The U.S space industry is in a major transition from being a child of the Cold War to becoming an adolescent commercial industry. Industry growth continued this year, but the unbridled enthusiasm of the previous few years has been undermined by significant financial, technical, and policy failures affecting the entire industry. The industry faces many challenges, largely due to a significant industrial overcapacity fueled by the excessive optimism of the past decade. The key government role is to provide strategic leadership and to establish effective policies that balance the needs of the emerging commercial sector with those of national security. Issues such as export licensing, data distribution, spectrum allocation, and research and development investment decisions require thoughtful and expert government attention to move the industry from its historical Cold War roots to a viable commercial entity capable of competing in an increasingly globalized market.
Industry Studies 2000