Mineral Supply Chains and Space Assets

Payne Institute Fellow Gregory Wischer, Gregory Autry, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how both the United States and China seek to build and deploy significant numbers of space assets, most of which are mineral intensive.  The mineral compositions of three important space assets—satellites, direct-ascent antisatellite weapons, and rocket bodies—require the United States to import minerals, particularly from China, for their construction.  Consequently, the US space industry, and thus the US government, faces the associated risks of supply chain disruptions that can restrict mineral availability and cause price volatility, negatively impacting space asset production. This article proposes three policies to mitigate such risks to the mineral supply chains. July 9, 2024.