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Space Force

Old Russian Rocket Motor Explodes in Orbit, Creating More Space Debris | Scientific American

The 2007 launch of a Russian satellite left debris in orbit around the Earth. 

Tuesday, the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Defense Squadron reported that an object with the catalog number 32398 disintegrated on April 15. (May 3). Currently, sixteen bits of space debris related to the incident are being monitored. In 2007, three GLONASS satellites were sent into orbit with the aid of a Russian rocket’s ullage motor. According to astronomer Jonathan McDowell, 64 of these motors are now orbiting Earth. 

Satellite operators and mission planners face an increasing challenge with space trash. The European Space Agency believes that there are now around 36,500 bits of debris orbiting the Earth. Approximately one million objects with dimensions between 0.1 and 4 centimeters orbit the Earth. Russia contributed to the debris population in November 2021 with a highly criticized anti-satellite (ASAT) test.  Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/old-russian-rocket-motor-explodes-in-orbit-creating-more-space-debris/

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Space Force

To track hypersonic missiles, Space Force to develop ‘at least’ 4 MEO satellites | Breaking Defense

By October, the Space Force will get the Space Development Agency and the Space and Missile Defense Agency. 

Between FY23 and FY27, $828 million is earmarked for efforts aimed at creating at least four satellites. A multi-layered network of satellites is required to offer a complete warning and monitoring of ballistic and hypersonic missiles. SSC intends to offer follow-on contracts in December to begin development. Budget papers make no mention of whether a single or several contractors will be selected. To provide ballistic and hypersonic missile warning and tracking, a multi-layered network of satellites in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), highly elliptical polar orbit, Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) is required. 

SDA will join the Space Force in October, retaining a semi-independent status. The agency allocates over $12 billion for the initiative between FY23 and FY27.   Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2022/04/to-track-hypersonic-missiles-space-force-to-develop-at-least-4-meo-satellites/

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Space Force

Spotlight On Space Solar Power As EU Skitters Away From Russian Gas | CleanTechnica 

The United States Air Force and Northrup Grumman are advancing research into space solar power. 

The US Air Force is preparing an update to its space solar energy study. The UK’s science minister has voiced support for solar collection platforms circling the earth. The allure of continuous solar electricity is part of the allure. A component is avoiding land use disputes that would jeopardize nature protection and food security. Another example is powering neighborhoods without the need to construct additional transmission lines or energy storage equipment. 

The US Air Force and Northrup Grumman are collaborating on a project named SSPIDR, an acronym for Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research. The project was on pace to begin testing the solar power generators and radio frequency wireless power transmission on a 666-foot prototype. A critical component has passed its early testing and will be shown this month at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a paper arguing for investment in space solar energy. Global energy consumption is expected to more than treble over the next three decades. 

The development of new sources of renewable energy that are sustainable, cheap, secure, and scalable is critical. Earlier this month, the UK science minister reaffirmed his government’s support for space solar R&D in widely publicized statements. The EU is relying heavily on liquefied natural gas for assistance, at least in the short future. Wind, solar, and green hydrogen players are already posing a threat soon. A competitive space solar energy business might someday assist in restraining the LNG genie.  Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2022/03/28/spotlight-on-space-solar-power-as-eu-skitters-away-from-russian-gas/

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Space Force

US Space Force awards contract for simulation and war gaming environment | Defense News

The Space Force will get a space simulation platform from Slingshot Aerospace that will be used to educate advanced topics. 

Slingshot Aerospace stated today that it is working on a digital duplicate of space for the United States. As part of a new $25 million contract, the Space Force will be able to swiftly offer training and wargaming capabilities. The company’s Digital Space Twin model mimics the space environment and displays real-time maps of on-orbit objects and space weather. Slingshot has been developing the tool as a commercial product for the last two years and will adapt it for Space Force missions under the new contract to “improve their capacity to monitor and react to present and future threats,” according to a news statement issued by the company on Thursday. Before completing the government product, the corporation intends to release the commercial version. 

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/battlefield-tech/space/2022/03/31/us-space-force-awards-contract-for-simulation-and-wargaming-environment/?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dfn-exclusive

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Space Force

US Space Force Cis-lunar Highway Patrol System to patrol around the moon | Phy.Org

The newly founded United States Space Force has revealed intentions to establish CHPS or the Cis-lunar Highway Patrol System. 

We’ll need a mechanism to monitor space trash and the expanding number of missions orbiting the moon and beyond as human activity expands outward into the solar system. The newly founded United States Space Force has revealed intentions to establish CHPS or the Cis-lunar Highway Patrol System. CHPS will give a serious study into space traffic farther out in orbit around the Earth-moon system, despite its name harkening back to a certain corny TV series from the 1970s. Private enterprises and space organizations are expected to return to the moon in large numbers in the following decade, necessitating the creation of such a network. The issue was recently exposed when a rocket booster collided with the moon on March 4. Despite being far from unique, this was one of the first “lost items” to be found just before impact. 

Source: https://phys.org/news/2022-03-space-cis-lunar-highway-patrol-moon.html