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Final Problem Statement
The United States Space Force lacks the
supply chain and rapid launch capabilities
needed to respond to contingencies in
space. The private sector possesses these
capabilities, but is not being adequately
leveraged or incentivized.
Original Problem Statement
The USSF must leverage commercial
innovation and establish a trained,
experienced acquisition workforce that can
effectively balance commercial and
government-only capabilities that will deliver
acquisition and innovation impact that the
Space Force requires.
Conducted 31 Interviews
Along the Way
Arden Farr
- MIP '23
- BA International
Affairs & Economics '21
Francesca Bentley
- MIP '23
- BA Political Science &
Psychology '21
Donovan Tokuyama
-MS MS&E '22
- BS Computer Science
‘20
Omar Pimentel
-MIP '23
- BA Political Science &
Economics ‘19
Mi Jin Ryu
- MIP '23
- BA Chinese Culture &
Economics '14
Team Apollo
Problem Starting Point: The Odyssey
Source: Satellite Database, Union of Concerned Scientists
We Conducted 31 Interviews
Private Sector Entities Government Agencies / Nonprofits
Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Acquisitions
Wartime Scenario?
Plug & Play
Contracts
Analogous Mechanisms
Private Incentivization
Our Trajectory
Week 2 Week 3
Acquisitions
Team Morale Meter:
“Accelerate change or lose.”
- Prominent DC lobbyist
Week 2 Week 3
Acquisitions
Wartime Scenario?
“We can’t convince China not to
attack us. We need to convince
China that it won’t be effective.”
- Stanford Professor & China Expert
“Accelerate change or lose.”
- Prominent DC lobbyist
Team Morale Meter:
Week 2: Takeaway
Establish a trained, experienced
acquisition workforce that can
effectively balance commercial and
government-only capabilities that
will deliver acquisition and
innovation impact that the Space
Force requires.
Week 2: Focus
USSF isn’t integrating
the private sector’s
emerging technologies
enough into the agency.
Week 2 Week 3
Acquisitions
Wartime Scenario?
“We can’t convince China not to
attack us. We need to convince
China that it won’t be effective.”
- Stanford Professor & China Expert
“Accelerate change or lose.”
- Prominent DC lobbyist
Team Morale Meter:
Week 4 Week 5
Wartime Scenario?
Team Morale Meter:
”We need to optimize our
rapid response capabilities.”
-U.S. Space Force Officer
Week 4 Week 5
Wartime Scenario?
Plug & Play
“We don’t want assets, we
want services.”
- Space Force Acquisitions Officer
Team Morale Meter:
”We need to optimize our
rapid response capabilities.”
-U.S. Space Force Officer
Week 4 Week 5
Wartime Scenario?
Plug & Play
“We don’t want assets, we
want services.”
- Space Force Acquisitions Officer
Team Morale Meter:
”We need to optimize our
rapid response capabilities.”
-U.S. Space Force Officer
Week 4: Focus
USSF needs to increase the
wartime readiness of its
space assets while still
facilitating an agile and
competitive private sector.
Week 4: Takeaway
Develop a resilient, redundant,
and national asset network via
an effective balance of
commercial and government-
only capabilities.
Week 6 Week 7
Plug & Play ”It’s important to be mindful
of what strings are attached
when working with the
government.”
- Space Start-up
Team Morale Meter:
Week 6 Week 7
Plug & Play
Private Incentivization
“The risk of being shot down
does increase by working
with the government.”
- Space Start-up
”It’s important to be mindful
of what strings are attached
when working with the
government.”
- Space Start-up
Team Morale Meter:
Week 6 Week 7
Plug & Play
Private Incentivization
“The risk of being shot down
does increase by working
with the government.”
- Space Start-up
”It’s important to be mindful
of what strings are attached
when working with the
government.”
- Space Start-up
Team Morale Meter:
Week 6: Focus
USSF isn’t integrating the
private sector’s
emerging capabilities
and concepts
enough into the agency.
Week 6: Takeaway
Identification of the assets,
capabilities, and incentive
mechanisms needed to
identify potential partners
and make partnering with
the USSF more desirable.
Week 7 Week 8
Private Incentivization
“Look at what the Air Force does
with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.
What’s stopping the Space Force
from forming a Civil Reserve
Space Fleet?”
- DIU Space Portfolio Director
Team Morale Meter:
Week 7 Week 8
Private Incentivization
“Look at what the Air Force does
with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.
What’s stopping the Space Force
from forming a Civil Reserve
Space Fleet?”
- DIU Space Portfolio Director
Analogous Mechanisms
Team Morale Meter:
Week 7 Week 8
Private Incentivization
“Look at what the Air Force does
with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.
What’s stopping the Space Force
from forming a Civil Reserve
Space Fleet?”
- DIU Space Portfolio Director
Analogous Mechanisms
Team Morale Meter:
Week 7: Focus
USSF lacks the necessary
frameworks and
incentive mechanisms it
needs to best leverage the
American commercial space
industry as a valuable
redundancy layer in case of
emergency.
