Aeronautics and Space Report of the President FY 1995 Activities

Executive Summary

Department of Defense (DoD)

A major organizational change in DoD's space activities occurred in December 1994 when the Deputy Secretary of Defense created the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Space position. The holder of this position reports to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (USD (A&T). This new office is responsible for a variety of space and intelligence functions for DoD, such as policy, strategy, plans, international negotiations, interface with Congress and other executive branch agencies, and integration of space systems into the DoD force structure and weapons systems. The office also handles oversight for the following space programs: launch and support, reconnaissance and surveillance, tactical warning and attack assessment, communications (including Milstar and the new Global Broadcast System), navigation (including the space and ground segments for the Global Positioning System (GPS), environmental monitoring, space control, and research and development. This new office consists of three smaller offices: space acquisition and management, space policy, and systems and architectures.

Another organizational change was the establishment of a new DoD Space Architect position. DoD created this position to consolidate responsibilities for DoD space missions and system architecture development into a single organization to achieve efficiencies in acquisition and future operations through program integration. The DoD Space Architect reports through the Air Force Acquisition Executive to the Defense Acquisition Executive, who is also the USD (A&T). The Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Space, on behalf of the USD (A&T), provides departmental policy guidance and oversight to the Architect for the development of consistent, integrated space architectures. The Space Architect's specific new responsibilities include launch and satellite control and the space-related areas of tactical intelligence such as targeting; surveillance and warning; command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I); navigation; environmental monitoring; and space control. The Deputy Secretary of Defense identified two immediate tasks for the Space Architect: (1) the integration of DoD and intelligence systems architecture planning and (2) the development of a future military satellite communications architecture encompassing core DoD, allied, civil, and commercial capabilities.

During FY 1995, space forces played an important role as a force multiplier everywhere U.S. forces were employed. In Haiti, the military deployed a space support team to advise the task force commander on the effective use of space assets, such as the Milstar I and the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-On (UFO) satellites. U.S. forces supporting United Nations efforts in Bosnia used space imagery to aid search-and-rescue teams and the Air Force's overall theater mission. Space systems also directly supported exercises in Korea, Japan, and elsewhere in Europe.

A DoD Atlas I launched the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-8) spacecraft into orbit for NOAA, and two commercial Atlas IIA rockets carried the fourth and fifth UFO satellites into orbit for DoD. The fourth UFO satellite was launched successfully on an Atlas IIA on January 28, 1995, and became operational in a geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean. On May 31, 1995, UFO-5 was launched into a geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean and became operational on August 1, 1995.

The Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) program successfully launched its DSCS III satellite into orbit in July 1995 aboard an Atlas IIA rocket. The Defense Information Systems Agency initiated the Commercial Satellite Communications Initiative pilot program in July 1995 and awarded a contract for using commercial transponders and a network management worldwide.

In the area of launch vehicle technology, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) transferred the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X) program to NASA, although the Air Force's Phillips Laboratory continued to support NASA on this program. In addition, DoD managers selected four prime contractors for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) low-cost concept validation module.

DoD continued its efforts with the Department of Energy (DoE) on the Topaz international program for nuclear space power systems. This program is centered on a thermionic nuclear reactor, called the Topaz II, which was developed in the former Soviet Union.

On the Clementine mission, mission controllers successfully reestablished contact with the spacecraft in February 1995. This BMDO-sponsored project was a low-cost demonstration of a variety of new spacecraft technologies that also provided scientists with detailed new mapping information of the Moon.

DoD personnel also were active in a number of aeronautical technology programs during FY 1995. The Navy and Marine Corps continued to make progress on the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, and DoD supported the National Wind Tunnel Complex activities at NASA's Lewis Research Center (LeRC). Research on the X-31 program demonstrated the value of vectored thrust to advanced high-performance aircraft. The Darkstar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was unveiled at the contractor facility in June 1995.

In the navigation arena, GPS continued to be deployed worldwide. During FY 1995, DoD began to integrate GPS into U.S. pilots' survival radios.

DoD continued to be active in the Earth studies field during the fiscal year. The Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement (POAM-II) experiment on the French Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT—satellite for the observation of the Earth) provided important profiles of gases in the middle atmosphere. In negotiations on the NASA/Centre Nationale d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES—the French space agency) TOPEX/Poseidon Follow-On (TPFO) mission with the Navy Geosat mission, the Navy agreed to support the NASA TPFO mission.

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Curator: Lillian Gipson
Last Updated: September 5, 1996
For more information contact Steve Garber, NASA History Office,