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Publicly available data suggests that a Russian inspector satellite has shifted its position in orbit to bring it relatively close to a U.S. KH-11 spy satellite. Russia has a number of what it calls "space apparatus inspectors" in orbit, which the U.S. government and others warn the Kremlin could use to gather intelligence on other satellites or function as "killer satellites," using various means to damage, disable, or destroy those targets.

On Jan. 30, 2020, Michael Thompson, a graduate student at Purdue University focusing on astrodynamics, posted a detailed thread on Twitter about the Russian inspector satellite Cosmos 2542, also written Kosmos 2542, appearing to synchronize its orbit with a U.S. satellite known as USA 245, which is understood be one of the National Reconnaissance Office's KH-11 image gathering spy satellites. Russia launched this particular satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Nov. 25, 2019, according to Space-Track.org, a U.S. government website that provides public data on space launches from the U.S. military's Combined Space Operations Center and the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command. This is just one of a number of space apparatus inspectors and other curious satellites that the Kremlin has put into orbit over the past decade.
 

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In view of the challenges in space such as the increase of orbital debris, militarization of space will be "very bad," Charles Frank Bolden, former administrator of NASA, told Xinhua at the sideline of an international space conference in Israel.

The 15th Ilan Ramon international conference was hosted on Tuesday by the Israel Space Agency, a governmental body affiliated with the country's Ministry of Science and Technology, as part of the 2020 Israeli space week events.

Ilan Ramon is the first Israeli astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.

"It would be very unfortunate for people like me who want to be able to explore space freely," Bolden said, referring to militarization or weaponization of space.

"You can wipe that out in a heartbeat if you actually get engaged in full-blown militarization of space when people can start firing kinetic weapons at each other," he added.

One of the effects of those possible attacks, according to Bolden, is the increased amount of orbital debris which is already critically dense after decades of satellite launch and human missions to space.

To clean up the low Earth orbit of the satellite debris would be "a big challenge," Bolden told Xinhua, warning that it would become a significant problem "if we're not careful."

Other keynote speakers at the conference also pointed to the threat of the massively growing amount of satellites and the resulting debris in space.

However, Pascale Ehrenfreund, president of the International Astronautical Federation, also mentioned a business opportunity for launching services despite the concern of increasing debris.

Besides, the participants in the conference highlighted the role of the private sector in the space industry in recent years when the governmental agencies have started to see themselves as aggregators and regulators.

On the future manned space missions to the moon, keynote speakers said they would be much more sustainable and prolonged with the ultimate goal of setting up permanent bases there.

Landing humans on Mars would be the next biggest challenge in the coming decade, they added.

Meanwhile, the space economy, which has hit about 350 billion U.S. dollars, will top a trillion dollars by 2040, according to Ehrenfreund.

Space activities in the next decade will include commercial space tourism, cheaper satellites for communication, navigation and monitoring, and more services for broader users, she said.
 

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Patrick Air Force Base in Florida will be the first base to be renamed as a Space Force base within the next 30 days, the commander of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick said Friday.

"It's exciting, but it is kind of fast. But it's been good," Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess said. He said Space Force leadership was making sure "we are an agile service without a lot of bureaucracy to be able to get after what the nation needs us to do in continuing to be a space power."

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which has overseen the majority of the nation's rocket launches since the 1950s, soon will be renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Schiess said. Patrick is about 20 miles south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and helps support operations at the station.

President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in December 2019, directing the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. It is part of the Department of the Air Force.

Rapid growth in launch activity on Florida's Space Coast has occurred in recent years. Schiess said the 45th Space Wing has demonstrated that it can handle a pace of one rocket launch per week and even support two launches in one day. In 2018, the installation handled 24 launches, and 48 are scheduled for 2020, he said.

The 45th Space Wing provides weather forecasting, communications, security and other launch services, including monitoring the airspace and ocean waters around the launch pads at the Air Force station and Kennedy Space Center to ensure safety during a launch.

Patrick originally was a U.S. Navy seaplane base known as the Banana River Naval Air Station during World War II. It was renamed the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base in 1949 and again renamed Patrick Air Force Base in August 1950, after Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick, chief of the American Expeditionary Force's Air Service in World War I.

