Vice President Pence Leads the Second Meeting of the National Space Council

Vice President Pence Leads the Second Meeting of the National Space Council


The Vice President:
Well, good morning, and thank you all for being here
for the second meeting of the National Space Council. I want to thank all of
the members who are here, the members of our
user advisory group, and all of those
who have taken time to join us in person and online. We’ll go ahead
and get started. Today, we have two panel
discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing
our national security, and commercial space activities that I just spoke about
in my opening remarks. We’re pleased to be joined by an outstanding lineup
of expert witnesses who will share their
insights and expertise with the Council
in the moments ahead. But first off, I’d like to ask
some of the Council members to provide updates
on the progress that we’ve made since our first
meeting to implement President Trump’s vision for
American leadership in space. I’m going to begin with our
National Security Advisor, General H.R. McMaster. General, I want to commend
you first and foremost and the National Security Agency for your efforts in support of
the National Space Council. I specifically want to thank
the General Bill Likery of the National Security Council for his extraordinary work on
the space strategic framework. Could you please
give the Council an overview of that work? General McMaster:
Thank you Mr. Vice President, and thank you
for the opportunity to provide an update
on the important progress we have made in developing
the new strategy for space, and I want to thank,
first of all, fellow Council members here for their
tremendous collaboration and teamwork. As you noted,
Mr. Vice President, at the last Space Council
meeting in October you approved the strategic
framework for the new strategy, and I thought it might be
useful for our audience to briefly summarize
that framework and what we’ve done with
that framework since then. As a reminder, the framework
contained three key elements. First, it defined
our vital interests in space to ensure unfettered
access to and freedom to operate in the space domain, to advance the security,
economic prosperity, and scientific knowledge
of the nation. Second, it set a desired
end state for the new strategy to ensure U.S. leadership, preeminence, and freedom
of action in space for decades to come. And finally, it outlined
four strategic objectives in pursuit of our
vital interests. They are, first, to strengthen
the safety, stability, and sustainability
of space activities. Second, to deter and,
when necessary, defeat adversary space
and counter-space threats that are hostile to
the national interests of the United States
and our allies. Third, to partner with
the U.S. commercial sector to ensure that American
companies remain the leading providers of traditional and innovative
space technologies, goods, and services on
the international space market. And fourth, to maintain
and extend U.S. human presence and robotic explorations
beyond Earth, to transform knowledge
of ourselves, the planet, our solar system,
and the universe. So, since October, at your
direction, Mr. Vice President, we have developed
the lines of effort and identified the specific associated tasks to meet
the strategic objectives, achieve our desired end state, and advance our vital
interests in space. The four interrelated
lines of effort are, first, mission assurance. We will accelerate
the transformation of our space architecture by deliberately moving systems
from science and technology phase to research
and development phase, to actual fielding
of capabilities. As a result, our space systems
will be more resilient, more defendable,
more easily reconstituted, and better service to orbit. Our second line of effort is
on deterrence and war fighting. Due to competitor
and adversary actions, the space domain is
increasingly contested. Space has now joined land, sea, and air as a war
fighting domain. While we prefer the conflict
not extend to space, the United States will be
prepared if it does. Our third line of effort
is on organizational support. We will pursue
improved foundational capabilities, structures, and processes to enable
more effective space operations. And our fourth and final line
of effort focuses on conducive
environments, both at home and abroad. As you mentioned
in your opening remarks, Mr. Vice President,
we have work to do. Domestically,
this includes streamlining the regulatory environment to better use
and support U.S. industry. Internationally, this includes
pursuing bilateral and multilateral engagements to enable human exploration, promote burden sharing, and foster cooperation against threatening
adversary space actions. Mr. Vice President,
like our audience today and like the panels
that you’ll see here today, these efforts cut across
national security, commercial,
and civil space sectors, and the strategy
will not only advance the benefits of space
for ourselves, but also ensure that
peoples of all nations can benefit from the tremendous
potential that space offers. I should note that
the President’s recent budget submission, since Mick Mulvaney’s not here: it increases the funding
for DOD space programs by over $1 billion
in fiscal year 2019 alone, and by eight billion
over the next five years. NASA’s budget for 2019 is being
increased by 300 million, while also being restructured
to focus more on exploration. With your endorsement,
Mr. Vice President and the President’s approval, we are prepared
to begin implementing this national
strategy for space, and periodically assess progress
and recommend adjustments to you and to the Council
and the President. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. The Vice President:
Great, thank you General, and thank you for
the great collaboration between the National
Space Council and the National
Security Council. It’s been seamless, and we appreciate your update
for this meeting. The acting administrator
of NASA, Robert Lightfoot, has been busy implementing
the space policy directive and also that direction
from the President, guided the development of the
President’s budget submission. Perhaps you could give us a brief overview of the budget presentation, and the implementation
of the directive. Administrator Lightfoot:
Will do. Thank you, Mr. Vice President
and fellow Council members, especially those of you
that worked with us on this development
of this answer and action to the space policy
directive one. What we did in developing
this initiative was we came up with what we call
the Exploration Campaign. This Exploration Campaign
is a national and agency effort focused on three core domains: lower earth orbit, lunar orbit
and the surface of the moon, and Mars and other
deep space objectives. The goals of this campaign
are to transition the U.S. human spaceflight in lower earth
orbit to commercial operations, which supports NASA
and the needs of an emerging private sector market, extend our long-duration U.S. human spaceflight operations
to the lunar vicinity, enable long-term robotic
exploration of the moon, both scientific and human,
as we move forward, in preparation
for further missions taking humans to Mars. The objectives in there:
first of all, we’ll start with
lower earth orbit. Again, as I said, we want
to end direct support to the ISS by 2025, while stimulating
commercial industry to develop capabilities. NASA and the private
sector can utilize and meet NASA’s exploration risk mitigation and
scientific requirements. Starting in 2018 we’ll increased
the breadth and depth of the commercial and international
lower earth activities. Specifically,
we’ll offer to expand the international space station
partnerships to new nations. Based on inputs from our current
ISS and commercial stakeholders, we’ll shape the plan
to transition the international space station
as we’ve been asked to go do. We’ll extend
the public/private partnerships to help develop and demonstrate
the technologies and capabilities that the new,
commercial products can be brought to bear
in lower earth orbit. At the moon,
we have two objectives. Of course,
it’s a long-term presence in the vicinity of the moon
and on the moon, again, both scientifically and from a human perspective. In the lunar orbit we’ll conduct the first un-crewed mission
of the SLS Orion, first flight in 2020
to the moon, and the crewed flight in 2023. We intend to establish
a human tended lunar orbiting platform
for crews to visit from Earth to transit to
and from the lunar surface, and to depart to,
ultimately, return to Mars. We’ll develop the lunar orbiting
platform gateway that, at a minimum, it puts a power
of propulsion element out there, and begins to put the habitat that we’re going to need
to stay in when we go there. At the surface, we’ll orchestrate
a lunar robotics campaign where the folks growing a
commercial base of partnerships and activity that can support
U.S. science, technology, and exploration objectives, and we’ll include
international participation, where appropriate. We’ll support a small
commercial lander initiative with initial
strategic presence on the moon no later than 2020, develop a mid to large
scale lander initiative working toward human rating
a lander in the future. This initiative will focus
on enabling, again, commercial and
international partnerships. We’ll also support an early
science and technology initiative that includes
cubesats, lunar cubesats, a virtual lunar
institute, and other activities. This will further
enable and nurture the entrepreneurial
and commercial market forces that will define the long-term
human exploration and advancement
of the lunar surface. For Mars and other deep space
objectives that we have, we really want
to maintain and grow the U.S. leadership at Mars. We have a rover
going in 2020, as a first step to demonstrate
sample return strategy. It also is going to
take an experiment that is going to tell us
whether we can produce oxygen from
the atmosphere on Mars, a very exciting
mission for us then. We’ll use this mission
as a building block for subsequent round-trip
robotic missions with, hopefully, the first historic
launch off of another planet and a sample return
through the lunar gateway that we’re building; again, broadening the
expirational architecture as we move forward. We’ll prioritize these
investments to guide us and really align,
as General McMaster said, really align toward exploration. It’s a tremendous focus there
for us as we move forward. So, that’s kind of the nuance
and the response to SPD1, and I think what you’ll find,
Mr. Vice President, is this NASA team,
your industry team, and our international
partners are ready, and ready to get started. So, thanks for your support
in the 2019 budget. We did see the increase,
and we’re ready to go do this. Thank you. The Vice President: Great. (Applause.) Thank you, Robert. Well done. (Applause.) We want to thank
