what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
- Jul 27, 2011
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As U.S. companies venture farther from Earth, whether the newest service will protect them remains under discussion.
"Until now, the United States Space Missions extended 22,000 miles above Earth. That was then, this is now." The Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS), is here to improve the United States Space Force's ability to track and identify artificial objects around the moon and beyond.
Looking for little green men me thinks. ;-)"Until now, the United States Space Missions extended 22,000 miles above Earth. That was then, this is now." The Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS), is here to improve the United States Space Force's ability to track and identify artificial objects around the moon and beyond.Still, when i read the words
CHIPSCHPS, a lunar orbiting satellite is not the first thing that comes to my mind.
Lockheed Martin eyes potential national security customers for lunar communications services
The new satellite, set to launch in 2024, could provide comms links with astronauts and rovers on the far side of the Moon, as well as to scientists at the South Pole.SATELLITE 2022: Lockheed Martin is developing a satellite to provide communications services for its commercial lunar rover — a satellite that also could serve as a link for US military operations in cislunar space, according to company officials.
The new satellite, which will launch in 2024, is designed to serve as a communications node “essentially for any far side missions that you would want to have direct links back to Earth or to some of the South Pole missions because of the geometry,” Lisa Callahan, company vice president and general manager for commercial civil space, told several reporters March 21 in the margins of the Satellite 2022 conference.
Beyond Lockheed Martin’s own need to communicate with the lunar rover it is building in partnership with General Motors, the initial customer base will be commercial firms working with NASA on the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program to ferry supplies to astronauts working on the lunar surface, company officials said. However, the defense giant is looking at potential national security customers as well.
Callahan said that there already have been some preliminary discussions with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and other government customers “that we can’t talk about.”
“As always,” Robert Lightfoot, Lockheed Martin’s new head of its space business, added with a chuckle.
AFRL, which undertakes research for both the Air Force and the Space Force, has a portfolio of technology initiatives aimed at expanding Space Command’s mission to include the vast volume of space between Earth’s outer orbit and that of the Moon — as Space Force and Space Command leaders increasingly fret over China’s plans for developing lunar infrastructure including a base on the Moon’s far side.
These include the Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) and the Defense Deep Space Sentinel (D2S2), as well as a pair of small projects under its Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program.
CHPS is aimed at orbiting the first space domain awareness (SDA) satellite for keeping tabs on the cislunar space, with AFRL hoping to launch the demonstrator in 2025. AFRL on March 21 announced that it had issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) to industry, but due to security concerns only members of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) can access the details. Interested vendors have until April 1 to respond with ideas.
“In addition to extending the Space Force’s sensing capabilities, CHPS will provide the DOD with experience operating in the complicated gravitational environment that exists in specific areas between the Earth and the Moon, and help mature technology required to communicate and navigate near the Moon,” the lab’s press release explained.
D2S2 is an effort to develop foundational technologies for highly mobile spacecraft operating in lunar orbit to do a number of missions, including imaging of the lunar surface.
In response to a question from Breaking Defense, an AFRL spokesperson said: “During a meeting a few months ago, AFRL was presented with the possibility, that if Lockheed Martin’s cislunar communication satellite relay, was on orbit by the time CHPS launches, there might be an opportunity to use LMC commercial cislunar communications. AFRL was non-committal but requested to be kept informed of their progress, as CHPS will be using commercial products.”
Over the past 2 years, Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) program leads have been meeting with a variety of contractors to help inform the technologies that could be included in the CHPS satellite.”