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There has been a lot of activity on some key national security space issues recently. Congress continues to make progress on finalizing authorization legislation for the national security space sector. AIA expects appropriations measures that include national security space to move later in the year. A new National Space Policy was released June 28 by the administration and included a variety of national security space provisions.
A House of Representatives markup of a defense appropriations bill is expected after a possible July passage of a war funding supplemental. More activity has been seen on the authorization side. The Senate Armed Services Committee recently passed a Defense Authorization Act. AIA was particularly encouraged by several space-related provisions included in the fiscal 2011 Defense Authorization Act passed in May by the House.
The increase in top-line funding for missile defense demonstrates commitment to this vital area of our national security as we approach deployment of these systems.
Language supporting a joint Defense Department and Director of National Intelligence national security space architecture is a very positive development. AIA has long supported increasing interagency coordination on space issues and sees this as an important move in the right direction, particularly when it comes to national security space acquisition where long-term planning contributes to industrial base health.
AIA favors the inclusion of report language urging the U.S. military to evaluate the costs of government refurbishment and modification of excess ICBM assets for space launch. By explaining the costs incurred by the use of excess assets, the proposed analysis takes a step towards recognizing the cost effectiveness of commercial options for responsive space and small launch, which is critical to the vitality of the U.S. propulsion and solid rocket motor industrial base.
With regards to the National Space Policy, AIA was encouraged by many of the provisions found in the new policy, particularly language supporting the issuance of a joint Department of Defense and intelligence community national security space strategy.
As the association that led the effort to form the government-industry Joint Space Cost Council, AIA is pleased that the policy highlights the importance of improving acquisition through enhancements in cost estimating.
AIA supports robust language in the new policy that seeks to preserve the space environment, increase space situational awareness and enhance space protection. Space debris threatens our nation’s spacefarers and our critical space infrastructure and – unless remediated – will restrict our efforts to increase the commercialization of space.
National space policies set the official tone across our government on all the space initiatives we pursue as a nation – from civil space to commercial and national security space. AIA believes it’s important that policy be backed by stable funding as well as a detailed national strategy that helps ensure that policies are carried out.
The Department of Defense’s Space Posture Review – coordinated with the Quadrennial Defense Review – is expected to follow the new National Space Policy. For more information on the Space Posture Review and National Space Policy, please visit the following Department of Defense website at: http://www.defense.gov/spr/
AIA Source: michael.conschafter[at]aia-aerospace.org