The telecommunications and media area is primarily a commercial concern, so NASA’s newly funded efforts would be done with the goal of improving the capabilities and business strength of the nation’s large and entrepreneurial commercial space telecommunications businesses.
1. Use Commercial Communications Satellites – With the new funding, NASA could purchase commercial satellite and related ground services to achieve its missions. This might involve hosting NASA instruments on U.S. commercial communications satellites, buying communications satellite bandwidth, or funding deployment of commercial communications satellites in special configurations or orbits for NASA use.
2. Space Communication Research and Development – In cases where commercial space businesses do not have, and are not about to have, certain communications capabilities, NASA could do research, development, and demonstration of these technologies.
3. Space Media – NASA could purchase more media services for innovative space and aeronautics education and public relations purposes.
Because of the strength of the private telecommunications and media industries, and the importance of NASA avoiding competition with private businesses, it may be advisable to fund this application area at a lower level than the others. This should make more funding available for critical areas like Cheap Access to Space, commercial transportation of crew to space using COTS or a similar method, or other high priorities.