A prototype spaceplane developed for the US military has been launched into orbit from Florida.
The Space Review – Above the clouds: the White Cloud ocean surveillance satellites
In the 1970s the NRO and the Navy developed a new series of spacecraft designed to monitor naval vessels on the high seas. Dwayne Day describes the history of this effort, which until recently had been shrouded in secrecy.
Wall Street Journal – Satellites Destroyed in Orbital Collision
A commercial satellite owned by a U.S. company was destroyed in a collision with a defunct Russian spy satellite in what NASA said was the first in-orbit spacecraft collision, raising new concerns about the dangers of space debris.
The Space Review – Ike’s gambit: The KH-8 reconnaissance satellite
While there are considerable details now available about one of the earliest US spy satellite programs, CORONA, far less is known about another early program, GAMBIT.
Air Force – Ups and Downs of Space Radars
Jeffrey T. Richelson writes that the Air Force and NRO have been hacking at this project for nearly 50 years now.
Defense News – U.S. Eyes Reaction Force That Rockets Into Space
A new meaning for the term “Quick Reaction Force”?
The Atlantic – An interesting article that puts the material discussed here in a different perspective by describing a poorly understood but serious threat to mankind.
The odds that a potentially devastating space rock will hit Earth this century may be as high as one in 10.
So why isnít NASA trying harder to prevent catastrophe?
And why is the US Air Force interested in working this problem?
Space Review – In the 1960s the US Navy developed the POPPY series of satellites designed to identify the location of Soviet radars and naval vessels. Dwayne Day examines the history of this satellite program, including new information on the role these satellites played in the Cold War.
Economist – Modern American warfare relies on satellites. They make America powerful but also vulnerable, particularly in light of China’s new celestial assertiveness
Wired – A year ago, China knocked a weather satellite out of orbit, and threw the international community into panic. Some figured the satellite-killer test was the harbinger of a future war in space — the kind of conflict that could cripple a tech-dependent United States military. Geoffrey Forden, PhD — an MIT research associate and a former UN weapons inspector and strategic weapons analyst at the Congressional Budget Office — examines the possibilities of an all-out Chinese assault on American satellites.
Space Review – A new maritime strategy document calls for the creation of a multinational network of sensors and communications to enable better cooperation among the worldís navies. Taylor Dinerman examines the role space would play in such a strategy, and the institutional obstacles it faces within the Pentagon.
Daily Telegraph – The prospect of “Star Wars” between China and the West loomed last night after Beijing used a ballistic missile to destroy a satellite in space.
Washington Post – President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to U.S. interests.”
Air Force – Space superiority cannot be taken for granted, so the Air Force is making plans to defend it.
Center for Defense Information – Excellent summary that points out that
critical space capabilities are evolving rapidly throughout the world. The age of
microsatellites and low-cost launch will dramatically lower the threshold for nations
desiring space capabilities, likely producing a space-faring boom. The dissemination of
imagery capabilities useful for military operations as well as space surveillance
capabilities will continue ñ meaning that there will soon be ìno place to hideí either on
Earth or in space. (PDF format)
Wired – Amateur satellite spotters can track everything government spymasters blast into orbit. Except the stealth bird codenamed Misty.
Space.com – The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Security Agency (NSA) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have declassified the fact that a series of satellites was orbited from 1962 through 1971, designated POPPY. POPPYís mission was to collect radar emissions from Soviet naval vessels.
Naval War College Review – Basing weapons in space might in the short term increase U.S. military capabilities, but their broader, long-term effect would be negative-especially because of likely foreign responses, inherent vulnerabilities, and crisis destabilization. A decision not to deploy weapons in space, and a treaty discouraging other nations from deploying them, would be much more in the national interest.
Wired – A look at some of the amazing capability of commercial imaging satellites. Make sure to look at the photo gallery.
Washingtion Post – A succinct description of the Pentagon’s plans for space over the next 5 years.