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Russia Vetoes UN Resolution Banning Nuclear Weapons in Space

Tensions in the space domain continue to escalate as Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on April 24 that aimed to reaffirm provisions in the Outer Space Treaty prohibiting the placement of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in space. The resolution, drafted by Japan and the United States, was prompted by reports that Russia was developing a nuclear anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon capable of causing widespread damage to satellites in low Earth orbit and endangering astronauts.

As space becomes increasingly important from a defense perspective, with nations recognizing the critical role of satellites in modern warfare and national security, new opportunities are emerging for space companies. The growing demand for resilient and secure space infrastructure, as well as innovative technologies to counter potential threats, is driving investment and growth in the commercial space sector. New space companies that can provide solutions to these challenges may find themselves well-positioned to capitalize on the expanding defense market and contribute to the security and sustainability of the space domain.

Threats from Russia and China Drive Space Force's Commercial Space Reserve Initiative

As threats from Russia and China continue to grow in the space domain, the U.S. Space Force is taking steps to bolster its capabilities and resilience. One key initiative is the establishment of a Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve (CASR), which aims to scale up the use of commercial capabilities during a conflict.

The Space Force’s plan to create CASR could provide significant opportunities for new space companies. By opening the door for innovative startups and emerging space firms to contribute to national security efforts, the Space Force is fostering a more diverse and robust space ecosystem. As the service works on establishing clear contractual language, ensuring the reliability of commercial systems, and developing a framework for sharing threat information, new space companies that can meet these requirements may find themselves with a unique opportunity to partner with the Space Force and grow their businesses in the process.

U.S. Space Command Chief Warns of China's Rapid Advancements in Space

U.S. Space Command’s new leader, Space Force Gen. Stephen Whiting, has warned of China’s rapidly advancing space capabilities following meetings with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. Key points:

  • China is the primary focus of U.S. Space Command, with Beijing developing counter-space weapons and using space to enhance its terrestrial forces
  • Japan’s new Space Operations Group is collaborating with the U.S. to improve space domain awareness and monitor threats, many of which emanate from China
  • The U.S. and Japan are partnering to launch new satellites for space monitoring, and Japan is preparing to field a deep-space radar to better understand China’s space activities
  • Chinese activities on the Moon are also being monitored, with the U.S. hoping there is no military component to these seemingly exploratory and scientific endeavors
  • The U.S. military has been collaborating and training in the space domain with Japan and South Korea to build deterrence and ensure uninterrupted access to space for their militaries and populations

As China continues to make rapid advancements in space, the U.S. and its allies are working together to monitor and counter potential threats, while also ensuring the peaceful use of space for scientific and exploratory purposes.

We’re making progress but we will need to make more.

China's Military Reorganization: Implications for Space Forces and Capabilities

China has reorganized its military, replacing the Strategic Support Force (SSF) with the new Information Support Force (ISF). This move has significant implications for China’s space forces and how they are commanded. Key points:

  • The Aerospace Force, which commands China’s space forces, is now the senior force among China’s military arms
  • The reorganization aims to improve operational efficiency, integration, and control over information warfare domains, including space
  • The move could influence satellite operations, space surveillance, protection of space assets, and anti-satellite capabilities
  • China has been expanding its space capabilities in areas like satellite reconnaissance, communications megaconstellations, and on-orbit servicing

The reorganization is the biggest for China’s military since 2015 and suggests an increased focus on the strategic importance of space and information warfare going forward. How exactly it plays out remains to be seen, but it will be important to monitor the implications for China’s space forces and capabilities.

