rocket system worked largely as planned. And, as one observer noted, the entire system was built for commercial reasons alone; no government agency crafted a requirement saying… Keep reading →

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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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Falcon 9 Explodes At Cape Canaveral; Assured Access In Peril?

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: ADDS SMC Statement; 45th Space Wing Statement WASHINGTON: Elon Musk’s SpaceX faces a stark accounting after today’s explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket during engine testing at Cape Canaveral. Hopeful of greatly increased business with Air Force Space Command, who has already awarded one contract to Musk’s company for the second GPS III satellite… Keep reading →

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Elon’s SpaceX Gets Certified For National Security Launches; Can You Say Disruption?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: While few doubted it would happen, the news that Elon Musk’s scrappy, pushy and — yes — disruptive launch company SpaceX won certification from Space and Missile Systems Center carries enormous import for the international launch industry, for the Pentagon, the Air Force and the Intelligence Community. It’s not that Musk’s SpaceX is going… Keep reading →

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Musk Protests Air Force Launch Awards, Hopes To Break EELV Deal

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: When you’re a disruptive company owned by a disruptive personality you tend to do things that disrupt your industry, and SpaceX and Elon Musk must be the most publicly disruptive pairing in America right now. Now he’s filing a protest against what is potentially his biggest customer, the US Air Force, for giving the business… Keep reading →

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SpaceX Turns Up Heat On ULA; Sen. Feinstein Writes SecDef

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Ever since the Air Force restructured its launch contracts for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program with the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, the underdog, Elon Musk, has cried foul and is pressing his case on Capitol Hill and in the media. The stakes got higher this morning during a sparsely attended hearing of… Keep reading →

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