space defense

The Space Security and Defense Program will receive the 2018 Space Achievement Award for bringing space survivability and protection to the forefront of national leadership, according to a news release issued by the Space Foundation.

The Space Foundation gives the award annually, to recognize organizations or individuals for critical milestones in the evolution of space exploration and development.

According to the U.S. Air Force website, the SSDP is “a vital program that helps find ways to protect the Air Force’s spacecraft. SSDP looks at available intelligence and adversary counter space programs, and recommends solutions.”

It is a joint Air Force Space Command and National Reconnaissance Office organization that operates as the center of excellence on options and strategies for a more resilient National Security Space Enterprise, according to the Air Force website.

“The SSDP is chartered by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, to be the primary advisor on all matters related to the protection of space systems from adversary attack,” the award nomination stated. “In that capacity, the SSDP has delivered revolutionary capabilities that change the strategic posture of the United States and were identified by the Deputy Secretary of Defense as some of his highest-priority initiatives in the DoD.

“Over the past year, the SSDP’s amazing accomplishments garnered national attention in bringing space survivability and protection to the forefront of national leadership,” it continued. “The SSDP developed a comprehensive new Space Warfighting Construct framework built around a resilient architecture, helping to secure more than $66 [billion] in national space assets. Their analysis and recommendations were presented to Congressional leaders, the White House National Security Advisor, Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Defense and the Vice President of the United States.”

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The SSDP’s scope includes the Department of Defense, intelligence community, civil, commercial and international space entities that support National Security Space missions in both peacetime and conflict, according to Air Force budget documents.

SSDP was formerly known as the Space Protection Program.

The award will be presented April 16 during the opening ceremony of the 34th Space Symposium at The Broadmoor hotel.

Past Space Achievement Award recipients include: Year in Space Mission; SpaceX; X-37B OTV Team; the U.S. Air Force GPS Team; NOAA; Junichiro Kawaguchi; SpaceX and Telecom sans Frontieres; and the Hubble Space Telescope Repair Mission Team.

The Space Symposium runs April 16-19.