Tag Archives: Space Acquisition

U.S. Space Acquisition: Challenges in the Final Frontier


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Authors: Barry “Jay” Borst, Shahram Sarkani, and Thomas Mazzuchi

Space contributes to the security and economic stability of the United States. However, numerous studies, articles, and surveys state export control is hurting the space industrial base. The nation’s ability to acquire space systems, according to many published sources, is diminishing and may impact its leadership in the field of space. Many claim excessive export controls as one of the primary causes and often cite statistics, data, and information contained within a 2007 Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) survey to validate their claim. While the AFRL survey certainly provides insight and should not be entirely discounted, the application of System Dynamics Modeling suggests the survey’s findings on export control are outdated.

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Challenges to Innovation in the Government Space Spector


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Authors: Zoe Szajnfarber, Matthew G. Richards, and Annalisa L. Weigel

This article uses innovation theory to identify five core challenges of generating national security space innovation: (a) generating bottom-up push in a top-down environment; (b) integrating fragmented buy-side knowledge; (c) integrating fragmented sell-side knowledge; (d) matching the innovation environment to the development stage; and (e) balancing risk aversion with the need for experimentation. An analysis of how the current two-tiered process, which separates technology development from project-based acquisition, addresses these challenges, reveals that this method of separation is not a complete solution because it: (a) fails to value architectural innovation; (b) creates a disaggregated knowledge base, which exacerbates the difficulty of top-down specification and bottom-up integration; and (c) fails to generate an entrepreneurial supply-side spirit. Recommendations for improvement are provided.

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