Making Space

The Air Force is planning to spend about $11.4 billion in Fiscal 2011 on space-related activities, Gary Payton, USAF’s deputy under secretary for space programs, said during a meeting with reporters Thursday in Washington, D.C. Of this total, about $8 billion is programmed in research and development and procurement accounts, he said. That’s about a seven percent dip from the enacted 2010 levels. The Air Force wants to buy its fourth Space Based Infrared Systems satellite (GEO-4) in Fiscal 2011 as well as the seventh Wideband Global Satellite Communications spacecraft. It would also like to put down the advanced procurement dollars for SBIRS GEO-5, WGS-8, the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, and first Global Positioning System Block IIIA spacecraft. It has also requested money to buy three Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles for future space launches. (For more on the Fiscal 2011 budget, see Modest Growth.)