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Lt. Gen. John Thompson explains how startups can interact with the Space Force

Space Force’s Lt. Gen. John Thompson spoke at TechCrunch Session: Space earlier this week. Throughout the wide-ranging interview, General Thompson explained the various ways and means for private companies like startups should interact with Space Force.
Thompson knows what he’s talking about. As the Commander of the Space and Missiles Systems Center, he oversees research, design, development, and acquisition of satellites and their associated command and control systems for the U.S. Space Force. His role puts him in direct contact with some of the most ambitious and innovative startups.

He pointed to three things when asked what’ …

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Watch Space Force’s Lt. Gen. John Thompson speak on sourcing tech to secure space

Lt. Gen. John Thompson of the United States Space Force spoke at TechCrunch Session: Space earlier this week on the importance of working with startups. The general is the Commander of the Space and Missiles Systems Center, where he oversees research, design, development, and acquisition of satellites and their associated command and control systems for the U.S. Space Force. His role puts him in direct contact with some of the most ambitious and innovative startups.
Gen. Thompson spoke extensively on the importance of working with American business, specifically startups, where he sees many producing innovative products that fit within …

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SpaceX successfully launches GPS III space vehicle for the US Space Force

Tesla has launched a GPS III satellite on behalf of customer the U.S. Space Force, the second GPS III generation satellite it has launched for the U.S. military this year. The first took off in June, and was the third overall GPS III put in orbit by SpaceX . This is the fourth, and will provide improved GPS navigation capabilities to the U.S., including improved jamming technology to protect against interference.

SpaceX used a brand new Falcon 9 first-stage on this launch, and successfully recovered that rocket booster using a controlled landing on its drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The company also confirmed that its payload achieved good orbit, and it’s now in the process of making its way to the deployment point where it can release the GPS spacecraft for its final orbital insertion.

This mission flew from Cape Canaveral in Florida, and was the second attempt at delivering this payload, after an attempt at the beginning of September was scrubbed due to an early startup of two engines that caused an auto-shutdown of the launch sequence two seconds prior to liftoff. SpaceX investigated the issue and found that it was due to some trace amounts of a masking material used to protect engine components making their way into fuel lines. That triggered a change in its engine manufacturing and inspection process.

SpaceX also delayed its forthcoming Crew-1 launch for NASA to resolve the issue, so today’s launch should be another reassurance that that key, history-making flight of an operational ISS crew made up of three NASA and one JAXA astronaut will go ahead as planned on November 14, barring any other delays.

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