U.S. and New Zealand Strengthen Space Cooperation with Inaugural Bilateral Space Dialogue

On April 12, 2024, the United States and New Zealand held their first bilateral Space Dialogue in Washington, D.C., marking a significant milestone in the 150th anniversary of their space relationship. The key outcomes of the dialogue include:

  • Emphasis on the growth of the commercial space sector and the changing role of government in commercial space activities
  • Intent to continue cooperation on issues such as launch, payloads, and space situational awareness
  • Potential for expanded cooperation on policy and regulatory interoperability related to commercial space
  • Discussions on opportunities to advance scientific education, research, and space cooperation
  • Recognition of New Zealand’s geographic advantages in enabling frequent and responsive launches for U.S. industry and government agencies which added “strategic resilience” to launch capacity
  • Signing of an updated Memorandum of Cooperation between the New Zealand Space Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Announcement of the first round of joint research projects between New Zealand research institutes and NASA centers, focusing on Earth observation
  • Appreciation for the internship opportunities provided by NASA and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to high-achieving New Zealand students
  • Launch of MethaneSAT, a unique partnership involving government, non-profit, academic, and commercial organizations from both countries

The dialogue also included a commercial roundtable, co-chaired by the New Zealand Minister for Space and the Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce, which highlighted existing partnerships and opportunities for stronger bilateral cooperation between the two countries' commercial space sectors. You can read the full statement on the U.S. State Department’s website.

DoD Moves to Boost Production Of Critical Componenets For Space Solar

Moving industry, defense, services, and people, to space requires a lot of supply chain logistics work on Earth:

The Defense Department announced April 16 it awarded a $14.4 million contract to semiconductor manufacturer 5N Plus to boost production of space-qualified materials for solar cells.

…According to market studies, demand for solar power for space applications is rapidly accelerating and expected to exceed current available capacity.

Space Force Selects Rocket Lab And True Anomaly For Tactically Responsive Mission

Rocket Lab and True Anomaly were just selected for an extremely cool tactically responsive mission by Space Systems Command. Per Rocket Lab’s press release the two teams will demonstrate the capability to develop space vehicles with rendezvous and proximity operation (RPO) functionality, as well as establish corresponding command and control centers for their operation in a mission called VICTUS HAZE:

Once the spacecraft build is complete, Rocket Lab will be entered into a Hot Standby Phase awaiting further direction. Once the exercise begins, Rocket Lab will be given notice to launch the spacecraft into a target orbit. After reaching orbit, the spacecraft will be rapidly commissioned and readied for operations. Rocket Lab will configure a Pioneer class spacecraft bus to meet the unique requirements of the VICTUS HAZE mission and launch the spacecraft on Electron from either Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, NZ or Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, VA. Once on orbit, the spacecraft will conduct a variety of dynamic space operations to demonstrate SDA characterization capabilities with True Anomaly’s spacecraft, the Jackal autonomous orbital vehicle.

Rocket Lab’s Pioneer spacecraft was previously used to support the Varda mission.

Photo of a Rocket Lab Pioneer Spacecraft

True Anomaly’s AI-enabled Jackal spacecraft is really interesting as well:

Screenshot of Jackal autonomous orbital vehicle (AOV)

Ars Technica has a comprehensive piece up with a more detailed profile of the exercise:

“When another nation puts an asset up into space and we don’t quite know what that asset is, we don’t know what its intent is, we don’t know what its capabilities are, we need the ability to go up there and figure out what this thing is,” said Gen. Michael Guetlein, the Space Force’s vice chief of space operations.

This is what the Space Force wants to demonstrate with Victus Haze. For this mission, True Anomaly’s spacecraft will launch first, posing as a satellite from a potential adversary, like China or Russia. Rocket Lab will have a satellite on standby to go up and inspect True Anomaly’s spacecraft and will launch it when the Space Force gives the launch order.

“Pretty sporty,” said Even Rogers, co-founder and CEO of True Anomaly.

Then, if all goes according to plan, the two spacecraft will switch roles, with True Anomaly’s Jackal satellite actively maneuvering around Rocket Lab’s satellite. According to the Space Force, True Anomaly and Rocket Lab will deliver their spacecraft no later than the fall of 2025.

There’s another interesting aspect to this mission mentioned in a Payload article:

Planners expect to increase complexity to the point where one vehicle will actively avoid being characterized. The goal isn’t just to demonstrate the technology, but also develop the tactics and procedures for these kinds of missions.

The demonstration is a collaboration between the Defense Innovation Unit, Space Safari acquisition program, and SpaceWERX.

Relativity Space Pushes NSSL Bid To Next Year

Terran R won’t be ready but they expect to have a credible path to flight by next year:

Relativity was initially aiming to compete for the first round of NSSL Phase 3 contracts expected to be awarded later this year. However, the California-based company’s new Terran R rocket won’t fly until 2026 at the earliest, which falls outside the timeframe for this year’s NSSL Phase 3 awards.