the National Security Council and the NASA for doing
such a great job responding to the 45 day
reporting period. Not a lot happens in the
federal government in 45 days, but you all did
outstanding work, reflecting the President’s
urgency on this effort. Two others that have
done excellent work are the Commerce and
the Transportation Department. Transportation is represented
by Deputy Secretary Rosen and, of course,
Secretary Wilbur Ross is with us from
the Commerce Department. Jeff, if you want
to give us a quick update. I know that Secretary Chao
could not be with us today, but could you give us
a quick update on some of
the recommended changes that transportation
has been working through, particularly with
regard to Commerce with regard to private space
exploration and development. Deputy Secretary Rosen: Yes,
thank you Mr. Vice President. I’m so pleased to be here
with the Space Council and all of us from the
Department of Transportation very much appreciate and are grateful
for your leadership. Secretary Chao was unable
to make it today, but she asked that
I make very clear that the Department
of Transportation is strongly committed to regulatory streamlining and modernizing our commercial
space regulatory framework. As was mentioned at the previous
meeting of the Council, you asked us, along with OMB
and the Department of Commerce, to prepare a new 45 day plan
to overhaul, modernize, and streamline
our somewhat rusty commercial space
licensing framework. So, we’ve worked
hard to do that, and we’ve come up
with some structural and meaningful changes
to the status quo, and I hope the work we did, in combination
with our colleagues on the Council
and other agencies, will meet with your approval. There are five main elements that I just want to touch
on briefly today. The first is we want
to implement accelerated rule-making plans, meaning that we shorten
the time lines that the FAA and the department
are working on to meet the ambitious schedule that you and the Council
have set out. Second, is we want to provide
some immediate interim relief, such as the expanded
use of waivers and programmatic approvals, where they’re appropriate, so that we can try to right away begin facilitating the
objectives of the Council. A third piece of the plan
is to focus FAA resources so that we strengthen
the portion of the FAA that most directly
deals with licensing and the regulatory approvals so that we can accomplish the
goals that have been set out. A fourth item is to establish
a joint task force. The purpose of this is to
facilitate better coordination within the U.S. government so that people that need
regulatory approvals don’t face confusing situations
as to who’s doing what and how to get
the approvals they need. But then the fifth piece,
and perhaps the most important, is a new licensing framework. As was set out in recommendation
one for today’s meeting, our ultimate aim
is a 21st-century file and fly kind of
licensing framework, and the plan includes specific
new regulatory deadlines and approaches in the aim
of getting us to a file and fly type regulatory approach
as quickly as possible. So, we look forward
to implementing this changed approach and delivering
on a more responsive, easier to navigate
and sensible commercial space regulatory framework, and very much look forward to working with all the folks
on this Council and others
to make that happen. Thank you. (Applause.) The Vice President:
Thank you, Jeffrey, and with that, let me recognize
the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, who I know
has been working very closely with Secretary Chao to achieve exactly the
streamlining, the objectives, and the re-organization
that we’ve discussed. Mr. Secretary, thank you. Secretary Ross:
Thank you Mr. Vice President. Mr. Vice President, members of
the National Space Council, users advisory group,
and distinguished guests, recently here
at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX’s Falcon heavy
rocket was launched. Two first stage boosters
disengaged on schedule and landed back here. This was their second use. You saw one of them
as you came in. It will be ready
for its third launch, an amazing technological
and commercial feat. Thanks to impressive
events such as this, the United States is the leader
in space once again. Somewhere out there in space, there is a bright red roadster going thousands
of miles per hour, the fastest car in history. (Laughter.) We had better keep up with it. (Laughter.) Space is already a
$330 billion industry, supporting 211,000
American jobs. But our share of
the 1,700 new companies created worldwide last year was only 45 percent, far lower than
our share of launches. Private companies
funded $3.9 billion of our space effort last year, but they’re competing against
70 foreign governments. So, they need all the support
we can give them. Countries new to space
have an inherent advantage in terms of the
regulatory environment because they carry no baggage
from the earlier, simpler days of space.
In contrast, much of our remote
sensing regulatory regime is 25 years old. Space 25 years ago bears little
resemblance to space today. Now the rate of innovation
is extraordinary. So, we need an adaptive and relatively permissive
regulatory system. NOAA, FAA, FCC, and other
agencies each have a role, and they all have
obligations to DOD, the IC and the state as well. That complexity
inherently causes delay. Since the Council’s first
meeting in October, Commerce’s review of the
outdated regulatory framework and discussions
with an ambitious, but frustrated space industry, made it clear that the rate
of regulatory change must match the rate
of technological change. That is how we will ensure that businesses choose
the United States as their flag
of choice for space. So, at the department,
we’re working to create a new, one-stop shop
for space commerce. Mr. Vice President,
with the Council’s direction, I will move the Office
of Space Commerce and the Commercial Remote
Sensing Regulatory Affairs Office from NOAA
to my direct oversight in the Office
of the Secretary. (Applause.) This elevated and amplified
Office of Space Commerce will coordinate all space related functions at the department; remote sensing,
spectrum policy, export controls, business
and trade promotion, to name a few. In addition to
the proposed relocation of the Office of Space Commerce, we will also soon name
a director of that office. Also, we are providing to the
Bureau of Industry and Security and the NTIA additional funding for their space
focused activities, and our foreign
commercial service teams located in 105 cities
around the world will recruit foreign space
businesses to our country. Space will be featured during a
select USA conference in June, which last year attracted
3,000 foreign participants. The department further proposes
to the Space Council that all space commerce
responsibilities other than launch
and reentry licensing be consolidated into the Department
of Commerce. We further recommend
that the President direct the Office
of Space Commerce to develop in concert
with the Council and industry players
regulations and legislation for an effective mission
authorization framework for all commercial
activities in space. We pledge to make those
proposals no later than July 1. Activities such as asteroid
mining, space tourism, and space habitation
are quickly becoming much more than
science fiction, and we need a future-oriented
space commerce agenda and a supportive
regulatory regime. With input and guidance
from the Space Council, the Department of Commerce can be the one-stop shop
the industry so sorely needs. In addition, the department
recommends that the Departments
of Commerce, State, and Defense continue their
efforts to simplify existing commercial remote
sensing licensing regimes. That process must be made
more efficient and predictable. Satellite companies now face
a permitting timeline that can take five years,
is undefined, indefinite, and provides no certainty
or predictability to industry. This is unacceptable,
and must change. Otherwise, companies and
customers will go overseas. There are at least
two other areas where Commerce can play
an important role for American
leadership in space. These are in spectrum policy
and export licensing. Spectrum is a scarce resource that facilitates
communications control and transmission of
valuable data back to Earth. The National Space Council
should recommend that the department
be directed to develop and advocate
for spectrum policies to support commercial
space activities, while respecting the needs
of DOD and others. Finally, Commerce recommends
that the Space Council and the executive
secretary review export licensing regulations affecting commercial
space activity. Today, a space vehicle
that returns to earth in international waters
or non-U.S. territory is treated as an export of sensitive
and dangerous technology. This approach is a primary
complaint of space companies, and if the President approves
our recommendations, we will continue working with
our colleagues at State and DOD to enable more
commercial activity, while protecting
national security. That little red Tesla
in outer space does need rules of the road, but there shouldn’t be
too many one-way streets, dead ends, or u-turns. I promise you, Commerce
will be a good steward. Thank you. (Applause.) The Vice President:
Well, thank you Wilbur. Thank you for your great work and the department’s
great work in this area will speak to your
recommendations momentarily. But, I think everyone looking on
can tell the great collaboration between the Department
of Commerce and the Department
of Transportation, and appreciate
so very much the work done. We’ll turn our attention
now to Administrator Rao. Thank you for being here today. Most people may not be aware
of how important your job is to this industry at the
Office of Management and Budget. You lead the Office
of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It’s critical to the work
of this Council. I want to thank
Director Mulvaney, who has been working tirelessly
to move the President’s agenda, and streamlining
regulatory regimes. Could you give us
a quick overview of what you have
been working for, working toward in the office
to support this effort? Administrator Rao:
Sure, thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. It’s a pleasure to be here
with members of the Cabinet, the Space Council,
and other distinguished guests for this very exciting
and ambitious event. So, as you mentioned,
I’m the administrator at OIRA, which is the office that reviews all the significant regulatory actions across the government. And in a nutshell,
what we really do is we try to ensure
that regulations serve the American people. And since the Reagan
administration, we help agencies meet
