From evolving adversary threats to game-changing technologies to emerging commercial capabilities, the space enterprise is in an era of rapid change. This moment presents countless opportunities to shape the future of space. Challenges will have to be addressed, whether it’s managing space traffic and orbital debris, integrating new commercial operators or preparing for a new era of contested space.
Space Agenda 2021, is a series of papers highlighting issues already at the forefront of U.S. space policy or are likely to emerge in the coming years. Each paper serves as a chapter in the full Space Agenda 2021 report, offering concise backgrounds, astute analyses, and potential options to aid government decisionmakers, industry leaders and other space stakeholders.
*A final Space Agenda 2021 paper will be published in the coming months and added to the full collection..
Outpacing the Threat
This is a critical moment for the U.S. and its allies in space. As the space domain becomes more crowded and contested, potential adversaries are developing new capabilities that threaten national security and interests. These papers offer insights into key topics and trends that must be considered in order to continuously outpace the threat.
- Developing a Foundational Spacepower Doctrine: Fostering an Independent Space-Minded Culture and Identity -
- A Roadmap for Assessing Space Weapons -
- What Place for Space: Competing Schools of Operational Thought -
- Organizing for Defense Space: Balancing Support for the Joint Force and Independent Space Operations -
- Getting the Most Deterrent Value from U.S. Space Forces -
- Noninterference with National Technical Means: The Status Quo Will Not Survive -
- Leveraging Commercial Space for National Security -
- Continuous Production Agility: Future-Proofing the National Security Space Enterprise -
- The Future of Ubiquitous, Realtime Intelligence: A GEOINT Singularity -
- Space-Enabled Persistence and Transparency in the Arctic to Support Infrastructure and National Security Needs -
As the nation’s space capabilities continue to advance, leveraging new innovations and partnerships with the commercial sector and international allies can create new opportunities to augment U.S. government missions. These papers discuss key ideas and topics that will help shape the trajectory and expectations for this expansion of new frontiers.
- To the Moon and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities for NASA’s Artemis Program -
- Cislunar Development: What to Build and Why -
- Human Spaceflight Safety: Regulatory Issues and Mitigating Concepts -
- Emerging Issues in New Space Services: Technology, Law, and Regulatory Oversight -
- Public-Private Partnerships: Stimulating Innovation in the Space Sector -
Managing the Growth in Space Traffic
Technological advances and new commercial entrants are lowering the barriers of entry to put spacecraft on orbit. While this trend provides promising opportunities, issues such as an increasingly congested orbit, impact on existing operations, and long-term sustainability must be addressed. These papers highlight some of the key issues in keeping space accessible and safe for the growing enterprise.
- Space Traffic Management: The Challenge of Large Constellations, Orbital Debris, and the Rapid Changes in Space Operations -
- Slash the Trash: Incentivizing Deorbit -
- Airspace Integration in an Era of Growing Launch Operations -
- Light Pollution from Satellites -
- Cislunar Stewardship: Planning for Sustainability and International Cooperation - and
- Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Approach to Deliver 5G Services and Critical Weather Forecasts -
Leading in a Time of Change
Space leadership has enduring importance, yet it seems to mean different things to different people. Shaping the future of space must account for the domain’s rapidly evolving complexities as a physical, political, economic, and threat environment. These papers explore the challenges, priorities and potential strategies for a modern space enterprise.
- Space Leadership in Transition -
- Strategic Foresight: Addressing Uncertainty in Long-Term Strategic Planning -
- Space Game Changers: Driving Forces and Implications for Innovation Investments -
- Defense Space Partnerships: A Strategic Priority -
- Space-Based Solar Power: A Near-Term Investment Decision -
- Survey of Space-Related Political Appointees in U.S. Government - January (2021)