The U.S. space industrial base is presently a relatively small, nascent part of the national and global economy. While the United States has long played a dominant role in space and continues to make significant space investments across civil, military, and commercial space, the overall domestic effort is insufficiently integrated, focused, and leveraged to address the challenges and threats to our Nation's dominant position. A whole-of-government, national space strategy is needed to include a tailored space industrial policy that allows for the efficient allocation of resources and maximizes innovation.
In March 2019, representatives from government, academia, and industry convened to discuss present and emerging challenges as well as threats to the U.S. space industrial base and space dominance. The conversation included the growing role of space to national power and, more specifically, how China is pursuing space dominance as a critical enabler of their grand strategy for the 21st Century. Also placing the long-term U.S. sustained leadership at risk is the space industrial base's vulnerability to adverse impact from foreign investment, intellectual property theft and predatory pricing practices.
The end result is a white paper
, “State of the Space Industrial Base: Threats, Challenges and Actions,”co-authored by AFRL and DIU, featuring highlights of the conversations and recommendations to preserve and expand a coordinated national space strategy and a vibrant, competitive, and agile U.S. space industrial base. Photo credit: Illustration depicting Spaceflight Industries’ successful deployment of 64 satellites on its SSO-A dedicated rideshare mission which launched to LEO on 3 Dec 2018 (Spaceflight Industries).