presidential priorities such as what we’re
talking about today; the commitment to winning
the next frontier of space. So, Mr. Vice President,
as you’ve already said so well there are tremendous
opportunities here to use space for security
and commercial purposes. But the success of these
ambitious ventures will depend in part
on a regulatory system that does not stand
in the way of progress but, instead, enables
innovation, provides clarity, and ensures safety. These goals with respect
to space development are consistent with President
Trump’s overall direction to reduce cumulative
regulatory burdens across the government. As an administration, we want
to advance a regulatory — (audio break) and that leaves
individuals and businesses as free as possible to innovate and to create the
technology of the future. These general principles
apply across the board, but really have
particular importance in areas of
emerging technology, such as space exploration. And here we start
with the basic idea that government shouldn’t
be picking winners and losers through regulation. We don’t want
to regulate in a way that freezes
technological development or stifles innovation through
government prescriptions. And as Secretary Ross
and Deputy Secretary Rosen have already mentioned,
important reform begins first by identifying
some of the problems with existing
regulatory frameworks. We need to find those
regulations that are duplicative, outdated, or just simply ineffective and then work hard to eliminate
or streamline those burdens. And in areas where
multiple agencies impose overlapping burdens such as in licensing
or paperwork reporting, we are reconsidering
how those requirements can be combined or replaced. And in part because of because
of our centralized role at OIRA, we can address issues
that span multiple agencies to eliminate and streamline
unnecessary requirements. And that simply will
allow more resources to be devoted to
research and production, rather than regulatory red tape. And we’re confident that we can
do this for space development because we’ve done this
in other regulatory areas. The President has demonstrated tremendous leadership
in this area, and directed significant
and meaningful regulatory reform since the outset
of the administration. His early executive order
called for eliminating two regulations
for each new one, and as of the last
fiscal year, we were actually at
22 deregulatory actions for each new one. And in this coming year
agencies have proposed even more deregulatory actions and projecting a regulatory cost savings of
over $10 billion. So, in the past,
regulatory burdens have steadily
increased over time. But this administration
has really turned the tide with its regulatory
reform initiatives. And so, in areas
of burgeoning technology such as space development, this means individuals
and companies can proceed with confidence that we’re not going to spring
new regulatory requirements on them that will stifle growth. We want to contribute
to a regulatory environment that can enhance
development of space, and with the right
frameworks we’re confident that private companies
can unleash creativity and ingenuity. And we can enhance
American global leadership by attracting
investments in research and development for space. Of course, with further
advances into space, we face important
questions about security, safety, sovereignty. But, with the work
of the Space Council, OIRA remains committed
to working across the government to design regulations
that meet these needs, while furthering our journey
to the next frontiers of space. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. The Vice President:
Thank you, Neomi. (Applause.) Well done. Okay. This — we’re approaching
the end of the first half
of our presentation. Before we move to panels,
I would recommend, members, in your packets today you have several recommendations
to the President for approval. Recommendation One directs
the Department of Transportation
to direct — to replace prescriptive launch
and reentry licensing regimes with a streamlined system
by March 1, 2019, to be completed at
that point on or before. Recommendation Two directs
the Department of Commerce to consolidate all space
commerce responsibilities in the Office
of the Secretary, as Wilbur described, and also develop a system that
facilitates mission authorization for commercial
space activities. There are other recommendations
related to that that the Secretary
enumerated quite well. Recommendation Three directs
the National Telecommunication Information Administration and Commerce
to work with the FCC to develop protections for
the radio frequency spectrum, facilitating commercial
space activities. And Recommendation Four directs the Executive Secretary
of the Council, in coordination with all
members of the Council, to develop recommendations
to streamline export control
regulatory requirements by 1st of January 2019, also as the Secretary described. If there are no objections
or questions, seeing none,
I would, as Chairman, direct the Executive Secretary to include these recommendations
in a decision memorandum for the President
of the United States. Secretary Ross
and Deputy Secretary Rosen, at our meeting later this year,
I’d also like you to support — or report to the Council
the details of the progress so that we are making against
the President’s decision in completion of
the decision memorandum. Will you join me in thanking
all of these terrific leaders for the job
that they’re doing — (Applause.) Well, before we call
our panel up, we’re going to move
to our first panel entitled “Securing the Next Frontier with
a Focus on National Security,” and I’m particularly
pleased to have a number of
distinguished Americans who will be presenting, and I’ll
introduce them momentarily, but they’re invited
to take their seats. Before we hear
from our panelists, I’d like to ask
Susan Gordon, who I have — and the President have come
to know and greatly respect. She is the Principle
Deputy Director for National Intelligence
for the United States. And Susan, maybe
you could give us a brief overview of
the security challenges that the United States faces in the space environment today. Deputy Director Gordon: Well,
thank you, Mr. Vice President. I’m delighted to be here today representing the women and men
of the intelligence community. You know, we are drivers,
and practitioners, and users of U.S. space. In fact, our history and space
history are inextricably bound. And we see the same excitement that you articulated in your
remarks about this moment. And they’re resplendent
with opportunity even at — (audio break) — Vice President. As your resident
intelligence officer, I often bring the sobering
information to any meeting. And so today what I thought
I’d do is to spend a few minutes and just describe the plans and actions of foreign
adversaries and competitors who would seek
to impede our operations or challenge our advantage. Russia and China are each
developing counter-space capabilities to use during
a potential future conflict with the United States
to reduce U.S. and allied advantage
and effectiveness, eroding our
information advantage. Both countries
have robust jamming and cyber-attack
capabilities today and can threaten our satellite
ground infrastructure. Russian and China destructive
anti-satellite weapons, including missiles, lasers,
and orbital weapons, will probably reach initial
operation capability in the next few years. Russian lawmakers have promoted military pursuit
of anti-satellite missiles to strike low-earth-orbiting
satellites, and Russia is testing
such a weapon. Both Russia and China
are developing laser anti-satellite weapons to dazzle or damage sensitive
space-based optical sensors, and Russia and China continue
to conduct sophisticated on-orbit activities, such as rendezvous
and proximity operations that are intended to advance
counter-space capabilities. Military reforms
in China and Russia over the past few years
indicate an increased focus on establishing
operational airspace forces and integrating attacks against
space systems and services with military operations
in other domains. China’s People’s Liberation Army has formed counter-space
military units and begun operational training
with counter-space systems, including the ground-launched
anti-satellite missile that was initially
tested in 2007. Now, the idea of space threats
also includes the use of space to enable or empower
military operations on the earth’s surface. Foreign countries
will continue to improve their military and dual-use
reconnaissance, communications, and navigation systems, in terms of the numbers
of satellites, the breadth of their capability,
and the application for use. Another nation-state
and non-state actors will gain access to advanced
space-enabled technology in the coming years as the
global space industry expands. They will increasingly
have access to weather, communications, navigation,
and timing data for intelligence and military purposes. The panel will do a great job
of making my next point, but I’ll briefly state that I’d
like to call the attention to China’s impressive rise, and it is impressive
as a space power. They have increased the number
of their active satellites by more than an order
of magnitude since 2000, and a result of Beijing’s
strong investment in its satellite and rocket
manufacturing capability. China’s satellite technology has become increasingly
sophisticated, and a case in point is the
success that China has had — achieved in world-leading
ground-to-space quantum communications
experiments. I think, in sum, China has
the best politically supported and best resourced
foreign space program that we have seen
in many years. And its years
of intense activity are beginning to bear fruit. I think the panel is
perfectly placed to help us put all this in context. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. The Vice President:
Great, thank you, Susan. (Applause.) Very insightful. Sue’s a great
American, and thank you. Thank you for that candid
and bracing overview. With that, we’ll turn
to our panelists. Let me introduce all of them and
then invite you to welcome then. Mr. Dean Cheng is with
the Heritage Foundation; Mr. Jeffrey Manber
is the President and CEO of
NanoRocks Corporation; our third panelist
is Dr. Bhavya Lal of the Institute
of Defense Analysis, Science, and Technology
Policy Institute. Join me in welcoming all of
our panelists, would you please? Thank you all. (Applause.) I’d like to invite,
starting with Dean Cheng, I’d like to invite you
to bring a few brief remarks but, of course, all
of your prepared remarks will be submitted
to the public record. And then we’ll look
forward to briefly giving our Council members an opportunity
to ask questions. But thank you all
for being here. Mr. Cheng: Good morning,
Mr. Vice President, members of the Space Council, the National Space Council.
