New report asks U.S. strategy to fuel up space economy and technology base

New report asks U.S. strategy to fuel up space economy and technology base

Proposal of Strategies for improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A report released Nov. 18 by US national security space groups proposed strategies to improve the nation’s space economy and technology base.

Senior leaders from the US Space Force, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Defense Innovation Unit penned the 92-page “State of the Space Industrial Base 2021” report. It is based on conversations with over 250 government, corporate, and academic experts.

“While the rate of innovation and investment in the United States is at an all-time high, without strategic direction, this will not be sustained.” This includes widespread adoption of commercial space capabilities as evidenced by significant contract prospects and also strategic workforce development. In addition, the report claimed that “attention to vulnerable domestic supply chains, as well as resolving the anaemic funding for prototyping, validating, and accelerating novel and disruptive space capabilities for national security,” are the priority.

The report’s central thesis is that the US space sector is “tactically powerful.” But, as Col. Eric Felt, head of AFRL SVD, put it, “we’re missing the long-term vision, roadmaps, and purposeful long-term commitment.”

“We’re in a wonderful place now,” he stated at an Atlantic Council virtual event on November 18th, “but we have a lot of strategic problems, and how do we make sure we’re in a terrific place tomorrow?”

The innovation ecosystem is continually updated when you consider the number of inventions and new things that are being done in space. “You have a record amount of venture funding flowing into space startups because you have a lot of new companies coming into space and private investments,” Felt added.

“There’s a lot of anxiety that it won’t continue,” Felt said. “If we want it to continue, we need to make some bold and decisive efforts today.” “China, with a 50-year plan, is a highly aggressive and patient opponent in space.”

The report supported by NASA

Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson supported the study in a joint statement.

“Both NASA and the Space Force think that strong participation from across government, industry, and academia is critical to meeting this moment,” they said in a joint statement. “We are entering a new age of strategic collaboration in space that will benefit economic, civic, and national security.”

The State of the Space Industrial Base study, which was first released in 2020 and then again in 2019, is now in its third edition.

The government, notably the Defense Department and the intelligence community, should better support the space business, according to the report. Rather than developing systems in-house, this might be accomplished by acquiring commercially available services.

According to the paper, the space industry has “shaky support from the US government as a buyer of commercial products and services.” “NASA stands out as an outlier in this regard, as it continues to increase both its direct involvement in and acquisition of commercial space offerings.”


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