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U.S. Pentagon Sees Space as Military 'High Ground'

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  • genomik2 <lists@thecri.org>
    U.S. Pentagon Sees Space as Military High Ground Maybe I am a utopian, but since 911 nothing is off limits for the Military. Space and Nanotech are being
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 12, 2003
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      U.S. Pentagon Sees Space as Military 'High Ground'

      Maybe I am a utopian, but since 911 nothing is off limits for the
      Military. Space and Nanotech are being Militarized and NOBODY seems
      to notice or care. Osama, Iran, and Saddam, to name a few, are the
      children of our last cold war with Russia. Now we are starting a new
      war footing. China for one, I suspect might try to race us and start
      a Nano - space race. Basically, it seems like the US population just
      says "do what you need to do" to save us (even though they arguably
      have created alot of our current mess by their past actions). No
      voting is really happening. These initiatives are occuring because
      the public seems not to care. Space based Nano soldiers - skynet
      anyone????

      Erik

      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
      tmpl=story2&cid=570&u=/nm/20030212/sc_nm/arms_space_dc_1&printer=1

      U.S. Pentagon Sees Space as Military 'High Ground'
      Wed Feb 12, 4:26 PM ET Add Science - Reuters to My Yahoo!

      By Andrea Shalal-Esa

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Space is the new military "high ground," and
      the United States must work hard to develop a space-based radar
      system, reusable spacecraft and offensive space weapons to protect
      national security, the head of the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s
      National Reconnaissance Office said on Wednesday.

      "Our space assets now are probably more important to warfighters and
      more important to our ability to win this global war on terrorism
      than they ever have been historically," said Air Force
      Undersecretary and NRO Director Peter Teets. "For us to be secure as
      a nation, we are going to need better eyes, ears, warning, rapid
      ability to respond to crisis."

      Teets said 2003 would be an active year for military space
      operations, with the military scheduled to launch 14 satellites into
      space this year alone, up from just one launch last year.

      He added that the top secret Pentagon agency had increased funding
      and staffing levels to support the war on terrorism, the high number
      of launches planned this year and the additional surveillance needed
      for a possible war on Iraq.

      The key challenge in coming years will be to better predict any
      impending attack on the United States through enhanced radar and
      other sensor systems, as well as developing the ability to respond
      to any such attack, Teets said.

      "Clearly space is the high ground, and we need to capture that high
      ground and then exploit it," the former Lockheed Martin Corp.
      official told reporters at the NRO's high security headquarters near
      Dulles International Airport.

      "We're going to want to find ourselves in a position in the future,
      that if necessary, we could deny an adversary their use of space and
      the high ground. So offensive space capabilities are something that
      I think we need to start to work on."


      REFORMING ACQUISITIONS PROGRAMS

      Teets acknowledged the NRO had come under fire for cost overruns and
      delays plaguing several big-ticket acquisition programs, including
      Lockheed's $4 billion Space Based Infrared Systems High (SBRIS High)
      satellite system, which is designed to give early warning of any
      missile attacks.


      But Teets said that program had been successfully restructured and
      was now "on a reasonably solid track."


      He said work was underway to restructure the $7 billion secret spy
      satellite system or Future Imagery Architecture, that Boeing Co. is
      developing for the U.S. military, but said greater efforts and more
      funding were needed.


      "We have worked real hard this year to try and identify the
      necessary resources to get that program back on track, and I do
      believe that we have made the proper decisions with resource
      allocations in the '04 budget cycle," he sad.


      "We'll get that program on track. It's still a work in process," he
      said. Teets declined to give any specific budgetary details about
      the classified military space program.


      The Pentagon's 2004 budget request includes $8.5 billion for
      unclassified space programs, an increase of about $600 million over
      2003, including big funding increases for work on an advanced
      network of laser-based communications satellites to increase the
      Pentagon's shortage of bandwidth.


      The request also includes $274 million for a space-based radar
      system which the Air Force hopes to launch in 2012 to track moving
      ground targets at all times regardless of weather conditions. That
      marked a sharp rise from $48 million in 2003.


      REAL TEST FOR SPACE PROGRAMS


      Teets said winning congressional approval to increase funding for
      the radar program would be "one of the real tests" for future space
      programs. Defense officials plan to spend about $4.4 billion in the
      next five years on the program, which will provide data to both
      military and intelligence agencies.


      Teets said he felt a "strong sense of support" from Congress for the
      agency's acquisitions reform, as well as the increased need for
      funding of space programs in general.

      "I think it will take more resources, and I think we'll have an
      attentive Congress to make that case to," he said.

      Teets said the NRO was working closely with NASA (news - web sites)
      and other agencies to focus resources on innovative new space-based
      programs, and ensure that space capabilities were fully integrated
      for both warfighting and national intelligence.

      One key goal in coming years would be to work on a reusable launch
      vehicle that would eventually replace the shuttle, although NASA's
      priority now was to determine what caused the shuttle Columbia to
      explode over Texas on Feb. 1.

      He said the emphasis would be on developing spacecraft that could be
      launched using mobile cranes in a matter of hours and days instead
      of weeks and months, going into space and returning for another
      launch more quickly than the shuttle.
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