AFRL’s Eric Felt: Space Force Should Adopt NASA’s Public-Private Partnership Approach

AFRL’s Eric Felt: Space Force Should Adopt NASA’s Public-Private Partnership Approach

Col. Eric Felt, head of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate, has said that the Department of Defense (DoD) should adopt NASA’s business model for commercial crew programs, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

Felt told the publication that AFRL plans to implement the model for programs such as the planned hybrid architecture of 266 industry-developed remote-sensing satellites and national platforms.

He noted that public-private partnerships can also drive the U.S. Space Force’s space domain awareness initiatives and support a “space commodities exchange” in partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and AFRL.

“It opens up the financial engine to optimize the price and the quality, where you establish certain quality standards for what you’re going to need,” said Felt. “The space domain awareness data might be a great example of the kinds of things that the Space Force could purchase through a space commodities exchange.”

AFRL is slated to send a cube satellite known as Link 16 to orbit as part of an experimental effort to utilize encrypted radio frequency capabilities for U.S. and NATO vehicles.

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