“We’ve been fairly transparent with our schedule over the last year and have continued to hit our milestones,” Joshua Brost, vice president of business development at Relativity Space, told SpaceNews. “We’re very comfortable about on-ramping to NSSL in the future, likely next year as we approach that 12 months from initial launch.”

Sierra Space Testing Ghost Space Delivery System

Sierra Space recently completed initial flight tests of their space delivery system called Ghost. This low beta reentry vehicle is designed to safely return objects from space and deliver them to specific locations on Earth with high precision.

Key features of the Ghost system include:

  • Utilizes advanced deployable decelerator technology for controlled reentry
  • Enables delivery of payloads to any location worldwide within 90 minutes
  • Eliminates the need for fixed infrastructure, allowing for a highly responsive space-based system
  • Enhances sustainability and safety in space operations

The flight tests showcased Ghost’s capabilities and demonstrated Sierra Space’s rapid prototyping and development prowess through their Axelerator program. Remarkably, the Ghost system transitioned from development to flight testing in a mere 90 days.

Ghost would represent a significant advancement in space logistics and recovery operations if deployed. Its ability to precisely deliver payloads from space to Earth could up new possibilities for defense logistics, global supply chains, emergency response, and scientific research.

SAIC And GomSpace Partner On AI-powered SmallSat For Pentagon

The proof of concept will launch in 2026:

…the cubesat aims to set a new standard for computing power on a small platform, said SAIC. By enabling AI and machine learning “at the edge” in space, the satellite can process data with minimum delay.

With more compute power in orbit, there is less need for transporting data back to the ground for processing and relay to users,” said a SAIC spokesman. “The latency of decision making is vastly reduced.”

Pushing as much of the identification, classification, and even prioritization to the edge as we can is going to be a game changer on the intelligence front especially as we reach a state where there is persistent surveillance and change detection.

Lockheed Invests in Fusion Engine Startup

An interesting play by Lockheed - and a new company to keep an eye on:

Helicity Space, a California startup developing fusion engines for spaceflight, announced an investment April 2 from Lockheed Martin Ventures.

While the parties declined to reveal the value of the investment, Lockheed Martin’s backing is important because it’s one of the “strategic partners that will matter over the next 10 years,” Helicity co-founder Stephane Lintner told SpaceNews.

Other strategic partners include Airbus Ventures and Voyager Space Holdings, two of the investors in Helicity’s seed funding round announced in December.

I’ve added Helicity to my growing (but far from complete) directory of New Space companies.

Lockheed Gets More Aggressive

As New Space heats up Lockheed Martin is looking to make moves:

“We’re looking for strategic partners,” said Robert Lightfoot, president of Lockheed Martin Space. “We’re interested in talking with anyone who has an advantage in those areas from a space perspective.”

The $67 billion aerospace and defense giant wants to work with commercial companies with expertise in intelligence and surveillance payloads, as well as communications payloads for satellites, as it looks to meet growing government demand for resilient space-based capabilities.

Blacksky and the Importance of AI in New Space

BlackSky is doing some interesting work in the AI space:

BlackSky, a supplier of satellite imagery and space-based intelligence, won a $2 million U.S. defense contract to provide data to train AI models.

The contract was awarded by the defense contractor Axient on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Axient in September 2023 won a contract from AFRL worth up to $25 million for space experiments.

Axient will use BlackSky’s satellite imagery and data analytics platform to support studies and technology demonstrations focused on tracking moving objects from space.

As someone who works on AI solutions professionally, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t more discussion about the immense value and potential of space data and AI. The value is pretty well understood with constellation builders and in the intelligence sector but less so with the general public, the broader commercial sector, and on Wall Street. Companies like Blacksky, Spire Global, and other LEO operators are generating vast libraries of data that, when made available to AI for training or analysis, will drive countless impactful applications. There is currently a lot of focus on real-time or fresh data but for many applications the value of these libraries grows significantly as they age and scale.

