Space

The Department of Defense and the Space Force foster an understanding of upcoming acquisitions

The dawn of a new decade comes with humankind’s anxious desire to improve the planet’s ultra-high-speed internet connectivity. Although satellite internet connections are currently available globally, many users still raise concerns about the networks’ integrity and security. At the top of the list of complaints is the network’s susceptibility to interceptions from hacking and hijacking. Many satellite internet providers invest millions in cybersecurity to protect and maintain their robust internet network against such threats. No individual or company wants to lose its information and confidential data. Some hackers and hijackers who managed to intercept signals transmitted via the satellite connections are willing to help the satellite internet providers with the improvements they need to implement to seal-up the flaws within the networks. 

State government agencies in the space industry form councils and partnership agreements to address cyber satellite security. In June 2020, the Space Force made a public announcement regarding the plan to merge several agencies into one unified organization that aims to strategize the control of future acquisitions for space programs. Space Systems Command becomes the newly merged organization, although plans are still underway to launch it. 

Currently, officials from the different space purchasing agencies plan to hold regular informal meetings for the Program Integration Council. This council is under the command of Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. Colonel Dennis Bythewood, the supervisor of special space programs at Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), announced the plan to ensure a proper alignment across all space programs. The SMC is in charge of the Program Integration Council. 

Members of the council include officials from the respective agencies with space programs within their portfolios but function independently of the Space Force. The agencies include the Space Development Agency, Air Force Rapid Capabilities, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Space Rapid Capabilities Office, and Missile Defense Agency. These agencies purchase space systems; however, their recent projects never correlated to other agencies’ space activities. 

Bythewood said that the council plans to ascertain that programs adhere to the standards that ensure satellites’ compatibility with their ground infrastructure to enable easy data transfer to other military networks. He said that the ultimate goal is to deliver a robust system with an incorporated war-fighting capability for the operators. 

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Mastro said that the SMC mandated a professional team to tackle technical issues, including control systems’ compatibility. Mastro is the director of mission integration at the Space and Missile Systems Center and the agency portfolio architect. 

In conclusion, the merge organization Program Integration Council facilitates that easy future space system acquisitions to enhance the previously independent agencies’ operations and space activities. 

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