“That’s basically the first significant chunk of money that we’re putting towards this,” said Space Force Col. Eric Felt, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
He likened it to “putting the toe into the water, but we think this is an important potential future tech area.”
“From the Space Force’s perspective,” he added, “they don’t know how big of a deal this is going to be in the future, but it could be a big deal.”
The Pentagon maintains these new pursuits, all launched since the creation of the Space Force three years ago, are primarily designed to help secure a growing private space economy and safeguard civilian astronauts. In all, the newest branch believes nation-states and…