Since our first days as an independent organization, RAND has had researchers exploring ways to improve spacecraft. Today, this work continues as analysts examine issues related to communications satellites and private space industry.
Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.
Since 2005, Chinese companies have acquired, merged, or established joint ventures with more than a dozen U.S. aviation companies. The investment has been limited to smaller manufacturers of technologies not relevant to commercial or military aircraft, likely due to effective U.S. export and foreign investment regulations.
With the U.S. Air Force facing pressure to reduce its headquarters staff, many question the utility of strategic planning and the need to produce public strategy documents. A look at past efforts finds that strategic planning is still needed, but perhaps not in its current form.
NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate asked RAND to assess flight research capabilities and needs, and to identify management options that would facilitate increased and improved flight research.
An assessment of historical cases of Air Force innovation — or apparent failure to innovate — sheds light on whether the service is sufficiently innovative today and what can be done to make it more innovative for the future.
Because changes to space systems are costly, the Air Force asked RAND to identify non-materiel means -- doctrine, organization, training, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy -- to enhance resilience.
Describes industry methods for determining space resilience, the authors' method for the evaluating the non-materiel aspects of resilience, and the tool they developed for performing these resilience calculations and presenting the results.
China aims to create a globally competitive commercial aviation and space industry. Its efforts have had limited impact on the U.S. aerospace sector so far, but the creation of a strong Chinese competitor could affect the U.S. economy and employment.
The Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site on the Hawaiian island of Maui is a major site of U.S. space surveillance activity. A study of best practices implemented at similar research institutions offers suggestions for how the Air Force might further streamline its operations and lower operating costs.
This issue highlights RAND research on new ways to measure wellbeing in cities; effects of cigarette advertising on teens; supermarkets in so-called "food deserts"; the decline of civics education in American schools; and more.
To help foster a better understanding of the aerospace component of China's military modernization efforts, participants from the U.S. Air Force, the DoD, and the public policy research and academic communities gathered for the inaugural CASI conference.
The China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) is a partnership of Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Air University, and RAND to advance understanding of the capabilities, operating concepts, and limitations of China's aerospace forces.
As Department of Defense plans for the next-generation space systems in an increasingly challenging fiscal and security environment, it is important to apply lessons learned from past space acquisition, which had experienced many difficulties.
Australian space activities have been reinvigorated, but remain underfunded. China's space activities remain vigorous, but largely unilateral. Given U.S. policy changes, opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among all three have improved.
Two symbols of U.S.-Russian cooperation are nearing the end of their life expectancies, the International Space Station and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. But both stand as remarkable milestones of achievement and reminders of what can be accomplished when nations put aside political differences for the betterment of humanity.
Hundreds of guests packed the Cary Grant Theatre at Sony Studios to kick off RAND's Politics Aside event with a discussion on space technology, policy, and leadership. Matt Miller, columnist, author, and radio host moderated the panel, which included Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs; George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic; and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.
One of the two launch vehicles that lift U.S. satellites into orbit depends on a rocket engine made by a company located in Russia. Russia's recent clashes with Ukraine and its claims on the Crimean peninsula have caused friction with the United States and thereby raised questions among U.S. policymakers about the potential for an interruption in the supply of the engines.
While there are both risks and benefits of using foreign components in the U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, the risk of potential supply interruption of most foreign components is manageable. To mitigate those risks, trade-offs of costs, schedules, and mission significance must be considered.
According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for self-driving cars, which could be available in the near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.