U.S. Needs to Change to Maintain Edge in Space

Executives concerned about U.S. dominance in space

The United States may lose its competitive edge in space unless it improves how it buys equipment, shores up its industrial base, and makes a firm commitment to human spaceflight, industry executives warned at a conference this week.

At the same time, companies must become more innovative and flexible to respond to rapidly evolving threats, industry executives and military officials said.

U.S. commercial and military space has grown dramatically as a sector in recent years and in 2008 generated revenue of $257 billion, but tighter defense budgets and the global recession are likely to pose challenges in coming years.

The United States and Russia still dominate the space business, but many more players such as China, Iran and now North Korea, are developing their own space capabilities.

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