Stories I happened upon during the past week.
Someone wants to keep the military-industrial complex alive and well. I don’t understand this article, other than the obvious hand-wringing about keeping large satellites alive and kicking. Bigger military satellites don’t necessarily equal great performance. They will, however, remain very expensive because of the acceptance/expectation of certain processes within government, military, and legacy contractors.
Some of the issues I see with the article may be because of the ignorance on the writer’s part about how space works. It definitely shows an ignorance, or willing acceptance, of the program history of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), which is a U.S. missile detection/warning system on multiple satellites orbiting the Earth. Adding more satellites to defend them will not only be costly, but then increase investment in a system which was designed over 30 years ago manufactured with possibly older technology. Do we really think that’s a good way to spend taxpayer money?
SBIRS was not affordable by any measure. According to this 2017 GAO report (here–page 6), SBIRS costs increased by more than 300% from the original baseline. That’s over 19 BILLION dollars! The United States Air Force was late to launch it’s first SBIRS satellite by nine years. And it’s dismaying to think the USAF believes it’s a changed service and will be able to control costs of smaller satellites. They will probably be the most expensive small satellites taxpayer money can buy. But maybe better than protecting aging satellites.
As for the aggression from other nations–kinetic attacks in space can happen. But I believe it would be far smarter to conduct attacks on the weak links of military constellations, which are the ground stations. They don’t even have to be destructive–merely disruptive for a time.
Don’t believe what you read on the internet :-)–even from a legacy publisher.
And here’s where I step in and note that maybe the writer of this article doesn’t understand what “space” means.
Okay, this is just for fun. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum made this 9-minute video showing their interviews with interesting people about some projects at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Go ahead, watch it.
I have to write it. This is a space blog and I’m a nerd.
“May the 4th be with you, always!“