By Warren Ferster

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A dynamic threat environment and rapidly advancing technology are driving the U.S. military to emphasize speed and agility in acquiring and deploying new space capabilities, said senior U.S. national security officials at an annual space industry conference.

These officials emphasized resilient constellations, composed in many cases of smaller satellites, along with streamlined acquisition approaches that leverage commercial capabilities and practices whenever possible. Rapid prototyping and more risk-taking also are key features of the emerging philosophy.

In an April 17 keynote address, U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced a reorganization of Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in Los Angeles, the service’s procurement shop for space systems, to reduce acquisition cycle times while enhancing innovation.

The new approach plays into the strengths of Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colo., whose products include satellites, sensors, communications systems, software and analytics.

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