Gen. William Shelton Suggests Splitting Big Satellites into Smaller Spacecraft

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Gen. William Shelton

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command chief, has expressed interest in having big satellites split into a number of smaller satellites in order to achieve a “survivable architecture,” Breaking Government reported July 23.

Shelton told the Atlantic Council that each smaller satellite would be “less complex, less expensive, and more expendable,” Peter Hobbs reports.

He said adversaries are targeting a “complex, big satellite” with their growing capabilities in cyber attacks, jamming and anti-satellite missiles, according to the report.

The Air Force Space Command head also said the service plans to initiate various studies in an effort to develop approaches to responding to threats, Breaking Government reports.

“Stay tuned for those results in early 2015,” he told the Atlantic Council.

Shelton said the Air Force Space Command looks to replace its satellites in the 2020s, Hobbs reports.

Hobbs writes the Air Force Space Command has reduced its funding to $1 billion from its annual budget for the fiscal year 2015.

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