Lightning illuminates the sky behind a military C-32A (Boeing 757) parked on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 18, 2015.

Lightning illuminates the sky behind a military C-32A (Boeing 757) parked on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 18, 2015. DOD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp

The Air & Space Brief: Space Force wish list; AF2 plans, scrapped; Supply rockets?; And more...

Good morning and welcome to Defense One’s Air Force and Space Force newsletter, a weekly look at the events and headlines shaping military aviation and aerospace policy. 

Space Force sent its unfunded priorities list to Congress last week. It consists of $831.7 million in projects that did not make the 2022 budget, but that Space Force leaders say are needed to shore up Space Force sites on land and better protect satellites. 

Air Force, Space Force team up on rocket-based logistics. The Air Force Research Laboratory announced Friday that it would begin to test the concept of resupplying warzones, and potentially disaster zones, with large rockets that would launch into space and land in the contested area.  

No New Air Force Twos. The Air Force scrapped plans to replace the blue-and-white 757 fleet that currently flies the vice president and cabinet members. Boeing had been working on a replacement but funding was removed for the program in the 2022 budget request. 

Space notes: 

  • Jeff Bezos will launch himself into space July 20 aboard his Blue Origin-built New Shepard spacecraft, Bezos announced on Instagram Monday. And he’s not going alone—his brother Mark will join him on the flight, Bezos announced. 
  • Squid launcher, oh yeah! SpaceX launched 128 baby squid aboard its latest International Space Station resupply mission, CNN reported last week. The squid will take part in experiments to determine how a lack of gravity affects them.  

This week: 

  • June 8, 11 a.m. — Air Force acting assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics Darlene Costello, deputy chief of staff for plans and programs Lt.  Gen. David Nahom and projection forces deputy chief of strategy Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote are slated to testify on the 2022 budget before the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower and projection forces. 
  • June 8, 2 p.m. — Acting Air Force Secretary John Roth, Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond are slated to testify before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on the 2022 budget.

Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Monday morning from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. On June 7, 1951, NASA test pilot Joe Walker achieved Mach 1.55 on the supersonic test aircraft X-1E. 


From Defense One

Space Force Seeks $831.7M for Unfunded Priorities // Tara Copp: Projects left out of 2022 budget would boost Cheyenne Mountain security, space-based cryptology.

Pentagon Shelves Plans for New Air Force Two // Marcus Weisberger: In the meantime, the Air Force is in the early stages of developing supersonic and hypersonic passenger aircraft.

Can Rockets Deliver Supplies to War Zones? Space Force, Air Force Aim to Find Out // Tara Copp: A research lab will see whether reusable boosters can deliver up to a C-17s’ worth of cargo to terrestrial destinations.

Pentagon’s Accelerating ‘Connect-Everything’ Effort Hinges on Uncertain Cloud Program // Patrick Tucker: If the JEDI program collapses, JADC2 is going to need a replacement cloud.

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