A variety of new space technologies are emerging in the U.S. space industry, and policymakers should look for ways to facilitate this innovation and make these technologies more accessible to civil, commercial, and military space customers.
As the U.S. government leaves the RD-180 rocket engine behind, it should position itself to support and reap the benefits of the growth in orbital markets.
To understand a future where the cost of access to space is only a fraction of what it is today, CSIS turned to a curated group of space experts, including launch providers, satellite manufacturers, government analysts, space law practitioners, and military strategists. This report details trends in low-cost access to space, identifies key opportunities for further cost reductions and policies needed to spur innovation, and explores new military missions that would be enabled if these trends lead to significant reductions in the cost of access to space.
This report explores how the United States came to depend on the Russian RD-180 rocket engine as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, realistic options for the engine’s replacement in the coming decade, and potential space launch acquisition strategies for the future.