The U.S. Space Force is developing a next-generation orbital architecture for tracking nuclear and other threats. The first step will be to replace geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites in the current system with spacecraft that are more resilient, capable and affordable. But that apparently is just the beginning. The Space Force also wants satellites in lower orbits that can track and characterize threats more precisely. Most observers think that means low-earth orbit (LEO). However, satellites in medium-earth orbit (MEO) have unique advantages in generating greater granularity while still having a wide field of view. They also require far fewer spacecraft to complete a constellation. Unfortunately, budget constraints led the nation’s newest military service to cancel a demonstration of missile-warning technology in MEO. This decision needs to be revisited in the 2023 budget request, because no mission is more important than warning Washington of impending missile attack. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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