A Fragile Industry

Space is becoming more and more central to US national security operations, while, at the same time, the industry enabling its exploitation is teetering precariously, James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Speaking at an Aerospace Industries Association-hosted space policy discussion, Miller said the US space industry has declined in recent years, due to restrictive export controls, cumbersome acquisition policy, and lack of a long-term industrial strategy. Over the past 15 years, the US aerospace industry has fallen from supplying 73 percent of the world’s satellite components and launch exports, to roughly 25 percent, while struggling to retain the “intellectual capital” needed to keep the US at the cutting edge of space, he said. The event coincided with the release of AIA’s new report, Tipping Point: Maintaining the Health of the National Security Space Industrial Base. (AIA release) (AIA report; caution, large file.)