Eyes on the Sky

SpaceX plans to install two massive ground station antennas at Boca Chica beach for the purpose of tracking manned space flights, though not flights from Boca Chica, at least not yet. The 86-ton antennas will be used to track flights of the crewed version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station, probably in 2017. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company acquired the antennas from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

The company already has made multiple cargo runs between Earth awnd ISS using its uncrewed Dragon capsules, driven into space by the company’s Falcon 9 rockets.

Read more at: Valley Morningstar

Space Tourism Breakthrough? China Working on Hypersonic Spaceplane with Horizontal Takeoff

China is planning to take space exploration to a new level, as it develops a new “spaceplane” that could take off from a runway and fly at hypersonic speed before blasting into space and back. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CATSC) is behind the project of a plane/spacecraft hybrid that will travel back and forth between the runway and space orbit at hypersonic speeds, Popular Science reported. Development and testing is scheduled for the next three to five years. The first deployment date is estimated for 2030.

The spaceplane will be equipped with a cycle engine. It will have a turbofan or turbojet engine as well as a ramjet engine that will allow the plane to horizontally takeoff from the runway and fly through the atmosphere. Following acceleration to supersonic speeds, the spacecraft would then switch to a scramjet engine, helping it get through the so-called “near space” portion of the atmosphere. After entering space, the spaceplane will employ onboard rocket motors. The spacecraft will also be reusable, lowering China’s space traveling costs.

Read more at: RT

NASA Unveils Partnerships and Concept Art for Deep Space Habitats

Ever since they started cramming grown men and women into tin cans and jettisoning them beyond Earth’s atmosphere 55 years ago, NASA’s looked for ways to make living and working in space not just possible, but sustainable and comfortable for longer hauls.

With the Orion crew preparing to strap onto the most powerful rocket in the world and head for deep space, NASA is beefing up its habitat game. They’ve selected six aerospace contractors as partners to participate in the second phased of the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP). “The NextSTEP partnerships are a large contribution to the dual objectives of advancing deep space habitation development and stimulating commercial activities in low-Earth orbit,” Jason Crusan, Director of Advanced Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters, said in the annoucement.

Read more at: Popsci

WorldView-4’s Long Road to Launch 
About to Pay Off for DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe’s Earth observation and earnings capacity could expand dramatically with the planned Sept. 15 launch of its WorldView-4 high-resolution optical imaging satellite. Like WorldView-3 launched in 2014, WorldView-4 is designed to capture panchromatic imagery with a resolution of 31 centimeters and multispectral imagery of 1.24 meters per pixel. WorldView-4, which weighs 2,500 kilograms and stands 5.5 meters tall, is “a big telescope with a little satellite wrapped around it,” said Walter Scott, founder, chief technical officer and executive vice president of Westminster, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe.

The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California, and is awaiting launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base down state on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

Although the new satellite has the same Earth observing capacity as its predecessor, WorldView-4 will enable DigitalGlobe to more than double its daily collection of the high resolution imagery requested by its customers because having both WorldView-3 and WorldView-4 in orbit means each one will spend less time traveling from one target of interest to another, Scott said.

Read more at: Spacenewsmag

So you Wanna be an Astronaut? Canadian Deadline on Monday

For anyone interested in ditching their desk job for an office in the cosmos, former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has some insider advice: be special. Speaking to CTV News Channel from his Sarnia, Ont. home on Saturday, the retired International Space Station commander outlined what Canada’s Space Agency is looking for in its next two astronauts. He said “the ability to learn complicated things” is important, as is being in tip-top physical shape. But there’s a third essential quality that Hadfield says is “difficult to define.”

“It really comes down to what sort of person you are,” he said. “Who would you want to spend six months with in a tiny little spaceship, or on the surface of the moon with? What type of person? What sort of skills – not just math and science and engineering and (being) physically fit – but what sort of other nuances would you want?”

The application deadline for the once-in-a-lifetime job closes Monday at midnight Pacific Time, and the Canadian Space Agency said it has already been flooded with thousands of applications.

