It looks like the administration and Department of Commerce are finally serious about reviving the Office of Space Commercialization, which has been in stasis the last couple of years. Early this month the DoC named Ed Morris, formerly of Orbital Sciences Corporation, as the office’s new director, and the office now has issued a job posting for three program analysts. What initiatives the office plans to undertake haven’t been announced, but I’ve heard indications that there may be more of a focus on existing service industries—such as communications, remote sensing, and navigation—than on some of the more emerging fields, like space tourism and other suborbital space applications. If that’s the case, I’d argue that the emphasis be reversed: smaller, entrepreneurial ventures might benefit more from the office’s promotional efforts than larger established companies, which can afford (and do) a lot more on their own—especially if the office’s budget is relatively small, as appears to be the case at least for FY06.
What, if anything, do you think the office should do to help established or emerging space businesses in the US? (Note that I have no plans to work in the office myself, so I’m not trolling for ideas; I just want to throw this out there for debate.)