Other facilities that host Space Force operations are Buckley, Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases in Colorado and Los Angeles and Vandenberg Air Force bases in California.

The Department of the Air Force released a $169 billion budget proposal Feb. 10, which for the first time includes funding for the newly created U.S. Space Force while also focusing funds to help both services modernize, address threats from Russia and China, and sustain readiness.

The spending plan for fiscal year 2021 carries a $900 million increase from the previous year. But unlike 2020, funding for 2021 is apportioned differently, with $153.6 billion directed to the Air Force and $15.4 billion for the Space Force.

"Our fiscal year '21 budget proposal helps drive irreversible momentum as we implement the National Defense Strategy," said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. "The strategic advantages the Air Force and the Space Force bring to our nation are vital. This budget allows us to meet today's national security challenges while taking important steps toward the Air and Space Forces we need in 2030."

The 2018 National Defense Strategy is an overarching blueprint for the entire U.S. military for defending the nation and its interests. At the heart of the Department of the Air Force's strategy for winning future conflicts is creating a resilient battle network that connects ships, ground forces, planes and satellites to fight together at speeds far surpassing any adversary. This budget provides funds for a rapid experimentation, prototyping and development effort supporting the overall Joint Staff-led initiative to connect every sensor and shooter in land, sea, air, space and cyber.

The budget proposal calls for increased investments in space as well as ensuring sufficient combat power to respond decisively to any attack against the U.S. or allies. The budget proposal also addresses what the service calls "logistics under attack," ensuring equipment, personnel and supplies are available when and where they are needed to sustain high-tempo actions in combat operations.

Specifically, the budget calls for spending $5.8 billion to purchase 48 F-35A Lightning II aircraft. It provides $3 billion to purchase 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers and $1.4 billion for 12 F-15EX fighters.

Research and development will grow by $1.5 billion for the Air Force to a total of $26.9 billion, which includes increased investment in the burgeoning battle network - the Advanced Battle Management System - development and capability demonstrations connecting the joint force. Funding for research and development in the Space Force will grow to $10.3 billion from $9.8 billion in fiscal year 2020.

The budget carries $2.8 billion for continued development of the B-21 Raider, the next generation long-range bomber, and $1.5 billion for upgrading and modernizing the ground-based nuclear force. That figure is nearly $1 billion greater than the previous fiscal year, underscoring the priority attached to modernizing the aging ground-based nuclear deterrent.

"This budget moves us forward toward meeting the missions required under the National Defense Strategy while also providing room to innovate and build for the future," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "That's the sweet spot we always want to hit. Like every budget, we didn't get everything we put on the table, but we got a lot and the reason is our story resonated in terms of the force that we know we need to build to win."

In order to strike a balance between the capabilities needed to fight today and the capabilities that the two services require for the future, the 2021 spending plan anticipates retiring some planes to free up funding for critical new equipment. The list includes 13 KC-135 Stratotankers and 16 KC-10 Extenders; 24 C-130H Hercules, 17 B-1 Lancers and 24 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 20/30 aircraft.

The Space Force portion of the budget reflects a continuing shift to address the challenges and threats posed by potential adversaries.

"Space is now a contested domain which is why it is an imperative that we train and equip our forces to ensure freedom of action in space across all phases of conflict," said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. "This budget provides the resources we need to meet those requirements and to deliver vital space capabilities to our joint and coalition forces."

Reflecting the importance of space, the budget funds the National Security Space Launch program to ensure access to space and achieve independence from relying on launch vehicles from non-allies.

It also funds, at $2.3 billion, rapid development of Next-Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared Space and Ground systems to provide strategic missile warning.

Threaded throughout the entire budget document is a focus on people and readiness.

Funding to pay for flying hours increases in fiscal year 2021 to $6.6 billion. The budget envisions an increase in the Department's force of active duty, Guard and Reserve by 1,500 personnel. That would bring the uniformed force to 512,100.

Since April 2018, the Air Force has increased overall readiness by 16% and increased readiness for frontline units, known as pacing squadrons, by 35%.

In response to challenges with military privatized family housing, the budget provides money to hire 218 additional on-site base housing managers to monitor project owner actions, provide quality assurance and advocacy.