Read more at: CTV News

Baby Steps to Reusable Space Shuttle

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved an important milestone with the successful testing of a reusable launch vehicle that will deliver spacecrafts into orbit and return to the earth’s surface. ISRO, since its inception in 1972, has been experimenting with various fields associated with space sciences and rocket technologies.

The key focus of the organisation is to ensure that India derives maximum benefits from its space programs for its socio-economic development. As the country is essentially an agricultural economy, the emphasis of Indian space programs is more towards receiving meteorological inputs, tracking various weather systems from Indian monsoon to movement of tropical storms, getting correct and relevant information for land and water resources management and knowing more about forest and other resources.

For all these years, India has been launching satellites for communications purposes and recently established its own regional navigational system. Apart from focusing on core areas like meteorology, remote sensing, communication and navigation, ISRO focuses on areas with long-term scientific, technological and strategic relevance.

Read more at: Fiji Times

Ariane 6 Rocket Holding to Schedule for 2020 Maiden Flight

Europe’s top rocket contractor is pressing ahead with development of the Ariane 6 rocket, a versatile launcher with half the cost of Europe’s current Ariane 5 booster, keeping the new vehicle on track for its 2020 debut.

The rocket cleared a major design review in June, and there are no signs of slowdowns in a multibillion-dollar program that is as much of an exercise in cost-cutting as technical development. At the same time, engineers are evaluating what it might take to convert the Ariane 6 into a partially reusable rocket, including a new methane-fueled engine that could be plugged into the Ariane 6’s first stage and a booster recovery system to return the engine to the ground for another mission.

But Europe’s biggest rocket developer, Airbus Safran Launchers, is sure the Ariane 6 will answer the near-term needs of European governments and commercial satellite operators, who seek lower prices and multiple reliable launch options. Alain Charmeau, chief executive of Airbus Safran launchers, told Spaceflight Now he is “extremely confident” the Ariane 6 will be ready for a maiden test flight by the end of 2020, and will fully replace the Ariane 5 in 2023.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Shenzhou-11 Manned Spaceship Reaches Launch Ground

China’s Shenzhou-11 spaceship, set to take two astronauts into space, was delivered to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Saturday. General assembly and testing will begin at the center ahead of its launch scheduled for mid-October, said a statement by China’s manned space engineering office.

The spaceship will transport personnel and supplies to China’s second orbiting space lab Tiangong-2, which is to be launched in mid-September. The astronauts selected for the mission are both male and have been taking intense training, the statement said.

Read more at: Xinhuanet

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Satellite, Sticks Ocean Landing

Showing gold medal form early Sunday, a SpaceX rocket stuck an ocean landing minutes after lofting a Japanese communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Falcon 9 rocket’s 1:26 a.m. launch successfully sent the JCSAT-16 satellite on its way to an orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator for Tokyo-based Sky Perfect JSAT, Asia’s largest satellite operator with 17 now in space. Less than 10 minutes after liftoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 deployed four landing legs while firing one of its nine main engines to slow its descent, and touched down gently on the football field-sized deck of an unpiloted ship parked roughly 400 miles offshore.

SpaceX considers booster landings during launches to high orbits, like Sunday’s, to have the highest degree of difficulty. The rocket flies faster than on missions to low orbits, and is subjected to more intense heating as it drops about 75 miles back to Earth.

Read more at: Florida Today

The Reusability Challenge: Economics, Not Technology

Shortly before 1 a.m. on the morning of July 18, a Falcon 9 first stage descended through the skies above Cape Canaveral, Florida, after launching a Dragon cargo spacecraft. A series of engine burns brought the stage down on a landing pad just south of the launch site, as sonic booms echoed across Florida’s Space Coast to herald its arrival.

The landing was the fifth time in seven months that SpaceX had successfully recovered a first stage. Prior to the launch, Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president, said the company was in discussions with a potential customer for the first launch on a reused first stage, perhaps this fall. Blue Origin, meanwhile, has been flying its reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle, which launched for the fourth time in June with minimal maintenance between flights.

To many, those accomplishments might suggest the arrival a new era of reusable rocketry. Yet, a panel of industry experts, speaking at a recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference in Salt Lake City, seemed to have some doubts, based more on economics than technology.

Read more at: Spacenewsmag

1967 Solar Storm Nearly Took U.S. to Brink of War, CU Boulder Study Finds

A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the U.S. Air Force’s budding efforts to monitor the sun’s activity, a new CU Boulder study finds.

On May 23, 1967, the Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation’s surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications. The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union, according to the new research.

Retired U.S. Air Force officers involved in forecasting and analyzing the storm collectively describe the event publicly for the first time in a new paper accepted for publication in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Read more at: Colorado

What Problems can Solar Storms Cause?

If your idea of the end of the world is a complete absence of Facebook and text messaging, you’re going to want to pay attention to the sun.

“In an increasingly technological world, where almost everyone relies on cellphones, and GPS controls not just your in-car map system, but also airplane navigation and the extremely accurate clocks that govern financial transactions, space weather is a serious matter,” writes NASA.

NASA’s justifiable concern has to do with solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME) from the surface of the sun. The two events are often linked, with one analogy painting the flare as the light from a cannon shot and the CME its high-particle payload. At their worst, of which several worrisome precedents exist, solar flares can cause severe blackouts in navigation and communications signals. CME’s on the other hand, which often trigger stunning auroras, can overload electrical grids and plunge massive regions into crippling darkness.

Read more at: MNN

Study Finds How Much of Your Tan Comes From Outside the Galaxy

Suntans and summertime go together like peanut butter and jelly, as the more time people spend outdoors swimming, playing sports, lying on the beach or cutting the grass, the greater amount of time they spend being exposed to rays originating from our galaxy’s central star, right?

Not exactly, according to researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). While it is true that most of the photons of light that bombards our skin in the summer do originate from the sun, a small fraction of them have origins beyond our solar system, experts from the Centre reported in a new study published this week in The Astrophysical Journal.

A team led by ICRAR astrophysicist Professor Simon Driver analyzed the photons that make up the light hitting the Earth and found that radiation originating from beyond our galaxy constitutes approximately one ten-trillionth of the average suntan. These photons (or tiny packets of energy) that comprise those waves range in wavelength from harmless to damaging, they said.

“Most of the photons of light hitting us originate from the Sun, whether directly, scattered by the sky, or reflected off dust in the Solar System,” Driver explained in a statement. “However, we’re also bathed in radiation from beyond our galaxy, called the extra-galactic background light. These photons are minted in the cores of stars in distant galaxies, and from matter as it spirals into supermassive black holes.”

Read more at: Redorbit

Can we Defend Against Solar Storms by Bombing our Atmosphere?

The night is kind to radio. Free from the deadlock of rush-hour commercials, DJs can play with the format, delve into back catalogues, and mess around with B-sides. The night is also kind to radio listeners, especially those on the edge of service. When radio waves reach the ionosphere in the atmosphere, they can bounce down to earth, and on some nights where the ionosphere is dense with free electrons, that means radio signals can go farther.

The United States Air Force is interested in replicating this effect. While a more reliably dense ionosphere could help people trying to tune in a college radio station at the edge of its broadcast range, that’s probably not the the Air Force’s primary interest. Instead, an electron-rich ionosphere primarily means more range for the radios used by the military, and it might provide some protection for GPS signals against solar storms.

So how is the Air Force going to create that electron density? Tiny satellites, bombing the sky with plasma.

Read more at: Popsci

Emirates Mars Mission Workshop to be Held in October

The second annual Emirates Mars Mission science workshop is set to take place in Dubai in October. The workshop targets students and graduates from UAE universities and will be held on October 3 at The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announced on Sunday. The workshop will cover topics including the Martian atmosphere and other features of the Red Planet, as well as its history and evolution over millions of years.

Professors from UAE universities and international experts are also expected to take part. The centre, under the supervision of the UAE Space Agency, is committed to developing the country’s expertise in Martian science and space exploration technology, said Salem Al Marri, the centre’s assistant director general for scientific and technical affairs.

