Air & Space Brief: Who’s running natsec space?; Su-75, just vapor?; Space telescope passes milestone.
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Who’s in charge of U.S. national-security space policy? White House sources say the National Space Council, revived under the Trump administration, is working hand-in-hand with the National Security Council. But industry leaders say cooperation is fraying, and the National Security Council has the apparent upper hand. Defense One’s Jacqueline Feldscher and Marcus Weisgerber have this report.
Does Russia’s proposed jet check out? The planned Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ combat jet made a splash at Dubai’s big air show in December. But two RAND analysts say there’s less to the proposed jet than meets the eye. Read their take, here.
Congrats to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team, which completed deployment of the $10 billion instrument on Jan. 8, wrapping up a nail-biting series of steps that unfolded and locked into place a sun shield and other components. The telescope will ultimately maintain position four times farther away than the moon, where it will peer at galaxies older than any previously observed.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. OTD in 1962, a U.S. Air Force B-52H flew 12,532 miles at an average speed of 604 mph, setting records that still stand.
From Defense One
Who’s in Charge of US Space Policy? // Jacqueline Feldscher,Marcus Weisgerber: Space professionals worry the National Space Council is ceding its defense portfolio.
Private Group Keeps Afghanistan Evacuations Flying Despite Ground Halt // Tara Copp: Group leader: “There are Americans saying, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ And the State Department is saying, ‘Fill out your form in triplicate.’”
Is Russia’s Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ Aircraft a Case of Vapor Marketing? // John V. Parachini,Peter A. Wilson: There’s less than meets the eye to the proposed fighter-bomber that made a splash at a recent industry show.
Who’s Afraid of an ICBM Review? // William D. Hartung: It’s worth spending five figures to assess whether to move ahead with a program that could cost more than a quarter-trillion dollars.