Space: August 17, 1999

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Space Communications Consolidation: As part of the ongoing effort to consolidate control of satellite control systems, which started in 1996 with the Navy taking over control of four Fleet Communications Satellites, the Navy has taken control of the Ultra-High-Frequency Follow-On Spacecraft. There are currently eight of the satellites on-orbit with another scheduled to be launched this fall. The vehicles provide communications at ultra-high and extremely high frequencies. The vehicles also host the Global Broadcast System payload. The decision to consolidate was based on a study done by the U.S. Space Command. Tom Trinko

Radar from space to be terminated? House appropriators have recommended that funding for the Discover-2 ground surveillance radar satellite be terminated. The move was motivated by an independent cost estimate which was twice the $598 Million stated by the Air Force, NRO, and DARPA sponsors. Program officials contend that there is a problem because the independent costing was only $747Million . Because the independent cost estimate has an error of 30% the program officials believe that their cost estimate is consistent. Tom Trinko

 


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