According to Joy White, who works as the executive director in charge of the Space Systems Command, the US Space Force’s procurement arm headquartered in Los Angeles has initiated a new campaign to lure private space companies who do not traditionally deal with the government.

White stated at a Space Foundation online meeting that the aim is to get Space Force officials deployed to various areas across the United States who may engage with prospective companies and discover chances for the Space Force to make an investment in “high potential technology.”

Despite its immaturity, White, who is also the chief of contracting at SSC (Space Systems Command), christened the program “SSC front door.” “We need to create a clearer pathway for the commercial sector to come in and share their ideas and technologies with us.  That is exactly what the SSC front door is designed to do.”

Teams working on the SSC front door endeavor will be based at the command’s headquarters in Los Angeles, as well as other hotspots in the space sector, such as NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Others will be in Colorado Springs and Kirtland, New Mexico, respectively, where the Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as the Rapid Space Capabilities Office, are located. There’s so much potential there to engage with folks and see what capabilities are out there,” she said. “In the future, the aim is to bring individuals to the Washington, D.C. region as well.”

With an annual budget of $11 billion and approximately 10,000 employees, the SSC (Space Systems Command) is a huge enterprise. White stated that the command’s mission is to shift the military’s space architecture from one controlled by massive satellites in GEO (geostationary Earth orbit) to one dominated by smaller satellites in higher and lower orbits that are more difficult to target.

The command wants to have new satellite networks in orbit by 2026, but it needs support from the commercial sector, according to White.

The SSC was established in August 2021, succeeding the SMC (Space and Missile Systems Center), which was founded in 1954 and is the US military’s oldest space agency. “Traditional practices have slowed down programs for decades,” White added. Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, the new chief in charge of SSC, is reforming the organization to make it more agile, she added.

The front door program, according to White, is one of many initiatives aimed at ensuring that “we maintain pace with the inventiveness of the commercial space sector.”

According to her, the command still is fine-tuning the front door idea to ensure that it does not become too difficult for small enterprises. “One thing I’m concerned about is whether we have far too many doors, making it difficult to figure out how to get in.” That needs to be tightened up.”

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