Independent Enquiry Commission Announces Conclusions Concerning the Launcher Trajectory Deviation During Flight VA241

During the Ariane 5 VA241 mission, carried out on January 25, 2018 from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana (South America), telemetry from the launcher was lost 9 minutes and 26 seconds into the flight because of a deviation in the trajectory. Signals from the two satellites were acquired after the nominal mission duration, and the spacecraft were confirmed to be in good health, but in an orbit at an inclination of 20 degrees, rather than the targeted 3 degrees. The apogee and perigee attitudes, however, were very close to the targeted values (249 x 45,234 km.). The analysis of data received during the first minutes of the flight, and the reconstitution of the trajectory, confirmed that the launcher and the flight program operated perfectly. The two satellites are now in the process of reaching their final orbital positions, using their own propulsion systems.

Read more at: Ariane Space

Investigators Say Erroneous Navigation Input Led Ariane 5 Rocket Off Course

A bad input to the Ariane 5 rocket’s guidance system that was missed during pre-launch quality control checks caused the launcher to deviate from its expected flight path and place two commercial communications satellites in the wrong orbit Jan. 25, Arianespace announced Friday.

The erroneous coordinates programmed into the Ariane 5’s inertial reference units led the rocket approximately 20 degrees off course from its intended easterly trajectory seconds after liftoff from the Guiana Space Center on the northern shore of South America, officials said.

Chaired by Toni Tolker-Nielsen, inspector general of the European Space Agency, the inquiry found that the rocket’s two inertial reference systems were misaligned. Due to “special requirements” for Jan. 25 mission, the azimuth required to properly align the Ariane 5’s inertial units was 70 degrees, not 90 degrees as is usually the case for launches into geostationary orbit, Arianespace said.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

CloudSat Exits the ‘A-Train’

Mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this week lowered the orbit of the nearly 12-year-old CloudSat satellite following the loss of one of its reaction wheels, which control its orientation in orbit. While CloudSat’s science mission will continue, it will no longer fly as part of the Afternoon Constellation, or A-Train — six Earth-monitoring satellites that fly in a coordinated orbit to advance our understanding of how Earth functions as a system.

CloudSat launched in 2006 to improve understanding of the role clouds play in our climate system. It joined the A-Train about a month later. In April 2011, the spacecraft experienced a technical issue affecting the ability of the battery to provide enough current to power all spacecraft systems during the time in each orbit when the spacecraft is on the dark side of the planet and the spacecraft’s solar panels are not illuminated. In response, spacecraft engineers at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, developed a new operational mode for CloudSat that enabled it to continue science operations, but only during the part of each orbit when the spacecraft is in sunlight.

Read more at: JPL

SpaceX Postpones Falcon 9 Launch Over Payload Fairing Concerns

SpaceX officials have postponed the launch of a Spanish-owned telecommunications satellite from Cape Canaveral planned for this weekend to conduct additional testing on the Falcon 9’s payload fairing pressurization system, the company announced Saturday.

SpaceX did not set a new launch date, but the mission was expected to be pushed back multiple days from its previous Sunday launch target.

“Standing down from this weekend’s launch attempt to conduct additional testing on the fairing’s pressurization system,” SpaceX said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Once complete, and pending range availability, we will confirm a new targeted launch date.”

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

New Estimates for Tiangong-1 Atmospheric Reentry Suggest Late March-early April

The European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office has updated its prediction for the reentry of the doomed Chinese space lab Tiangong-1, with analysis by the Aerospace Corporation also suggesting orbital decay around early April.

The latest estimate suggests a window for reentry of ~24 March to ~19 April, which the office, based at the ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, states is highly variable due to the complexities of modelling the atmosphere, the dynamics of the reentering object and limitations in observing the spacecraft.

The 8.5 tonne Tiangong-1 space lab was launched in 2011 to test docking technology and life support by hosting two crews from the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 missions in 2012 and 2013, as a stepping stone to a large, modular space station.

Read more at: GB Times

NASA Confirms SLS Mobile Launcher is Leaning, Does not Require Corrective Action

The huge Mobile Launcher (ML) that will be used to launch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is leaning. However, NASA insists it is structurally sound and does not require modifications to counter what is portrayed as “some deflection”. The ML is undergoing a conversion process, realigning it for a role with SLS after initially being constructed for the Ares I rocket.

