Unresponsive Satellite Can’t Be Fixed or Recovered: Air Force

Another Pentagon satellite has been lost to space.

That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Air Force, which recently investigated what went wrong with the newest weather satellite in the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Continue reading

China, Russia Planning Space Attacks on U.S. Satellites

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Photographers follow a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, carrying the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM military communications satellite / AP

 

 

Critical space infrastructure faces crippling missile strikes, small satellites, lasers

China and Russia are preparing to attack and disrupt critical U.S. military and intelligence satellites in a future conflict with crippling space missile, maneuvering satellite, and laser attacks, senior Pentagon and intelligence officials told Congress on Tuesday.

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the Air Force Space Command, said the threat to U.S. space systems has reached a new tipping point, and after years of post-Cold War stagnation foreign states are focused on curbing U.S. space systems. Continue reading

US Air Force Bolsters Space Defense to Counter Russian, Chinese ‘Threats’

As global powers prepare for the increased role of outer space in future conflicts, the US Air Force has announced the creation of a new team whose sole purpose is to protect American space assets – primarily against Russian and Chinese “aggression.”

Currently, US satellite navigation is claimed to be dangerously understaffed. Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, stated to reporters in December 2015 that, “two 19-year-old airmen are the two guys flying GPS this morning for the entire world. That’s wrong.” Continue reading

Russia Using Space Warfare Systems in Syrian War

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Moscow relying on satellites to gather intelligence after recent anti-satellite weapons test

Russia is employing a significant portion of its space assets to gather intelligence and conduct airstrikes in Syria, underscoring Moscow’s reliance on the military use of spacecraft, according to reports.

Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff for Russia’s military, said last month that Moscow is directing 10 satellites, including some with civilian uses, to conduct reconnaissance in Syria, locate targets, and enhance communications among Russian armed forces, the Daily Beast reported. Those assets constitute more than 10 percent of Moscow’s space warfare systems. Continue reading

Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile

Moscow joins China in space warfare buildup

Russia carried out the first successful flight test of a new anti-satellite missile this month, marking a new phase in the global militarization of space.

The flight test of Russia’s direct ascent anti-satellite missile, known as Nudol, took place Nov. 18, according to defense officials familiar with reports of the test.

It was the first successful test in three attempts, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Continue reading

Moscow Could Be Prepping for Space War With Aggressive New Satellites

The Kremlin says its nimble new satellites are just for communications. But they look—and act—an awful lot like prototype weapons.

On Christmas Day in 2013, a rocket blasted off from the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. The 95-foot-tall, 118-ton Rokot booster—an unarmed version of a Cold War nuclear-tipped missile—lanced into low orbit, shedding spent stages as it climbed.

Seventy-five miles above the Earth’s surface, the Rokot’s nose cracked open and its payload spilled out. The rocket carried Rodnik communications satellites, according to Russian officials.

It’s customary for Rodnik sats to deploy in threes, but in a notification to the United Nations, Moscow listed four spacecraft inside the Christmas Rokot.

The discrepancy was strange…and got stranger.

Continue reading

General: China Space Threat Drives U.S. Space Warfare Buildup

‘I’m not NASA,’ space commander says (UPDATED)

China’s growing space warfare capabilities are prompting the Air Force to develop military space weapons to protect U.S. satellites and shoot down enemy systems, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said in an interview that aired on Sunday.

“It’s a competition I wish wasn’t occurring, but it is,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the space commander, told CBS News.

“And if we’re threatened in space, we have the right of self defense and we’ll make sure we can execute that right.”

Asked if those defenses will involve military force, Hyten states: “That’s why we have a military … I’m not NASA.”

Hyten said some U.S. military satellites can maneuver to avoid attack but older ones cannot. “It depends on the satellite … when it was built … how old it is … when we know the threat is coming.” Continue reading

US military satellite explodes above Earth

It’s plausible that somewhere in China, a PLA officer is laughing.

 

A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.

Civilian company CelesTrak was first to notice the explosion of the once-secret weather satellite and the US Air Force subsequently confirmed that it had been lost.

Continue reading

Air Force launching satellites to spy on other satellites

Too little, too late.

America’s adversaries have deployed satellites that will physically dismantle US satellites and laser weapons that will pluck targets out of space. In reality and worst-case scenario, it doesn’t do much good to focus on satellites that merely ‘spot’ other satellites when the enemy has the means of destroying yours.

America abandoned the Star Wars system long ago because it cost too much and was deemed an impossible science fiction fantasy to develop and deploy. You can call it mothballing or sabotage. Meanwhile, America’s enemies have built theirs — namely Russia and China. Although they haven’t knocked yet, the barbarians are already at the gate.

But hey, no problem. As long as people can still go shopping and still watch the latest NBA game distraction it means threats can be whitewashed, right?

WASHINGTON — The Air Force is about to put a new advanced satellite into space to spy on other countries’ satellites.

On Wednesday, a Delta IV rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla., and place two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites into orbit. They will be the first GSSAP satellites ever launched.

“This neighborhood watch twosome … will be on the lookout for nefarious capability other nations might try to place in that critical orbital regime,” Gen. William Shelton, the head of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. Continue reading

UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.”

China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined  ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites” in the annual Pentagon report to Congress about China’s military capabilities and intentions. (Note: that includes manned spacecraft and most of the satellites mentioned are weather, agriculture and related satellites — not advanced spy satellites.)

In another “special section,” this one about low observable technology, the Pentagon report lists weapons “demonstrated” last year: Continue reading

General: Strategic Military Satellites Vulnerable to Attack in Future Space War

U.S. strategic military satellites are vulnerable to attack in a future space war and the Pentagon is considering a major shift to smaller satellites in response, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said Tuesday.

Gen. William Shelton said in a speech that China currently has a missile that can destroy U.S. satellites and warned that the threat of both space weapons and high-speed orbiting debris is growing.

The four-star general also said he is wary of the United States joining an international code of conduct for space, an initiative promoted by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The code likely would constrain the United States’ freedom of action in the increasingly contested realm of space, he said during remarks at George Washington University. Continue reading

China Expands Space Warfare Capabilities

New weapons aimed at undermining US systems

New arenas of warfare are opening up. The U.S. military is already heavily reliant on satellites and communication systems, and countries like China are actively trying to undermine these systems.

“There’s not an operation conducted anywhere at any level that is not somehow dependent on space and cyberspace,” said General William L. Shelton, Commander of the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, on Sept. 21, according to the Department of Defense. Continue reading

US Military Could Not Handle One Major Theater Operation If Sequester Sticks

“You gentlemen make life and death decisions in the Tank almost every day,” a somber Cooper said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, looking straight at Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh and Marine Gen. James Amos. “We are unwilling to even come up with a budget for America.”

Even the usually partisan HASC Chairman Buck McKeon, after offering a very short defense of the House and GOP’s actions on sequestration, spoke the truth to the Joint Chiefs and the packed hearing room: ”It’s not your fault. It is us.”

How bad will it get if the United States Congress does not reverse the Budget Control Act, the foundation of sequestration?

Three of the four Joint Chiefs told the HASC that they would not be able to execute the most basic strategic requirement of the US military: defeating an enemy in a single major theater operation. Only Gen. Amos, Marine Commandant, said his self-sufficient force could handle one MTO, but could not handle more than that. Continue reading