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Inside the SpaceVerse: The US Space Force’s Next-Gen Digital Environment

The U.S. Space Force is the newest and the smallest military service in the Department of Defense — and it is responsible for the largest domain. The Space Force was established in 2019, and throughout its three years of service thus far, its leadership has made modernization an integral part of its DNA. 

Lisa Costa, the Space Force’s chief technology and innovation officer, has long championed digital transformation and innovation efforts within the service. However, she says technological capability gaps and outdated systems are hindering the Space Force’s service members, or “guardians,” from executing their missions.

Lisa Costa is scheduled to deliver a keynote address during GovCon Wire’s virtual 2023 DoD: Digital Modernization Forum on Jan. 12! Register here

“Guardians today use antiquated tools, techniques and technologies that limit the Space Force’s ability to support full-spectrum, multidomain operations,” the Wash100 Award winner told FedTech in an interview.

The service’s latest digital transformation and innovation initiative, SpaceVerse, aims to change that narrative. 

What is the SpaceVerse?

“SpaceVerse is Space Force’s version of the Metaverse and will leverage technology being developed in the commercial realm to provide Guardians with leap-ahead capability, including resilient networks, high throughput end devices and infrastructure, allowing them to experience their domain through multiple senses,” Costa explained.

Space Force guardians have a unique military service experience in that they are physically not in the domain in which they operate. Instead, they experience the space domain “via a lot of text on a lot of different screens,” said Costa in an interview with C4ISRNET.

What Costa envisions is both a simplification and an enhancement of the user experience. In essence, the SpaceVerse will be a digital environment that combines digital tools, physical assets and shared platforms to provide guardians with a more immersive, collaborative experience. 

The SpaceVerse is “meant to provide our Guardians with a digital engineering environment to support immersive training, TTP and doctrine development, force design, operational testing, acquisition, and operations,” Costa wrote in a LinkedIn post.

The Space Force plans to conduct pilot programs of the SpaceVerse in fiscal year 2023 and begin building the digital universe in fiscal year 2024, according to Michael Torres, chief of digital infrastructure for the Space Force and SpaceVerse architect. 

In 2022, the Space Force tapped Slingshot Aerospace to develop the service’s first digital twin of the space domain for training and wargaming purposes.

Hear from Lisa Costa on what’s next for the SpaceVerse during GovCon Wire’s 2023 DoD: Digital Modernization Forum on Jan. 12. Costa joins other Department of Defense and industry officials in dynamic discussion surrounding the federal government’s modernization efforts. Register here.

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