A new study by the Aerospace Corp. says the increasing number of satellite-based services and other space capabilities offered by companies presents opportunities for national security agencies to acquire those services, SpaceNews reported Monday.
The study “Leveraging Commercial Space for National Security” examined three models for defense acquisition and some commercial space activity areas that have national security applications: remote sensing, situational awareness and satellite communications.
Of the 620 remote sensing satellites in orbit, approximately 270 are privately owned, according to the study. When it comes to satcom, private companies own about 960 of the 1,040 U.S. communications satellites in orbit.
Jamie Morin, executive director of the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at the Aerospace Corp., told the publication the study seeks to inform senior leaders at the Department of Defense and intelligence community of available commercial space services and that acquisition officials at agencies planning to buy government-owned satellites should look into commercial options.
“In the current national security environment our sense is that the benefits outweigh the risks,” said Morin.
Morin co-authored the study with Robert Wilson, a policy analyst at Aerospace Corp.’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy.