The Ministry of Defence say that a special ceremony held at Space Command Headquarters, RAF High Wycombe yesterday marked the official opening of UK Space Command, with the first ‘Space Operator’ Badges presented to personnel.

A statement from the MoD reads:

“Space plays a vital role in the Armed Forces ability to undertake the majority of defence tasks, with any disruption to the space domain leading to significant consequences on civilian, commercial, economic and military activity.

The stand-up of Space Command is a crucial step to ensure we protect UK interests in space and builds on the commitments outlined in the Defence Command Paper, to invest an additional £1.4 billion on space over the next 10 years.

The ability to operate in Space is further enhanced by an increase in Defence funding of £24 billion over the next four years, as announced by the Prime Minister last year.”

Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said:

“As our adversaries advance their space capabilities, it is vital we invest in space to ensure we maintain a battle-winning advantage across this fast-evolving operational domain. The stand-up of Space Command is an exciting and important step in our commitment to operate in space effectively.”

Commander of UK Space Command Air Vice Marshal Paul Godfrey said:

“The space domain is vital, not just in enabling military operations across the world, but in the day to day lives of everyone across the nation. With our new headquarters officially open, UK Space Command is now on the path to lead UK space operations to protect UK and allied interests in space.”

When at full operating capability, UK Space Command will provide command and control of all of Defence’s space capabilities, including the UK’s Space Operations Centre, RAF Fylingdales, SKYNET and other enabling capabilities.

Under the leadership of Air Vice Marshal Paul Godfrey, the Joint Command will have oversight of all space capability development in the Ministry of Defence across three main areas:

  • Space operations
  • Space workforce training and growth
  • Space capability to develop and deliver space equipment programmes

You can read more here.

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Stephen
Stephen
6 days ago

You’ll need a new tab along the top of the website, Home, Air, Sea, Land, Space, International…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago

OT, apologies.

Meanwhile, another “stealth cut.” The only real coverage this had was that 651 would transfer to the RAF from the army.

https://www.scramble.nl/military-news/farewell-islander-defender

Nate M
Nate M
6 days ago

oh well look on the bright we will be protected from Martians if they decided to go toe to toe with us.

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Oh you poor deluded fool don’t you know we’re already here ! Mwah Mwah Mwah. That’s an evil laugh by the way. Now where did I put that tinfoil !   :wpds_envy: 

farouk
farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

They made a documentary on that very subject
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvURidpkCY

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago

The RAF is very good at ‘office politics’, so I am not surprised that they have managed to gain 651 posts from the army – and without a lot of fuss or adverse publicity. They have taken over a number of former army posts in Cyprus over the years. They made a pitch to fly and operate Apache before that type’s entry into service, claiming the army would be hopeless at so doing. I am sure that Space Command is secretly an RAF idea, to get more senior officer appointments for ‘the light blue’ even though it is a tri-service… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Army ‘Be the best’ Navy ‘See the world’ RAF ‘It’s better than working for a living’ I know cheap joke but i’m a very cheap man !

IKnowNothing
IKnowNothing
6 days ago

FAB Space Command

Dern
Dern
6 days ago

I’d argue the UK needs a sovereign equatorial launch complex for low inclination orbits.

Not necessarily a military one mind you.

Last edited 6 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Ascension? Is there room with all the other stuff there?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago

What about a converted oil rig of the sort Space X are intending. If they can do it with the biggest rocket in history I presume the launchers we will be using would be relatively straight forward by comparison. Allows flexibility of launch site too, even if it were based at Ascension or similar base most of the time.

Julian
Julian
4 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

That would seem to me to make a lot of sense. SpaceX paid $3.5 million each for the two oil rigs that it bought (and I am pretty sure they were rigs rather than platforms, in my experience people in the oil industry get irritated when outsiders mix up the two). Admittedly there is presumably substantial additional cost to convert them but there are also costs of building a land-based launch facility that need to be offset against that and I suspect that things like flame diverters and deluge systems would be far easier to implement on a sea-based facility… Read more »

Nate M
Nate M
3 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

i apparently there’s gonna be a new space command in the Shetlands by 2023 or something.

Paul Hovell
Paul Hovell
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

See Reaction engines

farouk
farouk
5 days ago

Dan,
In answer to your question, yes as the real estate down there is quite large . However and a big however is the jetty would have to have a lot of money spent on it in which to make it capable of dealing with a lot of sea delivered equipment

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Ah, farouk. Just the man re Ascension.

Ok.

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I also imagine that since Ascension is quite remote, even if the jetty is upgraded, it’ll still be very expensive to launch from there?

farouk
farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

There is that that, but as Ascension is just off the equator, the costs to launch into space are vastly reduced. Its why Europe’s Spaceport is situated in the northeast of South America in French Guiana,

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Yeah but French Guiana is a considerably larger territory with considerable traffic going there anyway, Ascension Island would require pretty bespoke shipping solutions I imagine.

