Viasat Expands Presence with Aberdeen Proving Ground Office in Harford County, Maryland

ABERDEEN, Md. (Viasat Inc., PR) — Viasat Inc., (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, today announced the opening of a new office in Aberdeen, Maryland, located in Harford County, on the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) installation. This new office will be an important partnering location for Viasat Government Systems employees, enabling teams to deepen customer relationships and continue ongoing work to support the U.S. Army’s network transformation.

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OneWeb Suspends Satellite Launches From Baikonur

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Friday launch of 36 OneWeb broadband satellites aboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome is officially canceled as the London-based company refused demands from the Russian government amid growing international tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Board of OneWeb has voted to suspend all launches from Baikonur,” the company said in a one-sentence statement.

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Russia Holds OneWeb Satellites Hostage; No Launch Unless Company & British Government Meet Demands

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In what is likely the first hostage drama involving communication satellites, the head of the Russian space program has demanded that the British government divest its shares in OneWeb and that the broadband satellite operator not provide services to foreign militaries in order to launch a new batch of spacecraft. The move comes amid growing tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on the country by western nations.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that unless these demands are met, Russia will refuse to launch 36 OneWeb satellites that sit atop a Soyuz-2.1b rocket currently on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for Saturday morning Moscow time.

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ICEYE and U.S. Army to Pursue Collaborative Research and Development

IRVINE, Calif., November 18, 2021 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring with radar satellite imaging, announced today that it has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC) to advance state-of-the-art Earth observation technology in support of U.S. Army missions.

This joint R&D effort will explore low-cost, on-orbit, synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) related concepts. The areas of interest include exploration of cost-effective SAR systems including imagery tasking and uplink, SAR satellite downlink and ground station(s), image processing, and image dissemination as these abilities relate to U.S. Army and other DoD requirements more broadly. Emphasis will be placed on significant data latency reduction between the sensor and the shooter, as well as interfacing with the U.S. Army’s current Common Ground Terminal (CGT) and the future Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN), a mobile ground station system that’s currently under development.

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Capella Space To Become First Commercial SAR Company to Demonstrate Compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture

Capella satellites will use laser communications from Mynaric to  rapidly send and receive data

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space today announced the company will become the first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) supplier to demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA)’s new NDSA. SAR data is a highly valuable asset for the SDA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The next generation of Capella’s persistent SAR monitoring capabilities will leverage new technology that enables high delivery speeds and direct access to its 24/7 all-weather data for U.S. Government customers.

Capella Space will install optical communications terminals (OCTs) on its commercial SAR satellites, starting in late 2022. This will enable the company to utilize highly efficient laser communications technology to send and receive data to and from its satellites in low Earth orbit, relaying data to compatibly equipped government satellites and military operations on the ground. The integration of OCTs onto Capella’s SAR constellation will drastically reduce latency from image collect to download and ensure spaceborne data is quickly available to inform critical decision-making for terrestrial missions.

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Space Force Selects More Than 900 Personnel to Transfer in FY 2022

ARLINGTON, VA (AFNS) — The Space Force, working with the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, has selected 670 active-duty service members and 259 civilians to transfer into the Space Force during fiscal year 2022. These volunteers come from the pool of candidates who applied in March 2021 and members who are currently assigned to Army and Navy units slated to transfer into the new service.

These new selects join the initial tranche of 50 selects announced in June 2021 and once transferred into the Space Force, they will account for about seven percent of the service, which totals nearly 13,000 military and civilians today.

“Successfully integrating the units, capabilities and people from Sister Services into the Space Force is critical to our mission and was one of the driving forces in creating the new service,” said Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations. “We look forward to welcoming these Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and civilians into our force and encourage them to apply their experiences and perspectives to help us meet the needs of the Joint Force and shape a unique service culture.”

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Army, Navy SATCOM Mission Areas Shifting to U.S. Space Force

WASHINGTON (U.S. Space Force PR) — The Chief of Space Operations announced the transfer of Army and Navy satellite communications billets, funding and mission responsibility to the U.S. Space Force.

Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond made the announcement at the Air Force Association meeting in Washington, yesterday. The transfers are scheduled to be effective Oct. 1, 2021, if the DOD budget is passed and signed.

“We’re one team with our sister services and over the last year-and-a-half we have worked with the Army and the Navy and the Air Force to determine which capabilities come over to the Space Force,” Raymond said. “The intent was to consolidate (and) increase our operational capability; increase our readiness and do so in a more efficient manner.”