My name is Dean Cheng. The views I express
in this testimony are my own; they should not be construed as
reflecting the official position of the Heritage Foundation. During the Cold War, there were
only two major space powers, the United States
and the Soviet Union, and they had roughly
symmetric interests and approaches to space. Like so much of
international security, the post-Cold War world
is much more complex. There are more
space players today, including a growing set of
non-state and commercial actors. At the same,
the American dependence on space has broadened. The U.S. military depends
upon space-based systems for the American
way of war. Financial institutions, farmers, and Amazon all increasingly
depend on space systems for their day-to-day operations. Given this dependence, revisionist powers
and security competitors are likely to target
American space systems as an essential means
of countering American economic and military capability. This evolving set
of circumstances for both space
and American security is reflected in
the growing challenge posed by the other space powers, and especially the People’s
Republic of China. The PRC has pursued
a set of space policies that do not parallel
American or Soviet ones, and it is now exploiting
not only new technologies to expand
its space capabilities, but also taking new
organizational approaches and innovations. Some of the key characteristics
of the Chinese space challenge include, first and foremost, that China is fundamentally
a major space power. China possesses all of
the key elements required for supporting
a major space presence. Above all, it has the political
will to support and sustain national
commitments to space. China has also committed
the industrial, financial, and human capital
to translate those desires into today’s array
of satellites, boosters, and launch sites, and it is important to note
that those systems are largely indigenously
designed and constructed. China may engage in all sorts
of industrial espionage, but much of its space program
is indigenous and homegrown. China’s space program has
a very heavy military component. The basic reality is that when we interact with
China’s space program, we are essentially interacting
with China’s military. China’s space
facilities, personnel, and programs are largely drawn
from that military. Its facilities are PLA bases,
their staffs are PLA personnel, and the heads of key programs, such as the China Manned
Space Engineering Office, are drawn from the military. China’s space program, however, also reflects
its approach of dual-use as civil/military integration. China’s space industrial complex
is not so much a revolving door as a broad atrium for Chinese
air and space engineers and managers amidst all of these
state-owned enterprises. And the result is far closer
to a single integrated space enterprise with relatively
few demarcations between the military
and civilian. This reality will likely
apply to China’s emerging set of commercial
space entities as well. China is actually
promoting the development of new commercial
space companies that range from those supported
by state-owned enterprises to more independent
private firms. But given the interest
in melding civilian and military capacity, as well as past evidence
behavior in the telecomm sector, it is vital to recognize
that these private firms will, at the end of the day,
respond with alacrity to central government
directives. The Chinese model will not
be Teslas in space, but Huawei in space. In conclusion, as the
United States advances space as a priority domain, it needs to recognize that other
states will not only set — seek to do the same
for themselves, but some are also
very likely to strive to deny space to the
United States in time of crisis, and certainly in time of war. These efforts
will likely encompass not only direct military action but efforts at establishing
a highly competitive space industrial base supporting space-oriented
technologies, production,
and organizational innovation, and undertaking
an array of efforts to access American technologies while denying the
United States the same. Thank you very much
for the opportunity to testify before you this morning. (Applause.) The Vice President:
Thank you, Mr. Cheng. Jeffery Manber, with
NanoRocks Corporation; thank you for being here.
You’re recognized. Mr. Manber:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Now, for 30 years —
good morning, everyone. For 30 years,
I’ve worked to make space just another place
to do business. My inspiration, in large part,
derives from having worked under Ronald Reagan’s Commerce
Secretary Malcolm Baldridge in the original Office
of Space Commerce, so it’s good to be here
this morning. I started my company,
NanoRocks, eight years ago. We were the first company
to own and market our own research services on board the space station. We were the first company
to commercially deploy small (inaudible)
the space station. As of today, we have
launched over 600 payloads from customers
in over 30 countries. Our commercial customers range from the U.S. government
to high schools. The U.S. government is
a commercial customer; so, too, the high schools,
some of whom do bake sales to support the payloads
that go to station. And I’m proud to say,
Mr. Vice President, that we’ve launched four
high school experiments from Crown Point
and Highland, Indiana. So, please allow me several
observations this morning. First, kudos to
the administration and the council beginning
the debate today on the transition from the ISS, from a government-owned
facility, to an era of private
space stations. The debate may have been
skewed a bit in the headlines, but I believe you are raising
the correct questions. How can NASA most effectively
leverage the taxpayer investment in ISS? Can commercial industry safely and cost effectively
operate the ISS in other commercial platforms? And we understand,
it’s not black and white, but it is an end to accepting that the government
support of ISS is the only pathway, and how will the government,
in the future, behave more and more
as a tenant, just the way it is
in every other marketplace? So, we’re very excited by this. Finally, as I look overseas,
it’s my opinion, as a businessman,
as a space businessman, that the United States
cannot simply ignore China’s commercial
space ambitions. Commercial space ambitions. China is quietly developing a robust commercial
space industry. I say “quietly” because
Americans are barred, by our own regulations,
and our own mindset, from participation
in this marketplace. As we just heard,
large Chinese companies are creating commercial
launch efforts, while young Chinese
entrepreneurs are raising funds from Silicon Valley on commercial
space projects. On a governmental level,
our allies have noticed. The European Space Agency
has astronauts training to visit the planned
Chinese space station. But the U.S. has barred itself
from participation. NanoRocks and other companies are prohibited to sell
into this marketplace. Avoiding this
emerging marketplace, albeit to justified concerns
over technology transfer and other legitimate issues, is not the American
global leadership that we all strive to achieve. Now, while my time
today is brief, I urge us to negotiate a stern
but fair agreement with China and allow U.S. businesses
to do what we do best, and that is to innovate and
compete better than anyone else. Mr. Vice President,
and members of the council, I am thrilled that
the administration is focusing on commercial space, a part of America’s leadership
in space exploration. Through the American-style
commercial pathway, I am certain we will
continue to inspire the next generation
of explorers, so that one day, those students
from Crown Point, Indiana, will be standing in front
of a future space council discussing how the United States
commercial lunar base is just another place
to do business. So, thank you. (Applause.) The Vice President:
Thank you, Jeffery; well said. And Bhavya Lal recognized, and then we’ll move
on to questions after your presentation. Ms. Lal: Good morning,
Mr. Vice President, and members of
the National Space Council. A discussion
on the threats to U.S. competitiveness in space needs
to start with acknowledgment that we are the preeminent space
power in the world today. The U.S. government
still spends more on space than the rest of the governments
in the world combined. The United States has more
satellites and other assets in orbit than any other
country in the world. The world’s current
most powerful rocket launch just two weeks ago is
a product of American industry. A recent study in global trends in small satellites
by my organization, the IDA Science and Technology
Policy Institute, found that about two thirds
of the hundred organizations doing the most
innovative R&D in the small-sat sector
are U.S.-based. These advantages, however,
cannot be taken for granted, and our leadership in space is
