Laura Grego

Senior scientist

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Dr. Grego received her PhD in physics from the Caltech in 1999. She was a postdoctoral researcher for three years at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she investigated issues in cosmology using X-ray, radio, and optical data, and numerical simulation. She has been at UCS since 2002. Areas of expertise: Space weapons and security, ballistic missile proliferation, ballistic missile defense

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Satellite Database Update: More than 2,600 Active Satellites Orbiting the Earth

View of IS-901 satellite from Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) during approach from approximately 20 meters with Earth in the background. The MEV successfully docked with the Intelsat 901 satellite on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Northrop Grumman

An updated version of the UCS Satellite Database, which includes launches through March 31, 2020, is now available on the UCS website. This update includes the addition to the database of 486 satellites and the removal of 38, for a total of 2,666 active satellites.

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UCS Satellite Database Update: More than 2,200 Active Satellites

We have updated the UCS Satellite Database, including launches through September 30, 2019. Lots of movement this time, with 209 satellites added and 53 removed for a total of 2,218 actively working satellites.

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Some pretty good work by Congress on missile defense this year

Photo: Eric E Johnson/Creative Commons (Flickr)

The Congressional defense budget process is entering its conclusion, though battles remain. Despite little to show for it, the overall budget for missile defense continues to be robust. For example, the Senate appropriators met last week and added $1.2 billion above the Trump administration’s budget request for missile defense, including an additional $532 million for upgrades and six more boosters for the beleaguered Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, and added $222 million to fund program to replace the recently canceled Redesigned Kill Vehicle program. That is an unfortunate waste of tax dollars.

However, in other areas Congress—in particular the House—made a number of useful and positive corrections to the administration’s $9.4 billion missile defense budget request. The House also put several sensible new missile defense policies in place that deserve support. Read more >

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Record Number of Satellites in Orbit

An updated version of the UCS Satellite Database has been posted. Including launches and deactivations through November 30, 2018, the Database includes information on about 1,957 active satellites. That is 71 more than our previous release last July. Read more >

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No, Space-Based Missile Defense Will Not Cost Only $20 Billion. (Spoiler: That’s only the launch costs.)

Space-based missile defense is a terrible idea. It is expensive and straightforwardly defeated, and it is dangerous and destabilizing. (If you haven’t watched it, please do take a look at this video and web feature UCS just produced. It helps to see these arguments visually.)

But knowledgeable people say it’s not so expensive!

At a recent event hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin calculated the cost to “put up” an interceptor layer. Given how Griffin talked about it, you may be forgiven for thinking he means this is the full cost of a space-based missile defense system—rather than just the cost of launching the interceptors into space. Read more >

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