Bye, bye OIG?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Fri Jul 19 2002 - 09:38:09 EDT

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    Under the subject, "new russian tracking site", Kevin Fetter wrote,
    > Russia has a new satellite tracking site ... It's to bad, they don't
    have a site, like the oig.
    > Then we could maybe obtain orbital data on us military 
    > satellites, like we can for russian military satellites 
    > from the oig. But I don't see that happening anytime soon.
    Probably not, and if the USAF gets its way, OIG soon will be replaced by
    a fee-based service that may be less accessible to the public:
    Some quotes:
    "The data sent to NASA are combined with a small amount of NASA's own
    data and made available to users without charge on a NASA website. NASA
    provides information at various levels of detail. This ranges from
    general space surveillance data accessed by recreational space
    enthusiasts who register for access - which resulted in over 100,000
    "hits" to the web site per month in 2001 - to much more specific and
    extensive data accessed only by twenty-one registered "super users.""
    "Currently, NASA spends about $200,000 annually to provide space
    surveillance support through its Web site."
    "Consideration of a new approach began with a January 10, 2000, Deputy
    Secretary of Defense memorandum that directed the Air Force to
    coordinate with the other services and space agencies to study
    alternatives for providing space surveillance support to commercial and
    foreign entities. Currently, the Air Force Space Command is proposing to
    pilot test a new process for providing space surveillance data and
    services using its FFRDC contracts with the Aerospace Corporation and
    the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Laboratory rather than
    through NASA."
    "Specifically, Air Force Space Command officials believe that this will
    help them:
    - maintain space situational awareness - a key Air Force responsibility;
    - maintain control over processes and data dissemination;
    - determine if providing support to a foreign entity is in the best
    interests of national security; and
    - eliminate a layer of management and decrease risk and complexity by
    having FFRDC representatives already on site."
    "To test their pilot approach, an Air Force Space Command official
    estimated that it will cost from $1.53 million to $1.84 million per
    year. ... Although the pilot study cost estimate is higher than current
    NASA costs, the Air Force Space Command expects that it will be getting
    additional services from the FFRDC. For example, it expects to receive
    additional studies and analysis and an assessment of the best way to
    provide space surveillance support in the future."
    "One DOD intelligence agency expressed concerns with the specifics of
    the Air Force Space Command's approach ... also expressed a concern with
    making space surveillance information publicly available;"
    "if approved, Air Force Space Command officials stated that the pilot
    could not commence until authorizing legislation is enacted making
    disseminating space surveillance data to commercial and foreign entities
    part of their mission. Air Force Space Command officials are currently
    drafting this legislation in anticipation of an Air Force and DOD
    decision and estimate that at a minimum, the preparation and enactment
    of authorizing legislation could take at least a year. Air Force Space
    Command officials are recommending that, as part of the authorizing
    legislation, DOD seek language that will allow it to charge commercial
    and foreign entities for the support if it is deemed appropriate."
    "According to DOD, this plan, as yet incomplete, must resolve concerns
    of the other services and U.S. government space agencies related to
    public release of the data."
    "We also provided NASA with a draft of this letter, but NASA had no
    Ted Molczan
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