Urgent Space Development Responds to Past Acquisition Reforms

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 27, 2019 – Decisionmakers urgently developing new space systems acquisition plans to help protect U.S. interests can benefit from insight into decades of defense and space acquisition reforms and best practices.

This invaluable insight is thoroughly examined in Acquisition Reform Regimes on Their Own Terms: Context, Mechanisms, Effects, and Space Program Impact, a new report released today from The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS).

“Understanding why changes were made in previous defense and space acquisition programs is key to guiding new discussions to field rapid capability and flexibility for acquiring new space systems,” said Rosalind Lewis, principal director of Aerospace’s Acquisition Analysis and Planning Subdivision and co-author of the CSPS report.

Significant recent developments affecting space acquisition include a call in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to identify a “sole authority” for organizing, training and equipping future space operations. President Trump called for the establishment of a new military branch, the Space Force. The FY19 NDAA asked the Department of Defense (DoD) for a report on how to acquire space systems. This led to a DoD proposal for a new Space Development Agency to ensure that a Space Force would have the personnel, assets and capabilities to support our nation’s military interests in space. Finally, on December 18, President Trump ordered the creation of the U.S. Space Command to employ space capabilities and lead space operations.

“This year, we saw numerous government mandates to treat space programs uniquely with more resources,” said Jamie Morin, vice president and executive director of CSPS. “We hope that this report provides a good understanding of why acquisition changes need to be made to achieve the critical goal of accelerating our space capabilities.”

The CSPS report analyzes the effects of past acquisition reform initiatives that were implemented during six acquisition regimes. Each regime reflected various legislative and regulatory changes, as well as structural changes and initiatives attempted during its time. Each succeeded on its own terms by improving systems and outcomes without having sole responsibility for any specific program.

To learn more, download the CSPS report at: https://aerospace.org/paper/acquisition-reform-regimes-their-own-terms.

About The Aerospace Corporation

The Aerospace Corporation is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees. With three major locations in El Segundo, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Washington, D.C., Aerospace addresses complex problems with agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership across the space enterprise and other areas of national significance. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.

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