Low-cost sensor platforms and launch have fueled the rise of New Space but the convergence of AI and these capabilities is the key to unlocking hugely profitable markets that will cement space as a significant and permanent pillar of the economy - one that is visible and top of mind for the general consumer. I expect this realization to sink in within the next couple of years, or sooner, if someone like OpenAI makes a high profile move in this space (which I am also expecting) much like they did recently with robotics.

The Space Race Just Keeps Heating Up

Space assets are the most important enabler, and most significant vulnerability, in a superpower conflict. The U.S. government knows it and It’s why we have the Space Force and organizations like SDA. But while we are starting to scale and support a surging New Space industry China can, in some respects, surge faster:

China is growing its military capabilities in space at a “breathtaking pace” to counter the American satellites in orbit and improve its ability to monitor and target forces on Earth, according to the head of the US Space Command.

America’s top strategic challenger is seeking to develop advanced space weaponry and making advances in satellite meteorology, human spaceflight and robotic space exploration, General Stephen Whiting said during a hearing Thursday of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

We still hold the advantage but we could lose it surprisingly quickly if we don’t properly prioritize space. The coming decades will require the same level of focus and investment in the domain that we have poured into naval and air power. The time to build the infrastructure for rapid industrialized production and delivery of space assets is now. Thankfully we’re doing that with responsive space initiatives at companies like Rocket Lab, Terran Orbital, and Firefly. It’s a start, but we will need to do more.

Rocket Lab Joins The Primes With Massive SDA Contract Win

Rocket Lab held an eagerly anticipated conference call to confirm additional details about its massive $515 million satellite constellation deal today:

The company joins Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who received awards in August to develop 36 satellites each. The spacecraft are part of the third generation — dubbed Tranche 2 — of SDA’s Proliferated Warfigher Space Architecture, a fleet of hundreds of small satellites operating in low Earth orbit, about 1,200 miles above the planet’s surface.

That is very exclusive company and it highlights the most important takeaway from today’s call:

Rocket Lab will act as a prime contractor for SDA, leading the design, development, production, test, and operations of the satellites, including procurement and integration of the payload subsystems. The contract has a base value of $489 million plus $26 million in incentives and options.

“This contract marks the beginning of Rocket Lab’s new era as a leading satellite prime,” Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO Peter Beck said Jan. 8.

The company also confirmed that it is pursuing similar and even larger contracts across the defense and commercial domains. You can really see the strategy coming together (as they note in the related presentation) and positioning Rocket Lab to be a powerhouse even before all of the pieces are firmly in place.

This, at least in my opinion, signals Rocket Lab’s transition into a much more impactful and stable phase in it’s evolution. It de-risks the business and positions it for growth in ways that simply expanding launch cadence cannot. If that isn’t clear to you now I suspect it will be before 2024 ends. They are still just getting started.

North Korea's Satellite A Sign Of More Significant Challenges Ahead

MAJ Matthew H. Ormsbee breaks down the international legal and political issues surrounding North Korea’s recent spy satellite efforts:

Very likely, the North Korean satellite is purely symbolic and not the useful military asset that Kim Jong-un claims. The North Korean leader need not worry: North Korea can likely rely on Russia’s space intelligence efforts, especially with the new coziness of the bilateral relationship. Still, with its rudimentary technology, when—not if—the Malligyong-1 ceases to operate properly, as it almost certainly will, the United States should expect Kim Jong-un to reliably point the finger at U.S. interference rather than his nation’s technical ineptitude, further escalating North Korea’s war-drum rhetoric.

I think this assessment will hold true for a while, and the entire effort will likely remain more of a vanity/propaganda effort than a strategic game-changer for even longer, but a marginally useful micro-constellation of smallsats with COTS sensors wouldn’t be that difficult for the North Korean’s to pull off. And then there’s the potential for weapon delivery. Technological advancements will eventually enable them, and unfortunately many other marginal/hostile players, to realize some real value in the domain.

Tighter Government and New Space Integration Critical For National Security

The U.S. government and new space companies continue to (by government standards) rapidly synchronize:

The U.S. Space Force is on the verge of finalizing a key strategy document outlining how it will partner with the burgeoning commercial space industry. After months of refinement, Deputy Chief of Space Operations Lt. Gen. DeAnna Burt announced Jan. 5 at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies that the document is nearing completion.

