Chapters released September 17, 2020.
Space Traffic Management: The Challenges of Large Constellations and Orbital Debris
by Marlon Sorge, Bill Ailor, Ted Muelhaupt
Technological advances and new commercial entrants are lowering the costs to put spacecraft on orbit and increasing launch opportunities, setting the stage for orbits above Earth to become significantly more crowded in the coming decade. Not only will there be more spacecraft in the skies above, particularly as proposed mega-constellation architectures take shape, but they’ll be operated by an increasingly complex mix of government operators and commercial entities.
Progress has been made around orbital debris mitigation standards, but more work will need to be done to establish space traffic management rules and responsibilities that ensure the skies above remain accessible and safe for space operations.
Defense Space Partnerships: A Strategic Priority
by Sam Wilson, Colleen Stover, Steven Jordan Tomaszewski
In this emerging era, U.S. dominance in space can’t be taken for granted, as potential adversary nations like China and Russia develop new capabilities to threaten U.S. and ally assets. The U.S. doesn’t have to face down these challenges alone, but more work can be done to leverage existing defense relationships and extend them to the space domain.
There are challenges around issues of classification and releasability that have impeded deeper defense space partnerships so far, but the potential to expand shared capabilities, increase resiliency and deter aggressions speak to the benefits of building on the progress that’s already been made around international space partnerships.
Emerging Issues in New Space Services: Technology, Law, and Regulatory Oversight
by Josef Koller, Rebecca Reesman, Tyler Way
Next-generation commercial spacecraft are beginning to encroach on a variety of capabilities that were once only available to government missions, or in some cases, capabilities that are entirely new. From satellite servicing and maintenance to debris mitigation to space tourism, these advancing technologies hold great promise, but policymakers will need to consider new ways to ensure safe and responsible behavior in space.
While these decisions won’t be made immediately, now is the time to start discussions while there’s still time to shape the trajectory and expectations of these emerging industries.
Continuous Production Agility (CPA): Future Proofing the National Security Space Enterprise
by Karen Jones and Geoffrey Reber
Keeping pace with the rapid technological change that’s reshaping space will require new approaches and new ways of thinking to help the U.S. maintain it’s leading position. Finding ways to regularly introduce new technologies to national security space architectures can help the U.S. keep its edge. One proposed strategy for accomplishing this is Continuous Production Agility.
This acquisition strategy calls for a shift toward a modular national security space architecture, higher production volumes and a launch-on-schedule tempo that can enable greater agility, efficiency, and predictability.