NEWS | Jan. 4, 2010

Commercial & Foreign Entities Pilot Program Transitions to U.S. Strategic Command

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) announced today that it has assumed responsibility for sharing space situational awareness and analysis with satellite owner/operators. The USAF/Air Force Space Command established a pilot program in 2004 to determine the feasibility and desirability of sharing SSA products/services with satellite owner/operators. USSTRATCOM has now accepted that mission and will incorporate the sharing of these products/services into its daily operations.

Sharing SSA products/services enables USSTRATCOM's Joint Space Operations Center, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. , to provide SSA information and analysis to government and commercial space operators in the U.S. and around the world. This data is crucial for promoting safety of space flight for satellites as well as human space flight.

"As events like the February (2009) collision between the IRIDIUM and Cosmos satellites show, space situational awareness, and the sharing of that information with owner and operators in a position to take action is crucial," said Lt. Gen. Larry James, commander for USSTRATCOM's Joint Functional Component Command for Space. "We will continue to improve how we gain SSA and will communicate with organizations that rely on this information in order to reduce the likelihood of another satellite collision. "

The CFE program started as an Air Force pilot program in 2004 that allowed registered users access to space surveillance data provided by the U.S. Government (USG) on the website. USSTRATCOM will continue to evolve the program providing more services to more customers, ultimately enabling others to have improved SSA in order to support safe space flight.

""We will continue to work closely with the commercial and foreign space communities to understand their evolving needs and desires for space situational awareness information, and continue to grow our cooperative relationships to share information in ways that will improve space flight safety,"" said Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander, U. S. Strategic Command.