Closing the Arctic Infrastructure Gap: Existing and Emerging Space-Based Solutions

While the Arctic is one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet and a remote area known for cold and harsh conditions, changes to the region are driving a growing demand for infrastructure. How can the United States help build situational awareness, enhance operations, and strengthen a common rule-based order?

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The Arctic is becoming center stage for observing the impacts of a changing climate. During this time of warming and increased accessibility, Russia, China, the United States, and NATO allies will assert their territorial, economic, and military interests. It is, therefore, a pivotal time to protect and respond to national and environmental security threats.

For remote Arctic regions, space systems provide critical infrastructure, which supports long-term national security, civil, environmental, and economic goals. By fully leveraging existing and future space-based infrastructure, the United States can work cooperatively with other Arctic nations to build awareness, enhance operations, and strengthen a common rule-based order.

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The Center for Space Policy and Strategy is dedicated to shaping the future by providing nonpartisan research and strategic analysis to decisionmakers. The CSPS is part of The Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit organization that advises the government on complex space enterprise and systems engineering problems.

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