October 24, 2017

US Space Policy Should Aim to Preserve Advantage on the New Frontier

The administration of Donald Trump is the first of the 21st century to not be entirely preoccupied by issues of terrorism and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such conditions provide opportunities to dedicate some time to taking a longer view and consider new strategic options and emerging areas of international competition. Initial actions by the Trump White House show the space domain to be an area of heightened focus. For example: for the first time in 24 years, the Vice President convened the National Space Council, composed of five cabinet secretaries and an equal number of senior government directors and administrators, to consider the nation’s future course in space.

The timing is propitious. New commercial entities have emerged to create a vibrant, competitive marketplace in the space sector. Innovations such as micro-satellites and recoverable first-stage rockets promise opportunities to move beyond basic exploration and experimentation in “the new frontier.” The Trump administration should seize this chance to foster the full exploitation of space as a commercial domain.

Read the full op-ed in Defense One.

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