April 25, 2023
Continuous coverage. Image credit: United Launch Alliance
By Tory Bruno
Once upon a time, Space was a peaceful and unchallenged high ground. While weapons might travel through space when transiting from one place on Earth to another, the space domain itself was without weapons and generally without threat. All of that has changed. We must now face the reality that peer adversaries have placed anti-satellite weapons in orbit and on the ground, and that they are increasing the number and sophistication of these weapons every day. We are now forced to urgently look to the defense of both our commercial and military assets in orbit and, ultimately, by doing so, discourage attacks.
As one roams the domains of policy within the Space Force, Pentagon, and Congress, this threat is on everyone’s mind. The word “resiliency” is repeated over and over as the top priority by which we will cope with this new and aggressive threat in space, especially, from China. But what does that mean? Is this just a new technology that we can bolt on to a satellite? Or maybe it’s just a new type of constellation? It is all these things and more. There is no single quick fix. Fundamentally, achieving true resiliency requires a whole space architectural approach. Let me explain.
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