Security × Private Companies in Full Swing! Potential for Significant Capital Investment in the U.S. Space Market【Warpspace CSO Talks About Space Symposium 2024 Part Ⅱ】

Warpspace Inc.
4 min readMay 10, 2024

This article introduces the Space Symposium 2024, one of the world’s largest satellite industry conferences, held April 8–11, 2024, in Colorado Springs, with a particular focus on topics that caught Warpspace CSO Hirokazu Mori’s attention. This article, the second part of the series, details “Pentagon, Space Force Release Strategic Documents.

(Part I is here, and Part Ⅲ is here.)

The Pentagon’s “Commercial Space Strategy”

Among the many security-related topics at the Space Symposium, the announcement of the “Commercial Space Integration Strategy” (*1,2) could have a significant impact on the space business industry. The importance of space-based technologies, such as positioning from space, monitoring hypersonic missiles, and high-security communications, has been increasing at an accelerating pace in recent years in terms of national security.

In particular, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has made the whole world aware of the great usefulness of space applications in combat. (*3) Against this background, John F. Plame, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy and Chief of Staff for Space Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon), stated, “The Pentagon must leverage the power of the private sector to rapidly develop and commercialize technologies.”

(*1 [U.S. Department of Defense] DoD Releases 2024 DoD Commercial Space Integration Strategy)

(*2 [U.S. Department of Defense] Official Says Commercial Space Strategy Is Driven by Imperative to Maintain Warfighting Edge)

(*3 [WIRED] The invasion of Ukraine has increased the presence and value of satellites as “eyes” in space, and there are growing concerns about their value.

John F. Plame, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, is the chief space policy officer of the U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon).

The U.S. Space Command’s “Commercial Space Strategy”

On the other hand, the U.S. Space Force has likewise published a “Commercial Space Strategy”, which outlines its policy to promote cooperation between the Space Command and the private sector. (*4)

General B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, of the United States Space Force, said at the Space Symposium, “Russia reminded us that we are not alone, war can recur rapidly and unexpectedly. And cooperation between the private sector and our allies has proven to be particularly effective in countering Russian activities in Ukraine. Otherwise, the Space Command will lose, the Joint Force will lose, and the United States will lose.”

He stated that it is important to strengthen the relationship between the Space Force and the private sector, as well as cooperation between the United States and its allies (*5).

General B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force.

(*4 [USSF] USSF releases Commercial Space Strategy to increase competitive advantage)

(*5 [] US needs new space tech or it ‘will lose,’ Space Force chief says)

Possibility of Government to Private Capital Investment

Mori says that the Space Development Agency (SDA) is behind this kind of security-based cooperation between the government and the private sector.

“The SDA was one of the earliest adopters of space startups and the latest technologies within the Pentagon,” he said. The SDA’s approach of “allowing private companies to compete successfully and using their technology with an emphasis on speed” was initially criticized by many within the Pentagon, but as the SDA began to produce significant results, the Pentagon’s policy has had to change.”

The best example of SDA’s use of the private sector is the optical communications project that Warpspace is also working on. In 2020, when the SDA was just newly established, its first project was to send information to the ground using a LEO-based mega constellation, and it was called the NDSA*1 (National Defense Space Architecture, now called PWSA).

The key technology is optical communication in space. A huge amount of money has been invested in the optical communication terminal market, and the market is now gearing up for the practical application of optical communications in space (*6).

Similarly, it is expected that a large amount of capital will be invested in various space fields related to security in the Commercial Space Integration Strategy and the Commercial Space Strategy announced this time. We will keep our eyes on how space-related private companies will develop as a result.

(*6 [Warpspace Note] [SmallSat Symposium 2023] What is the demand for optical communication not only for security — Optical communication could be the key to new technology that will revolutionize earth observation.

(Writer: Junichiro Nakazawa)



Warpspace Inc.

Warpspace develops “WarpHub InterSat”, an optical inter-satellite data relay service. We will realize this service for LEO Sat operators by 2025.