On Monday, on the 45th anniversary of the Apollo XVII landing on the Moon, Donald Trump and Mike Pence announced the Administration’s first piece of major space policy. Well, that would be the case if they didn’t already sign the 2017 NASA Reauthorization back in March. Although the Space Policy Directive 1 has a cool name, it lacks any legislative or administrative power over the actions of NASA and the US space programs.
Elon Musk (SpaceX) helped found PayPal. Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) founded Amazon. Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic/Orbit) founded…a lot of things. With the emergence of New Space, some expect these companies will take over commercial space. And with that, they will take over government contracts.
Virgin is quickly cashing in on the growing small satellite market. And this new DoD contract will certainly provide them with a steady funding stream to build up their capabilities and be competitive in general markets.