ULA Expects Amazon Deal to Drive Down Space Force’s Vulcan Launch Costs
A newly announced contract between United Launch Alliance and Amazon could have implications for the next phase of the Space Force’s National Security Space Launch competition. ULA announced this week its Vulcan rocket has been selected to fly 38 launches for Amazon’s Project Kuiper—a constellation of 3,236 satellites aimed at expanding broadband access in underserved regions. Those 38 missions are on top of nine Atlas V rockets Amazon has already ordered from ULA.
Lockheed Martin Pushes USB-like Universal Plug-in for Satellites
Lockheed Martin is not only building a new interface and docking system for upgrading payloads or shifting a satellite’s mission on orbit, but it’s also seeking to influence industry-wide standardization around their approach, according to company officials. The company’s new satellite adapter kit, called the Augmentation System Port Interface (ASPIN), provides both an electric and data interface as well as a docking mechanism that fits onto a host satellite.
The Ukraine War Is Giving Commercial Space an ‘Internet Moment’
Capabilities honed by commercial space companies to document the destruction inflicted by Russia in Ukraine are likely to have long-lasting effects on the industry. Satellites have brought the world unprecedented glimpses into the brutal war, whether through commercial imagery showing the Russian destruction of a shelter clearly labeled as having kids inside, social-media videos shared via SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, or a photojournalist’s pictures from Mariupol filed through satellite phones.
Northrop Grumman and AT&T Creating ‘Military Internet of Things’
Defense giant Northrop Grumman and AT&T are partnering to create what will be a "military Internet of Things" where sensors, weapons, and data will all be connected by a 5G network. Kathy Warden, Northrop Grumman CEO and president, announced the partnership April 6 at the Axios What's Next summit in Washington, D.C.
German Air Force Banks on Israel’s Arrow-3 for National Missile Shield
The German Air Force is looking to the Israeli Arrow-3 system to quickly field a defensive weapon against Russian Iskander and other missiles, according to a service spokesman. The push follows the “informal” approval by political leaders in Germany to initiate more concrete acquisition plans, the spokesman told Defense News. Internally, plans to erect a defense system for Germany and, potentially, neighboring countries, goes by the working title of “German Iron Shield.”
Mental Health Visits Up, Suicidal Behavior Down for Vets Given iPads During Pandemic, Study Finds
A program that put iPads in the hands of veterans with mental health conditions at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased therapy sessions and reduced suicidal behaviors, according to a new study. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs distributed nearly 99,000 of the tablet computers to veterans for telehealth appointments, with more than one-third issued to rural veterans without computers or who faced long drives for medical care.
War in Ukraine Underscores Need for Missile Defense Upgrade
The war in Ukraine is demonstrating the rapid pace of change in modern warfare and underscoring the need for enhanced missile defense capabilities, Derek Tournear, director of the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency, said April 6 at the Space Symposium. “We have seen some hypersonics deployed over Ukraine,” Tournear said. Once it’s in place, SDA’s missile Tracking Layer “would allow you to detect them and track them,” he said.
Air Force Awards B-21 Raider Advance Procurement to Support Acquisition of Long Lead Items for Production
The Department of the Air Force awarded $108 million to Northrop Grumman for advance procurement to support the B-21 Raider program. Advance procurement funds will directly support the acquisition of long lead items necessary to build the first lot of production B-21 aircraft. The award of advance procurement reaffirms the Air Force’s commitment to fielding what will become the backbone of the 21st century bomber fleet.
This Air Force Pilot Is The Banksy of Helmet Wraps
For decades, pilots in the U.S. Air Force were forced to sport drab uniform grey flying helmets while lusting after the customization offered to their Navy counterparts. But in 2019, in a bid to up morale (and the number of cool helmets) the branch decided to begin allowing airmen to personalize their caps.