A new space race is flying. The pivot of private rocket providers that didn’t get their share planned the attack, payload systems were retooled, and new smaller and smarter satellite systems promised widespread change in industrial space base, affecting government and civilian entities involved in military and defense, communications, health, science and planetary travel. In this exploration of the “final frontier,” climate and weather equipment companies are sure to line up to reflect their bold priorities as well.
Government and defense agencies and the private sector are working together diligently, as new providers replace the names Atlas, Saturn and STS from previous generations and the launch for new ones. payload has become more common. Companies are investing heavily in space and that is reflected in new facilities, technology investments, and the growth of public / private partnerships.
Congress is addressing some of these needs in the current budget cycle; a portion of NASA’s approved fiscal year 2022 budget passed in March exceeded $ 24 billion and its programs are growing.
Government agencies including NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are not waiting to prepare and respond to the unknown future. Significant investments have been made to monitor climate change and environmental needs and to prepare people’s responses to natural disasters with resilience and sustainability. Satellites are still tracking asteroids and other threats in deep space.
As asset security and system reliability become paramount, future programs will rely on partners to create reliable systems, remaining safe from external threats. What is clear is that military and industrial communications and network transmissions to and from space across the broad spectrum of government agencies and their private contractors must be secure against espionage and threats from national enemies. . U.S. Space Command Lieutenant General John Shaw called cyberattacks a “key ‘threat vector.'”
With the conflict in Ukraine, the role of commercial satellite communications playing in the theater shows how critically reliable and hack-proof communication systems are, as demonstrated by Russia’s technology that is dark and silent.
Here at home, the U.S. Space Command, Space Force and the intelligence community rely heavily on the private sector to lead research and innovation to improve our nation’s technical capabilities and defense posture. In a recent conversation with Wired,
Shaw talked about global allies and efforts to negotiate international rules for space operations.
Shaw also argued that “the U.S. military should accept and treat space as an ‘area of responsibility,’ a territory that needs to be maintained and protected, not just by spacecraft.” Speaking of Space Command’s efforts to share the latest space achievements, he encouraged readers to visit Space-Track.org to stay up-to-date.
We’ve seen bad actors jamming and hacking communications satellites, trying to take over power grids, closing banks for hours or days, and delaying commercial shipping and interference with other vulnerable important systems. Even the threats of the cloud -based network are on the minds of defense leaders, as a more savvy and aggressive approach has been developed. If left unchecked, these counter actions can paralyze countries.
The partnership between the U.S. government and local partners and allies will continue on ground and space -based missions, while continuing our national independence. Delivering payloads and personnel to and from the International Space Station – something the Russians have repeatedly threatened to suppress – could be the job of private sector partners.
The implications are clear. Increasingly collaborations between various government agencies and the private sector, funded by institutional venture partners and solicited awards, are taking on responsibilities once held by federal programs and agencies. While government investment in space programs has been reduced, the ranks of staff related to the space program have been augmented by the most highly trained private sector experts. It’s an efficient move; the government will be able to take advantage of economies of scale by capitalizing on the most educated and well-established industry and private sector entities involved.
Organizations hoping to partner with government or space and aero industry base providers need allies who are knowledgeable in this sector. Lawyers and lobbyists with key agency and government experience can help draft the strategies most critical to ensuring winning partnerships in the pursuit of this new frontier.
The range of civilian sectors ready to benefit from this 21st Century space race is as vast as our history. The pipeline of government funding and business development opportunities promises to create sustainable opportunities for organizations rooted in space programs and innovation in the U.S. aerospace sector. Experienced government relations professionals, procurement specialists and lawyer lawyers can help companies line up for key contract positions.