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June 14, 2021

Pentagon: Diversify Your Orbital Regimes

By Sarah Mineiro

As Congress considers the Pentagon’s $1.2 billion request for military space systems in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and its other broader space portfolio, it would do well to consider the key factor of resilience at each decision point.

Building resilience into new defense space systems will remain challenging especially in a budget-constrained environment. It will require tough choices not just programmatically, but architecturally. The Defense Department would do well to justify their investment as not only for one orbital regime, but for the broader context of mission assurance.

Resilience is a key attribute of any defense space architecture – legacy or disruptive.

President Biden’s FY 2022 budget is out, and for policymakers and practitioners in the space community one aspect in particular is getting attention: a $1.2 billion request for various military space systems in low-Earth orbit (LEO). This includes investments by organizations reporting into the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), like the Space Development Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, and DARPA, all of which are investing in innovative space architectures and applications leveraging hardware commoditization and Software as a Service solutions. This marks a warranted and welcome trend toward innovation for these agencies – each of which should transition their reporting from OSD to the Space Force – but the question remains: why this investment in LEO architecture alone?

For the programs under the various OSD organizations, one concept appears again and again: resilience.

Read the full article from Breaking Defense.

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