Appropriations, Procurement, and Acquisitions

Space Force considers asking satellite firms to host payloads for tactical ISR (Breaking Defense) Another idea, said SSC’s Col. Dennis Birchenough, is for SSC to serve as a kind of “matchmaker” to pair ISR sensor developers with commercial operators with capacity to carry payloads extraneous to their own capabilities. 

Companies knock, but Space Force acquisition portal ‘Front Door’ remains closed (Breaking Defense) Joy White, SSC executive director, said that information about the July 28 reverse industry day on space domain awareness out to the cislunar region should be available on the Front Door website within a few days.

Hyten: Space Force ‘hasn’t cracked the code’ on faster acquisitions (SpaceNews) Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Hyten said he worries the DoD bureaucracy and congressional overseers are making it difficult for the U.S. Space Force to acquire new technologies at the pace that is needed to keep up with adversaries.

US Space Force rapid capabilities office to deliver first project this year (Defense News) Projects managed by the Space Rapid Capabilities Office are classified, but the director of the organization told reporters initial deliveries are coming in late 2022 and 2023.

US Space Force wants new commercial imagery tool to boost resiliency (Defense News) The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space Force are working to transition a lab-developed interface called the Global Unified Environment that would allow combatant commands to buy satellite imagery from commercial providers and allied partners.

Space Business and Market Trends

Planet Wins German Federal Agency Contract (Via Satellite) Planet has won a new contract with one of Germany’s federal agencies. The company announced July 13 that it had signed a contract with the German Federal

Northrop Grumman gets $22 million Space Force contract to build small-satellite carrier bus (SpaceNews) Northrop Grumman won a sole-source award for a satellite called ROOSTER, short for Rapid On-orbit Space Technology Evaluation Ring

Northrop Grumman Receives Contract for Rapid Deployment of Small Satellites (Via Satellite) Northrop Grumman has won a sole source, $22 million cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract through February 2026 from U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems

Safran unit agrees to acquire Orolia to expand in PNT market (C4ISRNet) Safran’s purchase will complete a “cohesive set of PNT architectures” to meet the needs of industries including aviation, defense and space, the company says.

New VC Firm Stellar Ventures Launches $23M Space Fund (Via Satellite) A new venture capital firm Stellar Ventures recently launched a fund with more than $23 million in capital commitments dedicated to investing in space

Hundreds of space and aviation startups are at risk of crumbling as VCs warn them to ‘plan for the worst’ (Business Insider) Y Combinator, a VC firm that invests in a number of aerospace startups, warned its portfolio companies in May to “plan for the worst.”

Gilat Wins New Asia Defense Contract (Via Satellite) Israeli satellite technology company Gilat Satellite Networks has won a new defense contract in Asia, the company announced July 7. Gilat was awarded

Norway’s Kongsberg to Acquire Smallsat Manufacturer NanoAvionics (Via Satellite) Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is acquiring smallsat manufacturer NanoAvionics under a deal announced Tuesday, valuing NanoAvionics

L3Harris Makes Strategic Investment in Mynaric (Via Satellite) L3Harris is making a strategic investment in Mynaric, investing 11.2 million euros ($11.4 million) in the business for a 7.2% share. L3Harris will acquire

Sky Perfect JSAT Details Plan for New Space Compass Venture (Via Satellite) In late April, Sky Perfect JSAT announced it is joining forces with Japanese telco NTT to form a new company called Space Compass that will launch an

COO Chris Calio Says Raytheon Technologies Is Proving The Value Of The Merger (Forbes) The business case for creating Raytheon Technologies isn’t just intact, it’s stronger than it was the day the merger was announced.

Raytheon Technologies Is Proving the Value of the Merger (Real Clear Defense) When the leaders of Raytheon and United Technologies UTX 0.0% first disclosed their plan to merge in June of 2019, they set forth a vision of an aerospace and defense enterprise with unprecedented market presence.

