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Programs and contracts set out and shared by national security forces and civil agencies have long been the key driver for commercial organizations within the US space industry. As the space industry has become increasingly commercialized, the relationship between the three pillars of civil, national security and commercial space has become stronger and is progressively reliant upon each other.

To stay up to speed with developments of other nations across the globe, the US is taking significant steps to maintain its superiority in space. Speed to market is a key point for national security, civil and commercial players alike, shortening production timelines while reducing manufacturing cost through the application of an, often but not always, New Space approach. 

On the national security side, many steps have been taking to collaborate more with and take advantage of the developments with commercial industry. In recent years, there have been proposals by the U.S. Air Force and subsequently U.S. Space Force regarding the need to become faster, cheaper and more flexible with the acquisition, deployment and use of satellites and other space systems for national security purposes. The DoD’s Space Development Agency (SDA) and U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, the Space Force’s acquisition and procurement arm, have been cooperating to accelerate the procurement of small satellites

On the civil side, NASA is currently awaiting approval of its 2022 presidential budget – requesting $24.8bn, which is a 6.6% increase over the budget of the previous year and the second largest budget request since 1997. As part of the 2022 budget, NASA is aiming its focus on the development of its human landing system, space technology and science programs.

As outlined in her inaugural speech as Acting Administrator within NASA’s Human Exploration and Mission Directorate, Kathy Lueders is “optimistic about industry’s ability to lead a private space economy in low-Earth orbit, one where NASA achieves our goal of being a regular customer. That frees us up to focus on human exploration farther in the universe including the Moon and Mars.”

To learn about the impact of future DoD acquisition strategies and NASA’s 2022 budget request on the commercial space industry, and how commercial space industry is increasingly collaborating with these entities, join us on the opening keynotes and Strengthening the US Position in Space Through Efficient, Fast and Reliable Collaboration Between Commercial, Civil and National Security panel session on Thursday October 7. You will hear from expert speakers with Northrop Grumman, Maxar, Slingshot Aerospace and the Aerospace Industries Association, among many others.

Space Tech Expo USA 2021 exhibition and conference takes place on October 6-8 in Long Beach, CA.

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