SPACE SYMPOSIUM NEWS: Space Operations Command Leveraging Commercial Investments (by Mandy Mayfield)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The field command of U.S. Space Force is looking to leverage investments being made by commercial space companies, an official said Aug. 25.

“I call this the ‘Second Golden Age of Space,'” said  Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command. “It’s really being led by commercial space, whether that’s the launch and flyback of rockets … or these mega-constellations” of satellites.

He added: “The great thing is all of that investment overwhelmingly is happening from the private sector [and] we want to take advantage of that.”

Commercial companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin have garnered headlines in recent years with their new technologies.

To better leverage these investments, the Pentagon and Space Force must partner with regulatory bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration to utilize launch sites with commercial rockets, Whiting told reporters during the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We recently signed a memorandum of agreement with [the FAA] to simplify the use of our launch ranges by commercial rockets, because the FAA licenses those launches,” he said. “That’s a great partnership that we have.”