Delta 18 Activation and National Space Intelligence Center Establishment

U.S. Space Force Colonel Marqus Randall (right), Space Delta 18 commander, takes Space Delta 18’s guidon for the first time at the activation ceremony for Space Operations Command’s newest Delta, Space Delta 18, and established the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC) at the Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio, June 24, 2022. Space Delta 18 is named in honor of the U.S. Space Force’s role as the 18th member of the intelligence community. Delta 18 will deliver critical intelligence on threat systems, foreign intentions, and activities in the space domain to support national leaders, allies, partners and joint war fighters. (Credit: U.S. Space Force/SrA Jack Gardner)

By 1Lt Rachel Brinegar
Space Operations Command

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, June 24, 2022 — Today, the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio is the stage for the activation of Delta 18 and the establishment of the National Space Intelligence Center.

Colonel Marqus Randall assumed command of the new Delta, which consists of Space Delta 18 headquarters staff and two squadrons, the 1st Space Analysis Squadron and the 2nd Space Analysis Squadron, which transitioned from under the National Air and Space Intelligence Center to the National Space Intelligence Center under the U.S. Space Force. 

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Virgin Orbit on Target for Next Launch Window to Open June 29

Highlights: 

  • Dress rehearsals complete, payload-rocket mating successful 
  • June 29 marks the opening of the launch window for the company’s fourth overall mission  
  • Is lead-in to historic U.K. launch planned for later this year

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB)’s launch system is in place at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The dress rehearsals are complete, and the company remains on track for its upcoming Straight Up launch, with a launch window opening on June 29 at 10 pm PDT.

The launch will support the United States Space Force’s STP-S28A mission and carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DOD) Space Test Program (STP). The target orbit for Straight Up is approximately 500 km above the Earth’s surface at a 45-degree inclination. Virgin Orbit is the first company to achieve this feat from California through its Above the Clouds launch which was completed earlier this year.

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NSSA Release Report on “United States Space Command: Progress and Opportunities”

ARLINGTON, Va., June 22, 2022 (NSSA PR) — The National Security Space Association (NSSA) today released a report entitled “United States Space Command:  Progress and Opportunities”. Produced by the Association’s Moorman Center for Space Studies, the report notes the importance of the USSPACECOM mission to U.S. national security and economic well-being, describes recent progress of the Command in reaching an “initial operational capability” (IOC), and highlights key challenges and opportunities facing the Command.

The report notes that, for the Command to reach its full potential, expanded cooperation with and support from other Department of Defense organizations and the Congress is required in the following areas:

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Northrop Grumman to Build Multi-Level Space Mesh Networking Prototype to Enable DOD’s Vision for Connected Battlespace

SAN DIEGO (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Aeronix, Inc. have been selected to build a secure connective networking layer in space that will help enable the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) vision for the joint force.

The companies will develop a Space End Crypto Unit (ECU) prototype that will connect platforms and weapons in low earth orbit (LEO) across common architecture, providing added network security to critical missions for the Space Force. Northrop Grumman’s prototype is a flexible, high throughput design based on a single chip, reprogrammable solution and is expected to provide a connected network solution that helps warfighters make decisions faster across a full range of platforms.

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Space Industrial Base Workshop Finds U.S. Falling Behind China in Key Areas

Credit: State of the Space Industrial Base Workshop

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (SSIB Conference PR) — Industry and government thought leaders gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the fourth annual State of the Space Industrial Base (SSIB) Workshop between May 31-June 3, 2022 to assess the health of, and provide recommendations to sustain, the United States’ leadership and advantage in space. Previous SSIB reports provided in-depth assessments and actionable recommendations for U.S. leadership. This year’s theme was “Prosperity & Sustainability: Winning the New Space Race.”  

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AFRL Sponsorship Recipient Wins NASA Space Manufacturing Contract

United Semiconductors, LLC facility in Los Alamitos, Calif. (Credit: United Semiconductors)

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH. (AFRL PR) — Air Force Research Laboratory research sponsorship recipient, United Semiconductors, LLC (USLLC), is one of eight companies selected to work on a three-year, $21 million NASA contract to manufacture tools in space.

