US Strategic Command and Germany have agreed to share space situational awareness services and information, officials announced Jan. 29. The agreement, which was signed Jan. 9, enables each country to more safely operate in space. “Space situational awareness requires cooperation and arrangements such as this allow us to partner more effectively,” said Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “As more countries, companies, and organizations field space capabilities and benefit from the use of space capabilities and benefit from the use of space systems, it is in our collective interest to act responsibly, promote transparency, and enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of space.” Seven other nations, including the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, and Australia already have an SSA data sharing agreement with the United States, as does the European Space Agency and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, states the release.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.