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Dept. of the Air Force’s Frank Calvelli talks startups and the military at TC Sessions: Space

The success of the commercial space sector, in both significantly reducing the cost of technology and massively increasing its capabilities, has captured the attention of the U.S. military. That attention translates into growing interest in startups and how they might secure the space domain for the U.S. and its allies.

Frank Calvelli, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisitions and Integration, is charged with bridging the gap between commercial and defense space operations. We are thrilled to announce that Cavelli will join us onstage for a one-on-one conversation at TC Sessions: Space on December 6 in Los Angeles.

The U.S. military has signaled that it intends to deepen its relationships with the startup sector — in the space domain in particular. Just one example of projects integrating private space startups and the military is the Air Force’s Rocket Cargo project, which explores using commercial space rocket technology to provide fast, low-cost deliveries for the military. While an Air Force C-17 aircraft can transport 100 tons of cargo across the planet, it can take days, whereas a rocket can do it in 90 minutes.

It’s worth noting that the Air Force included $47.9 million for rocket cargo research alone in its fiscal 2022 budget.

We’re interested in learning how Cavelli defines the ideal relationship between the U.S. defense apparatus and the startups and private vendors it taps. We’ll also ask him what problems they want their commercial partners to solve, how startups can apply for funding, and the best way to work with the Air Force acquisitions engine he oversees.

We reckon this is an essential conversation for startups eager to learn more about collaborative opportunities within the growing commercial-military space sector.

Frank Calvelli is responsible for all architecture and integration with respect to acquisition of space systems and programs in the armed forces. He chairs the Space Acquisition Council, where he oversees and directs the space acquisition centers in the Department of the Air Force. He also serves as the DAF service acquisition executive for Space Systems and Programs.

Calvelli has more than 34 years of experience in national security space acquisitions, operations and leadership in the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Prior to joining the Department of the Air Force, Calvelli served for eight years as the principal deputy director of the NRO, where he managed the day-to-day operations of the more than 3,500 people.

TC Sessions: Space takes place on December 6 in Los Angeles. Buy your pass today, join us to learn about the latest trends in commercial-military space collaboration, see cutting-edge technology, and network for opportunities to help you build a better, stronger startup.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Space? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

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