Shelton Promotes Affordability, Resiliency for Space Architectures

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command commander, identified two ways that his organization could save money while preserving critical missions: redefine how it builds its space architectures and constrain requirements growth. “We have to look at new architectures in traditional mission areas,” said Shelton last week at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. He said a well-crafted architecture that factors affordability and resiliency from the onset would pay dividends later on and prevent space professionals from having to muddle through programs ad hoc and face steadily rising costs from burgeoning requirements. “We have to find that knee in the curve where we get the most resiliency at the best prices,” he said. Having one satellite take on more missions is not necessarily the best answer in some cases, such as with military satellite communications, since hosting multiple missions on one big spacecraft would make it easier for an adversary to deny the United States capabilities during a conflict, he noted. Industry is a key part of finding solutions here, which may include placing more capabilities on commercial platforms, he noted. “I think this is something we will continue to invest in,” said Shelton during his Nov. 17 speech.