Earth observation as a service is a key trend in space sustainability as investors seek players who can add value in areas that include artificial intelligence and machine learning.\r\n\r\nInvestors are seeking predictions that are valuable six months ahead of time for commercial and government users, said <a href="https:\/\/connectivitybusiness.com\/news\/strategy-markets\/embrace-sustainability-for-business-and-the-planet-consultant-advises\/">S. Sita Sonty<\/a>, a partner and associate director in the public sector and aerospace and defense practices for <strong>The Boston Group <\/strong>(BCG).\r\n\r\nExecutives from NASA, the Space Development Agency and other institutions discussed their vision today for the sustainable development of space during a <a href="https:\/\/whova.com\/web\/space_202109">Space Sector Market Conference<\/a> session.\r\n\r\n<strong>Investment<\/strong>\r\n\r\nVertical integration, particularly in satellite communications, is another key trend, Sonty said.\r\n\r\nGovernment will continue to play a role in the development of the space economy. However, given the speed of commercial entities, the government needs \u201cto be able to adjust and move faster,\u201d Bhavya Lal, <strong>NASA<\/strong> senior advisor for budget and finance said. NASA will take advantage of service contracts, for example, by paying companies to take astronauts to the moon, but \u201capproaches like that won\u2019t work for everything.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn some sectors, government may need to provide demand signals. One example would be by promising to pay a specified price \u201cper metric ton of propellant on the moon or at a Lagrange point\u201d a few years in the future, Lal added.\r\n\r\nThe <strong>Space Development Agency<\/strong> (SDA) is facing the same challenge, Director Derek Tournear told the conference, noting that a rocket vendor\u2019s presentation to him included the observation that, while updated cell phones arrive every year, new automobile platforms arrive every five years and airplanes every decade. \u201cWe\u2019ll be flying the B-52 for 100 years,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nThe satellite industry used to resemble aviation, but it is becoming more like telecommunications, Tournear added. \u201cThe mindset of agile development \u2014 \u2018spiral development\u2019 is the term we use \u2014 calls for new releases every two years.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe SDA aims to avoid vendor lock-in as it selects space vendors, Tournear said. However, this is not a concern when selecting a vendor of telecommunications, where it can buy from multiple providers, such as <strong>Verizon<\/strong> (NYSE:VZ), <strong>AT&T<\/strong> (NYSE:T) and <strong>T-Mobile US<\/strong> (NASDAQ:TMUS).\r\n\r\n<strong>Regulation in orbit<\/strong>\r\n\r\nSpace Situational Awareness is expected to generate $1 billion over the next decade, according to a January report from <strong>Northern Sky Research<\/strong>.\r\n\r\nNASA\u2019s Lal said that she is excited about on-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing, noting that the International Space Station was assembled in orbit. She called the mission extension vehicles of <strong>Northrop Grumman<\/strong> (NYSE:NOC) subsidiary <strong>SpaceLogistics<\/strong> \u201corbital power packs.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut the world needs a global standard for space traffic management, <strong>Draper<\/strong> president and CEO William LaPlante told the conference, observing that when Russia launched Sputnik, the U.S. responded with the creation of NASA, the <strong>Defense Advanced Research Products Agency<\/strong> (DARPA) and other government agencies.\r\n\r\nChina\u2019s space activities do \u201cnot mean we\u2019re going to war with China; it means we\u2019re in a race that\u2019s about economics and standards,\u201d LaPlante added.\r\n\r\nThe Federal Aviation Administration is a great example of how the U.S. in the past established a global regulatory framework, BCG\u2019s Sonty said. \u201cLet the U.S. lead by showing what international norms should look like.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt won\u2019t be easy. \u201cAs someone who has negotiated at the United Nations, I know that it is exceptionally challenging to get a number of governments to agree, but the time is now,\u201d Sonty said.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere are companies creating technology for this,\u201d she added, citing <strong>Leo Labs<\/strong>, <strong>Astroscale<\/strong> and <strong>D-Orbit<\/strong>.\r\n\r\n<strong>Supply chain concerns<\/strong>\r\n\r\nAs the U.S. government seeks to speed its space projects, \u201cthe supply chain is critical,\u201d said SDA\u2019s Tournear. The agency is having trouble obtaining resistors and cable connectors and now must plan for longer lead times, he added.\r\n\r\nThe agency is also concerned about the potential interdiction of the supply chain, Tournear said, whether for nefarious purposes or simply to sell counterfeits. \u201cWe\u2019re addressing this in <a href="https:\/\/connectivitybusiness.com\/news\/strategy-markets\/military-satcom-and-sensor-market-prioritizes-open-standards-and-interoperability\/">Tranche 1<\/a> by testing random parts to make sure that the parts we\u2019re using are the parts we think they are,\u201d he said.