Week 7: Takeaway
A Civil Reserve Space Fleet
would provide the Space
Force with the necessary
stockpile of assets, and
redundancy layer, on the
ground to act swiftly and
boldly during a time of
crisis.
Week 8 Week 9
Analogous Mechanisms
“A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals
with exigent circumstances. We need to
be utilizing this across the board.”
- Space Force Colonel
Team Morale Meter:
Week 8 Week 9
Contracts
Analogous Mechanisms
“A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals
with exigent circumstances. We need to
be utilizing this across the board.”
- Space Force Colonel
Team Morale Meter:
Week 8 Week 9
Contracts
Analogous Mechanisms
“A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals
with exigent circumstances. We need to
be utilizing this across the board.”
- Space Force Colonel
Team Morale Meter:
Week 8: Final Problem Statement
Contractual frameworks with these
private entities that ensure the USSF’s
unimpeded access to assets,
information, and well-established
supply chain during times of crisis.
:
Proposed Solution:
Leverage Authorities & Contractual/Legal Best Practices
Big Idea: Take advantage of Space Force's newness to fully utilize existing authorities and
design flexible contracting mechanisms by repurposing force augmentation and acquisition
best practices from the other services.
Request for Proposals
Language
• Contractual Clauses
Build out a Civil
Reserve Space Fleet.
• Open-source Standards
Increase
interoperability and
prevent expensive
rework.
• Service Level Agreements
(SLAs)
Take advantage of
preexisting supply chains
for production and launch.
• Other Transaction Authority
(OTAs)
Increase agility through less
burdensome acquisition
authorities.
Joint Civilian/Government
Fleet
• ”Merchant Guardians”
Capitalize on growing
commercialization of
space and renewed
public interest by
creating an auxiliary
force.
Request for Proposals
Language
Trust Our Partners & Build
New Relationships
Joint Civilian/Government
Fleet
Our Own Take on
Our Own Solution
Additional Research and Funding (R&D)
is required
Mechanisms lack novelty, but can
address some short-term issues
Some aspects of solution may weigh
down SF
Barriers to entry still exist for non-
incumbents
Next Steps
Consider single-use case for
DIU/Spaceworks type sectors
Set the stage for bringing in first
potential private partners into the fold
Identify key stakeholders that would
push this initiative along
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY.
Questions?

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Team Apollo - 2021 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

  • 1. Final Problem Statement The United States Space Force lacks the supply chain and rapid launch capabilities needed to respond to contingencies in space. The private sector possesses these capabilities, but is not being adequately leveraged or incentivized. Original Problem Statement The USSF must leverage commercial innovation and establish a trained, experienced acquisition workforce that can effectively balance commercial and government-only capabilities that will deliver acquisition and innovation impact that the Space Force requires. Conducted 31 Interviews Along the Way Arden Farr - MIP '23 - BA International Affairs & Economics '21 Francesca Bentley - MIP '23 - BA Political Science & Psychology '21 Donovan Tokuyama -MS MS&E '22 - BS Computer Science ‘20 Omar Pimentel -MIP '23 - BA Political Science & Economics ‘19 Mi Jin Ryu - MIP '23 - BA Chinese Culture & Economics '14 Team Apollo
  • 3. Source: Satellite Database, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • 4. We Conducted 31 Interviews Private Sector Entities Government Agencies / Nonprofits
  • 5. Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Acquisitions Wartime Scenario? Plug & Play Contracts Analogous Mechanisms Private Incentivization Our Trajectory
  • 6. Week 2 Week 3 Acquisitions Team Morale Meter: “Accelerate change or lose.” - Prominent DC lobbyist
  • 7. Week 2 Week 3 Acquisitions Wartime Scenario? “We can’t convince China not to attack us. We need to convince China that it won’t be effective.” - Stanford Professor & China Expert “Accelerate change or lose.” - Prominent DC lobbyist Team Morale Meter: Week 2: Takeaway Establish a trained, experienced acquisition workforce that can effectively balance commercial and government-only capabilities that will deliver acquisition and innovation impact that the Space Force requires. Week 2: Focus USSF isn’t integrating the private sector’s emerging technologies enough into the agency.
  • 8. Week 2 Week 3 Acquisitions Wartime Scenario? “We can’t convince China not to attack us. We need to convince China that it won’t be effective.” - Stanford Professor & China Expert “Accelerate change or lose.” - Prominent DC lobbyist Team Morale Meter:
  • 9. Week 4 Week 5 Wartime Scenario? Team Morale Meter: ”We need to optimize our rapid response capabilities.” -U.S. Space Force Officer
  • 10. Week 4 Week 5 Wartime Scenario? Plug & Play “We don’t want assets, we want services.” - Space Force Acquisitions Officer Team Morale Meter: ”We need to optimize our rapid response capabilities.” -U.S. Space Force Officer
  • 11. Week 4 Week 5 Wartime Scenario? Plug & Play “We don’t want assets, we want services.” - Space Force Acquisitions Officer Team Morale Meter: ”We need to optimize our rapid response capabilities.” -U.S. Space Force Officer Week 4: Focus USSF needs to increase the wartime readiness of its space assets while still facilitating an agile and competitive private sector. Week 4: Takeaway Develop a resilient, redundant, and national asset network via an effective balance of commercial and government- only capabilities.