The fiscal 2021 proposal also provides funds to expand resiliency resources and fund programs that promote a culture of dignity and respect, including $51 million for the True North initiative, which embeds mental health professionals, physiologists, physical therapists and religious support teams within high-risk groups of a wing.

While Department of the Air Force officials say the 2021 budget request is the result of rigorous analysis and a series of "tough but necessary choices," it represents only the starting point for the budget process.

The proposal now goes to Congress for its consideration and what is likely to be months of deliberation, debate and revisions. Under the typical schedule, the budget for the new fiscal year must be approved and signed into law by the president by Oct. 1, 2020, when the new fiscal year begins.
 

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Washington has accused two Russian satellites of tailing a US spy satellite in what it called "disturbing behaviour", prompting a guarded response from Moscow on Tuesday.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed that he had received a message from Washington regarding the satellites, adding that "Moscow will respond after studying it."

"Regarding the manoeuvres of these objects in space, these are practices carried out by many countries," he added, quoted by Russian press agencies.

In an interview with Time magazine published on Monday, General John Raymond, head of the US military's new Space Force, said the Russian craft began manoeuvring towards the American satellite shortly after they launched into orbit in November, closing to within 100 miles (160 kilometres) of it.

"We view this behaviour as unusual and disturbing," Raymond told Time. "It has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space."

He earlier issued a statement to US media saying the Russian satellites were "behaving similar to another set of satellites that Russia deployed in 2017, and which the Russian government characterised as 'inspector satellites'."

The US Space Force, which came into being in December, is the sixth formal force of the US military, after the army, air force, navy, Marines and coastguard.

"There's going to be a lot of things happening in space, because space is the world's newest war-fighting domain," President Donald Trump said at the time.
 

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The U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base awarded Lockheed Martin a $240 million contract to develop a prototype payload for its new Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) system.

PTS is a next-generation capability connecting warfighters with more agile and jam-resistant satellite communications (SATCOM). The complete system will deploy a constellation of dedicated geostationary satellites, commercially hosted payloads, and coalition partner satellites integrated through a ground control network to provide U.S. and coalition forces protected communications in a data hungry battlespace.

SMC's acquisition begins with a rapid prototyping phase for a new mission payload hosting the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW). The fully-processed payloads will ensure adaptive, anti-jamming communications channels are available to allied forces in a contested environment.

SMC is leveraging Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contracting mechanisms rather than a traditional Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based acquisition for prototyping to provide agile development, "E.P.I.C. Speed," and an avenue for non-traditional participation. E.P.I.C. Speed is SMC's acronym for Enterprise, Partnership, Innovation, Culture and Speed.

Lockheed Martin is excited to be in a position to rapidly develop protected SATCOM payload technologies that will benefit the warfighter.

"Teaming with non-traditional hardware and software developers has enabled the Lockheed Martin team to leap frog communications payload capabilities," said Erik Daehler, Lockheed Martin's director of Strategic Communications Architectures.

"We are able to 'Go Fast,' both in technology deployment and contracting structure, due to the nature of the OTA acquisition. Our partnership with the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) has made these non-traditional acquisitions possible."

"Lockheed Martin understands how important protected communications are to our tactical warfighters deployed downrange. We also know that our SATCOM systems have to evolve to stay ahead of the threats, because a space system that can't survive Day 1 of a conflict can't achieve the mission," said Mike Cacheiro, Lockheed Martin's vice president for Protected Military SATCOM.

"Having delivered the nation's essential satellite communications systems, we are uniquely positioned to partner with the U.S. Space Force to develop the next generation's innovative, resilient and modular protected tactical SATCOM architecture."

Lockheed Martin launched the first commercial protected communications payload on Hellas Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 (HS-4/SGS-1) in 2019, featuring the most advanced digital signal processor and protected communications algorithms available. These technologies along with mission expertise and a partnership with the Space Force will dramatically accelerate PTS to the warfighter.

PTS continues Lockheed Martin's legacy of developing resilient protected communications for the military that includes both the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and the MILSTAR systems.

In 2015, the Air Force awarded the company a contract for Combined Orbital Operations Logistics Sustainment (COOLS), which cost-effectively consolidated the sustainment of the AEHF, MILSTAR and DSCS III constellations in one ground system. In 2019, the COOL\R contract extended that sustainment emphasizing additional resiliency, cyber and mission planning enhancements.

