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Congressional Democrats urge Biden to cut defense spending

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Todd Harrison: “I don’t think the Space Force will end up being an area that progressive Democrats want to cut.”

WASHINGTON — A March 16 letter signed by 50 House Democrats urges President Joe Biden to reduce the Pentagon’s budget to pay for other activities. 

The letter is intended to influence the president’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 which the administration is expected to submit to Congress in early May. According to media reports, Biden intends to request about $704 billion for the Defense Department, which is close to what the Pentagon got in 2021. 

The lawmakers asked Biden to “re-evaluate our spending priorities as a nation. That re-evaluation should begin with the Department of Defense. Hundreds of billions of dollars now directed to the military would have greater return if invested in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, global public health, sustainability initiatives, and basic research.”

How any potential cuts would impact the Space Force remains to be seen, said defense and space analyst Todd Harrison, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 

The Space Force’s budget is only 2 percent of the total DoD budget, Harrison said. “I don’t think the Space Force will end up being an area that progressive Democrats want to cut once they realize that the Space Force pays for things like GPS that benefit the overall economy and space surveillance capabilities that underpin arms control treaties.”

The largest Space Force procurement program are the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) satellites made by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. “I think Next Gen OPIR is probably safe from any significant cuts because it is a relatively low profile program, is purely defensive in nature, and adds to nuclear stability by reducing the incentive for an adversary to attempt a first strike,” said Harrison.

Some progressive Democrats have their eyes set on cutting the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile. “But there is little to no chance that a cut in GBSD could make it through the Senate,” Harrison said.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/congressional-democrats-urge-biden-to-cut-defense-spending/

Aerospace

Amazon taps ULA as first launch provider for Project Kuiper satellite constellation

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Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation is one step closer to actually making it to space: The company announced it has secured an agreement with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) to fly its satellites on nine Atlas V rocket launches. Amazon intends to use multiple launch providers and spacecraft to ultimately get the full complement of 3,236 Kuiper satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), but ULA is the first launch provider that Amazon has signed or announced.

ULA’s Atlas V is a proven workhorse in the space launch industry, having flown 85 prior missions with a perfect track record. The spacecraft was used to launch NASA’s Perseverance rover, for example, as well as Lockheed Martin’s OSIRIS-REx robotic asteroid exploration craft. While Amazon and ULA detailed to total number of launch vehicles that the contract covers, they didn’t share a timeline about when we can expect the launches to take place.

Late last year, I spoke to Amazon SVP of Devices & Services Dave Limp at our TC Sessions: Space events, and I asked him about timelines for launches. Limp said at the time that Amazon was about at the “middle of [its] design phase” for the Project Kuiper satellites, which indicates there’s still work to be done before they enter mass production, which would obviously precede launch.

Limp also pointed out that the clock is ticking for Amazon in terms of its FCC license to operate the constellation, so it essentially has to “have half [its] constellation up in about six years.” That will mean an aggressive launch schedule once the design phase is complete and its actually in the process of building its satellites.

Amazon has invested a lot of capital and time into Project Kuiper, with a commitment to back it with an initial $10 billion investment, and a dedicated staff on the project that now includes 500 people, as well as a dedicated office and research & development facility in Redmond near its global HQ.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/amazon-taps-ula-as-first-launch-provider-for-project-kuiper-satellite-constellation/

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SpaceX to land NASA astronauts on the moon with its Starship

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NASA has selected SpaceX’s Starship to land the first astronauts on the lunar surface since the Apollo programme.

Sustaining a human presence on the Moon will require the safe and affordable transportation of crew and significant amounts of cargo. SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket represent an integrated and fully reusable launch, propellant delivery, rendezvous, and planetary lander system with robust capabilities and safety features uniquely designed to deliver these essential building blocks.

Designed to land on the Moon, Starship leans on the company’s tested Raptor engines and flight heritage of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles. Starship includes a spacious cabin and two airlocks for astronaut moonwalks.

The Starship architecture is intended to evolve to a fully reusable launch and landing system designed for travel to the Moon, Mars, and other destinations.

Since January 2020, SpaceX has built 10 Starship prototypes, with production and fidelity accelerating on each build. SpaceX has manufactured and tested more than 60 of Starship’s Raptor engines, accumulating nearly 30,000 seconds of total test time over 567 engine starts, including on multiple Starship static fires and flight tests.

SpaceX has conducted six suborbital flight tests, including two 150-m hops and four high-altitude flights. SpaceX has also built a full-size Super Heavy booster as part of a pathfinder effort, and currently has five vehicles in production.