increasingly being challenged. Global investments in space
have steadily grown over the past two decades. A decade ago, for instance,
fewer than 50 countries were investing about
40 billion dollars in space. By 2026, 30 more countries are
expected to join the space club, and global expenditures
are expected to double those
of 10 years ago. Growing
international expenditure is only one development
in the space sector. Partially as a result
of investments from the U.S. government, there have been dramatic
improvements in the technology used in the space sector. In some areas, costs have
fallen orders of magnitude. Using a combination
of alternative architectures, such as swarms of
hundreds of satellites, and business process innovation, relatively inexpensive
breadbox-sized satellites are able to nearly
match services that were previously feasible
only with bus-sized satellites that cost hundreds of millions,
if not billions, of dollars. Buoyed by the perception
of profitability, space has become an attractive
target for private investment: almost 17 billion dollars
since 2000, and four billion in 2017 alone. As a result, some sectors
of space are transitioning from a top-down
government-fed operation to a globalized industry with worldwide supply
chains and customers. Using both domestic investment
and products and services from this rapidly
growing private sector, the rest of the world
is leapfrogging decades-worth
of technological development aiming to build systems
that can compete with the United States
in many areas, including launch,
robotic space operations, and even human exploration. My central point is that threats
to U.S. leadership in space have arisen primarily from
these structural changes that are enabling
many more countries to target and achieve
success in space. And there is no turning
back the clock. In this environment,
maintaining U.S. leadership means that the United States,
more than ever, needs to leverage its core
competitive advantage, an innovation ecosystem
that rewards creativity, entrepreneurship,
and risk-taking. Going beyond the fundamental, there are some space
sector specific actions that would be relevant as well. I propose we begin with three: ensure that our regulations
empower the U.S. private sector to continue to out-innovate
the rest of the world; ensure government spending
is more efficient; and invest in capabilities
where we absolutely must have overwhelming advantage over other countries. I look forward to contributing
to this discussion. (Applause.) The Vice President: Well, I
want to thank all the panelists, so I’m going to go to several
of our security members of the council
who are with us today, but let me, maybe, direct my
first question to Dr. Lal. Your — you have spoken about
the challenges that we face. You refer to
structural challenges; there’s no going back; the United States has to
continue to lean in to remain, to use your words,
a preeminent leader in space. You have written and spoken
about space traffic management. Is there a policy decision
you would have this council consider related to that, and could you expand
on that briefly? Ms. Lal: Sure. So, space traffic management
is a very critical component of our private sector
leadership in space, primarily because
it gives us the clarity — it gives the companies
the clarity they need to do unfettered work in space. It allows us to work
collaboratively with other countries, especially if we have a fabric of the management
system that is — that joins with each other, and there is agreement
across the world as to how we want to go forward to make sure that space is safe
and sustainable to operate in. The Vice President:
It — I’ve got people
who know a lot more about this than me
at this table, but it sounds to me like you’re
calling on the United States to play a wider role in ensuring that we have the same kind
of deconfliction agreements that we have in areas
of conflict that we have in terms of issues
of navigation on the seven seas, and that you’re suggesting
that the United States lean in to that effort
and provide that guidance and drive those agreements.
Ms. Lal: I absolutely think
the United States needs to take
a leadership position here. The Vice President:
Yeah. Very insightful;
appreciate that very much. The Deputy Secretary of Defense
is with us today, Pat Shanahan. Mr. Secretary,
would you like to — Deputy Secretary Shanahan:
A quick question there for Dean. Thank you for your remarks
this morning. My question is around
civil/military partnerships that you’ve observed in China, and maybe it’s not
just civil/military but industrial/military. Have you seen a different
dynamic in the partnerships that we should observe,
or take notice of? Mr. Cheng: The Chinese
have published extensively on the issues of things
like mobilization, where they include things like science and technology
mobilization. So, there is an explicit
organizational structure, regulatory structure, et cetera, for the incorporation
of people, equipment, as well as facilities. So, when we think about
China’s space program, we should be thinking of it not
simply in terms of the elements that are currently
in the military, but the reach-back
that the Chinese have explicitly talked about, in terms of bringing in
everything from universities, to corporate assets, to industrial personnel
and equipment. Deputy Secretary Shanahan:
Thank you. The Vice President: We’re fortunate to have with us today — I know he was
formally introduced, but Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. You could welcome him
one more time, if you’d like. He is an extraordinary — (Applause.) The Vice President:
General? General Dunford:
I have a question for Mr. Manber. You talked about not allowing
concerns over technology transfer to inhibit
our progress, but, you know, it struck me
as I was listening to the recap of the strategy
from General McMaster that we are going
to have concerns over protecting our
intellectual property and our classified information. And I wonder, from
an industry perspective, with now three
decades of experience, you can maybe
talk a little bit about how do we get
that balance right? Because, again, as
we implement the strategy, we ought to think
about that up front, and make sure that we do that. And I — I’m particularly
struck by it because of the brief on China, and although you say that
most of their capabilities are indigenous
and homegrown. That would actually be unique
in Chinese experience that most of their current,
modern capabilities are indigenous and homegrown
because I think we know that we’ve had intellectual
property challenge, and a classified information
challenge, with China. So, maybe, Mr. Manber, you’re probably the best
one to address that, and, again, it’s about
getting the balance right. Mr. Manber: Right, it’s
a fascinating question and thank you for it. It’s very difficult
in our industry to strike the right balance
between competitiveness and assuring that, you know, America safeguards
its technology. But I suppose that
we have already worked with NASA very carefully,
and others, to ensure that there’s
no technology transfer. We work very closely
to assure that they learn, the Chinese and other
of the nations we work with — I said we work
with some 30 nations; they’ve included Viet Nam,
Peru, and others — that there is
no technology transfer, that the guidelines
and practices of the International
Space Station remain confidential. At the same time, we see
that just a few weeks ago, there’s Canadian satellites
launching with the Chinese, there’s Danish companies
that are developing satellites that are flying
with the Chinese. My point is that if we go in
with American leadership, and we go in and we can say
to the Chinese, “Here is the issues that
we regard as important in IP, copyright protection,
technology transfer,” there is when we have
the greatest strength, starting new, starting
with a new marketplace, to ensure that we get
what we need. And as the President has said,
we want to, you know, revamp and reconsider
our relations with China. And so, I can see no better
opportunity than to do it here, where we’re not involved today, but we’re clearly leaders
of the free world. General Dunford:
Yeah, thank you. The Vice President:
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is recognized,
thank you, Kirstjen. Secretary Nielsen:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Good morning,
and thank you to the panelists. My question is just
for all of you. As the Secretary of the
Department of Homeland Security, we care deeply about
space-based services, everything from the weather
and the satellites that we get from NOAA
in the Commerce Department, through to our ability
to warn our citizens, through to cyber security and then very specific
space-based services such as GPS-enabled position
navigation and timing. So, of concern to me
is making sure that as we work
with the private sector and as the U.S.
