Despite having its own sophisticated network of spy satellites, the U.S. government has increasingly turned to private companies for satellite technology and intelligence gathering capabilities. The clearest benefits are twofold: the ability to see more locations on the Earth more frequently and the ease of sharing data without risking the disclosure of classified information. This practice has proved invaluable for real-time decision-making on the battlefield and has also played a key role in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. However, as private assets become increasingly targeted by adversaries, the government now faces a Catch-22 situation of balancing the need for support for private enterprise with the responsibility of protecting national security interests.
The team is examining the complex relationship between private enterprise and military interests in space, analyzing the potential risks, current policies, and potential solutions to this rapidly evolving landscape.