…“Historically we’ve worked with commercial to build a satellite or a rocket,” said Burt. “But how do we start to think about buying things as a service? I don’t have to own a satellite. I don’t have to own those things,” she added. “I think that is what we’re trying to also make sure we capture in the strategy.”

This move is really just the government catching up to the private sector. That’s a good thing. They key is keeping the private sector innovation and national strategy evaluation and calibration effort in as tight a loop as possible. That already occurs in more established defense sectors but the explosive growth in New Space is forcing a bit of a scramble:

“The space domain has not necessarily had a very large industrial base in the past because . . . it was primarily the government running those capabilities,” she said. “Now that you see entrepreneurs and commercial companies going into the domain and more nations are also spacefaring nations, you’re starting to see that industrial base build.”

It’s in the Space Force’s interest, she added, to draw from that industrial base wherever possible.

We’re making massive progress on that, and we’ll have to continue doing so, because China can do all of this with even less friction. Ultimately the winner won’t be the entity with the most assets in space, but rather the nation that can reconstitute it’s space-based capabilities quickly, cheaply, and as many times as needed until the enemy’s ability to attack it is eliminated.

Rocket Lab To Detail Massive New Contract In Press Conference

Looks like we are finally going to get more information about that massive new Rocket Lab contract:

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced that it will host a scheduled call to discuss its previously announced Government constellation award (see here) following the close of the U.S. markets on Monday, January 8, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be available on the Company’s Investor Relations website at

North Korea Determined To Be A Threat In Space

The DPRK is doubling down on space:

North Korea vowed to launch three new spy satellites, build military drones, and boost its nuclear arsenal in 2024 as leader Kim Jong Un said U.S. policy is making war inevitable, state media reported on Sunday.

While obviously less of a concern than China, this move highlights the growing importance of the domain for major, or aspirational, powers. The scale of this space race, which is still in its early stages, will dwarf the investments made during the Cold War. And much like the Cold War space race, a lot of good will come from it, as long as we can continue to avoid blowing ourselves up.

Modernizing the Satellite Control Network

Air & Space Forces Magazine has an interesting piece up about the Space Rapid Capabilities Office and their efforts to modernize the Satellite Control Network:

SCN, composed of 19 antennas stationed around the world, from Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean to the village of Oakhanger in southern England to Schriever Space Force Base, Colo., is used to track a satellite’s location, collect its health and status reports, and send signals to control its subsystems such as power supply, antennas and mechanical and thermal control.

But the antennas are old—Hammett noted that they are technically the second-oldest active weapons system in the Pentagon, after the B-52 bomber—and can only maintain contact with one satellite at a time—an increasingly untenable situation given the growth in the number of satellites in orbit.

SCAR will boost SCN with electronically steerable phased array antennas that can connect with multiple satellites in a time, expanding communications capacity ten-fold, according to the SpRCO. The office awarded a $1.4 billion contract to BlueHalo in May 2022, and Hammett told reporters in Orlando that in August 2023, the program completed a “one-meter demo,” clearing the way for full-scale radars to be produced.

It’s easy to overlook the work on the ground required to support the immense transformation happening in low earth orbit but modern constellations are going to require a lot of upgrades in their ground based support.

Rocket Lab's Secret Massive Contract

Screenshot of SpaceNews Rocket Lab headline

Rocket Lab still hasn’t commented on their massive new contract win, and we’ll likely have to wait until after Christmas to hear more, but SpaceNews cites sources that unsurprisingly point to SDA:

SDA Director Derek Tournear speaking at a conference earlier this month said the agency was negotiating a contract with an unspecified supplier for 18 satellites to expand the U.S. military low Earth orbit constellation.

…Tournear said Dec. 7 at a National Security Space Association event that SDA was planning to add another 18 Beta satellites to the constellation and was in negotiations with another vendor that he did not disclose.

The Transport Layer Tranche 2 Beta satellites — projected to launch in 2026 and 2027 — will carry radios using the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and S-band frequencies that military and intelligence units rely upon for voice and low-speed data transmissions.

