In this episode, Senior Fellow in Defense Studies Peter Garretson interviews Kevin O'Connell, Founder and CEO of Space Economy Rising, and former Director of the Office of Space Commerce. They discuss the Kevin's time at Commerce, including the three types of entrepreneurs: the disruptors, the inventors, and the infrastructure builders. Kevin details the history and future of the Office of Space Commerce, and the appropriate roles for government within markets. They outline work to improve the methodology for measuring the space economy and the U.S. proportion of the broader $450 billion space economy, which enables >$5 Trillion in economic value to the U.S. They cover the various current and emerging space sectors, the problems and opportunities of proliferating satellite mega constellations, debris, space traffic management and active debris removal. They predict how reusability and On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly and Maintenance will change the economics of space. They detail the imperative to regulate at the speed of business, and how the U.S. may lose companies overseas if its regulation is too tight. They speak to the potential for the cislunar economy and the need for enabling infrastructure, resource exploration, and new services to better life on Earth. Next, they discuss space resources, asteroid mining, the Starship Singularity, and the challenge of China. Kevin outlines the need to energize the human capital talent base, and in general, that this is "a game of offense not defense" and that the U.S. needs to run faster. Finally, they close with a discussion on the possibility of space settlements, the role of U.S. states, a space agenda worthy of the nation, and what work remains undone and opportunities for the new administration's space council.
Space Economy Rising:
Dept of Commerce Office of Space Commerce
State of the Space Industrial Base 2021