Then again I could be wrong and the logistics cost might be offset by equatorial launches. For a purely military site I think Ascension would be a no brainer, but I think the UK needs to have a mixed military/civilian launch complex or we risk boom/bust cycles like in shipbuilding.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Morning Farouk! from the Horses mouth info!! Ascension also has the distinction of probably the largest per capita rate of shark attacks in the world including a couple of Brit defence personnel!

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  geoff

It’s one of the main areas where Hammerheads go to breed. There are also a few other types of shark that go there for breeding.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago

Morning Daniele. Plenty room-only 800 people on the island, no indigenous pop. About 200 US and UK military and admin personnel and the balance about 600 St Helenians who run the rest of the private and civil service stuff including a small Police detatchment. i think it would be ideal. The Yanks are in the process of repairing what is one of the worlds longest runways so all good! 😀 
11 degrees in early morning Durban warming to 20’s later
Cheers
Geoff

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff.

17 here. We’ve not had much of a summer so far!

Ascension is a feather in our cap, like the other PJOBs.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago

Yep, there’s plenty of room. You would need to substantially improve the port facilities though.

Last edited 4 days ago by DaveyB
Tomartyr
Tomartyr
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Or have a look into whether we can go the Virgin Orbital/Galactic route and launch from a plane flown to the equator.
I can imagine many benefits to a launch site that can pick its own weather conditions.

Last edited 5 days ago by Tomartyr
Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

The issue with a aircraft launched rocket is that it severely limits your payload. Virgins Launcher 1 can just about get 500kg into LEO, compare with a Falcon 9 that can get around 22t.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
6 days ago

Logo very “Trekkie.”

Mark
Mark
19 hours ago

Deffo seen that before…So now we know where Starfleet was Born .

john
john
6 days ago

I hope this will be a completely unified command with no interservice whatnot.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  john

I bet the RAF will dominate all the top spots, and most of the lower level posts too.

Andy P
Andy P
6 days ago

Curious as to the. Numbers of people in Space Command seeing as they’re headed up by an AVM, I’m sure he’ll need a couple of 4 ringers, half a dozen 3 ringers etc…

Maybe not too man Indians but plenty Chiefs.

John Clark
John Clark
6 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Plenty of Space Cadets living in my road Andy, maybe they should apply……

Andy P
Andy P
6 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

 😂  Got a few round here too, I wish they’d feck off to infinity and beyond…

David Steeper
David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

So the difference will be ? Anyway don’t be so rude paper cuts hurt too !

John N
John N
6 days ago

The Government here in Oz recently announced the ADF will have a dedicated space division/command too:

https://adbr.com.au/adf-to-establish-space-division/

It will have a budget of $7 billion to use for the rest of this decade.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago
Reply to  John N

It’s all Peanuts, compared with what Gov’s have spent on Covid measures!

The Big Man
The Big Man
6 days ago

The Netflix documentary ‘Space Force’ is worth a watch.

Graeme
Graeme
6 days ago

As far as I am aware, we don’t even have the capability to shoot enemy satalleites down. Its a bit like having an air force without planes.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Graeme

Mind you the US airforce in the 1st WW didn’t have any planes and only got some eventually from the French who gave them their cast off Nieuports which were renown for tearing off their wing canvas in a dive. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in Space.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Graeme

It has to be given a chance.

The RAF has been in the space game for decades, but not offensive assets.
At the moment it’s ground based assets, and apparently Skynet will be brought in house. Over the decade small sats will be added.

Yew, we have no ASAT weapons.

Dern
Dern
5 days ago

The side question for that is, who does have the proven capability to shoot enemy satellites down right now?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Exactly.

Not sure if anyone has a Proven capability. The US ASAT missile of the cold war, I think that’s gone.

I think the Soviets had killer sats? Or was that too much of Red Storm Rising?

Nate M
Nate M
5 days ago

well Israel’s apparently David’s sling or arrow 3 have anti-satellite capabilities to a certain degree. maybe we could borrow a few batteries until we get our own?

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Russia, China and India have destroyed satellites in the last 5 years. When India did it last they f***ed up, as they hadn’t properly calculated the extent of the debris field. It was touch and go whether it would hit other satellites. The USA had a dedicated anti-satellite missile back in the 80’s launched by F15s, but it hasn’t been maintained. Both THAAD (LEO) and SM3 have anti-satellite capabilities, with SM3 having been used to take out an obsolete one fairly recently. I don’t think SM3 can attack the high orbiting satellites though. Technically both the UK and France along… Read more »

Rocwurst
Rocwurst
4 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The blast radius isn’t the issue, it is the debris field that would spread and potentially domino, taking out an entire orbital corridor ala the movie Gravity.

