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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes and the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Deputy Secretary David Norquist signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) affirming the mutual interest in confirming and enhancing the longstanding partnership between DOE and DoD on space-related research and technology development in support of U.S. national space policy goals.

The agreement – first discussed as a part of a space technology mini-summit at the Pentagon in October 2020 – broadly supports U.S. national space policy priorities and deepens the decades-long space cooperation that exists between the two agencies.

“This is an historic day to solidify and expand on the storied space relationship between DOE and DoD,” said Deputy Secretary Menezes. “This MOU lays out the framework for DOE to harness the world’s greatest science and technology researchers at DOE’s National Labs, and program offices, to augment DoD’s critical national security space mission and will play a crucial role for future space developments across the two departments.” 

The MOU includes cooperation with a focus on propulsion and power in space, dual-use critical and emerging technologies related to the industries of the future (artificial intelligence/machine learning, quantum information science, communications infrastructure, future computing ecosystems, and autonomous or remotely piloted vehicles), and other areas of mutual interest between the parties in the national security space arena. Goals include strengthening the national space innovation base and deepening scientific exchange between DoD and DOE research laboratories and facilities. 

In order to successfully implement more collaboration between the parties, the MOU calls for the creation of a senior-level executive forum between DoD and DOE, establishes senior-level working groups, and lays out the framework for future joint programs between DoD and DOE to further space cooperation in the national security space.

Read the full Memorandum of Understanding HERE.

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