In February 2008, the U.S. fired a missile at an inoperable U.S. intelligence satellite that had failed shortly after launch in December 2006. The satellite was destroyed reportedly in order to prevent an intact reentry of its toxic hydrazine fuel tank. But do we know why or how it failed in the first place?
“No,” the director of the National Reconnaissance Office told Congress last year, in newly disclosed responses (pdf) to questions for the record (p.89).
“After an exhaustive formal failure investigation, and three different independent review team investigations, the cause of the failure and what failed was not determined,” said Scott Large, then-director of the NRO. “Our exhaustive analysis of the spacecraft design and test program did not identify the root cause of the failure,” Mr. Large said. His remarks appeared in the record of a March 5, 2008 hearing before the House Armed Services Committee that was published this month.
“The era of Acquisition Reform is over,” Mr. Large also told Congress. “It has left the NRO in a fragile state with a poor history of performance.”
On June 12, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, with concurrence of the DNI, appointed retired Air Force Gen. Bruce Carlson as the 17th director of the National Reconnaissance Office.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.