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AIA: National Security Space Industrial Base in Grave Danger

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 2, 2010
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United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy.


The national security space industrial base faces a tipping point beyond which irreparable harm to our nation’s defense and economy could occur, according to a new report released by AIA.

“Our national leaders, the military and our economic well-being all rely on our space assets more than at any point since the dawn of the space age,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “It’s critical that policy be backed by strong leadership, integrated strategy and the long-term funding and stability needed to maintain cutting-edge, cost-effective space programs.”

The report, Tipping Point: Maintaining the Health of the National Security Space Industrial Base, lays out several challenges faced by the national security space industrial base, including overly restrictive export control policies, a shrinking, aging workforce and budget instability.

“Other nations are making rapid advancements in acquiring or exploiting space capabilities,” Blakey said. “America’s leadership in space is no longer guaranteed.”

AIA makes several policy recommendations to address the challenges facing government and industry.

“Budget instability, cancelled programs and lack of a clear path forward are combining to put our space industrial base in real jeopardy,” said Blakey. “Without action we face the loss of capabilities that may be nearly impossible to recover. We must take the necessary steps to restore and maintain the vitality of our national security space programs.”

Among the recommendations in the report:

  • Establish leadership and program stability
  • Modernize and maintain infrastructure
  • Modernize export control policies and promote industry’s ability to compete
  • Support current and future workforce
  • Focus and support robust funding for research and development and science and technology efforts
  • Ensure the protection and responsiveness of U.S. space and cyberspace capabilities

For more information, the report may be found on AIA’s website at:

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