Lockheed Martin has developed and built more than 300 payloads for a variety of missions. The company has more than 50 years of experience as a payload integrator, developing cutting-edge technologies supporting our nation's critical missions.
 

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4:30pm ET Update: After an issue with ground support equipment, United Launch Alliance got its Atlas V rocket off the ground a little more than an hour after its launch window opened on Thursday. The first phase of the launch was a success, and now the rocket's Centaur upper stage is pushing the AEHF-6 satellite toward a geostationary transfer orbit. The upper stage will release the satellite 5 hours and 40 minutes after the launch.


This is the first time a satellite has flown into space under the auspices of the U.S. Space Force.
 

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The US Space Force (USSF) has awarded two $500 million contracts to develop and produce satellite communications modems secure from enemy jamming.

On Monday, the USSF's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) announced that L3Harris and Raytheon had each received $500 million contracts to develop Protected Tactical Waveform-capable modems for the US Army and the Department of the Air Force, of which the USSF is a part.

The modems are part of the Air Force and Army Anti-Jam Modem (A3M) program, which provides anti-jamming communications for soldiers on the battlefield, and the contracts are anticipated to also include plugins for the Protected Tactical SATCOM system, commercial satellites and the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM satellites, C4ISRNet noted.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Raytheon and L3 Technologies Inc. to bring Protected Tactical Waveform anti-jam capability to both Department of the Air Force and Army users," Shannon Pallone, the senior materiel leader of Tactical SATCOM Division, said in the news release. "This was a joint team from the start, a partnership between the Space Force and the Army, and included support from the [National Security Agency]."

Citing a Space Force spokesperson, Space News noted the initial orders are for design, development, fabrication, integration, certification, technical manuals and testing of Block 1 "pizza box" form-factor modems, of which the Air Force and Army could receive as many as 1,500 in the next five years, which is how long the contract lasts. Air Force Magazine noted this buy could be followed by another for 2,500 Block 2 modems.

The Air Force noted that these contracts were awarded four months ahead of schedule and achieved despite the challenges posed by "social distancing" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During times like these, we have to execute our mission while ensuring that we are protecting our people," Col. Dennis Bythewood, SMC's program executive officer for space development, said in the release. "Not only did the A3M team complete this source selection and contract award via telework, they beat their plan by over 120 days, continuing SMC's commitment to EPIC Speed."

The coronavirus outbreak has affected Air Force operations in other ways, however, with final certifications for the F-35 stealth aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base effectively being put on hold after the base was closed in response to several detected cases of the virus.

Recent reports on global space threats suggest that at least one of China's direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) programs may be operational and is expected to soon field launchers.

The Secure World Foundation (SWF) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) both released new studies on Monday regarding China's development of ASAT programs - endeavors that have been viewed by the US as a threat to its satellites in low Earth orbit.

"Chinese DA-ASAT capability against [low Earth orbit] targets is likely mature and may be operationally fielded on mobile launchers," read the SWF report.

"Chinese DA-ASAT capability against deep space targets - both [medium Earth orbit and geostationary orbit] - is likely still in the experimental or development phase, and there is not sufficient evidence to conclude whether it will become an operational capability in the near future."

Aviation Week highlighted that the SC-19 kinetic missile that took down the FengYun 1C satellite in 2007 "appears to have been declared operational," according to the March 30 report. Researchers also noted that China has in development "as many as three direct ascent ASAT systems," but it is not clear whether all of them are dedicated to counterspace missions.

The CSIS report makes sense of the inability to determine the programs' purposes, explaining that "missile tests are harder to judge because they could also function as a counterspace capability during times of conflict." Researchers with the CSIS also found that China's Strategic Support Force, established in 2015, has begun training specialized units in ASAT weapons.

The report further notes that China is "spoofing GPS signals" in order to conceal its "illicit activities" occurring in its own ports.

"One should expect that the rate of satellite jamming and spoofing incidents will only increase as these capabilities continue to proliferate and become more sophisticated in the coming years," CSIS senior fellow Todd Harrison noted on page 54 of the release. Harrison, along with three other analysts, co-authored the study.

