Space: Defending the Space Satellite Fleets

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September 26, 2005: With China openly establishing an organization for disabling or destroying “enemy” space satellites, the pressure is on the U.S. Air Force, and its Space Command, to defend over a hundred American military satellites, and over two hundred commercial satellites that the Pentagon depends on as well. Earlier this year, the Space Command established RAIDRS (Rapid Attack Identification Reporting System) for detecting interference with U.S. communications satellites (military and commercial), and then locate where on the planet the interference is coming from. The 76th Space Control Squadron has mobile teams that can use electronic jamming equipment to block signals going to space satellites. The Space Command is trying to get money to build killer satellites, that will destroy enemy satellites, especially enemy killer satellites. China has put about a hundred satellites into orbit in the last decade, and some of them may be dry runs for killer satellites.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command has 40,000 personnel (26,000 military and civilians, plus 14,000 contractors), in addition to military satellites, ground based ICBMs and all military satellite design, construction and launching. Some 500 Space Command people went with the troops to the Middle East to help handle communications with the various satellites. Space Command was set up in 1982 when it was realized that there were a growing number of space based programs and it made sense to put them all in the same organization.

 


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