Space Force explores using commercial satellites in emergencies


The US Space Force has started to talk about creating a program called Commercial Augmentation Space Reserves (CASR), a reserve of satellites, launch vehicles, and other space equipment that can be used in the case of a military emergency. By being able to mobilize commercial equipment, the military will become more resilient in case of an attack.This is very similar to a program called the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) that the airforce uses to be able to call on commercial aircraft in the event of an emergency.

The CASR program would greatly increase the collaboration in the commercial and military sector of space systems. This collaboration definitely makes US space systems more resilient to attacks, but it also means that commercial systems in the CASR must be held to the same cybersecurity standards as military systems. By using commercial systems as part of a critical path, it will have mission-critical effects if an adversary gains control of commercial equipment.

This means that CASR companies would have to design their systems with cybersecurity in mind, knowing that their systems are now of interest to nationstate adversaries. This includes development and supply chain. It is also important that these systems are evaluated by cybersecurity experts to minimize the risk of a cybersecurity event.