Sputnik previously reported that the US National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) had claimed that China was attempting to advance counterspace tech in order to "challenge US superiority." Since then, the Trump administration established the US Space Force, the sixth branch of the US military. The move made the US the only nation to have an independent space force.

The SWF report references the same December 2018 NASIC report, noting it explicitly said that "China has military units that have begun training with anti-satellite missiles." Additionally, it highlighted that then-US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told the US Senate on January 29, 2019, that China "has an operational ground-based ASAT missile intended to target low-Earth-orbit satellites."

Ase, vasta-ase
 

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The United States Space force now has offensive power, though it might not be the massive orbiting weapons system that you're envisioning.

The new weapons system delivered to the space force is a jammer type array that can prevent military or intelligence combatants from accessing their military satellites. This functionality allows the space force to neutralize orbiting satellites in a matter of minutes.

The new weapons are technically called Counter Communications Systems (CCS) Block 10.2. Delivered to the 4th Space Control Squadron of the newly created space force, they're a welcome addition to the military branch's capabilities.

The program manager for the new weapons system, Maj. Seth Horner of the United States Space Force had this to say about the new CCS.

“The Counter Communications System is a transportable satellite communications system that provides a ground-based capability to reversibly deny adversary satellite communications. CCS has had incremental upgrades since the early 2000’s, which have incorporated new techniques, frequency bands, technology refreshes, and lessons learned from previous block upgrades. This specific upgrade includes new software capabilities to counter new adversary targets and threats."
 

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The U.S. Space Force announced recently the opportunity for U.S. Air Force active duty members to volunteer to officially transfer into the new service begins May 1.

"This is an historic time to be in the space business, and I could not be more excited to extend the opportunity to our active duty Air Force members to officially transfer into the Space Force," said Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command Commander. "We have the unique opportunity to create a new service; your energy, passion and expertise will be critical to our success."

The newest branch of the United States military, the Space Force, organizes, trains and equips forces to execute a variety of space missions, and to deter aggression in, from, and to space.

Active duty Air Force officers and enlisted personnel in existing space career fields and select other career fields are eligible to apply for transfer. While approximately 16,000 military and civilians from the former U.S. Air Force Space Command are now assigned to the new service, this transfer process will officially commission or enlist military members into the service.

"The choice to transfer into the Space Force will be a personal decision for each individual, just as it was for me," said Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, U.S. Space Force Senior Enlisted Advisor. "Each of us volunteered to serve, now we ask for volunteers to help build a new force that is tailor-made and laser-focused on joint warfighting and the space domain."

Those eligible to apply to transfer into the Space Force include officers and enlisted members in the organic space career fields of space operations (13S) and space systems operations (1C6). Also eligible are officers and enlisted members in several career fields common to both the Air Force and Space Force, including intelligence (14N), cyberspace operations (17X), developmental engineer (62E), acquisition manager (63A), operations intelligence (1N0), geospatial intelligence (1N1), signals intelligence (1N2), fusion analyst (1N4), targeting analyst (1N8), cyberspace support (3D0), and client systems (3D1).

In partnership with the Australian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Space Force's (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center's (SMC) Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) Program recently achieved "first light" on March 5, 2020, reaching a key milestone after it was moved from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico to Harold E. Holt Naval Communications Station in Western Australia.

"This key Space Domain Awareness, or SDA, partnership builds on the long history of close defense space cooperation between the United States and Australia and has been a cornerstone of our continued alliance," said Gordon Kordyak, SMC Special Programs Directorate Space Domain Awareness Division chief.

Moving the SST to Australia satisfied a critical objective to improve the broader USSF Space Surveillance Network's ground-based electro-optical coverage of the geosynchronous space regime.

First light is a significant milestone in meeting this objective. It means that course alignment of the telescope optics with the wide field of view camera has been completed to allow the first images of objects in orbit to be seen by the telescope.

"Whether it is space traffic management or the protection and defense of critical space-based capabilities, delivering sensors that continuously improve our ability to maintain real-time awareness of the space domain is essential to facilitate the broader needs of both the U.S. and Australia," said Lani Smith, SMC Special Programs Directorate deputy director. "The SST program, which is a jointly operated program, represents delivery of our next iteration of sensing capability to meet this need."

