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US Spends $1Bln Annually Protecting Vulnerable Space-Based Assets
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Oct 11, 2015

illustration only

A report by GAO reveals that the US government is devoting $1 billion per year to protect increasingly susceptible space-based assets.

The US government is devoting $1 billion per year to protect increasingly susceptible space-based assets, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on Thursday stated.

"[T]he government's planned budget for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) core efforts... averages about $1.0 billion per year for fiscal years 2015 through 2020," the report said.

The planned budget includes the Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Space systems provide critical capabilities essential for government and commercial operations, but these systems are increasingly vulnerable to a variety of intentional and unintentional threats, the GAO pointed out.

According to the Defense Department, the report noted, "a potential of 375 sensors and systems - satellites, ground-based radars, and optical telescopes - are available to contribute to SSA across the US government and commercial sectors."

To support and sustain its SSA efforts over the next five years, the report added, the Defense Department plans to relocate sensor systems; develop, field and upgrade additional sensors and systems; as well as develop new technologies.

In addition, the US government is planning to invest about $1.8 billion in new sensors and systems over the next few fiscal years, the GAO noted.

However, "the Missile Defense Agency has not determined what percentage of its budget for operating the missile defense sensors, which averages about $538 million per year over the next several years, would be allocated to the SSA mission," the report added.

The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer money.

Source: Sputnik News

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