The changes are “a first tranche,” he said.

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First Soldiers, Sailors, Marines Selected for Transfer to U.S. Space Force

ARLINGTON, VA. (AFNS) — The Space Force working with the Army, Navy and Marine Corps have selected 50 active-duty volunteers from those Services to transfer into the Space Force beginning July 2021. This initial group of Soldiers, Sailors and Marines will test out the integration efforts established by the Services to pave the way for a larger group of volunteers transferring in fiscal year 2022.

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Iridium Awarded $30 Million R&D Contract by the U.S. Army for GPS Hosted Payload

Credit: Iridium

MCLEAN, Va., June 24, 2021 (Iridium PR) – Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) today announced it has been awarded a research and development contract worth up to $30 million by the United States Army (Army) to develop a payload to be hosted on small satellites that supports navigation systems, guidance and control for the global positioning system (GPS) and GPS-denied precision systems. The new experimental Iridium payload is intended to be hosted by another Low Earth Orbit (LEO) commercial satellite constellation, complementing the Iridium® constellation’s capabilities.

Through this contract the Army intends to develop this payload to support the concept of a rapidly deployable smallsat constellation to provide more effective sensor-to-soldier data transmission when in the field. The development of this new payload is based on Iridium Burst® technology, a unique service that can transmit data to millions of enabled devices at a time from space.

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Isotropic Systems and SES GS Complete Milestone Trials to Unlock Next-Gen Connectivity for U.S. Military

Successful multi-beam, over-the-air tests in the UK and US advance multi-beam antenna development

LONDON/RESTON, Va., 3 June (SES/Isotropic Systems PR) – SES Government Solutions (SES GS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, and Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, announce the successful completion of the first of two milestone next-generation antenna trials with the U.S. Military aimed at unleashing unprecedented information distribution to warfighters across the battlefield.

The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, through the innovative Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) program, are evaluating the ability of Isotropic Systems’ optical beamforming antenna to enable frontline armed forces to access high-speed, real-time data simultaneously over multiple commercial and military satellites.

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Rocket Lab’s Next Mission to Launch 100th Satellite and Deploy Next-Generation Photon Spacecraft in Preparation for Moon Mission

Electron launches with 10 satellites on Oct. 29, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

The mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government customers, as well as place a next-generation Photon spacecraft in orbit to build heritage for Rocket Lab’s upcoming mission to the Moon for NASA

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab, a leading launch provider and space systems company, has today announced its next mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, and place a next-generation Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA in Q3 this year.

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NASA, Boeing Test Crew Return and Recovery Procedures

Landing and recovery teams from Boeing and NASA take part in a crew landing dress rehearsal at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico in preparation for missions returning with astronauts from the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. (Credits: Boeing)

WHITE SANDS, NM (NASA PR) — Landing and recovery teams from Boeing and NASA recently completed a crew landing dress rehearsal at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, in preparation for missions returning with astronauts from the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

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Russia Tests Direct-ascent Anti-satellite Missile — U.S. Space Command

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Dec. 16, 2020 (US Space Command PR) — Russia has conducted a test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile.

“Russia publicly claims it is working to prevent the transformation of outer space into a battlefield, yet at the same time Moscow continues to weaponize space by developing and fielding on-orbit and ground-based capabilities that seek to exploit U.S. reliance on space-based systems,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander.

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Supersonic & Hypersonic Civilian Transport Projects in Development

Overture supersonic passenger jet (Credit: Boom Supersonic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Boom Supersonic’s recent rollout of its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft marked a milestone in an accelerating race to revive an era of civilian supersonic travel that ended when the Concorde jetliner was retired in 2003.

XB-1, aka Baby Boom, is set to begin flight tests next year from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Mach 2.2 (2,717 km/h, 1,688 mph) vehicle is the precursor to Boom’s 55-seat Overture airliner, which is scheduled to begin carrying passengers in 2029.

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Isotropic Systems Signs Contract with SES GS to Initiate Multi-Orbit Trials of Next-Gen Multi-beam Antenna Technologies for U.S. Military

READING/RESTON, 24 September 2020 (SES GS PR) – SES Government Solutions (SES GS), a fully-owned affiliate of SES, and Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, today announced a two-phased antenna evaluation contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, working in close collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Engineering Team, for tests of Isotropic Systems’ multi-beam terminal over SES’s O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation to ultimately unleash next-gen connectivity across the battlefield.  

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