Read more at: National

NASA FISO Presentation: Mars Science Enabled by the Mars Base Camp 2028 Proposed Architecture

Now available is the July 27, 2016 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speaker was Steve Jolly (Lockheed Martin) and Steve Bailey (Deep Space Systems) who discussed “Mars Science Enabled by the Mars Base Camp 2028 Proposed Architecture”.

Dr. Steve Jolly is the Lockheed Martin Chief Engineer for the Civil Space line of business. He was the Chief Engineer and Principal Scientist for the GOES-R program and Chief Engineer and Deputy PM for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He was Program Manager for the Mars Science Lab (MSL) Aeroshell. Steve Bailey has worked exclusively on human and robotic space exploration systems since 1983

Read more at: Spaceref

Station Cargo Ship Delays Clear Way for Needed Spacewalk

The Japanese space agency has delayed the planned Sept. 30 launch of an HTV space station cargo ship to repair a leak in the vehicle, clearing the way for Orbital ATK to slip the launch of its Cygnus supply ship from Aug. 22 to the second half of September to complete tests and analysis of its re-engined Antares rocket, officials said Wednesday.

The HTV, carrying a fresh set of batteries for the International Space Station’s solar arrays, was scheduled for liftoff from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on Sept. 30. But in a short press release, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency said the flight was on hold pending repairs of a “slight leak” found during a pressure test.

The leak is located in the cargo ship’s propulsion system and sources said extensive work may be required to fix it. But Bill Gerstenmaier, director of space operations at NASA Headquarters, said in an interview it may be possible to launch the HTV sometime in October.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Power of Pink Provides NASA with Pressure Pictures

They say you show your true colors when you’re under pressure. Turns out the old saying works for models being tested in wind tunnels as well, specifically those coated with a unique Pressure-Sensitive Paint (PSP) that NASA engineers have used for more than 25 years.

Today the bright pink paint is helping NASA’s aeronautical innovators test new aircraft designs that could cut fuel use in half, pollution by some 75 percent and noise to nearly one-eighth of what it is today. “PSP is great because as long as you can apply paint to the area you want to test, illuminate it with a lamp, and view it with a camera, you can gather data you might not otherwise be able to get,” said Nettie Roozeboom, an aerospace engineer with NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.

Engineers need to know how pressure is distributed across an airplane’s surfaces as it moves through the air so they can ensure, among many other critical variables, that they understand the loads the vehicle is experiencing at given wind tunnel conditions.

Read more at: NASA

Satellite Deal Heat on Former ISRO Chief

The CBI today filed a chargesheet against former Isro chief Madhavan Nair and others for allegedly being part of a “criminal conspiracy” to cause undue gain to themselves and loss to the government through a satellite deal. The chargesheet alleges that the deal between Isro’s commercial arm Antrix and private company Devas Multimedia – although cancelled by the Centre in February 2011 – had caused a loss of Rs 578 crore to the government.

Under the January 2005 agreement, Antrix was to build, launch and operate two satellites built by Isro and lease 70 MHz S-band satellite spectrum to Devas for 12 years. Devas had planned to offer customers across India audio-video and broadband wireless services through a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network.

In response to complaints filed by Devas, an international tribunal last year declared the government’s cancellation of the deal as “unlawful” and awarded Devas damages of $672 million. Another tribunal last month observed that the government had expropriated the investments of Devas’ shareholders, acting unfairly and inequitably.

In addition to Nair, the CBI chargesheet, filed in the Patiala House Courts here, is also against the then executive director of Antrix, the president and CEO, three erstwhile directors of Devas and a former additional secretary in the department of space.

Read more at: Telegraph India

Focus on Space in Germany’s G20 Agenda

Germany’s G20 presidency in 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). This first global collaboration to better understand the Earth led to the science that has enabled insights into climate change and the technologies and policies required for human survival on an evolving planet. IGY also marked the dawn of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957.

