Pentagon Mulls Renting Space on Commercial Satellites

Friday, 22 Apr 2011 09:33 AM

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The Pentagon is exploring ways to cut the billions it spends on space programs, including the possibility of renting space on commercial satellites. The Defense Department also is looking at ways to cut costs in its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, The Washington Post reported.

Pentagon, satellite, images, rent, commercial, space
Satellite image lets Pentagon look down on itself. (Getty Images Photo)
Ashton Carter, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said the government is paying too much for space programs. “You can look into the future, and the costs projected for these are just not affordable,” the Post quoted him as saying.

Carter told an audience at the Heritage Foundation that one way to save money is for the Pentagon to rely on “hosted payloads” with a private company. The private firm would sell space on its satellites so the Defense Department would not need its own spacecraft, the Post reported.

Carter also said that, although the government’s launch vehicle program, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, has worked well the cost is too high. One solution being examined is to make block purchases of such vehicles, the Post reported.

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