The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is looking to expand its partnerships with the industry and with academic institutions to develop space capabilities supporting the U.S. Space Force (USSF).
AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle pointed out at the 36th National Space Symposium that partnerships with private companies help the organization “deliver transformational capabilities” while increasing its exposure to ideas and innovation, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) said Thursday.
“I absolutely love the excitement, the opportunities to connect, the partnerships we can build and the palpable enthusiasm to exchange ideas that build the space ecosystem together," explained Pringle.
According to the general, the AFRL has expanded its responsibilities from working on just technologies for the Air Force to also conducting research and development for the military service's space counterpart.
As part of its new task, the R&D facility launched the SpaceWERX space innovation arm that Pringle described as “one of our most energetic thrusts in this area.”
Similar to the Air Force-focused AFWERX, SpaceWERX will enable industry and the academe to work with space operators, laboratory engineers and acquisition professionals to develop novel technologies for USSF.
Pringle stressed that the success of the AFRL and its partner companies in providing new capabilities “is benefiting both sides.”