The firm-fixed price, milestone-based contract total award value is $2.89 billion.

“With this award, NASA and our partners will complete the first crewed demonstration mission to the surface of the Moon in the 21st century as the agency takes a step forward for women’s equality and long-term deep space exploration,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate. “This critical step puts humanity on a path to sustainable lunar exploration and keeps our eyes on missions farther into the solar system, including Mars.”

With NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, HLS, and the Gateway lunar outpost, NASA and its commercial and international partners are returning to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation.

Working with its partners throughout the Artemis program, the agency will fine-tune precision landing technologies and develop new mobility capabilities to enable exploration of new regions of the Moon.

“This is an exciting time for NASA and especially the Artemis team,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, program manager for human landing systems at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “During the Apollo programme, we proved that it is possible to do the seemingly impossible: land humans on the Moon. By taking a collaborative approach in working with industry while leveraging NASA’s proven technical expertise and capabilities, we will return American astronauts to the Moon’s surface once again, this time to explore new areas for longer periods of time.”

www.spacex.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/spacex-starship-moon-missions-19042021/

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Erickson named chief people & diversity officer of Incora

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Erickson named chief people & diversity officer of Incora

Incora has announced that Kevin Erickson has been appointed chief people and diversity officer.

Effective April 19, 2021, Erickson leads the company’s global human resources (HR) function, with responsibility for Incora’s people strategy including driving diversity, equity and inclusion while fostering a ‘one-Incora’ culture that inspires and motivates employees around a shared set of values and goals. Erickson has deep and extensive experience in international HR disciplines and processes, and a demonstrated history of developing best-in-class global HR and communications organisations.

Incora is a leading provider of innovative supply chain solutions to aerospace and defence, as well as automotive, industrial, pharmaceutical, and other industries. It provides a comprehensive suite of supply chain management solutions – including inventory management, Just-in-Time (JIT), Chemical Management Services (CMS), kitting, and 3PL/4PL services. Incora is dedicated to understanding customer needs and providing innovative new products, services and customised solutions that deliver on its promise of reducing complexity and increasing reliability for customers. It has a global footprint with 60+ locations across 18 countries.

Erickson commented: “I am excited to lead the talented team at Incora on our growth trajectory to become the world’s leading, most innovative provider of integrated supply chain solutions. It is through our people that we will achieve our customers’ trust to reduce complexity in their business and enable their mission-critical work. I am looking forward to the journey.”

Prior to joining Incora, Erickson served as the chief human resources officer at Signature Aviation (formerly BBA Aviation) where he was responsible for transforming separate HR functions into one with strong shared service centres, centres of excellence, improved strategic business partnership and significant process improvement.

www.incora.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/erickson-named-chief-people-diversity-officer-of-incora/

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Aerospace

Erickson named chief people & diversity officer of Incora

Avatar

Published

on

Erickson named chief people & diversity officer of Incora

Incora has announced that Kevin Erickson has been appointed chief people and diversity officer.

Effective April 19, 2021, Erickson leads the company’s global human resources (HR) function, with responsibility for Incora’s people strategy including driving diversity, equity and inclusion while fostering a ‘one-Incora’ culture that inspires and motivates employees around a shared set of values and goals. Erickson has deep and extensive experience in international HR disciplines and processes, and a demonstrated history of developing best-in-class global HR and communications organisations.

Incora is a leading provider of innovative supply chain solutions to aerospace and defence, as well as automotive, industrial, pharmaceutical, and other industries. It provides a comprehensive suite of supply chain management solutions – including inventory management, Just-in-Time (JIT), Chemical Management Services (CMS), kitting, and 3PL/4PL services. Incora is dedicated to understanding customer needs and providing innovative new products, services and customised solutions that deliver on its promise of reducing complexity and increasing reliability for customers. It has a global footprint with 60+ locations across 18 countries.

Erickson commented: “I am excited to lead the talented team at Incora on our growth trajectory to become the world’s leading, most innovative provider of integrated supply chain solutions. It is through our people that we will achieve our customers’ trust to reduce complexity in their business and enable their mission-critical work. I am looking forward to the journey.”

Prior to joining Incora, Erickson served as the chief human resources officer at Signature Aviation (formerly BBA Aviation) where he was responsible for transforming separate HR functions into one with strong shared service centres, centres of excellence, improved strategic business partnership and significant process improvement.

www.incora.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/erickson-named-chief-people-diversity-officer-of-incora/

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