SpaceNews Webinar | Nurturing Key National Security Space Technologies

SpaceNews talks with the colonel leading AFRL’s effort to keep the U.S. military “one step ahead in space” by fostering key enabling technologies.

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate in New Mexico is one of 23 space-related organizations set to transfer to the U.S. Space Force under plans unveiled last month. 

As the Department of the Air Force’s “Center of Excellence” space technology R&D, the Space Vehicles Directorate develops, demonstrates and transitions critical technologies for the entire gamut of military space missions, including communications; positioning, navigation and timing, missile warning, space situational awareness, and defensive space control.

Col. Eric Felt, the Air Force officer who leads the Space Vehicles Directorate and its team of 1,000 military, civilian, and on-site contractors, will talk with SpaceNews Staff Writer Sandra Erwin and Editor-in-Chief Brian Berger about the R&D  investments the directorate is making to help the U.S. military maintain a technological advantage in the space domain.

  • How can the U.S build more resilient space technology in the face of anti-satellite threats?
  • What is the role of the private sector in bringing innovation into military programs? 
  • How does the standup of the U.S. Space Force change the thinking about R&D investments? 

Also joining the conversation will be Paul Jaffe, a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory engineer and principal investigator for a space-based solar power experiment flying on the X-37B autonomous spaceplane the Space Force launched May 17.

Jaffe will discuss the experiment and what it could mean for future capabilities to harvest power from space.


Col. Eric Felt
Director, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory

Paul Jaffe
PRAM Principal Investigator, Naval Research Laboratory


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