The ML began construction for the Ares I rocket almost ten years ago, marked by trestles and girders arriving at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) by barge in February 2009, beginning the opening phase of work to create a base platform – one which was designed to be lighter than the Mobile Launch Platforms (MLPs) that previously hosted the Space Shuttle stack.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Humans can Reach Mars but Unknown Radiation May Turn Out Lethal, Russian Scientist Warns

The current level of science and engineering as it is, humans can reach Mars in principle, but no means exist at the moment of protecting them from radiation there, the chief of the space plasma physics section at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, Anatoly Petrukovich, told TASS

“As far as the technical possibility of flying to Mars is concerned, it does exist. For instance, we may launch Proton rockets [with space vehicle components] several times, then assemble them in orbit the way the railway engine and cars are coupled on the ground and then push the spacecraft towards Mars somehow. The odds are it will reach its destination and may even deliver some crew there. The question is what the chances of getting back will be, bearing in mind the level of radiation,” Petrukovich said.

Read more at: TASS

International Team Publishes Roadmap to Enhance Radioresistance for Space Colonization

An international team of researchers from NASA Ames Research Center, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate at Health Canada, Oxford University, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Insilico Medicine, the Biogerontology Research Center, Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Lethbridge, Ghent University, Center for Healthy Aging and many others have published a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance for space exploration and colonization in the peer-reviewed journal Oncotarget.

“Our recent manuscript provides a comprehensive review of radioresistance for space radiation. Currently there is minimal research being done for radioresistance against HZE irradiation. The importance of these types of studies will be to reduce the associated health risks for long-term space exploration and allow for the development of potential countermeasures against space radiation. In addition, the synergy between understanding aging with radioresistance will allow for further benefits for humans in long-term space missions and allow for reduced health risk. This review sets the stage for the potential research the scientific community can do to allow for safe long term space exploration” said Afshin Beheshti, an author of the paper and a Bioinformatician at NASA Ames Research Center.

Read more at: Eureka Alert

Waterbeds Simulate Weightlessness to Help Skinsuits Combat Backpain in Space

Astronauts tend to become taller in weightlessness – causing back pain and making it difficult to fit into spacesuits. Astronauts may be more likely to suffer from ‘slipped discs’ after landing.

Researchers at King’s College London, UK, have been testing a Skinsuit to combat these problems, using a novel simulation of microgravity: adding magnesium salts to a half-filled waterbed. They were inspired by the Dead Sea, where swimmers float on the surface because of the high salt content.

“The high salt content provides additional buoyancy,” explains study leader David A Green. “Our test subjects don’t just sink to the bottom but float on the surface even though the bed is only half full. Furthermore, as heavier body segments such as hips sink into the bed in proportion to their mass, overall the body lies close to being horizontal in an entirely relaxed state.”

Read more at: ESA

NASA Weighs, Balances Orion For Ascent Abort Test

Researchers conducted mass property testing of the Orion crew module for the Ascent Abort Test-2 Friday, February 16, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The crew module, built at Langley, was lifted and rotated on its side to determine its weight and center of gravity, known as balance.

To get accurate results during the uncrewed flight test planned for April 2019 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, this simplified crew module needs to have the same outer shape and approximate mass distribution of the Orion crew module that astronauts will fly in on future missions to deep space. The markings on the sides and bottom of the capsule used for the test will allow cameras to follow the spacecraft’s trajectory as well as the orientation of the spacecraft relative to the direction of travel for data collection.

Read more at: Colorado Spacenews

How a New ‘Happy Suit’ would Protect Astronauts from the Stresses of Space

Researchers from Florida Polytechnic University are developing a “happy suit” that they say will protect astronauts from the psychologically harrowing effects of space travel.

The technology’s network of wireless sensors would respond to the wearer’s vitals by recalibrating his or her environment in real time. These adjustments could include changes in temperature, light color, light intensity and oxygen levels, Arman Sargolzaei, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the school, said in a statement.

“It’s vital for astronauts to be mentally healthy during missions and right now there’s no active, real-time solution to help them when they feel stressed or anxious,” said Sargolzaei, who is collaborating with Melba Horton, an assistant professor of biology, and computer-science student James Holland, on the project. “This technology would provide them with immediate relief to their state of mind.”

Read more at: Space.com

Boeing, Lockheed Interested in Launching Rockets from Brazil, Minister Says

Brazil’s defense minister said on Thursday that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and other U.S. aerospace companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from its Alcantara military base near the equator and visited the site in December.

