Getting to space is easier since the advent of launch services and build-to-order smallsats, but new risks abound, panelists said this week during the Sustaining Operations and Sector Capabilities session at the <a href="https:\/\/whova.com\/web\/space_202109" rel="nofollow ">Space Sector Market Conference<\/a>.\r\n\r\nAs component manufacturers adopt enhanced modularization, space economy participants can build hardware from best-of-breed components, no longer locked into the products of a single manufacturer, said David Aronoff, a director at nonprofit engineering innovation company <strong>Draper<\/strong>.\r\n\r\nWhen one startup bets on the products of one or more other startups, you can have the \u201cstartup squared\u201d problem, which adds another level of risk to working in space, Aronoff added. A single failure in the startup chain will disrupt a project, and \u201cin many cases, you get one shot and if you blow the shot, you\u2019re over.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWe need to understand what happens when there\u2019s a lapse in service from a company we depend on,\u201d said Vanessa Griffin, director of system architecture and advanced planning for the <strong>National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration<\/strong>'s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.\r\n\r\nOne company taking advantage of smallsat and microsat technologies is New Hampshire-based on-orbit service specialist <strong>Rogue Space Systems<\/strong>, according to founder and CEO Jeromy Grimmett. His company has been burned by a lack of capital, he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cRogue was manifested on [<strong>NASA<\/strong> Earth observation satellite] LANDSAT 9,\u201d he said. \u201cWe were ready to go ... but could not obtain capital fast enough to build our spacecraft.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe company has not needed to develop its own manufacturing and launch capabilities. It uses satellite manufacturer <strong>NanoAvionics <\/strong>and\u00a0signed a launch service agreement Aug. 30 with Austin, Texas-based privately-held <strong>Firefly Aerospace<\/strong>, with the first launch scheduled for Q3 2023.\r\n\r\nLarger players also understand the value of partnerships with service providers. NOAA traditionally solved mission risk by employing redundant components but is now seeking commodity spacecraft and launch as a service, said Griffin.\r\n\r\nAs companies grow their customer list to avoid a lapse in service, they should be aware that \u201cin our conversations with the government, it does not want to be the anchor tenant,\u201d said <strong>In-Q-Tel<\/strong> senior vice president, technology field technologies practice lead Dave LoBosco.\r\n\r\nIn-Q-Tel is a nonprofit venture capital firm that was originally chartered by the <strong>CIA<\/strong> and now works with agencies across the intelligence community as well as the <strong>Department of Defense<\/strong>, LoBosco said. Over the past few years, In-Q-Tel has invested in about 25 space companies, many in low Earth orbit (LEO), with a particular interest in on-orbit services, he added.