SatSure Forms KaleidEO to Build Optical Payloads In-House (Via Satellite) Space data and analytics company SatSure is launching a new subsidiary, KaleidEO, to build optical payloads to collect satellite imagery.  SatSure said in

Kleos Space Opens New UK Facility at Space Park Leicester (Via Satellite) Kleos Space’s U.K subsidiary is setting up operations at the Space Park Leicester research hub. Kleos plans for the new UK facility to provide access to a

Skyrora Opens New Manufacturing Facility in Scotland (Via Satellite) Skyrora has opened a large new manufacturing and production facility in the U.K., which it claims to be the largest of its kind in the nation. This new

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin leases space in Northern Virginia for engineering center (Silicon Valley Business Journal) The location signifies the space company’s expanded presence in the region.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Agrees to Pay $9 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Cybersecurity Violations in Federal Government Contracts (US Department of Justice) Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., headquartered in El Segundo, California, has agreed to pay $9 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting its compliance with cybersecurity requirements in certain federal government contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Aerojet provides propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, missiles and satellites and other space vehicles to the Department of Defense, NASA and other federal agencies. 

Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO Eileen Drake’s Faction Wins All Board Seats in Proxy Battle (Via Satellite) Aerojet Rocketdyne President and CEO Eileen Drake won her bitterly contested proxy battle with the company’s dissident executive chairman, Warren

York Space Systems Taps MDA for Satellite Antennas (Via Satellite) York Space Systems awarded Canadian manufacturer MDA a contract to design and build Ka-band steerable antennas for York Space satellites.  MDA said the

MDA Promotes Holly Johnson to Lead Robotics and Space Business (Via Satellite) Holly Johnson will lead manufacturer MDA’s Robotics and Space Operations (RSO) division on a permanent basis after taking on the role in an acting

Launch Services

US Space Force plan for rapid satellite launches may finally take off (Defense News) The Space Force may finally be ready embrace the concept for responsive launch. Outside experts and military officials point to recent and planned demonstrations, momentum in the commercial sector and a growing acknowledgement of the threats to military space assets as reasons to think the service may overcome the bureaucratic, budgetary and technological hurdles that have slowed this effort over the last two decades.

ESA Successfully Debuts Vega C Rocket (Via Satellite) On Wednesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) executed a successful first launch of the Vega C, which it says will expand launch access and flexibility.

Rocket Lab Launches Responsive Mission for NRO and Australia (Via Satellite) Rocket Lab launched NROL-162, the first of a pair of back-to-back missions for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) early Wednesday.  A Rocket Lab

SpaceX launches 46 Starlink satellites, lands rocket on ship at sea (Space.com) It was SpaceX’s 29th launch of 2022.

Rocket Lab USA Establishes New Program to Accelerate Satellite Launching (Via Satellite) Launch and space systems company Rocket Lab established a Responsive Space Program on Thursday that will open a direct line of communication with

Virgin Orbit, ULA Lift Off Holiday Weekend Launches (Via Satellite) Both Virgin Orbit and United Launch Alliance executed successful launches during the holiday weekend serving U.S. Department of Defense customers.  Virgin

New Generation of Rockets Queue Up to Launch From Florida Facilities in 2022 (Air Force Magazine) NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out.

US Space Force

Space Force Will Yield ‘Eye-Watering’ Intel Capabilities, Whiting Says (Air Force Magazine) Space Force operators and intelligence specialists will work side by side to deliver the full “TPED” intelligence cycle.

Space Force Launches New Intelligence Unit as Congress Voices Concerns over Growth (Military.com) Delta 18 and the brand-new National Space Intelligence Center were officially commissioned late last month at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

They Graduated Space Force Boot Camp. What Comes Next for Them, and the Service, Is Less Clear. (Military.com) Space Force continues to carve out its own identity after being created in 2019.