“They were very impressed,” Defense Minister Raul Jungmann told reporters. “They showed interest, but I can’t say whether it will materialize.” Alcantara’s location makes it attractive because one-fifth less fuel is used to launch satellites into orbit along the equator compared with sites farther north or south.

Besides SpaceX, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, the Alcantara visit included smaller aerospace U.S. companies Vector Space Systems, which launches small satellites, and Microcosm, which focuses on providing low-cost access to space, an organizer of the trip said.

Read more at: Reuters

SpaceX CEO’s Comments About a Texas Launch Site has Upset a Border Community

SpaceX received a great amount of praise after last week’s successful launch of the largest rocket by a private company, the Falcon Heavy. However, remarks made by CEO Elon Musk at a press conference aren’t sitting well with a South Texas community that may soon see rockets launch from their backyard.

Trees in Keith Bloomer’s the backyard partially cover a work site where two dish antennas were installed months ago. The property has belonged to the private space exploration company SpaceX since before breaking ground four years ago. Keith’s family, on the other hand, has lived in the neighboring community of Boca Chica Village for almost 50 years.SpaceX chose the site on the Texas-Mexico border to conduct tests and other rocket launches. The launch pad, which is located just off the Gulf of Mexico and a mile-and-a-half from the village, is still under construction.

Read more at: khou

Commerce Secretary: Let’s Turn the Moon Into a ‘Gas Station for Outer Space’

The Trump administration wants to turn the moon into a “gas station for the outer space,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Thursday.

The development would aid with the exploration of deep space, he said. “Rockets would not need as much thrust leaving Earth if they only had to get to the moon,” Ross said. “Then at the moon, you have very low gravity so you don’t need so much thrust to go from the moon to Mars, for example, or another asteroid.”

The idea has its supporters in the scientific community. In 2015, an MIT study found that refueling near the moon would allow for humans to get to Mars much more efficiently than launching from Earth with all of the resources onboard.

Read more at: NYMag

Astronaut: Trump’s Plan for the Space Station a Huge Mistake

Donald Trump’s administration is floating a proposal to return to the moon — and to shut down the International Space Station to help pay for it.

The first part of this idea is good. The second is horrible. If enacted, it could well spell the end of NASA’s human spaceflight for the foreseeable future.

There is a wild card here, too: I refer to the commercial spaceflight efforts of companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. For the first time, visionary leaders of commercial companies are striving to build space infrastructure and exploration programs funded by commercial activities. Yes, there is the possibility of NASA partnering with them, but that is not the pressing question in my view now; the continuation of ISS is.

Read more at: CNN

Shiseido Conducts Joint Research on Stress in Closed-off Environment Simulating ISS

Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”) and National Research and Development Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have conducted a joint research using a closed-off chamber environment training facility (“the isolation chamber”) in JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center and observed a disruption in the circadian rhythm of salivary stress hormone (cortisol) and an increased distortion in facial expression during the stay in the isolation chamber.

The team has discovered the possibility of quick stress self-assessment by studying changes in saliva and facial expression.
Based on the results of this ongoing joint research, Shiseido will pursue the development of comprehensive beauty solutions to minimize the effects of stress on skin and body, while JAXA will leverage the results to establish a stress assessment method for astronauts aboard the ISS.

Read more at: JAXA

Bigelow Aerospace Spawns Spinoff Company to Market its Space Stations

After more than a week of teasing, Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace announced the creation of a sister company called Bigelow Space Operations (BSO). Its mission is to “market and operate space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace that are so capable, so diverse and so large that they can accommodate virtually unlimited use almost anywhere.”

BSO’s first goal, however, will be to figure out just how much of a market—global, national and corporate—there is for low-Earth orbit space stations, according to a Feb. 20, 2018, press release about the company’s creation. “We intend to spend millions of dollars this year in drilling down, hopefully, to a conclusion one way or the other as to what the global market is going to look like,” said Bigelow Aerospace founder Robert Bigelow during a media conference call, according to SpaceNews.

Read more at: Spaceflight Insider

Goodbye, ISS. Hello, Private Space Stations?

Have you heard? The ISS might go away in 2025. Yep, that ISS—our big, honking space laboratory in the sky, one of the most successful international partnership stories of all time. Continually staffed since 2000. Off the Earth, for the Earth. One of the most expensive public projects ever, second possibly only to America’s Interstate Highway System.

