- Pub. Date:
From the authors' abstract: "This analytical study looks at the importance of Deep Space Operations and recommends an approach for senior policy leaders. Section 1 presents a capability requirements definition with candidate solutions and technology strategies. Section 2 recommends an acquisition and organizational approach. Section 3 provides an extended strategic rationale for deep space operations as a national priority."
And from the Introduction: [this essay] "presents capability requirements, potential solutions, and strategic rationale for achieving movement and maneuver advantage in deep space. In this context, deep space is anything beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). Driving the research are two primary assumptions underpinning the need for investment in deep space propulsion. The first assumption is that growing international activity, commerce, and industry in space extends the global commons, thus creating a military-economic imperative for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to expand its protection of U.S. interests by defending space lines of communication. Although there are wide-ranging reasons to expand the space-faring capabilities of the human species, from the capitalistic to the existential, the fact of its occurrence offers the U.S. immense strategic opportunity. Section 1, operating on this assumption, recommends capability-based requirements for deep space operations given a projected future operating environment.The second driving assumption underpinning this study is that improved movement and maneuver capabilities in deep space offer a wide array of benefits for the current National Security Enterprise, and for this reason alone demands attention in the form of disciplined investment. Furthermore, because the core functional capability required for deep space operations is in-space propulsion, the requirement necessitates a materiel solution.