Raytheon completed the second launch-readiness exercise for the Air Force’s next-generation Global Positioning System operational control system known as OCX, announced the company. Exercise two—conducted over a three-day period in late February—demonstrated OCX mission software capability and was a “key milestone” in ensuring that the first launch of a GPS III satellite remains on track, states the company’s April 29 release. It built upon last year’s exercise one. “Successful completion of exercise two is a clear indicator that the solid design and strong command and control and mission planning capability meet the requirements to support the GPS III launch,” said Ray Kolibaba, Raytheon’s OCX program manager. The company is developing OCX, while Lockheed Martin is manufacturing the GPS III satellites. First launch of a GPS III satellite is slated for 2014.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”