Unofficially, 2025 has been the station’s retirement year since 2014, when NASA and its international partners agreed to keep it flying through 2024. But there’s always been an assumption that end date could stretch to 2028, a point cited as when degrading hardware might start making life aboard the station a little dicey.

Read more at: Planetary Society

NASA’s Mission Control Team Shifts to Younger Recruits

Ask Chris Kochling what inspired him to be a NASA flight controller and he’ll point to the heroic ingenuity and quick thinking of the men on the Mission Control room floor during Apollo 13.

If it weren’t for those men, the three astronauts on the 1970 mission likely would never have returned home after an oxygen tank explosion forced them to abort their trip to the moon. But when Kochling describes this scene, he’s not talking about listening with rapt attention to the NASA airwaves – he wasn’t even alive then.

Read more at: Houston Chronicle

Hibernation, Other Methods Suggested to Mitigate Deep Space Travel Radiation Risks

Imagine climbing into a spaceship bound for Mars and entering a deep slumber that lasts the nine-month trip to the Red Planet. It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but a group of researchers believe hibernation could mitigate the risks of radiation exposure during deep space travel.

Hibernation was one of several methods discussed to protect astronauts from harmful radiation in a study published earlier this month in the journal Oncotarget. Developing these methods is increasingly important given President Donald Trump’s renewed focus on human space exploration.

Read more at: Chron

America’s Starmen are Selling Space, But Who’s Buying?

Robert Bigelow, back of inflatable space hotels, has announced the formation of a new company to build and market space stations in Earth’s orbit, called Bigelow Space Ops.

During his announcement, the company’s founder made a point to paint a picture of a thriving U.S. industry: American-made hardware launching from American spaceports, leading the way into the orbital future. But what Bigelow and other space barons’ business plans really want are for customers from other nations to emerge. “What we’ve always anticipated and expected is that we would be very involved in helping foreign countries to establish their human space programs,” Bigelow told reporters.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

How SpaceX and NASA’s Rockets Compare

At a time when pivotal decisions are being made about our national priorities for spending and investment, it is imperative that our decision-makers and the public are able to distinguish fact from fiction. As Congress and the administration weigh options and strategies for critical investments in deep space exploration and low earth orbit development, the facts need to be clear.

Unfortunately, a few recent headlines and ill-informed opinion editorials have suggested that the success of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy test launch spells trouble for NASA — that somehow the agency’s own rocket, the powerful Space Launch System (SLS), is unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Without taking anything away from Falcon Heavy’s impressive performance, it is important to keep in mind the major key differences from SLS.

Read more at: Hill

Op-ed | On the Verge of a Space Renaissance

We are entering a renaissance era in human spaceflight. Just as the European masters brought forth a magical period of learning, discovery, invention, fine arts and music 500 years ago, with the advances in the science and technologies proliferating today, we expect a rejuvenation in human space activity in this dawn of the 21st century.

The White House has moved swiftly to reinstate a newly constituted National Space Council and, in its first meeting  Oct. 5, 2017, directed NASA to conduct a 45-day study with the express aim of returning astronauts to the moon within five years.

Read more at: Spacenews

How the Trump Administration Wants to Make it Easier for Commercial Space Companies to do Business

The Trump administration’s National Space Council met publicly for the second time this week to talk about upcoming changes to the US space policy agenda, and the big topic of the day was regulatory reform.

The council, a newly formed advisory group led by Vice President Mike Pence, discussed ways that regulations are “stifling” the commercial space industry. “While American industry and technology have leaped toward the future, our government agencies have too often remained stuck in the past,” Pence said at the meeting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Now, the Council says it’s going to work on a number of changes that will make regulations less burdensome to commercial companies, such as streamlining launch licensing and creating a new undersecretary of Space Commerce.

Read more at: Verge

US Space Policy Meeting Highlights China’s Space Programme as Threat, Competition and Opportunity

A public meeting of the White House National Space Council on commercial space and regulatory reform held on February 21 saw divergent views on how to react to the rise of China’s space programme. The event was held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.

While the main issues were commercial space business and innovation and the related regulatory regime, highlighted by SpacePolicyOnline.com, the matter of potential engagement with, and threats and opportunities from, the increasingly comprehensive and capable Chinese space programme, emerged as a key issue, as reported by SpaceNews.com.

