CSPS and Mitchell Institute Release Global Space Operations Report

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2017) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) and the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute released the results of a wide-ranging survey highlighting the perceptions and recommendations of over 30 experts on major areas of concern within the U.S. space enterprise.

The report, Major Policy Issues in Evolving Global Space Operations, takes a multi-faceted look at the current state of the space industry and how it might evolve. In particular, the authors examine how future endeavors in space will be shaped by the proliferation of new space entrants and the growing clout of the commercial sector in an increasingly crowded and democratized space domain.

The study covered 11 areas of concern affecting multiple stakeholders, including these key issues: establishing space tracking roles, improving surveillance of small satellites and mitigating orbital debris, enforcing behavioral norms, preparing for proximity operations, addressing foreign counterspace activities, and protecting commercial and foreign assets. The study was conducted between August and November 2017. It presents a diverse range of perspectives, with representatives from domestic and international governmental agencies, universities, research organizations, and commercial ventures.

“We are participants in a fundamental reordering of many tenets and assumptions that have been long-standing attributes of U.S. national space policy and international agreements,” said co-author James Vedda, Ph.D., a policy expert with CSPS. “This study highlights expert opinions and recommendations that take this into account and should be considered in the formulation of new policy.”

“Senior U.S. officials repeatedly tell us that while space continues to provide support for terrestrial national security activities, it has also become a warfighting domain in its own right,” said co-author Peter Hays, Ph.D., adjunct professor at George Washington University. “Expansion in the number and diversity of space operators worldwide may compel greater transparency as the United States strives to build space-capable alliances and maintain trust in its capabilities, reliability, and intentions.”

Jamie Morin, vice president and executive director of CSPS, believes the new report will help to build consensus in several key areas. “This focused study identified several areas where expert opinion is beginning to coalesce about how the U.S. and allied nations should adapt to and shape a rapidly changing industry and domain,” he said. “We appreciate the participation of so many noted experts in preparing it.”

About the Center for Space Policy and Strategy

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

About The Aerospace Corporation

The Aerospace Corporation is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees. With three major locations in El Segundo, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Washington, D.C., Aerospace addresses complex problems with agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership across the space enterprise and other areas of national significance. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.


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