“We are looking at putting another approximately 18 satellites on contract, and we’re working with a third vendor to do that, and we should make that announcement shortly,” Tournear said Dec. 7 at the NSSA forum.

While unconfirmed, SDA was my first thought when I read the SEC disclosure. I think the likelihood that this is confirmed in a few days is extremely high.

Rocket Lab Lands Half-Billion Dollar Spacecraft Contact

Rocket Lab hasn’t said a word, but news of a huge U.S. government contract dropped via an SEC filing today:

On December 21, 2023, Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (the “Company”), through its wholly owned subsidiary Rocket Lab National Security, entered into an agreement with a United States government customer (“Customer”) to design, manufacture, deliver, and operate 18 space vehicles. The contract with the Customer has a total value of $515 million, which includes a base amount of $489 million and incentives and options totaling $26 million. Work under the agreement will begin immediately with the delivery of the space vehicles to the Customer for launch slated for 2027, operation of the satellites through 2030, and an option to operate the satellites through 2033. The agreement contains customary default and termination provisions. In addition, either party may elect to terminate the agreement for convenience at any time as provided in the agreement, subject to certain termination conditions.

I suspect that we’ll hear more Friday. This is a game-changing contract for the company that is landing as they head into 2024 with Electron launches fully booked for the entire year, Neutron development well underway, and revenue expected to potentially top $100M in Q1 alone.

DoD Prioritizing Cooperation With Allies In Space

The Department of Defense has a news piece up reinforcing the importance of space: DOD Prioritizing Cooperation With Allies in Space

“In the last decade, our competitors have rapidly developed and fielded the capabilities designed to undermine the Joint Force’s ability to rely on the space-based services that we need to fight and win,” he said. “China in particular views counterspace operations as a way to deter and counter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict.”

Countering the emerging risks in space necessitate modern policy, Plumb said, that emphasizes the United States' ability to protect and defend its security interests and cooperate with partners and allies in space.

Countering China will require responsive launch and responsive initiatives across the entire industry from satellite construction through the entire supply chain and related operational components. And doing that here, in the U.S. alone won’t be enough. Decentralizing this capability is critical to our defense.

Tracking North Korea's Space Efforts

If you want to track developments in North Korea’s claimed launch of a spy satellite (Malligyong-1) Dr. Marco Langbroek’s blog and Twitter account are excellent resources.

Space Defense Roundup

A brief space defense roundup:

White House Proposes Splitting ‘New Space’ Regulatory Authority: The White House National Space Council is proposing a legislative change to split the regulatory authority for new types of commercial space activities between the Commerce and Transportation Departments. This change aims to address issues such as on-orbit refueling and cargo delivery by rocket, which are of interest to the Pentagon. The proposal aims to reduce red tape and support commercial expansion in space, including activities like in-space assembly, manufacturing, and space debris removal. Source Breaking Defense

US Space Force Announces 21 New Launch Missions: The US Space Force has confirmed 21 new launch missions through 2024 under the National Security Space Launch program. These missions, awarded to United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX, include a focus on reconnaissance and missile protection. ULA will conduct five satellite launches for the National Reconnaissance Office, and SpaceX will launch a Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellite for missile warning. Source The Defense Post

European Union Adopts Space Defense Strategy: For the first time, European Union leaders have endorsed a common strategy for the defense of space assets. This strategy, approved by the EU’s Council of Ministers, emphasizes the need to increase awareness and response capabilities to space threats. The EU is moving towards a more assertive stance in space defense, historically having been more focused on civilian-centric space policy. The strategy includes maintaining the technical sovereignty of the EU space industrial base and reducing dependencies on critical technologies. Source Breaking Defense

Space Force Eyes Future of Speed and Agility in Orbit: For its latest Hyperspace Challenge accelerator, the U.S. Space Force selected three startups specializing in satellite propulsion, reflecting the military’s growing interest in nimble satellite technologies. Source SpaceNews

Project Nyx Alpha to Boost UK Space Command’s Domain Awareness: The U.K.’s Space Command is set to enhance its space domain awareness capabilities, following a deal announced by the Ministry of Defence with a small London-based company. Source DefenseNews