Growing the Space Industrial Base:
Policy Pitfalls and Prospects
The Defense Department has long hoped that its needs for space products and services could be supplied by an industrial base that is sustained by commercial sales. That day has not yet arrived, despite years of targeted purchases, investments, and acquisition reform. The beacons of the past decade’s policy—competition and technology investment— cannot bring it to pass. A more promising approach is found in a strategic outlook on research, development, and procurement. Such an approach probably cannot be sustained, but working toward it would reduce the incidence of counterproductive policies. Future programs are likely to achieve innovation and cost control in the same way that past programs did—through active government participation and managed competition.
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