Space Development Agency Prefers Leased Satellite Services for Future Network

Jeff Brody

Fred Kennedy, director of Space Development Agency, wants to lease commercial services to support the agency’s proposed satellite network in low-Earth orbit, National Defense Magazine reported Friday

“I would be very happy to simply lease commercial services from these mega providers,” he said at a recent event of Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Washington, D.C. “There may be things we need to do with that network that will not quite translate to commercial market, but the more that I can leverage commercial, the better off we are.”

Kennedy announced his first priority at SDA would focus on placing a system of small, low-cost satellites in space by 2022, which will support the agency’s future systems. The agency hopes to begin on-orbit demonstrations in 2020. The director also wants to speed up the currently slow acquisition process and to cut costs of developing space assets. 

"Let's move away from an exquisite approach that gets us capability in decades to something that might give us some less exquisite capability on the order of a year or two," Kennedy said. 

Congress has yet to confirm funding for SDA. The Pentagon proposed $150 million for the new agency for fiscal year 2020. 

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