USSF Becomes 18th Member of Intel Community

WASHINGTON (DoD PR) — Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe today welcomed the U.S. Space Force (USSF) as the 18th member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). 

During an afternoon ceremony, Ratcliffe and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond announced the designation of the intelligence element of the U.S. Space Force as a member of the IC. 

“This accession reaffirms our commitment to securing outer space as a safe and free domain for America’s interests,” said Ratcliffe. “American power in space is stronger and more unified than ever before. Today we welcome Space Force to the Intelligence Community and look forward to the power and ingenuity of a space security team unrivaled by any nation.”

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Lockheed Martin Wins $4.9 Billion Contract for 3 Missile Warning Satellites

The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth $4.9 billion to build three Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites to warn of incoming missiles.

The contract also covers “delivery of ground mission unique software and ground sensor processing software. Additionally, this modification includes engineering support for launch vehicle integration and launch and early on-orbit checkout for all three” spacecraft for the U.S. Space Force.

“Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California, and is expected to be completed May 31, 2028.  Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $99,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award,” the Pentagon said in its announcement.

Japan’s Office of National Space Policy Signs MOU with U.S. Space Force

ARLINGTON, Va. (U.S. Space Force PR) — The U.S. Space Force and Japan’s Office of National Space Policy signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding this week to launch two U.S. payloads on Japan’s Quasi Zenith Satellite System. 

The Department of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is developing the payloads, which feature Space Domain Awareness optical sensors and will launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Enhancing Space Domain Awareness is essential to protect the space operations of the U.S, Japan, and other partners. A secure, stable, and accessible space domain is critical to our national security, the health of our respective economies, and enables scientific endeavors which provide environmental benefits. 

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett hailed the agreement. 

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U.S. Space Force Members to be Known as Guardians

ARLINGTON, Va. (U.S. Space Force PR) — Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians.

The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility. Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, “Guardians of the High Frontier.”

The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies.

Guardians. Semper Supra!

Statement from the President on the National Space Policy

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

WASHINGTON, DC (White House PR) — The new National Space Policy is my plan for how the executive branch will advance United States interests in space for the benefit of the American people.  By charting a clear course for United States space activities, this policy reaffirms our leadership in the space domain and our status as the world’s foremost spacefaring nation.

This policy represents a whole-of-government approach that recognizes space as a national imperative.  After years of drift, my Administration revived the United States space enterprise to once again unleash our unmatched pioneering potential. 

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Two USAF Facilities in Florida Designated as Space Force Bases

Vice President of the United States Mike Pence looks on as the signage is revealed re-designating Patrick Air Force Base to Patrick Space Force Base at a ceremony at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Dec. 9, 2020. (Credit: U.S. Space Force)

By Charles Pope
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —  Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base were formally re-designated Dec. 9, as facilities central to the mission of the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony rich in symbolism that further confirmed the nation’s commitment to operating in and defending space.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the decision to shift the designation of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base to Patrick Space Force Base during a formal ceremony at Cape Canaveral.

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Space Force Launches SpaceWERX Accelerator

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — AFWERX kicked-off its inaugural Accelerate event Dec. 7 with an exciting announcement on the formation of SpaceWERX, a new entity that will focus on technologies for the United States Space Force.

“As we approach the first anniversary of our newest Service, the United States Space Force, we also celebrate the opening of the first space-focused innovation hub at Los Angeles Air Force Base,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.

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GPS III SV04 Receives Operational Acceptance

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.–Global Positioning System III Space Vehicle (SV) 04 received United States Space Force’s Operational Acceptance approval on Dec. 1- marking yet another significant milestone for the GPS III program, Space and Missile Systems Center and USSF.

It is the fourth GPS III satellite delivered into the operational constellation in the past 12 months and the second in the past three months. Additionally, this is the first GPS III vehicle delivered to the warfighter through an expedited satellite control authority transfer process, which cuts ten days off the previous operational acceptance timeline. 