government moves forward, that we continue to build
in security and resilience into all of our tools. What more can
the U.S. government do, from your perspective,
to incentivize, as we go forward, that security and resilience in all of our
space-based services upon which we’re
so heavily reliant? Ms. Lal:
So, I would say it would be helpful
for the government to work more with
the private sector, especially the part
of the private sector that typically hasn’t been
in the government fold. And one way to do that
would be to make sure that the government uses
more commercial approaches, you know, things that, you know, not necessarily
cost-plus type contracts but ones that are more
solutions are outcome-driven where there’s milestones and
payments based on milestones. Another alternative would be, another activity
to add would be, to be able to accept
80 percent solutions, because that would just
really improve the aperture with the kind of companies
you can work with. We don’t always need
to have a Ferrari; we can sometimes
use a Ford Focus. Mr. Manber:
I’ll just quickly add that from our experience
at NanoRocks, we have a very robust
relationship with NASA on all levels. And having this sort
of partnership is critical. We always are
in lockstep with NASA on what we’re doing,
especially as we go overseas. And you have to, you know,
there’s emerging throughout the U.S. government
great folks who care, more than just getting up
and doing their job. And this is at DOD,
this is at NASA, and they really work with us to make sure that we don’t
overstep what might be proper. We’re always itching
to do more, of course; it’s the commercial sector. But you have to have
the relationships with the government officials
and the government folks. And so, we really appreciate
our relationship with NASA. And so, passing this along, I would say it’s not something
maybe you can codify. You just have to have
an organize relationship to be smarter,
to be alert, and don’t consider
the government, always, as the enemy, but work with them on these
sort of critical issues. Mr. Cheng:
Ma’am, I would say that one of the things to keep in mind is that space is part of
a larger information ecosystem. The Chinese view space
very holistically. When they talk about space
and space dominance, they are talking not
only about satellites, but ground stations, and the data links
that tie them all together, as well as the information
that passes over it. When we think about resilience, then, we need to be
thinking beyond just space. We need to be thinking
about redundancies, whether it’s things
like EE Loran, or other alternatives
that may not be orbital. And when we think
about protecting our space capabilities, it means, again,
thinking holistically because it’s really about
the information that passes over and through
those space systems. The Vice President:
Join me in thanking these outstanding panelists for their inights and
participation in the program. (Applause.) Thank you, all,
great job, great job. (Applause.) The next panel is
entitled entrepreneurship on the next frontier. I’ll invite our
panelists to go ahead and make your way
to the stage. And before we get started, let me just say
to all the members of the National Space Council. I think we’ve heard some very
insightful recommendations. And particularly, would request
General McMaster that — if you could develop a plan
that identifies additional steps derived from
the discussion today that ought to be added
to our space strategy. We’ll look forward
to your presentation on that at the next
National Space Council meeting. They’ve written me very
thoughtful opening remarks about entrepreneurship
and the next frontier. But in the interest of time,
let me be brief and say, President Trump
is for it, all right? I was on the phone with
the President yesterday, and this businessman turned
President of the United States has great pride
and great enthusiasm in not only the partnership,
the historic partnership between private sector
organizations and NASA, but also great pride
in the development of new platforms
and innovation that we saw just two weeks
ahead with the Falcon Heavy, and that we see in all the names
of all the different rockets that we talked about
in my presentation today. I was at the Mojave Desert,
and visited the — another American space port. And I can’t help but think,
100 years from now, it will be our private
sector pioneers that helped lift America into this new era
of space exploration, just as American pioneers
have done in the past. So, that said, I just
want to express a great enthusiasm
in President Trump, the great gratitude
to this distinguished panel, and let me introduce them all, and then invite you
to give them a welcome. In the interest of time, I’ll ask the panelists
to summarize your remarks. We’ll have time
for a few questions before we’re spirited
off to a tour, and I have to wing my way, with many of these
Cabinet officials, back to Washington, D.C. Our first panelist
is Mr. Eric Stallmer, president of Commercial
Spaceflight Federation, one of our hosts here today
for events last evening. Secondly is Kevin O’Connell, president of Innovative
Analytics Training. Then, there’s Tom Stroup, president of Satellite
Industry Association. And our fourth panelist is Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, president and CEO of the
Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. These are the four
great champions of American
entrepreneurship in space, and we’re honored
to have you all here. Thank you so very much. (Applause.) Mr. Stallmer, if you
could get it started, and briefly summarize
your remarks, we’ll move through
the panel quickly. Thank you. Mr. Stallmer:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Cabinet secretaries and members
of the National Space Council, thank you so much
for giving me the opportunity to be here today. America’s commercial
space sector is growing at a pace
and breadth, creating thousands
of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars
of private sector investment. Last year, we witnessed
many breakthrough capabilities by U.S. commercial
space companies. And just recently,
as we discussed today, just last week —
or a few weeks ago, SpaceX launched
its Falcon Heavy, the first heavy
lift rocket developed and launched with
fully private funding. And Blue Origin flew
its new Shepard to space under the new RLV license,
the first such revenue flight. They’re also developing
their own heavy lift vehicle with private sector funding —
with private funding. But two significant challenges
threaten America’s goals in expanding
our economic sphere and — deepening into space:
commercial space transportation and remote sensing are growing
at unprecedented rated, while new space applications,
like space manufacturing, resource prospecting,
and human habitation, are being introduced. As discussed earlier,
our legal and regulatory and organizational frameworks
have not caught up and are putting on the brakes
on our current progress, as well as our
future possibilities. We need to strive
for what economists call permission-less
innovation in spaceflight. So long as public safety,
international obligations, and national security
are not compromised, the presumption should be
that a commercial space project can proceed. The regulation of space launch and re-entry
to protect the public definitely warrant
a licensed regime; however, the current
regulations, written decades ago, based on 1980s technologies
and operations, those rockets were expendable,
very expensive, and infrequently launched,
and carried only one payloads. Space ports also faced
inconsistent interpretations of regulations
and requirements. The same rules that are
required to be implement — the same rules are required
to be implemented differently at different
launch sites. And even modest improvements
to space ports infrastructure can require new rounds
of environmental review because it modifies the launch
site operator’s license. Our members at CSF at eager
to work with the administration to modernize and streamline
various licensing rules into one performance-based rule
that preserves public safety without restricting industry
speed and flexibility to invent a future where
launchers are more frequent, more affordable,
and certainly, more reliable. In many cases, rules can be made
clearer and more concise, with explanatory details
left to guidance. Remote sensing, in particular, has been constrained
by outdated regulations that often aren’t
faithfully implemented. And finally, it’s time for
the federal government to create a minimalistic process for improving new
commercial space activities by U.S. companies. H.R. 2809 provides
narrowly tailored approach to government
oversight of those activities, which why CSF has
endorsed this passage. With commercial
space industry — with a commercial space
industry unleashed to advance quickly
as possible, the U.S. government
needs to adapt to gain the maximum
public benefit. Commercial companies
can deliver results faster and cheaper
for taxpayers, but only a federal agency
can use commercial friendly procurement methods
that pay for results, not for it — just effort. For example, NASA
should be encouraged to use competitively-awarded, cost-shared funded
Space Act agreements to develop new space
exploration capabilities so that the United States
can affordably accelerate a return to the moon, and voyages beyond. All space-related agencies
should ask the question: can we partner? Before taking the traditional
cost plus contracting path. In conclusion, America’s
industrial paradigm for space has fundamentally changed,
developing to a point where the U.S.