Military Space Operations

Five Space Lessons Russia’s Invasion Taught Ukraine (Defense One) Kyiv now wants its own imagery and comms satellites—and a stealthy way to launch them, a former space agency head says.

US military’s mysterious X-37B space plane sets new spaceflight record (Space.com) The shadowy space plane has once again shattered its own mission-duration record.

Team seeks to improve coordination between geospatial intelligence systems and Air Force aircraft (Air Force Life Cycle Management Center) A key factor in the operational success of U.S. Air Force aircraft is the use of data from geospatial intelligence information systems – operated by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Products, Services, and Solutions

USAF Tests Northrop Grumman System for GPS-Degraded Environments (Defense Daily) The U.S. Air Force 53rd Wing on June 14 tested the Northrop Grumman Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS)–a system for improving the Northrop Grumman B-2

Capella Space Adds Satellite Imagery to AWS Open Data Registry (Via Satellite) Capella Space is adding a selection of its synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Open Data Sponsorship Program to make

Nanoracks Confirms Follow-Up Bishop Airlock Mission with Japan’s Gitai (Via Satellite) Nanoracks confirmed Monday that it will conduct a second Bishop Airlock mission with Japanese space robotics startup Gitai. A follow-up to the companies’

BAE Systems delivers jam-resistant GPS receivers to Germany (SpaceNews) BAE Systems delivered to Germany advanced GPS M-code receivers.

Airbus Subcontracts Anywaves for Antennas for Loft Orbital Satellite Order (Via Satellite) Airbus selected French space startup Anywaves to supply antennas for the satellite platforms Loft Orbital ordered in January. Anywaves announced Tuesday

Viasat Scores Virgin Atlantic IFC Deal, Delivers ViaSat-3 Payload to Boeing (Via Satellite) Viasat will supply in-flight connectivity (IFC) satellite capacity and equipment to commercial airline Virgin Atlantic under the terms of a new contract

Ericsson partners with Thales and Qualcomm to deploy 5G networks into space (Help Net Security) Ericsson, Thales, and Qualcomm Technologies are planning to take 5G out of this world and across a network of Earth-orbiting satellites.

Recently blasted into space, Aerospace’s Slingshot tests universal electrical port for satellite payloads (Breaking Defense) Slingshot 1 is a 12-unit CubeSat, about the size of a shoebox, carrying 19 experimental payloads — 16 of which were designed by Aerospace’s lab. The experiments range from on-board processing software to a novel small thruster engine.

Australian Startups Antaris and Quasar Partner Space-to-Ground Capability (Via Satellite) Two Australian startup space companies are partnering to create a software-defined space-to-ground capability. Antaris and Quasar Satellite Technologies

SpaceX Debuts Maritime Offering for Starlink (Via Satellite) SpaceX announced a maritime satcom offering for the Starlink constellation on Thursday. Starlink Maritime is advertised as offering 350 Mbps download for

Inmarsat and hiSky Complete Tests for IoT Service Offering (Via Satellite) Inmarsat and hiSky have completed testing of hiSky’s Smartellite terminals with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network. The two companies announced the

SatixFy Achieves First 5G LEO Satellite Backhaul Link with OneWeb Constellation (Via Satellite) SatixFy Communications confirmed Wednesday that its electronically steered multi-beam array achieved a high-speed, low-latency 5G backhaul link with a

OneWeb Receives Regulatory Access to Provide Broadband in Brazil (Via Satellite) OneWeb’s prospects in Latin America have been boosted by the news that the Brazilian telecoms regulator, Anatel has granted the company a 15-year license

Northrop Grumman Selects Airbus for SDA Satellite Platforms (Via Satellite) Airbus will supply Northrop Grumman with satellite platforms for the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer award, the companies

Space Forge Partners With Lumi Space to Track Satellite on Virgin Orbit UK Mission (Via Satellite) United Kingdom space startup Space Forge is partnering with space situational awareness (SSA) company Lumi Space on the upcoming Virgin Orbit launch from

FCC authorizes SpaceX to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes and trucks (CNBC) The FCC authorized SpaceX to provide Starlink satellite internet to vehicles in motion, a key step for Elon Musk’s company to further expand the service.