Read more at: GBTimes

China Speeds Up Research, Commercialization of Space Shuttles

China will accelerate research and commercial use of rocket upper stages, a carrier rocket official said on Friday. “The Yuanzheng rocket upper stage family will have a new member, Yuanzheng-1S, this year, serving launches for low and medium Earth orbit satellites,” said Wang Mingzhe, an upper stage architect of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

Upper stages are independent aircraft installed on the carrier rocket that are capable of restarting their engines multiple times in space to allow them to send different payloads to varying orbits.

Earlier this month, China’s Yuanzheng-1 rocket upper stage helped send two satellites into orbit on a single carrier rocket for its domestic BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in Xichang in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Read more at: Xinhuanet

NASA’s Nuclear Thermal Engine is a Blast from the Cold War Past

To accomplish what will be the greatest human spaceflight triumph since Apollo 11—sending astronauts to Mars—NASA is looking to a blast from its nuclear past.

Today’s chemical propellant rocket engines may not be the fastest or most efficient way to send a crew to another planet. One idea for the next-generation rocket engine you’d need is to bring back nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems. The technology was studied in the 1950s and 60s, but shelved in the early 70s because of technological challenges, and because there was no clear need for the propulsion system.

Jeff Sheehy, chief engineer of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, says times have changed. Advances in manufacturing, materials science, and engineering have made it possible to design a better fuel element and nuclear reactor than was possible during the Cold War. What’s more, and what has really been lacking until now, is a reinvigorated “desire to send crews into deep space,” says Sheehy.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

Silk Fibers could be High-tech ‘Natural Metamaterials’

New research has demonstrated how the nano-architecture of a silkworm’s fiber causes “Anderson localization of light,” a discovery that could lead to various innovations and a better understanding of light transport and heat transfer.

The discovery also could help create synthetic materials and structures that realize the phenomenon, named after Nobel laureate Philip Anderson, whose theory describes how electrons can be brought to a complete halt in materials due to their “scattering and defects.” The new findings relate not to electrons, but to light transport.

Researchers demonstrated how the nano-architecture of the silk fibers is capable of light “confinement,” a trait that could provide a range of technological applications including innovations that harness light for new types of medical therapies and biosensing.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Space Startup wants to Catapult Payloads into Space

If we every want to build monster machines in space, cheaper and more sustainable ways to get raw materials into orbit is of ever increasing importance. SpaceX recently made history with with heavy boosters returning after the initial launch of the Falcon Heavy, but a new challenger has a potentially cheaper alternative: catapult.

SpinLaunch, founded in secrecy in 2014, is now making itself known in an interview with TechCrunch. Founded by Jonathan Yancey, who sold a solar-powered drone startup to Google (which Alphabet killed off last year), SpinLaunch is now showing off its ideas in the hopes of finding big investors.

The company wants to build centrifuges that would spin at high speed inside a vacuum for minimal friction.

Read more at: Popular Mechanics

There’s Something Strange Going on Amid the Satellite Internet Rush

As Thursday’s SpaceX launch of two test satellites vividly demonstrated, several companies are moving ahead with ambitious plans to design, build, and fly hardware capable of delivering broadband Internet from space. However, as intense as the battle for broadband may be in orbit, the fight is also heating up on the ground. In particular, there is a controversy quietly simmering at the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.

Read more at: Arstechnica

Russia Jails Four for Embezzling Millions from Cosmodrome Project

Russia on Wednesday jailed three men and a woman for up to 8 years for embezzling state funding worth millions of dollars while working as contractors on the construction of the country’s showpiece Vostochny cosmodrome.

The four, who controlled or worked for construction companies, were together found guilty of embezzling 1.3 billion rubles ($23 million) from the national prestige project, in the latest blow to Russia’s troubled space industry.

Moscow’s Simonovsky district court handed a sentence of 8 years to Sergei Degtyarev, who controlled construction companies involved in building infrastructure at the launch pad in the far eastern Amur region, RIA Novosti state news agency reported.

Read more at: Space Daily

Colorado Spaceport Designation Under Formal Review

The State of Colorado is one step closer today to having an official commercial spaceport designation. Front Range Airport Director David Ruppel shared a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) office of commercial space transportation stating that the application to conduct launch operations from Spaceport Colorado is officially under review.

“We have completed our initial review of your application and its subsequent updates, and found that it is complete enough for us to accept and start the 180-day review period. We anticipate making a license determination, in accordance with 14 CFR 413.15, within 180 days of its acceptance, which is by August 19, 2018,” read a portion of the letter.