government regulations and contracting practices
are now our largest impediments. Now, more than ever, we need
the National Space Council, and we need you to take action
and work with industry. Thank you so much
for your time. (Applause.) The Vice President: Thank you
very much, Mr. Stallmer. Mr. O’Connell,
you’re recognized. Mr. O’Connell:
Mr. Vice President, distinguished Cabinet members,
invited guests, good morning. My name is Kevin O’Connell. I am the founder and CEO
of Innovative Analytics and Training, a small private consulting
firm in Washington, D.C. Today, I’m going to
bring forward to you my 25 years of writing and analyzing commercial
remote sensing for both government
and commercial clients. I’d like to talk to you
this morning about entrepreneurship
on the next frontier, but if you’ll allow me, I’d like to spend
a couple of minutes showcasing the commercial
remote sensing example first from a perspective
of its promise, but secondly, from the continuing
challenges that we have. And some of them have
been mentioned already, and I’ll go quickly over those. If you can imagine a traditional
intelligence analyst, or a scientist poring over a small number
of satellite images, you have a somewhat
outdated view of the world. American firms are at
the cutting edge of the global commercial
remote sensing market. They collect images
with high resolution, with increasing frequency, and create unprecedented
volumes of information. Other innovators
are harnessing machine learning and other advanced
analytic techniques to gain insight
into that industry imagery. And yet other potential
entrants to the market want to collect even more
exquisite satellite data, with other capabilities
like radio frequency data and social media. These American firms have access to world-class
satellite technology, and they’re leveraging
breakthroughs and cloud computing
communications, artificial intelligence,
and visualization. Some analysts believe that
remote sensing-based insights will become as important
to commercial decision-making as accounting
and computing is today. In other words,
we cannot talk about space without talking
about the effects they’re already
on the ground today. Other capabilities,
like 3D image processing and augmented reality create
breathtaking visualizations based on real-time data that create new levels
of interaction and exploration. As we move deeper
into the insights economy, commercial remote sensing
will play an extraordinary role in providing
detailed information about a wide range
of topics on the ground. We all know the old phrase, A picture is worth
a thousand words. Consider, then,
what a million pictures, richly detailed,
efficiently organized, time sequenced,
and thoroughly analyzed might mean for what
we understand about today, and even tomorrow. For the U.S. commercial
remote sensing industry, that’s just one big step
on the way to the next frontier. Next year marks,
as has been said, the 25th anniversary of
the modern regulatory system for commercial remote sensing. While there has been
great progress, the process still hinders
the speed of U.S. innovation. First of all,
technological developments are outstripping our ability
to think about policy and regulatory developments. Much of the current
regulatory regime and outdated, reflecting, technology
and business processes from the early 2000s. Secondly, remote sensing impacts a very wide range of
U.S. government interests, from national security
and foreign policy, to agriculture and weather. Too many stakeholders delay
the licensing process, and as a result, sometimes
restricting companies from providing more advanced
remote sensing capabilities and the continuous
flow of data expected in today’s
high-speed global markets in areas like agriculture,
finance, insurance, and others. Third, because satellite imagery is crucial to our nation’s
defense and intelligence, it creates a level of caution that can slow or restrict
innovations to market. We know that commercialization
creates challenges for U.S. national security, but slowing down or delaying
commercial innovation is neither consistent
with U.S. policy, nor likely to be
a successful strategy. Commercial innovators face a
new kind of innovator’s dilemma: those with the most
innovative ideas wait the longest time
for approval. As innovators languish
in the regulatory process, foreign competitors
can jump out and take advantage
of the original precedent. But now, many of the remedies
are well-known, and have been
discussed here today. The need to shorten
and hold accountable U.S. licensing time lines, the need to create
the presumption of yes in the licensing process,
and getting the elevation to the Cabinet level
of hard decisions. Regulation space-based
capabilities must also take into account
the other technologies that are coming forward
in the market, such as drones and
high-altitude air vehicles. In essence, remote sensing
is moving rapidly from a traditional
aerospace capability, affecting a small number
of important decisions to an information capability affecting thousands
of decisions, every single day. Even as we improve
the environment for U.S. commercial firms, a new slate of issues,
such as intellectual property, geospatial privacy, and foreign trade barriers will have to be incorporated
into our way of thinking. The 25-year case study
of commercial remote sensing provides important
lessons for how to think about the nation’s broader
space commerce pursuits. We need to do a better job,
for example, of learning lessons
across the board areas like data rights, licensing,
and data protection. We also need to do a better job
of anticipating capabilities that are coming forward
in the market. This will allow for
early consideration of possible U.S. government
use and public policy impact. We’ve done well, for example,
in areas like non-Earth imaging and spatial
situational awareness. Finally, we need to encourage
strong, continuing collaboration between the U.S.
government and industry. We need to do a better job of
harnessing industry information on issues like
global competition, international
regulatory activities, and emerging sources
of innovation. The U.S. government cannot be
the only source of good ideas on how to regulate
on complex issues, like space debris,
or space traffic management. To close, U.S. government
and industry roles are changing so we do need to think
about new strategies to advance policy
and regulatory mechanisms to stay as close
to technology as possible. We recognize that
U.S. leadership is as much about shaping
the global environment, setting standards, encouraging
international partnerships, as it is about being
first in space, and in how we
ultimately use the data in thousands of applications
on the ground every day. As in so many other technology
innovation areas, both past and present, ours must
be a game of moving forward, not playing defense. Thank you, and I look
forward to your questions. The Vice President:
Great. Thank you, Kevin,
very well done. (Applause.) Tom Stroup, Satellite
Industry Association. Thank you for being with us. Mr. Stroup:
Mr. Vice President, the distinguished
members of the council, I’m honored to be here today
in this extraordinary venue. I’m Tom Stroup, president of the
Satellite Industry Association. SIA is a U.S.
