Thursday, August 6, 2009

Protecting satellites a priority

Amy Butler
Aviation Week

Protecting satellites in orbit and international cooperation appear to be among the key issues under consideration in space policy reviews underway at the Pentagon and White House.

An emphasis on both of these areas is stemming from an increasingly widespread recognition in government that space is essential to all facets of U.S. military, industrial and economic might and that U.S. satellites are threatened by potential adversaries.

China’s 2007 shootdown of one of its own aging satellites had a “galvanizing effect” on government officials, says David Ochmanek, a deputy assistant secretary of Defense at the center of the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Some had taken for granted that space services such as communications and reconnaissance were safe. The QDR is focusing on resources needed for future conflicts, and will wrap up this fall.

The Pentagon’s Space Posture Review (SPR) began this spring and could continue to year’s end. It is a sweeping look at strategies for operating in space—from deterring nations from conducting dangerous or provocative acts there, to appropriate responses for hostile meddling or an attack. The National Security Council is leading the White House review, and it will provide overarching policy for civil and military space.

Read the Article HERE.

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