Tag: US Space Force

Orbit Fab’s Plan is to Fill Them Up in Space

November 16, 2020                                  (satnews.com)

• Orbit Fab is expected to launch the first operational fuel depot, or “gas station” in Earth’s orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than in June 2021. ‘Tanker 001 Tenzing’ (pictured above) will store readily accessible fuel propellant to satellite servicing vehicles and other spacecraft the fast growing in-orbit servicing industry. (see 7:10 minute demonstration video below)

• The tanker is one of several payloads to launch on a Spaceflight Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), which is capable of multiple deployments. Spaceflight’s first OTV, Sherpa-FX, is scheduled to debut in December 2020 on a SpaceX rideshare mission, and provides independent and detailed deployment telemetry and flexible interfaces, all at a low cost.

• Orbit Fab’s ‘Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface’ (RAFTI) provides reliable propellant transfer both on the ground and in orbit with a self-driving satellite kit for docking and attachment of two spacecraft without the need for complex robotic arms. The RAFTI interface has been adopted by multiple spacecraft manufacturers to extend the life of their satellites. RAFTI, which is also known as a “Satellite Gas Cap™,” was developed in cooperation with 30 companies and organizations and it is expected to become the industry’s common refueling interface.

• Orbit Fab successfully demonstrated its propellant storage and delivery systems in an unprecedented private transfer of water to the International Space Station. Earlier in 2020, Orbit Fab received a $3 million contract from the US Air Force to fully flight qualify the RAFTI service valve. Orbit Fab also received a National Science Foundation grant to test its docking system.

• RAFTI will support the rapidly proliferating in-orbit servicing industry which saw a five-fold increase since 2018. Gas stations in space are an essential resource to fuel this industry and support the infrastructure in space that enables projected commerce, exploration and national security.

• RAFTI will also support the Air Force and Space Force’s need for space combat logistics capabilities said  Orbit Fab CDO, Jeremy Schiel. “Refueling is a requirement in the emerging Space Force architecture and for good reason. You don’t want to run out of fuel in the middle of a confrontation.”

 

                           Jeremy Schiel

Orbit Fab has signed an agreement with Spaceflight Inc. to launch the company’s first operational fuel depot to orbit. Tanker 001 Tenzing, which will provide fuel for the fast growing in-orbit servicing industry, is expected to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than in June 2021.

Once launched, Tanker 001 Tenzing will store propellant in sun synchronous orbit, where it will be available to satellite servicing

    Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle

vehicles or other spacecraft that need to replenish fuel supplies. The tanker is one of several payloads to launch on a Spaceflight Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle, which is capable of executing multiple deployments. Spaceflight’s first OTV, Sherpa-FX, is scheduled to debut no earlier than December 2020 on a SpaceX rideshare mission and provides independent and detailed deployment telemetry, and flexible interfaces, all at a low cost.

Orbit Fab’s fuel depots are designed to support more sustainable spacecraft through the use of the Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI), which has been adopted by multiple spacecraft manufacturers to extend the life of their satellites. RAFTI, which is also known as a “Satellite Gas Cap™,” was developed in cooperation with 30 companies and organizations and it is expected to become the industry’s common refueling interface.

In today’s contested space domain RAFTI provides reliable propellant transfer both on the ground and in orbit with a self-driving satellite kit for docking and attachment of two spacecraft without the need for complex robotic arms.

7:10 minute ‘Orb Fab Story’: gas stations in space (‘Altium Stories” YouTube)

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Biden Not Seen as a Threat to Space Force

Article by Sandra Erwin                                 November 9, 2020                                 (spacenews.com)

• President-elect Joe Biden has said he plans to reverse a number of Trump policies but he is expected to continue to support the US Space Force. “If Space Force did not already exist, I think Joe Biden probably would not create it. However I think it’s pretty unlikely that Biden would seriously try to eliminate Space Force at this point,” said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. Burbach’s views are his own and he does not speak for the government.