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Hyperspace Challenge Announces 2020 Cohort Winners

Winning Pitches by Resilient Solutions 21, Starfish Space, and Space Domain Awareness Address Three Key Ways to Improve Autonomous Space Operations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 3, 2020 (Central New Mexico Community College PR) — Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force, announced today the first, second and third place winners of its 2020 cohort, which focused on identifying and developing safe and secure autonomous technology for the space domain.

The 2020 cohort’s first place winner was Resilient Solutions 21 (RS21), a data science analytics company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. RS21 is leveraging machine learning and precision oncology techniques to predict satellite systems failures and provide operators with advance warning.

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Aevum Rolls Out Ravn X World’s First Autonomous Launch Vehicle & Largest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Ravn-X vehicle (Credit: Aveum)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., December 3rd, 2020 (Aevum PR)— Aevum, Inc., a provider of comprehensive space logistics and autonomous launch services for lightweight payloads, is rolling out its Ravn X Autonomous Launch Vehicle today, the world’s largest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), by mass, designed to deliver satellites to space as fast as every 180 minutes. Aevum’s customer and mission partner, The United States Space Force, will also take part in the Ravn X unveiling.

Join us at 12 pm ET/9 am PT for the historic public unveiling (virtual for COVID restrictions): More details at www.aevumlaunch.com

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Chief of Space Operations Discusses Need for Outreach to Partners, State of Space Force

 

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond. Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, Commander, U.S. Space Command, provides remarks at the USSPACECOM Change of Command. (Credit: Lewis Carlyle)

By Jim Garamone
DOD News

The importance of space to the modern world cannot be underestimated, and the U.S. Space Force will be key to defending the ultimate “high ground,” said Space Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, the chief of space operations for the new service.

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Winners Announced for US/UK Partnered International Space Pitch Day

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USSF SMC PR) –  U.S Space Force’s Space And Missile Systems Center,  (SMC) along with its partners have announced the winners of International Space Pitch Day (ISPD). Small tech companies and start-ups from multiple countries had the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of several U.S., U.K. and N.A.T.O. allied defense leaders on Nov. 16, 2020.

During the event, ten start-ups successfully secured same-day contracts and a slice of the $1M pot, to fast-track the development of their innovations. This marks the first time two nations have come together to award defense contracts based around a pitch-style event and the first time two nations have awarded joint defense innovation contracts to foreign companies.

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Doubling Down on Space Safety

by Keith Wright
U.S. Air Force Safety Center

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — Recently, the Air Force Safety Center transferred the Space Safety Division to the United States Space Force as one of the first blended organizations in the Department.  Already charged with supporting both services, this transfer serves to leverage the Center’s expertise doubling down on space safety for both services.

The Safety Center’s Space Safety Division will continue to call Kirtland Air Force Base home, while remaining steadfast in their commitment to promote and enhance space mishap prevention and a risk management culture in the USSF.

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Raymond Document Outlines Space Force’s Management Practices, Priorities, and Identity

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John Raymond, unveiled Nov. 9 a seminal document that aims to cement the new service’s purpose and identity while also outlining specific management principles for guiding the Space Force’s development, future and success.

Entitled “Chief of Space Operations’ Planning Guidance,” the 16-page formal guidance carries far more weight, insight and significance than its title suggests. Raymond released the document as the nation’s newest and smallest military service approaches its first anniversary on Dec. 20.

“I expect all uniformed and civilian space professionals, and USAF personnel assigned to USSF units and staffs, to read and begin implementing this guidance immediately,” Raymond says in the document. To underscore the importance of that order he repeats it – virtually word-for-word – elsewhere in the document.

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SpaceX Launches GPS III Satellite for U.S. Space Force

SpaceX launched the GPS III SV4 navigation satellite for the U.S. Space Force on Thursday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.

GPS III SV4 is part of the U.S. military’s latest generation of navigation satellites for the Global Positioning System. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft.

The Falcon 9 booster made an on-time liftoff at 6:24 p.m. EST. The navigation satellite was deployed from the rocket’s second stage 1 hour 29 minutes after launch.

The Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX used a new Falcon 9 first stage for the mission. In September, the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) announced an agreement with SpaceX to launch previously flown first stage boosters on future national security space launch missions.