With a speech by Vice President Mike Pence, along with an interim report issued by the Pentagon, the U.S. government has begun laying out its plan to create a Space Force as a branch of the U.S. military. The plans will shake up an organization that has managed the launch of 116 satellites over the past eight years. Continue reading
In a move designed to disrupt the military space establishment, President Donald Trump called for the creation of the Space Force as a “separate but equal” branch of the U.S. military. While Trump has mentioned the creation of a Space Force previously, the June 18, 2018, announcement came as a surprise. The Department of Defense and the White House both opposed earlier congressional plans to separate space operations from the rest of the Air Force. Continue reading
Military planners in the U.S. and NATO expect the demand for satellite bandwidth to remain high, even with the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and limited number of troops remaining in Iraq. Although fewer soldiers are stationed in these countries than in the recent past, a presence is being maintained to train local forces, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continue to monitor activity. The need by the military for satellite bandwidth will therefore remain high. UAVs are particularly dependent on satellite communications, as commands must be sent to the UAVs and data must be sent back to operators. A combination of military-owned and commercial satellites will be employed to meet this demand.