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Report: Government Should Change Commercial Space Acquisition Strategy

Commercial space industry

Report: Government Should Change Commercial Space Acquisition Strategy

The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a nonpartisan think tank, has urged the U.S. Space Force and the Intelligence Community to open up more business with the commercial space sector.

Instead of relying on traditional acquisition models such as block-buys and multi-year contracts, the defense and intelligence communities should focus on encouraging competition among commercial space launch providers, CSPC said.

CSPC recommended that the Space Force and Air Force continue their smaller-scale acquisition vehicles like the Space Pitch Day, the International Space Pitch Day and AFWERX.

Such contract vehicles are designed to seed funding for prototypes and lower the barrier to entry for small businesses vying for a spot in the national security space enterprise, CSPC added.

The center also recommended that the White House advocate for “rules of the road for what constitutes appropriate behavior for orbit and other planetary bodies.”

CSPC warned that a highly congested space environment could present dangers to future commercial, civil, scientific and national security space activities.

The White House must also clarify the consequences of breaching such norms of behavior, a task that CSPC said requires more communication about capabilities and intent.

Gen. James Dickinson, commander of the U.S. Space Command, previously raised concerns about safety problems and access restrictions posed by the growing number of orbital satellites.

Speaking before members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the general attributed the congestion to major satellite hosting companies such SpaceX, Planet and Spire.

SpaceX recently launched 60 additional Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket with the goal of increasing the number of satellites in its constellation to 1,378, SpaceNews reported April.

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Category: Space

Tags: AFWERX Air Force Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress commercial space sector CSPC Intelligence Community International Space Pitch Day James Dickinson space space congestion Space Force Space Pitch Day SpaceNews SpaceX StarLink White House