The U.S. Air Force’s top acquisition official wants to increase the service’s partnerships with the small launch industry to utilize small satellites for missions commonly supported by large spacecrafts, Space News reported Wednesday.
Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced the initiative after a meeting with Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson at the Pentagon. The officials discussed how the company could help the service in its future space missions. Roper said there is an opportunity for small satellites to become “a big deal” at the Pentagon as the military establishes a “responsive space” for rapid deployment of assets in space.
“If you lose a satellite, you put another one up at the time you need it,” he said. “You don’t put it up earlier because you’re just giving an adversary time to think about how to take it out.”
Roper added the Air Force wants to work with space startups and commercial businesses to gain ideas to help the military enhance its space capabilities.