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Executive Mosaic’s Weekly GovCon Round-up: The New Space Race

Weekly Roundup
June 19 – June 23 2017

A Note From Our President & Founder Jim Garrettson

Although the phrase “Space Race” brings to mind the Cold War-era struggle between the United States and Soviet Union for supremacy in spaceflight capabilities, it may begin to develop new, more modern connotations. There is a new space race brewing amongst U.S. corporations, with the finish line located 255 million kilometers away: on Mars. This new competition, however, isn’t limited to just the private sector. The federal government is intensely interested in remaining a space superpower and cementing U.S. superiority in all space-related industries.

The Trump administration has already expressed its desire for NASA to focus less on studying Earth and instead redirect its efforts to better understand planets beyond our own. In theadministration’s proposed space spending plan, NASA is directed to use its resources to “focus on deep space exploration… and develop technologies that would achieve U.S. space goals and benefit the economy.” President Trump has declared his intention to put U.S. astronauts on Mars by 2030, but the road to U.S. space superiority will be paved by more than just reaching the Red Planet first.

Heather Wilson, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, spoke at the Strategic National Security Space FY18 Budget Forum about how the Air Force will support efforts of U.S. space superiority. “We are heavily dependent on space, and our adversaries know it. In any future conflict, space will be contested,” she said. Her comments coincided with the House Armed Services Committee vote on the National Defense Authorization Act. The HASC strategic forces subcommittee, whose purview includes military space matters, proposed additions to the NDAA. The subcommittee’s additions call for the creation of a “Space Corps” within the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force’s “Space Corps” would function similarly to the U.S. Marine Corps. Lawmakers decided that the Space Corps would operate “as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force and under the civilian leadership of the Secretary of the Air Force.”

According to the subcommittee’s additions to the NDAA, the Space Corps would have its own chief, who would also have a six-year term on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Space Corps Chief would be an equal position to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and would answer to the Secretary of the Air Force.

The subcommittee’s action on the NDAA, the Trump administration’s interest in space, and Heather Wilson’s remarks, all indicate that the creation of a Space Corps is a very real possibility.

Assuming that the Space Corps is approved, the federal government will need considerable help from the private sector to make this dream a reality. In order to cement the United States as the preeminent space military power there will be a myriad of logistical, engineering, infrastructural and industrial obstacles that will need to be overcome.

Even if the Space Corps does not gain approval, there is a high probability that other space-related opportunities will occur in the near future. Small satellite technology has become both cheaper and more reliable, and smallsat advocates are positing that such systems are capable of providing a “layer of resiliency” for national security space applications.  Other opportunities may occur within the rocket engineering field, as the industry moves away from the larger, single use rockets of the past.

It is very likely that we will see an uptick in innovative satellite, rocket and telescope technologies, as well as other peripheral space technologies and products.

THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES

5 Companies Secure $199M in NASA IT Support Contracts
Five companies have received contracts worth $199.3 million combined to help NASA’s flight operations directorate develop, maintain and sustain information technology systems and software platforms.
500 Small Businesses Added to GSA STARS II ‘Open Season’ Vehicle; Mary Davie Comments
The General Services Administration has added approximately 500 small businesses to a list of contractors that won positions on the agency’s 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services II open season contract.
Raytheon Secures $1B Contract to Help Build DHS Cyber Protection System; Dave Wajsgras Comments
Raytheon has landed a five-year, $1 billion contract to help develop the Department of Homeland Security‘s next-generation National Cybersecurity Protection System.
DigitalGlobe’s Tony Frazier: Govt Leaders Recognize Need to Leverage Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics
Tony Frazier, senior vice president of government solutions at DigitalGlobe, has said the U.S. government acknowledges the need to leverage big data analytics, machine learning, automation and other commercial technology platforms in order to help transform the intelligence community and global mapping efforts.
Heather Wilson: Air Force to Establish New Directorate for Space Operations
The U.S. Air Force will set up a new directorate focused on space operations over the next two months as part of the reorganization of the service branch’s headquarters.
4 Firms Land Spots on $492M Navy Digital Network System Increment III Support IDIQ
The U.S. Navy has awarded four companies positions on a potential eight-year, $492.4 million contract to provide increment III production units and related supplies for the service branch’s Automated Digital Network System.
Deloitte-SAP Team Unveils Cloud-Based HR Tech Offering for Federal Agencies
Deloitte and SAP have rolled out a joint technology offering designed to help federal agencies to manage human resources.
Engility’s Wayne Rehberger Wins Virginia Business CFO Award; Lynn Dugle Comments
Wayne Rehberger, chief financial officer at Engility, has won the Virginia Business magazine’s CFO award in the publicly traded companies category in recognition of his dedication to financial stewardship.
Army Selects 7 Firms for $150M Architect, Engineering Services Contract
Seven companies have been awarded spots on a potential five-year, $150 million contract that covers architect and engineering services for the U.S. Army.
Jeremy Wensinger, James Winner, Robert Giannetta Join Executive Team at Former Harris IT Business
Jeremy Wensinger, James Winner and Robert Giannetta have been appointed to leadership positions at MHVC Acquisition Corp. — formerly known as the government information technology services business of Harris.

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