NASA OIG and the new CFE program update

From: Katherine Kline (
Date: Wed Oct 20 2004 - 10:52:58 EDT

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    As reported by the ever-helpful and ever-vigilant Mike McCants at, the Air Force will be 
    taking over TLE duties from NASA OIG.  Lt. Col. David Maloney of HQ 
    AFSPC/XOCS (is that enough acronyms for one day?) spoke at the Satellite 
    Operations and Safety Workshop at MIT Lincoln Lab this morning (public 
    information on the workshop and its agenda is at, all content is in the public domain) and 
    provided an update on the current status of the CFE operations and plans.
    The three-year pilot program was to start in May '04, beginning in the 
    three phases shown in the briefing at Mike's site, and ending in May 
    '07.  However, the CFE operations could not begin until the SecDef signed 
    an order to authorize them.  The paper needing the signature was sent to 
    Secretary Rumsfeld and is sitting on his desk, yet to be signed.  The delay 
    in beginning the website operations will not affect the May '07 end date of 
    the program, but it will affect Phase 2 of the CFE-OIG transfer:  Instead 
    of shutting down NASA OIG at the beginning of Phase 2, OIG will remain in 
    full operation for a 90-day transition period.  As the note on Celestrak 
    says, all NASA OIG accounts will be transferred to CFE, although you will 
    have to go through a small re-registration process due to extra legal bits 
    with the Air Force.
    One other note:  the new CFE program places restrictions on redistributions 
    of all TLE and related data without permission of Secretary Rumself.  Col. 
    Maloney said the lawyers are still trying to decide how that's going to 
    work, so sites that redistribute data like Celestrak are still in something 
    of a limbo.
    In summary, you'll be able to get your TLEs, but a piece of paper needs to 
    be signed and the Air Force lawyers need to vet everything.  Col. Maloney 
    seemed very receptive to questions and comments regarding the new 
    program.  Contact information for him is listed at Celestrak.
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