The 2017 G20 will offer an historical opportunity for Germany. Advances in space sciences and technologies hold significant promise for creating a self-sustaining space economy that eventually will span the solar system and beyond. Global collaboration will be essential to fulfill the full potential of space. The G20 process, which is focused on global economic issues, is the proper forum to address steps to create a space economy that may eventually dwarf the present global economy.

The European Union has unique capacities to provide leadership in the process of creating a space economy. Such an economy could generate extraordinary wealth from space-based resources. Achieving this potential will create hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and drive innovation and scientific discovery. Building the space economy will also create tools and capabilities to address global challenges like climate change and planetary defense, while advancing security for Europe and the world.

Read more at: Spacereview

Stanford-led Team Reveals Nanoscale Secrets of Rechargeable Batteries

Better batteries that charge quickly and last a long time are a brass ring for engineers. But despite decades of research and innovation, a fundamental understanding of exactly how batteries work at the smallest of scales has remained elusive.

In a paper published this week in the journal Science, a team led by William Chueh, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and a faculty scientist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has devised a way to peer as never before into the electrochemical reaction that fuels the most common rechargeable cell in use today: the lithium-ion battery.

By visualizing the fundamental building blocks of batteries – small particles typically measuring less than 1/100th of a human hair in size – the team members have illuminated a process that is far more complex than once thought. Both the method they developed to observe the battery in real time and their improved understanding of the electrochemistry could have far-reaching implications for battery design, management and beyond.

Read more at: Space Daily

Audi Lunar Quattro Rover Survives the Desert of Qatar

SpaceWatch Middle East accompanied PT Scientists in the desert of Qatar to test their Audi Lunar Quattro rover that they hope to send to the Moon by the end of 2017 to win the Google Lunar X-Prize. SpaceWatch Middle East COO Torsten Kriening spoke with PTScientists CEO Robert Boehme after the rover tests were completed.

The purpose of the test was to understand and to verify different sites here in the desert for their soil composition to find areas where we could do analog mission tests in the future. An analog test for us is a location with specific characteristics that really assembles the mission requirement we will encounter doing a certain phase of the mission. That spot should be as far away from civilization that you really can test everything undisturbed. Usually you just test specific things, like traction of the wheels or the different soil compositions. But we are looking for a site for a full analog mission test very soon, where we test in an unknown area without reference points for the operator and having the operator far away. So we can test the entire chain of communication, information exchange, rover behaviour and more. So that this test will be successful, meaning as harsh as possible, we have to understand the capabilities of the desert in the region, and now specific to Qatar. But we learned a lot of interesting things from our current test mission.

Read more at: Spacewatchme

Magazine Poses Recommendations for Reshaping Space Policy

The summer edition of Issues in Science and Technology focuses on the changing landscape of space policy.

Dr. Bhavya Lal, a researcher at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, explores how more countries and private companies are becoming active in space. Lal contends that the U.S. government must reshape its space agencies and policies if it wants to keep up. She writes that cooperation and synergistic partnerships among commercial and governmental entities will be key to this effort.

In his article “Donald Trump’s Voters and the Decline of American Manufacturing,” William B. Bonvillian analyzes the rise of the Republican presidential nominee through the lens of science and technology policy. Bonvillian, director of MIT’s Washington office, writes that the United States ignores the manufacturing sector at the expense of its innovation system and working-class communities, and that the political ramifications could be enormous.

Read more at: UT Dallas

The Necessity of Coherent Space Policy in the Shadow of the Iranian Resurgence

The nuclear deal spear-headed by the United States and the Obama Administration was ushered in with celebratory oratory by Western diplomats, positive political optics and assurance for the Administration its legacy would include the achievement of releasing Iran from the political and economic isolation it endured since the overthrow of the Shah. The non-treaty deal, among other benefits, relieves Iran from economic sanctions and released assets frozen since the revolution of 1979 in exchange for the promise to suspend its nuclear weapons program. Many nations in the Middle East see beyond the political veneer touted by the United States, and recognize the nuclear deal creates the foreboding reality of a more resurgent and potentially dominant Iran. Indeed, the economic resources and political cover the nuclear deal provides empowers their collective historical enemy to not only increase its manipulations and foment unrest in regional geopolitics but also creates a present military threat to the region, which holds the possibility to become an open conflict.

