The US Space Force

jsport

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fleet of approximately 200 satellites to capture more than 3 million images of the Earth’s surface every day.
 

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Reading this thread, now seems a bit dated.. reminds me of the old Army Air Corp arguments… keeping things just the way they are. Regardless of the path of how to reach your destination, in this case it’s about; now that we have a arrived, lets get things funded and going.
 

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LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command and its mission partners successfully launched the Space Test Program (STP)-3 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41 during the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 7 at 5:19 a.m. Eastern (2:19 a.m. Pacific). First contact has also been successfully made with the Space Test Program Satellite (STPSat)-6 and Long Duration Propulsive ESPA (LDPE)-1 spacecraft.
 

jsport

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The GMTI project, and Space Force’s ISR push writ large, sets the Space Force up for a potential turf battle with the NRO, which currently builds, buys and operates spy sats, and buys ISR data from commercial satellite providers. Further, it raises questions about the Army’s plans to pursue its own ISR satellite payloads.

why NRO ?
 

jsport

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fleet of approximately 200 satellites to capture more than 3 million images of the Earth’s surface every day.
 

jsport

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“In the end, I think we need to work hard to always push that down — the classification down — but still remaining sensitive to sources and methods that you correctly point out,” the admiral told Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

The senator sought Grady’s opinion about classification in response to a classified hearing lawmakers received Tuesday about Russia’s military buildup at its border with Ukraine. Blumenthal said the information Congress received was “deeply sobering” and “scary.”

“Much of what was said in that briefing, it could be told to the American people without compromising sources or methods,” Blumenthal said. “I think there’s too much classification in short.”

The issue of over classifying information was often discussed by Gen. John Hyten, who retired from military service last month after concluding his term as the vice chairman. Breaking Defense reported earlier this year Hyten in his final months in office championed an effort to declassify the existence of a secret space weapon program.

“In many cases in the department, we’re just so over-classified it’s ridiculous, just unbelievably ridiculous,” Hyten said during an Air Force Association event in 2020.
 

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The recently released document, The Guardian Ideal, will serve as the Space Force’s guidance for talent management and development. The basic premises contained in the document provide a vision for shifting from the current military model, which mirrors the best civilian practices from the 1980s, to a new military model, which mirrors the best modern civilian practices. These methods include flexible career paths, incentives for developing new skills, and career advancement for members with exceptional technical, as well as leadership ability. The continual feedback-collection model proposed by the Space Force will also reduce the administrative burden on supervisors, imposed by annual appraisals, while simultaneously providing more frequent, accurate, and timely communication with team members.

The vision articulated by the Space Force should be adopted by the entirety of the Department of Defense. The military should recruit Americans who have aspirations outside of a traditional linear two-to four-decade military career. The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes modifications to the military’s current up-or-out system, and the Space Force is aiming far above the other services in its vision to maximize personnel development.

The Space Force’s approach to personnel management will be a test case for the other services and for the Department of Defense as a whole. The Marine Corps, for instance, released a new document on talent management that shows tremendous promise and aligns with the desires of all service branches to employ the talent marketplace model. Senior military leaders should allocate resources towards development by educating and empowering members with the maximum ability to drive their own personal and professional development to meet the military’s needs.
 

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What a time to be alive.:) Imagine, witnessing the beginnings of what will make manned interplanetary and extrasolar exploration possible might be the Wright Flyer equivalent of our century.


DARPA has watched NASA’s work in nuclear propulsion systems for space exploration and believes the technology can be applied to military satellites.

WASHINGTON — An experiment planned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will send to orbit a spacecraft powered by a nuclear propulsion system.


Michael Leahy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said this technology could give the U.S. military an advantage over enemies by making satellites more maneuverable and less vulnerable to attack. But skepticism and fear of nuclear energy is an issue that will require more education and awareness to “get folks comfortable with this,” Leahy said Jan. 14.


Leahy spoke at a virtual event held by the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute to discuss a new report endorsing the use of nuclear thermal propulsion for U.S. military satellites and calling for the Defense Department to increase funding for this technology.


DARPA last year announced it will invest nearly $30 million in a project called Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO), a spacecraft powered by a nuclear thermal propulsion system. If successful, the project could pave the way for the development of nuclear propulsion systems for military satellites.


Leahy described the DRACO project as “the next big bet we wanted to make in space.” The agency has watched NASA’s work in nuclear propulsion systems for space exploration and believes the technology can be applied to military satellites.


U.S. satellites powered by chemical propellants have limited ability to maneuver, which makes them easy targets of anti-satellite weapons, said the Mitchell report. Meanwhile, “China’s space maneuver warfare forces will include vehicles with nuclear thermal and electric propulsion capable of rapidly transferring between orbits to conduct offensive and defensive missions.”


Nuclear reactor systems can operate for years in space without the need to be refueled, which makes this a desirable technology for deep space exploration. But the United States decades ago abandoned efforts to use nuclear propulsion for Earth orbiting satellites due to concerns that hazardous radioactive materials could reenter the atmosphere.


Leahy said DARPA is well aware of the safety concerns and that these issues are being explored with nuclear experts from the Department of Energy. The DRACO demonstration, projected to launch in 2025, “will be a journey of discovery,” he said, noting that the demonstrator will use low-enriched uranium.


Ron Faibish, a nuclear engineer at General Atomics, said it’s important to remember that nuclear-powered satellites would be launched to space by conventional chemical rockets.


“When we launch there’s no nuclear power driving anything on Earth through the atmosphere,” said Faibish. The DRACO demonstrator will be launched to cislunar space above Earth orbit “where there would not be a risk of reentry.”


General Atomics won a $22 million DARPA contract to develop the nuclear reactor for the DRACO demonstration.


Christopher Stone, senior fellow for space studies at the Mitchell Institute and author of the report, said the U.S. Space Force should consider using nuclear propulsion for critical national security space systems like GPS or missile-warning satellites so they could maneuver out of harm’s way if targeted by adversaries’ anti-satellite weapons.
 

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