  • 12. Week 6 Week 7 Plug & Play ”It’s important to be mindful of what strings are attached when working with the government.” - Space Start-up Team Morale Meter:
  • 13. Week 6 Week 7 Plug & Play Private Incentivization “The risk of being shot down does increase by working with the government.” - Space Start-up ”It’s important to be mindful of what strings are attached when working with the government.” - Space Start-up Team Morale Meter:
  • 14. Week 6 Week 7 Plug & Play Private Incentivization “The risk of being shot down does increase by working with the government.” - Space Start-up ”It’s important to be mindful of what strings are attached when working with the government.” - Space Start-up Team Morale Meter: Week 6: Focus USSF isn’t integrating the private sector’s emerging capabilities and concepts enough into the agency. Week 6: Takeaway Identification of the assets, capabilities, and incentive mechanisms needed to identify potential partners and make partnering with the USSF more desirable.
  • 15. Week 7 Week 8 Private Incentivization “Look at what the Air Force does with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. What’s stopping the Space Force from forming a Civil Reserve Space Fleet?” - DIU Space Portfolio Director Team Morale Meter:
  • 16. Week 7 Week 8 Private Incentivization “Look at what the Air Force does with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. What’s stopping the Space Force from forming a Civil Reserve Space Fleet?” - DIU Space Portfolio Director Analogous Mechanisms Team Morale Meter:
  • 17. Week 7 Week 8 Private Incentivization “Look at what the Air Force does with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. What’s stopping the Space Force from forming a Civil Reserve Space Fleet?” - DIU Space Portfolio Director Analogous Mechanisms Team Morale Meter: Week 7: Focus USSF lacks the necessary frameworks and incentive mechanisms it needs to best leverage the American commercial space industry as a valuable redundancy layer in case of emergency. Week 7: Takeaway A Civil Reserve Space Fleet would provide the Space Force with the necessary stockpile of assets, and redundancy layer, on the ground to act swiftly and boldly during a time of crisis.
  • 18. Week 8 Week 9 Analogous Mechanisms “A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals with exigent circumstances. We need to be utilizing this across the board.” - Space Force Colonel Team Morale Meter:
  • 19. Week 8 Week 9 Contracts Analogous Mechanisms “A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals with exigent circumstances. We need to be utilizing this across the board.” - Space Force Colonel Team Morale Meter:
  • 20. Week 8 Week 9 Contracts Analogous Mechanisms “A Civil Reserve Space Fleet only deals with exigent circumstances. We need to be utilizing this across the board.” - Space Force Colonel Team Morale Meter: Week 8: Final Problem Statement Contractual frameworks with these private entities that ensure the USSF’s unimpeded access to assets, information, and well-established supply chain during times of crisis.
  • 21. : Proposed Solution: Leverage Authorities & Contractual/Legal Best Practices Big Idea: Take advantage of Space Force's newness to fully utilize existing authorities and design flexible contracting mechanisms by repurposing force augmentation and acquisition best practices from the other services. Request for Proposals Language • Contractual Clauses Build out a Civil Reserve Space Fleet. • Open-source Standards Increase interoperability and prevent expensive rework. • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) Take advantage of preexisting supply chains for production and launch. • Other Transaction Authority (OTAs) Increase agility through less burdensome acquisition authorities. Joint Civilian/Government Fleet • ”Merchant Guardians” Capitalize on growing commercialization of space and renewed public interest by creating an auxiliary force. Request for Proposals Language Trust Our Partners & Build New Relationships Joint Civilian/Government Fleet
  • 22. Our Own Take on Our Own Solution Additional Research and Funding (R&D) is required Mechanisms lack novelty, but can address some short-term issues Some aspects of solution may weigh down SF Barriers to entry still exist for non- incumbents
  • 23. Next Steps Consider single-use case for DIU/Spaceworks type sectors Set the stage for bringing in first potential private partners into the fold Identify key stakeholders that would push this initiative along This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY.

Editor's Notes

  1. Ideally, the DoD would create a coherent, cross-force innovation strategy to take advantage of the private sector’s speed. But until that solution can be defined, the Space Force should not be afraid to look to the other services and leverage the best force augmentation concepts and take advantage of the blank slate they were given by Congress to make some of these concepts more flexible. Given the challenges we face, reinventing the wheel is going to leave us unprepared.
  2. Do you still think your solution is good or bad? Why?