The military space community is in transition. Every facet of space operations is being rethought in light of rising threats and new technological options. The first critical mission to get a redesign is missile warning, which will see a de-emphasis of satellites in geocentric orbit in favor of spacecraft closer to Earth. Planners are especially enamored of low earth orbit, where hundreds or thousands of inexpensive satellites might be deployed, many of them built by commercial space startups. There’s nothing wrong in principle with that idea, but low earth by itself won’t deliver the Space Force’s desired resilience. What’s needed is a hybrid architecture containing diverse satellites in diverse orbits, and a hybrid business plan that includes players from both the traditional contractor community and non-traditional suppliers. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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