This means that Colorado could have a commercial spaceport by the end of the summer. A spaceport designation would allow the existing Front Range Airport to add FAA-licensed suborbital flight capabilities to its current General Aviation operations.

Read more at: Colorado Spacenews

Russia: Space Power And Strategic Culture – Analysis

Strategic culture is the collective memory and culture of a nation. It is an understudied, but vital variable in shaping any nation’s governmental policies and its behavior when pursuing its national interests. Russian strategic culture has been the focus of numerous studies. The concept “strategic culture” was actually coined by Jack Snyder in the 1970s, when analysing the Soviet Union’s “attitudes toward limited nuclear war”.

In this seminal work, he emphasized the importance of culture and idiosyncrasies in shaping foreign policy choices. He argues that: “neither Soviet, nor American strategists are culture-free, preconception-free game theorists. Soviet and American doctrines have developed in different organizational, historical and political contexts, and in response to different situational and technological constraints.” In his view, strategic culture implies a process whereby individuals are socialized into a distinctive mode of strategic thinking, be it American, Soviet, or that of another nation.

Read more at: Eurasia review

Australia’s Future in Space

Australia is about to get much more serious about its future role on the high frontier of space. Following last year’s announcement of the formation of an Australian space agency, there’s gathering momentum across government and industry to think more seriously about having an Australian sovereign space capability that’s more than just ground stations and regulatory frameworks.

Developing a sovereign space capability for Australia is the focus of my new ASPI Strategy report, Australia’s future in space, released today. It explores the case for exploiting innovative ‘Space 2.0’ technologies such as small satellites and ‘CubeSats’, as well as responsive space launch capabilities, to reduce Australia’s dependency on others and enable it to play a greater role in space alongside key allies.

Read more at: Aspi strategist

JSpOC Director Receives Distinguished Space Leadership Award

Col. Michael T. Manor, Director, Joint Space Operations Center and Commander, 614th Air Operations Center, received the Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Air Force Association’s 2018 Air Force Ball in Colorado Springs, Colo. Feb. 17.

During the ceremony Manor was recognized for outstanding and visionary leadership in the application of space capabilities to deliver integrated and synchronized combat effects to combined and joint warfighting operations. Additionally, the award recognized Manor for advancing O’Malley’s vision of “providing an intensified space focus and reorienting USAF philosophy toward an operational approach by advocating the operational use of space systems at the highest levels of the Air Force.”

Read more at: Patrick AirForce

Wilson: Airmen Must Get Creative if they Want to Beat China and Russia

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson warned young airmen that in a future war against a near peer rival, they should be prepared to fight without technologies that most consider essential, like GPS navigation and satellite phone lines.

Rival nations like China and Russia are developing advanced missiles and electronic weapons to target U.S. military space-based communications, command and control networks, intelligence analysts have reported. For better or worse, the most wired generation that ever lived will eventually have to deal with this problem.

Wilson called this the reality of preparing the military for the age of “great power competition.”

Read more at: Spacenews

Star Wars: Why US, Russia, China Make a Big Deal Out of Hitting Satellites

A country capable of destroying the adversary’s satellites would easily gain the upper hand in modern warfare, Sputnik contributor Andrei Kots notes; adding that at present only three countries can target orbital spacecraft. However, not one of them has developed a full-fledged operating anti-satellite defense system yet, he remarks.

Exactly ten years ago, on February 21, 2008, the US military first shot down a satellite using the RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) system, Sputnik contributor Andrei Kots writes, adding that the experimental strike brought modern warfare to a whole new level.

Read more at: Space Daily

US Ready for Possible Space Wars – National Security Advisor

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said on Wednesday at a meeting of the National Space Council that the United States would be prepared for any conflict that took place in space.

“Due to competitor and adversary actions, the space domain is increasingly contested. Space has now joined land, sea, and air as a war-fighting domain. While we prefer the conflict not to extend to space, the United States will be prepared if it does,” National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said. Earlier in the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence said the United States should be as dominant in space as it is on earth.

Read more at: Space Daily

Quality Assurance for Space Projects

26 – 29 June 2018 – Athlone, Ireland

The course is designed to provide the participant with an understanding of basic principles of Quality Management, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, as they are usually applied to space projects. You will find the full description of the course in the IAASS Professional Training Courses Catalog (download from the right bar on this page). Please register for attendance at the course by sending a completed Space Quality Assurance June 2018 – Booking Form to Catherine Lenehan by e-mail: [email protected]

Read more at: IAASS