When a Navy satellite failed to reach its target orbit in July, the service called on Air Force Space Command to help find out what had happened. With the use of the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), or “Neighborhood Watch,” satellites, the 1st Space Operations Squadron was able to collect imagery of the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-5 satellite, according to a 50th Space Wing release. The GSSAP is able to provide electro optical situational awareness, including the location, orbit, and size, of space objects that analysts can use to determine what caused an anomaly. The detailed planning that went into the mission “was an outstanding learning event for our crews,” said Capt. Brett Kasischke, the 1st SOPS’ mission planning cell chief, according to the release. “Our tactics, techniques, and procedures were refined and, when called upon to assist with another satellite anomaly, we will be ready.”
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.