CEO of True Anomaly Inc, a Space Security Firm, Warns of Mixing Military & Commercial Architecture in Space

During a recent panel discussion hosted at The Hudson Institute Even Rodgers, a former Air Force Space Operator and CEO of new the new space security company True Anomaly, warned of security concerns with the increasing use of commercial space assets for military purposes. Rodgers speaks of how commercial companies become targets to adversaries once they start partnering with the military for shared operations, and without a collective effort between these commercial companies and the government could prove disastrous in trying to protect these assets in space.

Commercial companies with space assets being leveraged for national and international military or government purposes is becoming more common place as space architecture continues to go through its rapid expansion. Commercial companies are racing to put services into space, and since space assets are somewhat limited these assets quickly become solutions in both the commercial and government spaces. One example of this is SpaceX and its Starlink satellite internet service – which Ukraine has leveraged to keep communications during conflict when traditional internet service is rendered unreliable. This ostensibly makes the SpaceX Starlink satellites a target if Russia or another adversary wants to interrupt this service.

Even Rodgers suggests the US take immediate actions to begin creating policies and procedures to start addressing this concern, and establish the backbone of what will need to become a more robust effort to ensure sustainable operations in space moving forward. Rodgers likened this to the already established rules and regulations governing air-to-air intercepts between military and commercial drones and aircraft.

The importance of establishing safe operating policies for joint military/commercial efforts in the future quickly becomes apparent. The use of commercial assets for government & military use greatly expands the surface area that adversaries can target and attack. The number of vectors for accessing or infiltrating satellites, ground stations, data storage, and even personnel will start to grow exponentially as these services come online and are used. Without controls in place it becomes a very challenging security problem to ensure protection and pedigree of every part of this infrastructure.

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