Spacelift Washington: The Future of Space Part Two: President’s Space Advisory Board to be staffed with outside experts

Spacelift Washington
Spacelift Washingon Archive

WASHINGTON – February 14 – The realignment of U.S. space policy and management now underway in Washington will be a construct of different layers and different new policy organizations, officials familiar with Bush administration thinking are saying. A major change in U.S. national security space management will be accompanied by what insiders are calling a long, slow restructuring of U.S. civil space. "The President’s Space Advisory Board will be made up of outside experts, new thinkers that can offer up a new vision of space," said Air Force Maj. General Brian Arnold, Director of Space and Nuclear Deterrence within the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. Speaking last Thursday at an Air Force-sponsored aerospace power symposium in Alexandria, Virginia, Arnold gave a briefing of the status of the changes to space management being considered by Air Force leaders.

Arnold said the board would have a "three year sunset provision" and whose members – yet to be decided upon by the administration – "would talk about key issues in space policy". Their advice to Bush "would be independent in nature" said Arnold, and according to the recent report by the National Security Space Management Commission "should be unconstrained in scope and provide recommendations that enable the nation to capitalize on its investment in people, technology, infrastructure, and capabilities in all space sectors" to assure continued U.S. space leadership. That group should address new U.S. commercial technologies that "could advance U.S. interests in space," the commission’s report said last month. This would include, according to the report, "commercial advantage".

The board would flank a new Senior Interagency Group for Space, SIG-Space, that would be the apex of a complete realignment of space within the military. "Increasingly, space activities and the commercial space industry will be seen as adjuncts of U.S. national security," Arnold predicted.

As far as DoD space, a new Under Secretary of Defense for Space, Intelligence and Information likely to be named in April "would wind up becoming the advocate for space within the department," Arnold said. The creation of the new office will require legislative acts this year, Arnold said.

The other effects of the realignment include a closer blending of the intelligence agencies involved in space activities, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office. The Air Force should move to establish a space corps, and to change the way its senior manager operates space assets. The Air Force Space Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command CINCs, that now share the same role as the head of U.S. Space Command, should be separated. And future CINC-Space leaders should no longer come only from the ranks of the Air Force but should for the first time include other services.

Arnold also said that the Air Force will be realigning its space management to make the Under Secretary of the Air Force the head of NRO. And U.S. military and defense-related research labs should include a new laboratory for space and intelligence research, and the main USAF research lab for space should be realigned under Air Force Space Command. The service’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base should be transferred directly to AFSC. Ultimately, the Air Force may take over all of the satellite design, development, procurement and operations now conducted by NRO as well, part of a realignment that may establish a new "Space Department" within the Air Force. The new, streamlined and refocused CINC-Space should become the head of the Space Department, and be at the same managerial level as the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"We (the Air Force) are in full agreement with the commission’s recommendations," Arnold said last week. "We expect to have our response plan in place by April," he added. But what of the commercial space sector? The FAA looked back last week at the year 2000-and said it wasn’t a very good year.

More about their review in our next column.

Related Links:

° The Economic Impact of Commercial Space Transportation on the U.S. Economy (Adobe Acrobat), FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
° 2001 Quarterly Launch Report - Q1 2001 (Adobe Acrobat), FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
° 2000 Year in Review (Adobe Acrobat), FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
° 2000 Reusable Launch Vehicles - Programs and Concepts (Adobe Acrobat), FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation

Articles in the Spacelift Washington "The Future of Space" series:

° Part One: Air Force Space Leaders Prepare for Weapons in Space
° Part Two: The Future of Space: President's Space Advisory Board to be staffed with outside experts
° Part Three: Commercial Space cooling trend continues
° Part Four: A Thriving Commercial Space Now Key to All Sectors


SPACELIFT WASHINGTON © 2001 by Aerospace FYI Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed with permission. The information contained herein are the authors own and are not affiliated with any other society, organization, or institution. Publication does not constitute endorsement of either editorial content or sponsoring web site. Have information about space transportation? Email the editor at sietzen@erols.com


Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.