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Launcher Awarded U.S. Space Force TACFI Contract to Develop its High-performance E-2 Liquid Rocket Engine

HAWTHORNE, CA, May 24, 2022 (Launcher PR) – The U.S. Space Force has awarded Launcher $1.7M to further develop our E-2 engine, which we proved earlier this month at NASA Stennis Space Center to be the highest-performing liquid oxygen and kerosene rocket engine combustion chamber in the U.S.

We are grateful for the U. S. Space Force’s support to advance E-2 development and help meet the goals of the DoD by maximizing performance and payload capacity for a small launch vehicle, accelerating vehicle production, and removing both geographic and supply chain constraints for volume production. 

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BlueHalo Awarded $1.4B U.S. Space Force Contract to Enable Modernization of Satellite Operations

BlueHalo’s Broad Area Deployable Ground terminal enabling Resilient communication (BADGER) for SCAR (Image Credit: BlueHalo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (BlueHalo PR) — BlueHalo has been awarded a $1.4B contract by the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (SpRCO), a direct reporting unit of the U.S. Space Force.  The award is for the Satellite Communication Augmentation Resource (SCAR) program. This effort will include full lifecycle development from initial design through full rate production. The SCAR program will deliver premier satellite operations capability—maximizing automation, flexibility, and commonality while enabling continuous modernization.

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Space Systems Command’s Front Door Initiative Aims to Detangle Military’s Convoluted Structure for Private Sector

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

To better leverage commercial capabilities, the U.S. Space Systems Command (SSC) has launched a program, the Front Door Initiative, to help companies better navigate the command’s convoluted organizational structure.

“When you guys come to us, you know who to talk to,” said Maj. Adam Bernetta, program manager for SSC’s Space Enterprise Consortium, during a keynote address on Tuesday at the Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, Calif.

Thirty years ago, governments accounted for 90 percent of space activity. With the commercial sector rapidly catching up, the US Space Force (USSF) realized it needs to improve its cooperation with private industry, Bernetta said.

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Feinstein, Rubio Introduce Senate Bill to Create Space National Guard

WASHINGTON (Dianne Feinstein PR) — Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this week introduced the Space National Guard Establishment Act, a bill to create a Space National Guard. This is the Senate companion to legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) last year.

Active-duty space units in 2019 were moved out of the Air Force and placed in the new Space Force upon its establishment, but no corresponding move was made to create a Space Force National Guard component.

Today there are more than 1,000 National Guard members performing the space mission from within the Air National Guard, which creates organizational problems now that the rest of the space enterprise falls under Space Force. This bill does not expand the force, but corrects this misalignment.

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USSF Space Test Enterprise Vision Integrates Test Across Capability Lifecycles

ARLINGTON, Virginia (AFNS) — The Space Force has released its Space Test Enterprise Vision to communicate the service’s intent and provide the amplifying guidance needed to execute the Space Force’s test and evaluation mission. 

“The test vision and the associated test culture it portends are critical elements of the Guardian Ideal and our core values,” said Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations. “While we expect every Guardian to be bold and innovative in pursuit of concepts and capabilities that protect U.S. interests in space, the commitment to mastery of our missions also demands that we be confident in the effectiveness of those capabilities.  Test – integrated test – gives us that confidence.”

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Virgin Orbit Announces Next Launch, Dubbed ‘Straight Up’

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) has entered flight preparation mode for its forthcoming launch, Straight Up, that will support the United States Space Force’s STP-28A mission. After departing Virgin Orbit’s Long Beach rocket factory on Thursday, April 28, 2022, the rocket arrived at the Mojave Air and Space Port. It will support the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) and will carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program (STP).

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Adranos Closes $20 Million Series A Round

Adranos tactical-scale solid rocket motor test fire completed in 2021. (Credit: Adranos)

The solid rocket motor manufacturer will use the investment to advance R&D and scale its production capacity to meet growing customer demand

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Adranos PR) — Adranos, Inc, the West Lafayette, Indiana-based startup that manufactures next-generation solid rocket motors, today announced a $20 million Series A funding round with participation from Bob Bishop and other principals at Impala Asset Management LLC and several other entities, including Explorer1 Fund, Elevate Ventures, and Specific Impulse Capital. This round brings the total capital raised by the company to date to over $25 million.

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NASA and SpaceX Push Back Crew-4 Launch to April 27

NASA astronauts and Crew-4 crewmembers Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines and Kjell Lindgren stand alongside ESA astronaut and Crew-4 crewmember Samantha Cristoforetti. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than 3:52 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 27, for launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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