Commercialization of Space and its Security Implications by Mika Mizobuchi (A24)

by Chris Burke
Feb 05

The Tufts ALLIES 2020 Civil-Military Relations Conference (CMRC) also included a speaker on private actors in space. Katherine Monson, an IGL alumna and a former ALLIES member. is the Head of Kongsberg Satellite Services USA (KSAT), and she delivered a presentation on the role of KSAT in the “Commercialization of Space and its Security Implications.”

She briefly went over the details of her company, KSAT Inc. which is headquartered in Norway. It has a global network of ground stations and provides ground communication services. Monson explained how the company operates more than 130 full-motion antennas at 21 sites, supports over 1,000 satellites, and provides a communication link between aircraft, vehicles, and others. She then discussed the relationship between the commercialization industry, defense agencies, and civil agencies. She used SpaceX and NASA as a prime example of the interdependent relationship between commercial industries and federal agencies. More specifically, she explained how NASA has partnership agreements to provide financial and technical resources to industries, like SpaceX, that will develop reliable and economical new launch vehicles and spacecraft.

Furthermore, she argued that as commercial companies are becoming more active in space, regulations set in place will have the opportunity to create a historical precedent. She added that US regulatory bodies have to keep up to understand how to protect national security interests and US industry as more companies and countries grow their research and security capabilities.  She also said it is a growing field for international relations majors to get involved in policymaking.

Watch the recording here: