September 19, 2019.

Recent events in the news are a reminder of how the aerospace and technology world is constantly changing in ways that Stellar is striving to address, just as the entrepreneurial landscape remains even more dynamic and competitive. Shifts in national policies can impact many of our customers, and in turn influence our ability to meet their critical needs. We also view evolving requirements as opportunities to strengthen current relationships and capabilities as well as build new ones.

The White House released National Security Presidential Memorandum-20 on August 20, regarding the “Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems“.

The National Space Council recently met, with several recommendations to the President regarding NASA’s work in human exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars (Space Policy Directive-1) – to include international and commercial partnerships.

Finally, as reported by several news sources, in late August we saw the first major step in the formulation of an entirely new branch of the U.S. military–the creation of a Space Command.

  • Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, noted in April that “there’s no doubt the Space Force of the future will have to have a very strong relationship with the National Reconnaissance Office.”
  • “After months of analysis and deliberations, the intelligence community and Department of Defense have agreed to align U.S. Space Command and the NRO into a new, unified defense concept of operations at the National Space Defense Center,”  said Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
  • Maguire also said: “As part of U.S. Space Command, the National Space Defense Center is a joint DoD-Intelligence Community organization and will become the center of gravity for defending our vital interest in space,” and “For the first time, there will be a unified structure that fully integrates Intelligence Community and Department of Defense space defense plans, authorities and capabilities to ensure seamless execution of space defense systems.”
  • Gen. Joe Dunford, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated that the primary missions of the new U.S. Space Command are “missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support.”
  • Former NRO Director Marty Faga said, “The speed of attacks on satellites is the major reason for the change in command structure. A big problem at least currently for all of our systems, military and IC [intelligence community], is that many forms of attack will come with no warning like cyber, jamming and laser. Moreover, kinetic ASAT [anti-satellite] attack in LEO [low earth orbit] takes eight minutes from launch to strike. It will be quite a while before our ability to detect, track and respond will be that fast.”

In addition to all of our very important civil and commercial work, space protection and resiliency are at the forefront of our mission partners’ critical needs–and Stellar is postured to lead in this effort. Our teams bring cutting-edge commercial technologies and expertise in the field to ensure the physical and cyber security of our nation and its allies.  The increasing complexity of emerging threats requires a systems approach to mitigate and deter, our domain of expertise. Defense Programs VP Betsy Pimentel recently discussed the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s focus on “EPIC Speed” in transforming defense technology acquisition and development, and how Stellar is already walking the talk with our high-impact enterprise solutions, partnerships and customer service, cross-cutting innovation (among our Defense, Intelligence, and Defense Support & Cyber business sectors), and unique culture.

We are closely monitoring all of these national space developments, as part of our delivery of ongoing end-to-end systems engineering for space systems and supporting infrastructure, as well as processes and strategies that serve the government in missile warning, communications, surveillance, and risk management. Stellar is helping our customers ensure space superiority, resiliency, and continuity of operations around the globe.

About the author: Michael Lencioni is the CEO of Stellar Solutions, providing key leadership and strategic direction for the international systems engineering company’s rapid-response capabilities and services related to global surveillance and cybersecurity, space exploration, risk management, and technology optimization.