New DoD commercial space strategy opens door to military, financial protection for contractors | News World

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg SFB in April 2022. (SpaceX)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s long-awaited “Commercial Space Integration Strategy” opens the possibility that military force could be used to protect US commercial space operators, as well as suggests that the Defense Department will provide financial support to contractors providing space services.

The document, released today by outgoing Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb, is the first of its kind — although senior DoD and Intelligence Community officials for years have been touting their intent to take better advantage of cutting-edge commercial space technology. The strategy therefore breaks little new ground, but does put a formal stamp of approval on efforts that up to now have been essentially ad hoc and scattered across different services and organizations.

Further, the new Pentagon strategy has been coordinated with a separate Space Force commercial space strategy that is expected to focus a bit more tightly on acquisition when it is released, likely within the next couple of days. Plumb told reporters today the strategies will be “very much aligned.”

“Deeper integration of commercial space solutions represents a conceptual shift away from legacy practices in which the Department has relied on bespoke, DoD-specific capabilities and limited the use of commercial solutions,” the Pentagon strategy reads. “Given the expansion of the commercial space sector and the proliferation of space capabilities, the Department will benefit by making commercial solutions integral — and not just supplementary…

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