Just what we need – space battles that end up denying entire orbital layers for decades or even hundreds of years into the future 🙁

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 days ago
Reply to  Rocwurst

I was referring to the nuke’s EMP radius rather than the debris field, I should have explained that better. But you are quite correct the debris field will be a major long term hazard. Satellites have varying strengths of EMI shielding. The upper high altitude ones having the most. Setting a nuke off in low to medium Earth orbit will be catastrophic, as the EMP will overwhelm their protection. Further, the EMP should have a greater immediate effect over a wide area, whilst the debris thrown out will take time to reach satellites in their various altitudes. The debris will… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago

Yew! Should be Yes. !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Graeme

Isn’t space, (like the Arctic and Antarctic) meant to be a non-militarised ‘space’, except for the presence of military sattelites!

Rob
Rob
6 days ago

Does this mean that school Combined Cadet Forces are going to be allowed to have a Space Cadet section with a Star Trek badge?

Richard G
Richard G
5 days ago

We have 2 carriers but no spaceships!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Richard G

I am more than happy with that!

Richard G
Richard G
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

100% First time in 25 years the Andrew is looking on the up

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
5 days ago

That is the naffest flying badge I’ve ever seen, a cross between Star Trek and Galaxy Quest.

Crabfat
Crabfat
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

It’s not a ‘Flying badge’ Steve, although it certainly looks like one. As far as I can tell, holders of this brevet will be mainly ground based and will comprise current Air Traffic Control and Fighter Control personnel, who will be merged into this Air & Space Force. It will be the first time non-aircrew – and junior ranks – will wear such a brevet. If I’m reading it correctly, airmen/women and Junior NCOs will wear the brevet on completion of training. There is now also a scheme similar to the non-commissioned aircrew branch, in that someone can join either… Read more »

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
5 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Thanks for the explanation, being old school winged brevet’s are aircrew badges and I’ve still not got over the dropping of the ‘job’ initial in the naughties from the centre of the wreath. 😢

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Surely AAC junior rank aircrew wear a wings brevet. I think there are still some Cpl aircrew in the AAC?

Crabfat
Crabfat
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham. I was referring to RAF ranks and trades only. Don’t know much about AAC. However, there are junior ranks – Senior Aircraftsmen/women and JNCOs – flying as cabin crew on Voyager aircraft. They wear miniature wings on their uniforms. Personally, I think the new trade should wear similar miniature wings, if they really have to. Ground trades wearing the new brevet could very easily be taken as flight crews. Were I still in the RAF I would be a bit miffed to see a ground trade wearing psuedo flying badges as what is actually a trade badge. IMO… Read more »

Liam
Liam
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Sir that’s a terrible comment. Galaxy Quest is a really fun movie. It’s worth watching for Alan Rickman alone, nevermind Sigourney Weaver hamming it up.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
5 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Hi Liam, you’ll get no argument from me on Alan Rickman, one of my absolute favourites and Galaxy Quest is a smashing film but the badge? Pffft, wings are for aircrew, birds or angels.

Liam
Liam
5 days ago

Very Trumpian move

dan
dan
5 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Yep. They all laughed at him and now they are coping him. lol

Liam
Liam
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

He got it early doors.

CAM
CAM
5 days ago

Just a quick point.
The first rocket is scheduled to be launched from Space Hub Sutherland in 2022

Last edited 5 days ago by CAM
Don't tell him, Pike!
Don't tell him, Pike!
5 days ago
Reply to  CAM

The Sutherland Space Port could be in doubt??? after the UK Space Agency reported that Lockheed Martin is transferring its satellite launch operations to Unst, Shetland Space Centre (SSC) which was recently renamed as SaxaVord Spaceport where a plan to build a centre at the most Northern tip of Unst, Shetlands most northerly Island. See – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shetland_Space_Centre and the SSC/SVS (shetlandspacecentre) website especially Latest News. and I suggest reading and searching Scottish space through the orbitaltoday website. According to the UKSA / LaunchUK – …To help grow the UK’s spaceflight capabilities, government is funding a range of industry-led projects including:… Read more »

dan
dan
5 days ago

Is ironic when Trump created the US Space Force the media, ect were all laughing at him. They even created a comedy TV series about it. Now other countries like Britain, France, ect are all following him and creating their own dedicated Space Force.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

It doesn’t mean we are creating a space force because of Trump. It would have happened anyway regardless of party/president in power. And Trump was a total disaster for America.