The collaboration and installation of the SST in Australia included the successful completion of an Australian purpose-built facility with mission-enabling site infrastructure and a 2-Megawatt Central Power Station for powering the telescope and the site. Moving forward, SST will undergo a comprehensive integration and testing regime before officially entering service in 2022.

Once operational, the SST will become part of the global Space Surveillance Network, providing Space Domain Awareness for the United States, Australia and their key allies. The Royal Australian Air Force will operate SST with oversight and management by the USSF 21st Space Wing once the telescope is operational.
 

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Russia and China continue to launch military rockets and test space weapons amid the coronavirus pandemic, a top U.S. general said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately in the case of the Russians, their increasing penchant for unsafe and what I would consider unacceptable behavior in space has not slowed down,” Lt. Gen. David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force vice commander, said at a Mitchell Institute event. “I can’t tell you what they’re doing with their crews and their individuals, but based on their macro-level activities, their cadence has certainly not slowed down.”

Russia tested a satellite-killing missile last month, drawing scorn from U.S. military leaders who said the “missile system is capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.” U.S. Space Command also criticized Russia for operating two satellites close to American satellites.

“These satellites, which behaved similar to previous Russian satellites that exhibited characteristics of a space weapon, conducted maneuvers near a U.S. government satellite that would be interpreted as irresponsible and potentially threatening in any other domain,” Space Command said in an April 15 statement.

Earlier this week, a Russian rocket carrying a telescope disintegrated after launch, leaving behind a debris field that threatens satellites orbiting Earth. Meanwhile in April, a Chinese rocket carrying an Indonesian satellite failed to reach orbit, according to Space.com.

The Space Force plans to launch its secretive X-37B space plane on Saturday, but the U.S. military has delayed a number of other launches because of coronavirus. An April-scheduled GPS satellite launch will now go “no earlier than June 30” to “minimize the potential of COVID-19 exposure to the launch crew and early-orbit operators,” the Space and Missile Systems Center said in an April 7 statement.

Rocket Lab postponed the launch of three U.S. spy satellites from New Zealand, C4ISRNET reported. A National Reconnaissance Office satellite launch scheduled for June has been delayed until late August, Spaceflight Now reported last week.
 

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Yhdysvallat ja Britannia syyttävät Venäjää aseen kaltaisen laitteen testaamisesta avaruudessa. Maiden mukaan laitetta voitaisiin käyttää satelliitteja vastaan hyökkäämisessä Maan kiertoradalla, kertoo Britannian yleisradioyhtiö BBC (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Venäjän puolustusministeriö on kertonut käyttäneensä uutta teknologiaa venäläisen avaruuskaluston tarkistamiseen.

Toisin kuin USA, Britannia ei ole aiemmin syyttänyt Venäjää asekokeesta avaruudessa.

Britannian parlamentin teettämän, pari päivää sitten julkaistun raportin mukaan Venäjän uhkaa on ”vakavasti aliarvioitu”, BBC kirjoittaa.

Britannian avaruusohjelman johtaja Harvey Smyth sanoi olevansa huolissaan Venäjän avaruuskokeesta.

– Tämänkaltaiset toimet uhkaavat avaruuden rauhanomaista käyttöä ja lisäävät riskiä avaruusromun syntymiselle, joka puolestaan voi uhata satelliitteja ja avaruusjärjestelmiä, joista koko maailma on riippuvainen, Smyth sanoi BBC:lle.

Hän vetosi Venäjään, jotta se pidättäytyisi vastaavista testeistä tulevaisuudessa.
 

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Last week, the US's new Space Force accused Russia of testing an anti-satellite weapon from one of its orbiting satellites. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the claims as "propaganda," and urged "our US and British colleagues to show professionalism" and "sit down for talks."

Russia's alleged July 15 satellite weapons test is responsible for reigniting fears of a new space-based arms race, The Financial Times has reported, citing US officials and Washington-based think tank analysts.

"To be clear, Moscow and Beijing have already turned space into a warfighting domain," Christopher Ford, assistant secretary as the State Department's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation," was quoted as saying.

