Introducing “Fast Space”: Rethinking Access to Space

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies hosted a release event today on Capitol Hill with the authors of its latest Mitchell Forum paper, Introducing “Fast Space”: Rethinking Access to Space. The paper is authored by Lt Col Thomas Schilling, USAF, along with space entrepreneur Charles Miller, Lt Col Peter Garretson, USAF, and Hoyt Davidson, an experienced investment banker and adviser on commercial and military space matters. Schilling currently serves as chief of the commander’s action group for Air University President, Lt Gen Steven Kwast, and led a recent AU study effort with his co-authors on the future of responsive, cost-effective access to space titled Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost Space Access for 21st Century Challenges.

The 12th installment of the popular Forum series, the paper is adapted from the author’s AU study, and takes a hard look at the state of US space launch capabilities, their importance to global military operations, and how this valuable tool can be enhanced to protect American military advantage.

The United States’ operations approach in all domains relies heavily on space, from command and control, to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities, to ballistic missile defense, the authors state. But this advantage is now at risk as countries around the world gain greater space access and place their own capabilities on orbit. Schilling and his co-authors suggest the embrace of “Fast Space,” as a solution—an ecosystem of concepts, capabilities, and industrial partnerships which make speed “the defining attribute of advantage in space, with regards to both supply and demand.”

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