Northrop Grumman’s Space End Crypto Unit (ECU) for Space Force (Real Clear Defense) The prototype, called Space End Crypto Unit (ECU), is being developed in tandem electronics firm Aeronix, with planned delivery in 2024.

Northrop Grumman Supports Successful US Space Force-12 Mission from Liftoff to Orbit (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) played a vital role in the successful launch and deployment of the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-12 mission which launched last night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. As part of this…

Satellite and Ground Station Operations

Into the ‘outernet’: Secure ‘internet in space’ key to future Space Force hybrid architecture (Breaking Defense) Four Pentagon offices are working together on an ambitious hybrid architecture that spans orbits as well as classification levels, officials told Breaking Defense.

Wrangling disparate ground systems is ‘major’ priority for Space Force integration office – Breaking Defense (Breaking Defense) “Progress has not been as great as we wanted it to be” in the Space Force’s effort to reduce the number of disparate satellite ground control centers, according to Clare Leon, head of Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Space Systems Integration Office (SSIO).

Ericsson, Qualcomm Team Up with Thales to Test Satellite 5G Services (Via Satellite) Ericsson and  Qualcomm announced Monday that they have teamed up with Thales to test satellite-delivered, space-based 5G services to global customers and

Measat Expands Network With ST Engineering iDirect (Via Satellite) Measat is expanding its satellite network in partnership with Datacom and ST Engineering iDirect to improve broadband access in Malaysia, the companies

Policy, Strategy, and Regulation

With latest Rocket Lab launch, NRO and Australia strengthen allied cooperation (Breaking Defense) NROL 162, nicknamed by Rocket Lab “Wise One Looks Ahead” is scheduled to launch as early as 1:00 am EDT on June 13 from New Zealand, according to a company press release. NROL-199, “Antipodean Adventure” is scheduled to launched on July 22. 

Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite-Internet Service Battles Dish Over Airwaves (Wall Street Journal) SpaceX executives hope to convince the Federal Communications Commission that the expanded spectrum use sought by 5G network operators would hamstring the rocket company’s internet service.

Congress must support a diversified, multi-layered approach to space missile warning (Breaking Defense) America’s adversaries are developing tools to trick or destroy current missile tracking capabilities. It’s time to get back ahead of the curve, writes Christopher Stone of the Mitchell Institute.

Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation

BlackSky Wins IARPA Award to Support Analysis Automation Project SMART (Via Satellite) The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded BlackSky a second award to support a research program to automate analysis of

UK’s Reaction Engines Begins Propulsion Trials for US Military (Via Satellite) Reaction Engines, a U.K. space company, has begun testing its high-Mach propulsion technology in a critical U.S.-based trial, as it looks to make more of

Resilient space systems require autonomy, cultural shift: Space Force chief scientist (Breaking Defense) Many of the technology challenges facing the Space Force are “fundamental and architectural,” requiring the service to figure out how “to get these new, rapidly evolving ideas into the system in a way that makes sense and it’s not utter chaos,” said Joel Mozer, director of science, technology and research.

Terran Orbital Completes First CAPSTONE Test Burn for NASA Artemis Program (Via Satellite) Terran Orbital reported Friday that it successfully completed the first TCM burn (TCM-1) on the NASA Artemis program’s CAPSTONE space vehicle. CAPSTONE

SpaceChain Completes New Blockchain Testing Milestone (Via Satellite) SpaceChain has completed the testing of the space node it created for Velas Network, which is hosted on Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite and independent of

Spaceflight experiment Recurve launches in support of warfighter comms (C4ISRNet) The launch of Recurve reveals the latest technological advancements in radio frequencies and information transmission in the increasingly contested environment of space.

