The US government’s mode of operation is to write a spec, issue a request for proposals, and pay the winner to build something.  Even though new capabilities are constantly being fielded by industry, the USG doesn’t seem to know how to incorporate a fee-for-service model into some of its major mission areas. This is particularly true in space. The Aerospace Corporation has just pointed this out in a new study:

Study: As space industry offers more services, government missing out on opportunities

Space robotics is an area that will be dominated by commercial efforts for the foreseeable future. Northrop Grumman has already demonstrated automated docking and life extension with its MEV-1 capability. NG’s partnership with DARPA on the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program will result in a vehicle with even more impressive capabilities, including repair of deployment anomalies, addition of upgrade modules, and ultra-close inspection. Yet there is no indication that the Space Force has realized how valuable these capabilities are for its mission of improving the survivability of US space assets.