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Space Agency Spreads Its Wings

March 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

NASA is responding to criticism that it has become insular in its technology investments by opening its future plans for public debate. Core to these discussions are 14 space technology road maps that the National Research Council is vetting. NASA also is asking other government entities, industry and academia to weigh in to determine if or how the agency’s ideas will benefit all stakeholders.

Israel Exploits Space Technologies, Capabilities

March 2011
By Adam Baddeley, SIGNAL Magazine

Israel has extended its defensive reach into space with families of remote sensing and communications satellites. An evolutionary process coupled with technology insertion has generated advances in space-based capabilities that offer direct results to warfighters on the battlefield.

NASA Awards In-Space Robotics Servicing Contract to Lockheed Martin

January 7, 2011
By George Seffers

NASA has awarded a sole-source contract to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Systems Engineering for In-Space Servicing. This 18-month contract has a value of $31 million. Lockheed Martin will provide systems and discipline engineering support to develop and execute two demonstrations to test and verify new robotic servicing capabilities using the Dextre robot aboard the International Space Station. The Canadian Space Agency's Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or Dextre, is a two-armed robotic system designed to perform intricate maintenance and servicing tasks, which previously would have required spacewalks.

Cool App-titude: Google Sky Map

November 23, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The Sky Map app from Google turns Android phones into a stargazing tool with the click of a button. And a new "time travel" feature lets you see images of the sky from the past and the future.

Space Monitoring Undergoes Extreme Makeover

October 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A multitude of changes underway at U.S. Strategic Command are revolutionizing the U.S. Defense Department’s place in space. In addition to the three Wideband Global SATCOM satellites currently in orbit, the command is discussing how the commercial sector can continue to support its missions, and its Joint Space Operations Center is undergoing not just a facelift but what can be considered a total remodeling. In addition, the command is boosting its outreach through the influence it now has with its authority over the Commercial and Foreign Entities Program.

The Stars Our (Internet) Destination

September 15, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

Throughout time, humans have explored their surroundings, crossing oceans and landmasses in pursuit of knowledge and glory. This thirst for knowledge also turned eyes skyward, causing the curious to try to understand the vastness of existence around the planet Earth. As technology advanced, the desire to venture into the cosmos became increasingly possible, until man walked on the moon and equipment traveled much farther away. Fortunately for those who are still on terra firma, gathering information about the universe is much easier than launching on a rocket ship. People can learn and discover more about deep space through adventures in cyberspace without the need for oxygen tanks or special suits.

NASA Extends Engineering and Scientific Services Contract to ASRC

August 20, 2010
By George Seffers

NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, has awarded a one-year contract option to ASRC Aerospace Corporation of Greenbelt, Maryland, for technical, engineering and scientific services in the areas of aeronautics, microgravity science, space exploration and related science and technology activities in support of Glenn's Lewis Field and Plum Brook Station, Sandusky, Ohio. The option has a value that will not exceed $50 million and increases the value of the contract to $260 million.

TacSat Delay Ignites Frustration

July 2006
By Maryann Lawlor

After years of discussion, some military experts still disagree about the next step for the Operationally Responsive Space concept. While many believe the time for study and analysis is over, others say questions remain about the details of the capability's benefits for warfighting. Despite these differences, all agree that the time to move forward is now and that funding remains one of the biggest impediments to progress.

Digital Maps Reach New Heights

July 2005
By Henry S. Kenyon

A high-resolution global elevation map soon will allow warfighters to develop and use a variety of navigation, communications and engineering applications. Twice as accurate as previous geographic data systems, it can generate detailed topographies of 80 percent of the planet's surface, government scientists say.

Space Vulnerabilities Threaten U.S. Edge in Battle

June 2005
By Robert K. Ackerman

The proliferation of space technologies around the world poses a threat to the space assets on which the U.S. military is relying to ensure battlespace supremacy in the 21st century. These technologies, once available only to a select few, now are opening the door to both the widespread exploitation of space and the denial of U.S. space systems during times of crisis.


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