Keeping the Focus on Space Junk

The next administration needs to continue the Air Force’s push for the Space Fence because space junk is becoming more and more of a threat to the country’s space operations, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. The amount of objects floating in orbit is increasing, and space debris is growing smaller and harder to track so the the Air Force’s Space Fence must remain at the “top of the budgetary needs,” James said Monday at a Center for a New American Security event in Washington, D.C. The Space Fence costs about $914 million and is expected to increase the number of objects USAF tracks in space by tenfold, Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, said in April. The Air Force is “shifting” how it operates in space in degraded environments by working with the international community at the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center, or JICSPOC, to focus on how to operate with allies in the event of degraded environments in space, James said.