The Air Force selected Lockheed Martin for its Hosted Payload Solutions initiative, making the company “eligible to competitively bid on future payload hosting opportunities covered under a $495 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract,” the company announced Wednesday. The initiative is intended to find ways to integrate mission-specific government payloads, such as sensor packages, onto commercial satellites. “HoPS is an innovative, cost-effective approach that will allow the Air Force to leverage commercial spacecraft to host some of its future space missions,” said Mark Valerio, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s military space line of business. “We plan to bring our experience in both payload integration and commercial satellites to bear on HoPS, supporting the Air Force’s goal of reaching the nexus of capability, affordability, and resilience for its future space architecture.” The company has previously integrated three government payloads onto commercial hosts and has “delivered 84 payloads on 16 different types of satellites” overall since 2000, states the release.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.