based trade association representing the leading
satellite operators, manufacturers, launch providers,
and ground equipment suppliers. We serve commercial, civil,
and military markets. I would like to take
this opportunity to focus on three areas: innovation, spectrum certainty, and sustainable
space operations. Today, the satellite industry
supports over 211,000 U.S. jobs, including tens of thousands of well-paying
manufacturing positions. The satellite industry’s
2017 estimated revenue was $260.5 billion, which does not reflect revenues
from the many businesses made possible
by our services. Satellites are
constantly operating in the background of space, enabling the American economy in ways consumers
might not be aware. Beyond strictly
financial metrics, however, our very way of life
depends on the benefits we receive from satellite-based
services and applications. Satellites, communications,
Earth observation, and position navigation
and timing have transformed how we communicate, how we map, navigate the world,
and see our world. How we produce food and energy,
conduct banking, predict the weather, ensure national security,
and so much more. The ubiquity of
satellite coverage provides access to areas
across the globe that are otherwise unreachable. Satellites provide
telecommunication services to U.S. citizens
from those in rural regions without terrestrial
internet access to scientists at the South Pole, and have proven critical in
areas of natural disasters, such as the
hurricane-stricken areas, such as Puerto Rico and Virgin
— and the Virgin Islands. Satellite imagery is also
critical for disaster response, allowing for
the surveying of damage, not just by emergency
management officials, but by average citizens
from across the globe. All of the breakthroughs
we’ve seen because of satellite technology should not be taken for granted. They depend upon our ability, our industry’s ability
to access spectrum. In order to sustain and meet the growing demand for satellite services, we encourage regulators
to continue to allocate sufficient spectrum
for satellite use, both domestically
and via U.S. support at the upcoming world radio
communications conference. Regulatory streaming — streamlining uncertainty
also are critical for the advancement of new
technologies in the industry. With plans to launch satellite
constellations of hundreds, if not thousands of satellites
over the next decade, it is crucial that regulation be
adaptable to new technologies. Finally, sustainable
development also — must also be at the heart
of innovations and advancements
of the satellite industry. As a shared natural resource, it is our responsibility
to protect space and ensure its availability
for use by future generations. Thank you, and I look
forward to your questions. The Vice President:
Thank you very much. (Applause.) Well done, Tom, appreciate it. Mary Lynne Dittmar
is with the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, and we’re grateful for you here. Dr. Dittmar:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Members of the National
Space Council, Executive Secretary Pace, thank you for inviting me
to speak on entrepreneurship and economic expansion of the new frontier. Entrepreneurial risk-taking
and innovation are, without doubt, engines for
economic development in space, beginning in low Earth orbit,
and expanding toward the moon. At the same time,
government programs, such as the Space Launch System,
the crew vehicle Orion, and the ground systems necessary
to support both government and industry provide
much-needed infrastructure for further
economic development. Even more importantly, they maintain national
constancy of purpose as a signal to other governments
of the U.S. commitment to leadership in space. As has already been discussed, the nature of the policy
and regulatory framework guiding our collective issue —
collective efforts is crucial. I would like to address the
third trail acquisition reform. The fiscal programmatic
reporting and management burdens associated with
the often-glacial pace of traditional contracting
can hardly be overstated. As an aside when
I was asked by a member of the presidential
transition team what single thing could most
advance exploration of space, my answer was far 2.0. Of more importance, even alarm
at the slow nature of government procurements creates barriers
to technological advancement, posing a threat to
our national security and our leadership in space. This is not to say
that traditional contracting should be abandoned. For example, cost-plus contacts for managing large-scale
development programs provide stability,
reduce industry risk, and ensure sustainment
of the U.S. industrial base over the years or decades
that are often required for these programs. That said, the means to leave
the starting gate with far more agility
than currently exists, as well as renewed mechanisms
for accountability and constraints on schedule and cost growth are of
primary interest and reform. Other Transactional
Agreements, or OTAs, represent a different approach not subject to the oversight required of federal contracts. OTAs provide flexibility,
but also increased risk of reduced accountability
and transparency. For this reason,
the vast majority of them are relatively low value. Notable exceptions include the Commercial Orbital
Transportation System, or COTS, and the Commercial Crew
Development Program, both at NASA.
During COTS, the government invested a
substantial amount of the cost, and left development in the
hands of private enterprise. The resulting systems
were developed at much less cost
to the government than a traditional cost-plus
contract would have achieved. The story is less clear
with crude systems, however, wherein the balance between
contractor discretion, government insight, and the risk to human lives
continues to be debated. I turn next to public-private
partnerships, or P3s, which have advanced
both the A and the S in NASA — Aeronautics and Space. P3s take many forms: subsidies,
government-backed loans, government-owned contractor
operated entities, repurposing of public assets,
just to name a few. The success of P3s hinges
on informed allocation of risk to each side of the partnership. A realistic business case, which is an indispensable
requirement, and a means
to incentivize business to align private objectives
with the public interest. As a path forward into deep
space, P3s carry much promise. But as on Earth, they require
a carefully thought out set of requirements,
processes, and objectives. Each of these models attempts
to balance risk discretion, cost incentives, and mission
objectives in different ways. I cannot say
this strongly enough: decisions regarding
which approach is best for a given objective cannot be driven by ideology, whether political
or philosophical. Rather, an acquisition framework that drives successful program
development and execution encourages private investment
and market-driven solutions, and maintains
the ability to adapt to always-changing
external realities should be our
collective goal. Thank you. (Applause.) The Vice President:
Thank you, Mary Lynne. Very well done. And let me — let me maybe
ask a question of the panel. I have a feeling
I’m going to get word that we need to be moving
to our next appointment. But maybe I could start
with you, Dr. Dittmar, that — given your extensive experience
on the Space Station, the President has announced
our plan to transition to a different model for America’s presence
in low-Earth orbit. One of our previous
panelists said — I thought, rather insightfully, where we would transition
the government to more tenant and customer,
rather than landlord, so that we could focus
on human exploration, and pushing the boundaries. Can — since you all
represent this industry, could each of you maybe give me
one minute on where the — where are the opportunities,
where are the challenges? What should this council
be aware of, as we seek to make
that transition? And Dr. Dittmar,
on the Space Station, you’ve — I’ve forgotten more about it
than I’ll ever learn. Dr. Dittmar:
So, I’ll start by saying that the demands side is as important as
the supply side, in this case. So, developing —
finding additional ways that have already
been discussed, but many other ways to
encourage demand, to develop — especially in low-Earth orbit
is critical. I think we also need
to establish some criteria for that transition. Those should include readiness to assume role of
the commercial industry, and there are certainly
a number of efforts that are under way right now. A clear strategy
for continued expanded international collaboration, both in low-Earth orbit and then toward the moon
is very important. The framework that guided
the development of the station has enabled everything
that’s happened there, and I think that’s critical. A plan for ensuring
that critical exploration technologies can continue
to be developed. So, for example, environmental
control is very important. Astronauts like to breathe
they’re in deep space. So, we need to make sure
that we have a working system that will enable
that over a long period of time in deep space. And then, the nature
of the vehicle itself. You know, what is it capable of? What is the follow-on
capable of? Sort of what do we want to do
with it, going forward? The Vice President:
Good, good insights. Anyone else?
Just a quick shot on — Mr. Stroup:
Just very quickly — The Vice President:
Tom? Mr. Stroup: — I would also
address procurement reform because — because I think very often, as the military is large
customer of the industry, making a transition
from viewing themselves as purchasing satellites to
purchasing services in addition to the unique satellites
that they have a specific need. But looking at how they can
acquire satellite services more quickly would be important. The Vice President:
Great, Kevin, Eric? Mr. O’Connell:
Just briefly, I think anticipating the kinds
of capabilities that are coming forth
in the market — paying explicit attention
to U.S. government use, to public policy concerns,
et cetera, it’s something that needs
to be done proactively, not wait until people show up with a new capability
for licensing. Mr. Stallmer:
And I think, just to touch on
what Mary Lynne said, you know, the idea of having
a smooth transition plan, avoiding any kind of gap, and really utilizing
a lot of the innovation and the technology that the
commercial industry is driven — is driving right now,
whether it be through habitat — you know, habitat modules, or you know, new
transportation systems, or just the experiments
that are taking place on the International
Space Station. I think it’s — there’s
remarkable technologies that are being developed
at a rapid pace, and we want to
incorporate them throughout the process
of this transition. The Vice President:
Great, that’s great. Join me in thanking
this outstanding panel. Great insights,
great overview. Thank you so much, great job. (Applause.) Well, the members of
the National Space Council, I think this has been
a great discussion. Before we adjourn, I’d like
to task a few items to assign to Administrator Lightfoot. I appreciate you working
with Commerce and State to develop a strategy
to develop the framework for great cooperation with our private
sector partners. And as appropriate,
international partners as well. And we’d — I’d welcome your recommendations
by our meetings this fall that we could forward
to the President in the form of
a decision memorandum. And we already — I think we touched
on a number of issues in the previous
recommendation, but this panel’s been
a great affirmation, I think, of
the overall direction, but we’ll take your
steady council on this, on an ongoing basis. With that, let me thank
all the members of the National Space Council, especially the members
of the Cabinet who are here. Distinguished members
of the user advisory group, I encourage all of you
that have an interest in the work of
the National Space Council to avail yourself of
the extraordinary women and men who have stepped forward
to offer advice and counsel to the work of
the National Space Council. I want to thank
the extraordinary men and women of
the Kennedy Space Center for their hospitality and to each
and every one of you, thank you for your
great interest in this. The work will continue, and America is leading
in space again, thanks to all of you, thank you. God bless you,
it’s good to be with you all. (Applause.)

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