The 2022 report “State of the Space Industrial Base” captures the results of a workshop focusing on the space industry from a United States strategic perspective. Major findings from the workshop include:
Strategic competition in space remains a paramount concern – China continues to compete toward a strategic goal of displacing the U.S. as the dominant global space power economically, diplomatically and militarily by 2045, if not earlier. Proactive measures are required to sustain our nation’s space leadership across all instruments of national power despite China’s attempt to accelerate closing its technology gap with the U.S.
Strategic vision required – An enduring North Star vision for America in space is an essential guidepost to remain competitive with a rapidly advancing China. Participants recommend “Economic Development and Human Settlement’ as that vision to retain U.S. economic leadership, motivate the American people, and protect U.S. national interests.
Space ecosystem at risk – The agile engineering ecosystem that has become the hallmark of the modern space era is at risk due to some U.S. policy and procurement practices within the bureaucracy that are not aligned with, or work counter to, national space strategy. The national enterprise must adopt and further implement the U.S. National Space Strategy and modify practices to ensure U.S. competitiveness.
In order to protect the planet, we must get off-planet – Advancements in off-world power production, manufacturing and Lunar resource extraction will be foundational to the trillion-dollar space economy. Enabling strategy, policy, and laws will be required to lead in an enlightened and effective effort.
Commercial space technology has forever changed the nature of conflict – Space remote sensing, advanced analytics and broadband communications are tactical solutions that have delivered strategic impact as evidenced by their contribution to the defense of Ukraine.
Sustaining U.S. leadership in global research and development requires action – China has rapidly advanced to challenge U.S. leadership in global research and development (R&D) expenditures, and is on track to spend more than $200 billion a year more than the U.S. in R&D by 2030.