Space exploration has dramatically benefited the globe, particularly in connectivity, positioning systems, environmental monitoring, and sustainable growth linked to state-funded space projects. Additionally, in everyone’s regular lives, precise climate forecasting allowed by space technology has become an increasingly essential part, affecting government, business, and individual decision making. By providing public hurricane alerts, satellites employed for weather predictions undoubtedly rescue millions of lives every year.
The cost of building a spacecraft, the launch cost, and hiring professional space workers have been a significant hindrance to space explorations, especially in the private sector. Furthermore, insufficient funds from the government have slowed NASA’s space launch like the DragonFly crew. Will Roper, the Air Force’s deputy secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, noted that the future of space explorations is in the virtual construction of spacecraft.
Roper added that business airlines and automobiles model their designs virtually, and it’s time for the Air Force to apply the same principle. Barbra Barrett, the Air Force Secretary, stated the previous week that the military is yet to design an e-aircraft in the next trainer airplane. However, Roper added that the date is still unknown for the production of the e-satellite.
In a video session with reporters on September 23, Roper stated that the department currently runs two programs that could orchestrate the state’s first e-satellite. Nevertheless, the design, feature, and time of the e-satellites were classified information; therefore, Roper preferred not to speak further about it. Roper focused that the new e-satellite would intensely reduce the cost and save time compared to the current production process.
E-satellite production has met some criticism since technicians claim that they are currently building using a computerized system. Roper responds by stating that solemnly using computers in production is not equal to digital engineering. He adds that digital engineering is an art and involves specific processes and procedures different from what the technicians think. E-satellite digital adoption may take longer than expected due to long the tradition and process that have existed since space exploration.
According to Roper, the process will require a massive shift since it affects a whole supply chain. Every satellite built and launched incorporates a chain of suppliers, and if the digital engineering supply chain base is not established, then the e-satellite might be a fallacy. Roper added that the satellite agencies might be necessitated to establish a digital chain and seek vendors or utilize the current vendors adaptable to their digital system and tools.