Digging Out of Space Hole

Amid claims the US is losing the space race from speakers at the Geospatial Intelligence Foundation symposium this week in San Antonio, Gil Klinger, director of space and intelligence capabilities in OSD’s acquisition shop, said, “The Air Force and the NRO [National Reconnaissance Office], given an enlightened opportunity, will dig us out of this hole,” reports DOD Buzz. Escalating costs and slipping schedules for a number of spacecraft, particularly intelligence satellites, has confounded Congress, the Pentagon, and the entire Intelligence Community, prompting Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), chairman of a key House intelligence subcommittee, to tell symposium attendees, “We can’t afford any more failures.” Space News reports that Ruppersberger believes lawmakers are poised to agree with Administration plans to field two new imaging sats—upgrades to ones currently built by Lockheed Martin for NRO, but some lawmakers have opposed the plan as too costly and risky.