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US Government Working to Leverage Commercial Space Innovations; Gen. James Dickinson Quoted

Commercial space is skyrocketing, fueled particularly by the growing need for real-time space imagery and satellite communications in Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.

As geospatial intelligence and space domain awareness continue to gain importance in the future of warfare, global powers are racing to achieve technological, tactical and information superiority through innovations in space.

However, while the space market is booming in the private sector, the federal government is still behind and looking to industry for help. 

Public-private partnerships can help space-focused military services “build a common operating picture in the space domain” and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the environment, according to Gen. James Dickinson, commander of the U.S. Space Command.

Gen. James Dickinson is scheduled to keynote the Potomac Officers Club’s 2nd Annual Industrial Space Defense Summit scheduled for May 17.

Gen. Dickinson said that though the urgency behind innovation in space is continually intensifying, bureaucratic processes and acquisition policies are not evolving quickly enough.

“The times have changed, capabilities by the industry have changed and many more companies are providing those services,” Dickinson explained of the current procurement landscape.

“How can we do that better? How can we make it easier, more efficient, more feasible for a commercial company to enter into an agreement with us and participate, for example, in space domain awareness?” he posed.

The growing need for better collaboration between government and industry in space is also reflected in President Biden’s recent fiscal year 2023 budget request. The White House’s proposal would give the U.S. Space Force and the Space Development Agency approximately $5 billion more in funding than the budget that was enacted in 2022 – a total of $24.5 billion.

This budgetary jump is driven by adversarial threats, according to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner.

Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency, has been invited to also speak at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2nd Annual Industrial Space Defense Summit on May 17. Registrations are open now!

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