Read more at: Spacewatchme

Big Markets for Small Rockets?

If you had any lingering doubts about interest in smallsats, a visit to the latest Conference on Small Satellites, held this month at Utah State University, would likely have erased them. This year’s event attracted more than 2,200 people, several hundred more than the record set last year, for four days of sessions and a cubesat-specific workshop the weekend before. Dozens of companies exhibited smallsats and components for them on two floors of the university’s student center.

The surge of interest in smallsats has resulted in a corresponding surge of new proposals for launching them. Those efforts fall into two camps: a new generation of small launch vehicles versus greater use of rideshares on larger launch vehicles.

A standing-room-only crowd packed a small lecture hall on campus for a side meeting during the conference about small launch vehicles. On stage were representatives of Firefly Space Systems, Rocket Lab, Vector Space Systems and Virgin Galactic, each developing small launchers slated to begin flying within the next two years. Those companies, not surprisingly, felt bullish about their prospects. “We see a big market out there,” said Brad Schneider of Rocket Lab. “We see a big demand from a U.S. domestic standpoint as well as internationally.”

Read more at: Spacenewsmag

Is the Moon a Necessary Step on the Path to Mars?

If members of the space exploration community were surveyed as to where humanity should go next if funding was not an issue, most, if not all, would probably say, “To both the Moon and Mars.” Unfortunately, budgetary and policy restrictions force tough choices and have made it difficult to proceed with both the “Moon and Mars” goals simultaneously.

As a result, advocates for both goals have tended to be at odds on whether the primary goal of the United States space program should be to send humans back to the Moon or on to Mars, and which destination should come first.

Over the past few years, the concept of human missions to Mars has gained momentum as the primary goal of the US space program, not only in the executive and legislative branches of government but also among numerous commercial players as well as in the press and entertainment communities. In fact, humans-to-Mars has been the cornerstone of official US space policy for over a decade, as set forth in the NASA Authorization Acts of 2005, 2008, and 2010.

Read more at: Space Review

Mixed Reviews on EU Plan to Use Commercial Space Assets for Military

They are EU-funded space projects supposedly designed for observing the earth and environmental monitoring. But, according to a top scientist, Europe’s commercial and civilian space assets will increasingly be utilized for military.

Professor Anne Glover, the EU’s former chief scientific adviser, believes that European flagship space systems, such as the Galileo navigation and Copernicus Earth observation programs, are vital intelligence resources that will be used in planning and carrying out military missions. “There is no Earth-observation project as big as Copernicus,” said Glover, who served in the EU role from 2012-14 and now is vice principal of external affairs and dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen. “It’s already abundantly clear that the system will also be used for military operations and surveillance purposes.”

Glover’s comments come after reports emerged that the European Commission’s first-ever space policy, currently in draft form but to be finalized this fall, proposes more civil-military synergies in European space systems.

Read more at: Defense News

Space-based Interceptors: Realistic, Affordable, and Necessary

This month the nation’s top space and missile defense military and industry leaders will gather in one place, Huntsville, Alabama, for the 19th Annual Space & Missile Defense Symposium. Those gathered there should consider the findings and recommendations of a Hudson Institute report I had the privilege of authoring with the guidance and stamp of approval of an all-star senior review group.

The report concludes that the debate over whether or not space is “weaponized” has long been decided in the affirmative. Adversaries are exploiting U.S. vulnerabilities in space in a variety of ways but in particular, adversaries are advancing in the area of missile development including direct-ascent anti-satellites. Indeed, this is a new missile era. Adversaries are heavily investing in missiles including of particular concern, hypersonics. To close the gaping holes in U.S. defensive capabilities the United States must fully utilize space across domains to protect what the United States values most: the U.S. homeland, deployed forces, allies, and assets located in space. Specifically, it is time for the United States to move from a policy of providing a limited missile defense capability to one that is robust, and the most effective ways to do that is to deploy a satellite constellation in space that provides sensor coverage as well as a kinetic kill capability.

Read more at: Spacenewsmag