Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

U.S. Complacency in Space?
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 22, 2013

The USAF invests 20 percent of its annual funding in space.

Right before we left for our holiday break, we read a powerful article in Air Force magazine titled "Breaking the Space Status Quo." The magazine article focused on the observations of several senior Air Force and satellite industry leaders discussed during the Air Force Association's Global War Symposium.

The first paragraph tells the story plainly and forcefully: "The United States has become complacent about military space, depending heavily on a few small satellite constellations that are increasingly vulnerable to attack or accidental loss but for which there are no backups. The nation must build some resiliency into its space systems, even as it searches for innovative and affordable ways to lower costs while expanding its overall space capabilities."

As an example, Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General spoke about possible satellite capacity shortages in the Pacific should the DoD focus shift to that region. She said "Intelsat provides the lion's share, by far, of the satellite communications that allow the Global Hawk to fly and gather information. A step up in use of Global Hawk in the Pacific theater will require a commensurate increase in satellite coverage of the area, she said.

Jamie Morin, acting undersecretary of the Air Force and Air Force Space Command chief General William Shelton are quoted at length about our increased vulnerability in space. The Air Force invests 20 percent of its annual funding in space, but unlike aircraft and other equipment the concept of "battlefield attrition" is not addressed.

As the title of the piece suggests, the answer is in re-evaluating the status quo of satellite procurement. Some of the most interesting ideas suggested in the piece are:

+ Disaggregation of satellite systems via hosted payloads;

+ Leveraging more allied dollars, such as Australia paying for WGS satellite six;

+ Hosted payloads as part of multi-government consortium satellites;

+ Putting replacement satellite in orbit before a crisis situation presents itself.

Morin is quoted as reminding the audience that U.S. superiority in space is "not a birthright, ... not a guarantee." Space is a much more crowded and dangerous place today. The military needs to plan now how to work with industry to protect and preserve our advantage moving forward.


Related Links
Satcom Frontier
Military Space News at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China Voice: Cold War mentality fuels US satellite export prejudice
Beijing (XNA) Jan 14, 2013
Despite counting itself among China's "partners," the United States has failed to follow through on its promises. Last week, the U.S. decided to maintain its controls on satellite exports to China, a decision that came less than a month after it pledged to export more high-tech products for civilian use to the Asian nation. While relaxing satellite export restrictions for other countries, ... read more

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Mission would drag asteroid to the moon

US scientists find evidence of ancient Martian lake

Martian Crater May Once Have Held Groundwater-Fed Lake

Choosing the right people to go to Mars

ChemCam follows the 'Yellowknife Road' to Martian wet area

An Astronaut's Guide

Mathematical breakthrough sets out rules for more effective teleportation

Orion Teamwork Pays Off

Unilever Buys 22 Flights On XCOR Lynx Suborbiter For AXE Campaign

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Competition Hopes To Fine Tune ISS Solar Array Shadowing

Embassy Gathers Elite Group of Space Policy Chiefs

Amazonas 3 in Kourou for Ariane 5 year-opening launch campaign

Suborbital Space Research and Education Conference Scheduled for June 2013

First Ariane 5 Launch For 2013 Ready With Two Birds

Africasat-1a to launch on first Ariane 5 launch in 2013

Glitch has space telescope shut down

Earth-size planets common in galaxy

NASA's Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit For Fomalhaut B

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega

Computer breakthrough: Code of life becomes databank

Kim Dotcom apologises for Mega bugs

World's Most Complex 2D Laser Beamsteering Array Demonstrated

Record high radiation level found in fish: TEPCO

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement