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Maj. Gen. Martin Whelan, Air Force Space Command director of requirements, participated in the Hosted Payloads - Issues and Evolution panel on April 10, during the 29th National Space Symposium held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz)
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Hosted Payloads Support Government and Commercial Partnerships

Posted 4/22/2013   Updated 4/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Maj. Christina Hoggatt
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

4/22/2013 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  -- Major General Martin Whelan, Air Force Space Command director of requirements, recently participated in the Hosted Payloads-Issues and Evolution Panel during the 29th National Space Symposium April 11 here at the Broadmoor hotel.

The panel, hosted by Janet Nickloy, Hosted Payload Alliance chairman, had three additional participants, including Charles L. Beames, principle director of Space and Intelligence Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Steven M. Kaufman, partner at Hogan Lovells; and Douglas L. Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.

To kick off the discussion, Beames spoke on the near-, mid- and long-term benefits of hosted payloads, stating the near-term benefit is resiliency.

"Another role I can see is to get towards doing technology demonstrations and competitive prototyping activity using hosted payload as a way to do that in a less expensive way and as a guide toward future architectures, which again will have even more resiliency," Beames said.

Maj. Gen. Whelan agreed with Beames about the importance of resiliency and spoke on military missions that are well suited for hosted payloads, specifically weather.

"Whether it's space weather or space-based weather of the Earth -- these are two real, near-term areas we are looking at," the general said. "We are currently doing an Analysis of Alternatives of space-based weather, and really in the play are not only micro satellites of free flyers, but also hosted payloads. That is a near-term opportunity that we are really looking forward to working."

During the discussion, Kaufman provided several examples of government and industry working together to ensure hosted payload success. Nickloy pointed out how hosted payloads are a definite change in government practice and that issues of culture will need to be addressed for hosted payloads to see more success.

Concurring with this assessment, Maj. Gen. Whelan said the issues are not an electrical engineering problem, but a social engineering problem in getting people to think differently.
"I do not see a large group of people who are vehemently protesting hosted payloads, but there has to be a change so we start to think a little more broadly on hosted payloads," Maj. Gen. Whelan said. "The other thing is tied to control. The control from the programmatic standpoint is from program managers -- from the time we raise them, we teach them not to rely on anyone else, 'the success of your program is on you and you have to succeed.' So, we have to get people to realize they are part of a bigger success, which is part of the change in culture we have to work on."

The general also spoke on the difference in government and commercial timelines, which is another big part of the needed culture changes.

Following Maj. Gen. Whelan, Kaufman highlighted that the cultural issues associated with hosted payloads are not unique to the military as there are issues in industry to include control and timing. Beames added that culture changes really begin with leadership.

"General Whelan is actually being pretty modest, because another aspect of the culture is how you change it, and that begins with the seed that you plant early on," Beames said. "I can tell you that the AOA he mentioned up front on weather, principally his team that is actually doing that analysis, they are looking at hosted payload on an equal footing with all the other alternatives and that is a huge step.

"So, from OSD's perspective, hats off to AFSPC for really showing true leadership in that area," he concluded.

All panelists agreed that though there is risk and change associated with hosted payloads, there are tremendous benefits and rewards for all players to include cost-savings, mission access and new opportunities.

There will be some people who think, "Something is not going to work, and that will be the reason we should not pursue hosted payloads," he said. "We have to get beyond that. Rather than focus on negative, there is also a lot of positive there."

4/22/2013 6:33:01 PM ET
This is how we make the future WORK for America folks I just now was at a new website I just linked to from Yahoo News and a story on Seems there's a company from the Netherlands who is seriously planning a one-way trip to establish a Mars colony blasting off in 2023. That's only 10 years from now. I remember 2003 ten years ago. Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon just shy of 10 years after JFK announced the Mission. Yes this really is a realistic goal. Why shouldn't one of those Mars-bound astronauts be also an Air Force enlisted or Officer I see that we CAN do this I'm glad to see the Air Force explore ALL America's security challenges as the OPPORTUNITIES they truly are...
Bradford, CONUS
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