House strategic forces mark calls for details on launch range infrastructure needs

By Courtney Albon / July 27, 2021 at 12:00 PM

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is proposing language in its fiscal year 2022 draft defense policy bill directing the Defense Department to provide details on its space launch range infrastructure needs and to develop a plan for incorporating more commercial capabilities into its national security space architecture.

Committee aides told reporters Monday the launch range report the subcommittee is seeking would explore what additional authorities the Space Force needs to shore up launch infrastructure at its two major ranges to meet the growing demand for commercial and national security space launch.

The draft bill, which the subcommittee will mark on Wednesday, also includes a provision that would require either acquisition strategies or a plan to incorporate more commercial capabilities across several mission areas, including space situational awareness and satellite imagery.

Aides said the subcommittee did not address broader issues around space acquisition or Space Force organization and management, noting that those types of discussions are under the full committee's purview.