Karl
Karl
5 days ago

Whoever wears that is going to come in for a right p..s take. Mind it reminds me of Thunderbirds a bit, and Troy Tempest was well ally.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Karl

The term ‘ally’ takes me back to my service days! Thanks for the nostalgia trip Karl.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 days ago

Disappointed we have went with a Vertical “Star Trek” style arrowhead like the Yanks. We should at least have gone from the right facing, horizontal arrowhead like the Terran Federation from our own Blakes 7. Okay, technically they were the baddies, but its still a cool logo.

comment image

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago

WTF does a space operator have to do to get given that badge? Sit at a desk watching combat footage of the Battlestar Galactica series? Please excuse my limited space ops knowledge……

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

At a guess, i’d say control satellites and the ops room staff in BMEWS and varied monitoring roles. There are 2 SATCOM control sites in the UK. Both run by contractors with some MoD personnel but I’ve read Skynet and its associated ground based infrastructure will be brought back in house. And the sites are still MoD. So maybe if military return to some of those positions ( like the old RAF 1001 SU ) they will wear it. NASOC staff, at the bunker at Naphill monitoring the tens of thousands of space debris, with the Duty officer linked to… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago

As ever mate your subject matter knowledge and research knows no limits! Thanks, I did think there would be a few at Wyton and people who monitor air space etc and a number of head sheds, but don’t know enough of the systems and chain of events, links and locations to even guess who else would be sewing it on! Cheers mate. The RAF and the RN are really making the Army look out of date and more and more irrelevant recently. Both services are planning and grasping the future where the Army is continuing to go around in circles… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Just an educated guess mate. Might well be wrong. To expand re locations regards Skynet. SATCOM Telemetry and Command Station is at MoD Oakanger. There’s also a small sub site there for NATO SATCOM as well as another SGS. Main SGS is now at Colerne, in the middle of the airfield south of the army barracks The other at Defford closed. Network and Spacecraft Operations Centre is at Skynet Drive, Hawthorn site, Corsham, using the old CDCN bunker ( and quarry workings below ) Abroad Episkopi has a SGS and I think MP in Falklands has one, unsure. Army is… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I share your alarm at the Army being out of shape, in almost every way, for future operations.
Where are the talented visionarys, the Combat Development, the O&D (Organisation & Development), the Doctrine guys, the Requirements and Procurement staff – who can shake this up?

Karl
Karl
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Luddite, this is the future of warfare!  😂 

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
5 days ago

I wonder if joining members will be known as space cadets? When I was in the Air Training Corps in the 1970’s we were jokingly called space cadets.

Maybe someone back then knew more than they were letting on …

Grant
Grant
5 days ago

What happened to the Skylon…. All for half the price of test and trace…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft)

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
5 days ago

Starfleet insignia surely? is this the start ?

T.S
T.S
5 days ago

Does anyone else think/worry that with all the development going on and plans to travel to space that the vehicles created will end up making all the current 6th gen fighters and bombers almost redundant? China are going strong in this area, and the west will have to match or be left behind and vulnerable. I see a space race hotting up in the years to come, both commercially and militarily. The vehicles created will be extremely high mach and be able to conduct strikes around the world in mere 10s of minutes. All of our funding budget for the… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 day ago
Reply to  T.S

No, not really. The reasons are the constraints and requirements needed to reach orbit. If you look at the Skylon single stage to orbit concept. It is far larger than the late Space Shuttle. The specifications as shown on wiki, say it would be over 80m long, the Space Shuttle was close to 55m, whilst Tempest will probably be nearer 20m long. The reason for its huge size is that it uses liquid hydrogen stored at low pressure as the fuel, which has a much lower density than AVTAR for example. This was a design choice, rather than using a… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
5 days ago

Could we not of put our union Jack on ?

Karl
Karl
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

No, it would be deemed anti Scottish or some other silly bloody thing.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago

Ok, I do see the point of a dedicated Space Command, but along with the Cyber Warfare Unit. Do they get their budgets from the existing defence budget or is it separately additional?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

AFAIK Space Command is within overall MoD budget but dont know if it will have its own TLB.

National Cyber Force. Ive not seen seen much extra detail since the 1st announcement. I’d like to know that myself as so many of it’s assets are from GCHQ, SIS, and the SS, which are not MoD.

There are several existing cyber units already within MoD that are purple in nature and assume their budget is from Strat Com.

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
3 days ago

At the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado, the former center for the US Space Command and NORAD, apparently there is a door marked “Stargate Command”. Behind the door is a small storage room.

John Clark
John Clark
3 days ago
Reply to  MikeB1947

Interesting Mike, I hear BAE Systems have pitched a second generation ‘British Star Gate’ to the MOD and have sprayed a build base doorframe kit silver at Warton as a proof of concept.

This investment is totally at company expense, they want a paltry £100 million of public funding to excavate a cave in Mt Snowdon and install a silver painted double width Buildbase door fame kit.

They feel confident that they can make £5 billion of additional funding successfully disappear by 2030.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Don’t even joke about that !  😁  You could give someone ideas !

Mike
Mike
2 days ago

One wing equals a truly lame duck