The U.S. space industry faces challenges and opportunities as “awe-inspiring” as those that beset the nation’s space program in the 1960s, the CEO of aerospace giant Northrop Grumman said Tuesday in Colorado Springs.

“I am confident that our nation and allies will do what is required to continue to lead in space,” CEO Kathy Warden said during the second day of the Space Symposium at The Broadmoor. “I have no doubt that the industry can help overcome threats in space.”

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Warden said Russian leaders view space as a future battleground and want to expand their footprint there. China last year flew more space missions than the U.S. or Russia, quickly becoming a major rival. She said U.S. business and political leaders need to “rethink how we view space” with a more resilient space presence and capabilities to counter space weapons.

To realize the “amazing potential for innovation,” Warden said, the U.S. space industry must sharpen its performance to combat new threats and stay ahead of existing ones. She also urged the space industry to form partnerships across military services, between civilian and military agencies and between the private sector and federal government.

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