• The Space Force is enshrined in Title 10 of the U.S. Code as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed services so any move to dismantle it would require congressional legislation. And the Republicans are poised to control the Senate. “No way the Republican Senate would go along with undoing that accomplishment for Trump,” said Burbach. “Things get institutionalized pretty quickly in Washington,” Burbach said. “I think it would be very difficult to roll back Space Force. We now have officers and enlisted personnel in the Space Force even if they haven’t figured out what to call them.”

• Burbach noted that there is broad consensus in Washington that space is a “contested domain.” Many Democrats agree that the Pentagon needed to do more to address threats to US space assets. “Space Force is not the solution that Democrats would have preferred but given that it’s been done, I think the focus will be on trying to make it work effectively.”

• Joshua Huminski, director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs’ National Security Space Program, said it is too early to tell how President Biden will view Space Force. “I think the important thing to consider is that the intellectual foundation of the Space Force existed well before President Trump — the need for a separate culture, space as a warfighting domain, and the threat from Russia and China on orbit. That foundation, those needs, and the mission and threat will continue on and perhaps accelerate into President Biden’s administration, so you may see more constancy than immediate change.” “President Biden can set the tone, for sure,” says Huminski. “But Congress will ultimately have the final say.”

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force was a signature initiative of the Trump administration. President-elect Joe Biden has said he plans to reverse a number of Trump policies but he is expected to continue to support the U.S. Space Force, experts told SpaceNews.

             David Burbach

“If Space Force did not already exist, I think Joe Biden probably would not create it. However I think it’s pretty

                       Joshua Huminski

unlikely that Biden would seriously try to eliminate Space Force at this point,” said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.

Burbach said his views are his own and he does not speak for the government.

The Space Force is enshrined in Title 10 of the U.S. Code as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed services so any move to dismantle it would require congressional legislation.

With Republicans poised to control the Senate, that would be a non-starter, Burbach said. “No way the Republican Senate would go along with undoing that accomplishment for Trump.”

Burbach said the Space Force would not be targeted even if Democrats gained control of the Senate. “Things get institutionalized pretty quickly in Washington,” he said. “I think it would be very difficult to roll back Space Force. We now have officers and enlisted personnel in the Space Force even if they haven’t figured out what to call them.”

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NASA Commander to be Sworn into US Space Force From the International Space Station

Article by Sandra Erwin                                October 28, 2020                                    (spacenews.com)

• NASA astronaut and US Air Force colonel Michael Hopkins is the commander of an upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Hopkins is also planning to transfer to the US Space Force.

• “If all goes well, we’re looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station,” said Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the US Space Force. Raymond is working with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the details of a planned transfer ceremony as a way to highlight the decades-long partnership between DoD and NASA.

• NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission is scheduled to launch on November 14th from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The crew of four includes Hopkins, NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Soichi Noguchi (all 4 pictured above).

• For more than 60 years, men and women from the five military branches have helped fill the ranks of the NASA astronaut corps. Hopkins was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 2009. Like hundreds of other Air Force airmen, Hopkins is voluntarily transferring to Space Force. He will be the first member of the Space Force to serve in NASA’s astronaut corps.

 

      Michael Hopkins

WASHINGTON — NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, a U.S. Air Force colonel and the commander of the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, is transferring to the U.S. Space Force and is expected to be commissioned aboard the International Space Station.

         the International Space Station

“If all goes well, we’re looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station,” said Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force.

Col. Michael “Hopper” Hopkins is the commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission scheduled to launch Nov. 14 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The crew of four includes Hopkins, NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Soichi Noguchi.

Col. Catie Hague, a spokesperson for the chief of space operations, told SpaceNews that the service is working with NASA to schedule a transfer ceremony once Hopkins is on board the International Space Station.

Hopkins, like hundreds of other airmen who are now in the Space Force, is transferring voluntarily. He was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 2009.

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