Calling Russia "the most prominent space mischief-maker right now," Ford alleged that last month's alleged test was Moscow's second recent space-based projectile-firing satellite weapons trial following a similar reported test earlier this year.

UK Space Directorate chief Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth chimed in to echo US concerns, suggesting that Russian actions like the alleged satellite weapons test "threaten the peaceful use of space" and could lead to debris damaging nearby satellites.

Moscow has rejected the allegations regarding the alleged weapons test, with the Foreign Ministry urging Washington and London to come to the negotiating table for talks, and the Kremlin emphasizing that Russia remains committed to the full demilitarization of space.

Nonetheless, FT says it's the reported Russian weapons test last month, and not similar actions like the US's 2008 shootdown of its own National Reconnaissance Office Satellite by a warship, or countless similar space-based weapons tests by China, India and other nations in recent years, that has "reignited international concerns that space is becoming a new battleground for strategic global supremacy - harking back to the late US president Ronald Reagan's 'Star Wars' plans for space-based military assets."

Russian Space-Based Arms Control Proposals Ignored
The newspaper begrudgingly acknowledges that Russia proposed a draft treaty on weapons in outer space over a decade ago, with the proposed agreement, developed together with China, entitled the 'Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space,' and presented to the Conference on Disarmament in 2008.

The agreement would require parties to refrain from the deployment of any objects 'carrying any type of weapon into orbit', or installing space-based weapons systems and threatening the use of force against objects in outer space. 2014, Russia sponsored a resolution at the United Nations on banning a space-based arms race, with 126 countries voting in favour, and only 4, including the US, Israel, Ukraine and Georgia voting against. In 2016, Moscow also committed at the Conference on Disarmament not to be the first nation to deploy any type of weapon in outer space.

Nevertheless, the Russian/Chinese proposal has languished, chiefly due to resistance from the United States. Todd Harrison, a space security expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the FT that the proposal is unlikely to ever be materialized because "every country involved will try to come up with a self-serving definition" of what constitutes a space weapon.

An official briefed on the Vienna nuclear disarmament talks told the newspaper that the very concept of prohibiting weapons in space was "misleading," and that what Washington is looking for "is rules of the road...how we're going to treat and manage systems in space."

Beyza Unal, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a London-based security and international affairs think tank, says the fact that "Russia and the US do not speak the same language when it comes to what is considered a 'peaceful action' in outer space...creates a big challenge" when it comes to formulating any type of treaty.

Star Wars, Part II
The threat of the deployment of weapons in outer space goes back to 1983, when US President Ronald Reagan unveiled his 'Star Wars' missile defence concept, including space-based lasers and other projectiles to shoot down Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles and thus provide America with the ability to strike without fear of retaliation. The idea was partially scrapped by the Clinton administration in the early 1990s, but gained new impetus in the early 2000s after President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, and began funding efforts for sea and land-based interceptor missiles placed near Russia's borders.

In early 2019, President Trump unveiled a new space-based missile defence initiative, once again including laser and space-based platforms, "to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace."

The Trump administration established Space Force as an independent branch of the US military in December 2019, with the force currently consisting of about 10,000 personnel and 77 satellites, with more personnel and capabilities to be added at a later date. Space Force has already received $2.4 billion in initial procurement funding, and is expected to receive another $15.4 billion in 2021.

Although Space Force is currently tasked with the defence of US interests in space, including America's sprawling network of military and intelligence-gathering satellites, its missions also include "deter[ing] aggression in, from, and to space," and "conduct[ing] space operations," leading some observers to suggest that Space Force could be used to operate a future space-based missile defence program as well.

President Trump appeared to indicate as much in a speech last year when, immediately after praising Space Force for "leading the way" in the "new warfighting domain" of space, he promised that his upcoming military budget would "invest in a space-based missile defence layer" for both offensive and defensive purposes. "We will terminate any missile launches from anywhere, even if it's a mistake. We will ensure enemy missiles find no sanctuary. This is the direction I am heading," he said.
 

Osasto 31

Kapteeni
Monet maat ovat tuota harkinneet ja suuremmilla mailla on, mutta ellei taloudellista edellytystä itsenäiselle operoinnille ole, niin maa on riippuvainen muista. Japanissa tuo on pitkän kehityksen tulos, Trump vain antoi vauhtia.
 
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