IDA Ideas (Podcast Transcript) – China's Commercial Space Sector

May, 2020
IDA document: D-13128
FFRDC: Science and Technology Policy Institute
Type: Documents , Space
Bhavya Lal, Irina Liu, Shirley Han, Thomas J. Colvin, Rhett Moeller See more authors

IDA Ideas host Rhett Moeller interviews researchers from IDA’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) about their research into China’s commercial space sector. Joining him are STPI researchers Bhavya Lal, who leads STPI’s space portfolio and directed the project being discussed; Irina Liu, who studies science and technology policy, planning, and strategy; Shirley Han, who focuses on China’s science and technology policy, global talent migration, and statistical analysis; and Tom Colvin, whose expertise includes the effects of space launch and re-entry on national air space.

The motivation for STPI’s project on China’s commercial space sector was the prevalence of unsubstantiated hyperbolic claims about China’s commercial space sector—what it is, the extent of its integration with the Chinese state, and its expenditures and achievements. What STPI tried to do was to use facts to inform U.S. Government policy in space, something that IDA does very well. STPI had four study questions:

  1. What factors are motivating the development of China’s commercial space sector?
  2. What are the key characteristics of the companies in this sector?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this commercial space sector?
  4. Where do we expect them to be in the next 10 to 15 years?

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