Atomos, Addvalue Partner to Develop LEO OTV Tech Using Inmarsat Elera Service (Via Satellite) Denver-based in-space transportation company Atomos Space entered into a technology partnership with Addvalue Innovation, a communication terminals

Space Technology

Marking a New Era of Human Voyages to Space (Satellite Today) Space entrepreneurs race to build a sustainable ecosystem and a path for private citizens to experience zero-G.

The Future of Military Satellites Lies in Modularity (Satellite Today) Military satellites must now respond to new imperatives: better responsiveness and an improved resiliency, in addition to cost-effectiveness. Satellite modularity may be the key to answering these new imperatives for the military space.

Space Runs on Open Source Software. The US Air Force Is Fine With That (Defense One) Commercial space players don’t have the same security concerns as the Pentagon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t share code.

NASA assigns two for crewed test flight of Boeing’s Starliner (Military Aerospace) NASA announced two astronauts it plans to send up on the crewed test flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner when it gets a chance to fly the International Space Station Richard Tribou reports for the Orlando Sentinel.

Newest sats launched by DoD include jammer-evading, classified payloads (Breaking Defense) AFRL’s experimental CubeSat, called Recurve, uses artificial intelligence/machine learning to autonomously decide how to route data through large constellations of interlinked satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Germany offers plan to tackle satellite cyberthreats (Register) Vendors get checklist on what to do when crooks inevitably turn up in space

L3Harris Unveils Tech That Can Capture Battlefield Imagery From Space (The Defense Post) L3Harris has unveiled a new infrared tech capable of capturing high-resolution imagery and other crucial battlefield information from space.

US SSC’s L3Harris-built infrared instrument set for launch (Airforce Technology) L3Harris Technologies’ infrared instrument built for the US Space Systems Command (SSC) is set to be launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, US.

Space Science

The James Webb Space Telescope just delivered some incredible new images of the universe (MIT Technology Review) A release of early observations by the $10 billion telescope reveals galaxies, planets, and stars in unprecedented detail.

The James Webb Telescope’s First Photos Show Its Extraordinary Power (Wired) The cosmic probe’s long-awaited images will kick off astronomers’ science programs.

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope reveals stunning first full-color image (NYSE:NOC) (SeekingAlpha) NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built by a partnership led by Northrop Grumman (NOC), delivered its first image on Monday of the deepest infrared image of the universe ever…

Inside the Universe Machine: The Webb Space Telescope’s Ultra-Reliable Radio (IEEE Spectrum) Any scientific data the JWST collects during its lifetime will need to be stored on board, because the spacecraft doesn’t maintain round-the-clock contact with Earth. The on-board storage is enough to collect data for about 24 hours before it runs out of room.

Secrets of the Moon’s Permanent Shadows Are Coming to Light (Wired) Robots will venture into the sunless depths of lunar craters to find ancient water ice, while studies find hints about how water arrives on rocky worlds.

Miscellanea

Russia releases photo of cosmonauts holding Luhansk flag on ISS (the Guardian) Trio were praised in February for wearing yellow uniforms in apparent show of support for Ukraine

UFO Whistleblowers Would Get Immunity Under New Amendment (The Drive) The language would give government employees and contractors immunity from reprisal for coming forward about UFO encounters and programs.

House approves measure to share information on UFO reports (NBC News) A bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would establish a “secure system” for to receive reports about UFOs. The Senate has yet to take up the bill.

Stunned by UFOs, ‘exasperated’ fighter pilots get little help from Pentagon (The Hill) Despite the frequency of the encounters and the severity of the hazard, it took the Navy five years to adopt a formal UFO reporting structure.

Fact check: UFO image is digitally altered photo of Air Force training exercise (USA TODAY) An image purportedly showing a UFO near a Texas Air Force base was digitally altered. The original photo was taken during a flight exercise.