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Defense official: We’re failing at space innovation

16 Jan 2019, 16:21 UTC
Defense official: We’re failing at space innovation
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This article was first published in the SN Military.Space newsletter. If you would like to get our news and insights for national security space professionals every Tuesday, sign up here for your free subscription.

The Pentagon has to figure out how it will respond to China’s rapid advances in space technology, warned Chris Shank, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office. The United States is innovating, too, but the Chinese are doing it at a faster pace. They will eventually catch up unless the U.S. can speed things up. “Think about that,” Shank said last week during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ space tech conference in San Diego.
SPACE RACE IS ON China carried out 39 launches last year, the U.S. 31, Russia 20 and Europe 8. “We have not lost leadership in space. We are losing ground, though,” he said. “That is different.”
CULTURE CHANGE DoD is recognizing the problem, Shank said. “That is the culture change that I think is part of the Space Force discussion, and the Space Development Agency discussion.” The idea of “responsive space” — having the capability to launch small satellites on short notice if U.S. systems came ...

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