Aerospace

Since our first days as an independent organization, RAND has had researchers exploring ways to improve spacecraft. Today, this work continues as analysts examine issues related to communications satellites and private space industry.

  • People cycling and jogging in Chicago by Michigan lake.

    Content

    Community Health and Environmental Policy

    The Community Health and Environmental Policy program focuses on such topics as infrastructure, science and technology, community design, community health promotion, migration and population dynamics, transportation, energy, and climate and the environment.

    Oct 31, 2018

  • Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, testifies before the Senate Small Business Subcommittee at a hearing on communication satellites in Washington, D.C., November 9, 1961

    Content

    Newt Minow: Crusader for the Public Interest

    Newt Minow is an attorney and former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission known for his speech referring to television as a “vast wasteland.” He came to RAND in the early 1960s looking for help with what would become one of his signature accomplishments, the development of communications satellites. He's been a part of RAND's story ever since.

    Jul 19, 2018

  • Clockwise from top left: RAND's JOHNNIAC mainframe computer, the RAND Tablet, a mobile phone, and an autonomous vehicle

    Essay

    70 Years of Innovation at RAND

    Seventy years ago, a group of researchers established the independent RAND Corporation. From the first satellite design, to helping ensure GPS as a public good, to laying the groundwork for the internet, RAND has been making a difference ever since.

    May 9, 2018

  • North Korean defectors living in South Korea hold balloons containing leaflets and CDs denouncing Kim Jong-un near the demilitarized zone north of Seoul, February 16, 2013

    Report

    Options for Flying Contraband into North Korea

    Activist groups in South Korea are seeking improvements in the balloons they use to carry political, religious, and humanitarian materials across the border into North Korea. Balloon delivery techniques have evolved and some have started using hexacopter drones. How effective are these methods?

    Apr 2, 2018

  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 prepares to carry the X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle out to the range for a launch test from Edwards AFB, California, May 1, 2013

    Commentary

    Hypersonic Missiles: A New Proliferation Challenge

    Within 10 years, hypersonic missiles are likely to be deployed and offered on the international market. But there is time for action by states that do not want hypersonic missiles to flourish in their neighborhoods. It is time to move toward heading off this threat while it is still possible to do so.

    Mar 29, 2018

  • A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018

    Commentary

    Our Reliance on Space Tech Means We Should Prepare for the Worst

    Space-enabled connectivity, technology, and services support a diverse array of political, military, and economic activities, many of which modern life on Earth relies upon and which the public often takes for granted. How prepared is global society to deal with the growing reliance on this technology and to mitigate associated risks?

    Mar 12, 2018

  • Dr. Mae Jemison delivers the Haskins Lecture on Science Policy at RAND's Santa Monica Headquarters on January 23, 2018

    Blog

    Pursuing the Extraordinary Through Space Exploration

    NASA astronaut Dr. Mae C. Jemison delivered RAND's 2018 Haskins Lecture. She discussed how the pursuit of interstellar travel benefits society, the vital role science plays in our lives, and the importance of continued investment in research and technology.

    Jan 25, 2018

  • scientific illustration designed at RAND for Haskins Lecture

    Multimedia

    Pursuit of the Extraordinary

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Dr. Mae C. Jemison, RAND's 2018 Haskins Fellow, discusses why we must consciously pursue an extraordinary tomorrow in order to build a better world today.

    Jan 23, 2018

  • Mert Davies' briefcase in the 1960s

    Blog

    Mert Davies: All-Star Pioneer of the Cosmos

    Merton Davies spent his early years using satellite imagery to spy on terrestrial targets. His work led to the first successful reconnaissance satellite, Corona. Later, he used deep-space photographs to map the planets in our solar system.

    Jan 5, 2018

  • Report

    Gaming Space: A Game-Theoretic Methodology for Assessing the Deterrent Value of Space Control Options

    This report introduces and explains a game-theoretic methodology to help decisionmakers assess the potential effects of alternative approaches to space control.

    Jan 5, 2018

  • Tool

    Defensive Space Analysis Tool (DSPAT): Version 2.0

    This manual explains how to use the Defensive Space Analysis Tool (DSPAT), which was developed to compare alternative approaches to space control in terms of their mission effectiveness, feasibility, escalation risk, and political cost.

    Jan 5, 2018

  • Dissertation

    Deterring Space War: An Exploratory Analysis Incorporating Prospect Theory into a Game Theoretic Model of Space Warfare

    This dissertation uses a game theoretic model of space war to examine how sentiments in multiple dimensions impact state decisions regarding whether to expand a ground war into the space domain.

    Dec 21, 2017

  • Report

    People's Liberation Army Air Force Operations over Water: Maintaining Relevance in China's Changing Security Environment

    The report assesses notable developments in and implications of China's emerging aerospace expeditionary and power-projection capabilities, focusing particularly on the People's Liberation Army Air Force's operations over water.

    Dec 6, 2017

  • A man using a radio transceiver

    Report

    Signals Intelligence for Anyone

    Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is intelligence gathered from communications, electronics, or foreign instrumentation. This has traditionally been considered a governmental function. But new technologies are changing that. Now private citizens can conduct SIGINT activities.

    Dec 5, 2017

  • Report

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance and Deterring Gray Zone Coercion in the Maritime, Cyber, and Space Domains

    China is trying to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific through gray zone coercion -- actions below the threshold that would trigger a military response. This report focuses on deterring such coercion in the maritime, cyber, and space domains.

    Nov 20, 2017

  • Report

    The Creation of the PLA Strategic Support Force and Its Implications for Chinese Military Space Operations

    This report explores the missions and organization of China's Strategic Support Force, created in 2015 to develop and employ space capabilities, in particular launch and operation of satellites to provide C4ISR capabilities for joint operations.

    Nov 10, 2017

  • News Release

    U.S.-Russia-China Cooperation Could Hinder the Proliferation of Hypersonic Missiles, Reduce Risk of Strategic Wars

    Despite their differences, Russia, China and the United States should act jointly to head off a little-recognized security threat—the proliferation of hypersonic missiles beyond the three nations. The spread of this new class of weapons would increase the chance of strategic (missile-based) wars and would jeopardize nations small and large—including the three nations that now have the technology.

    Sep 27, 2017

  • The X-51A Waverider is set to demonstrate hypersonic flight

    Report

    U.S.-Russia-China Cooperation Could Hinder the Proliferation of Hypersonic Missiles

    Hypersonic missiles are a new class of threat that could penetrate most missile defenses and compress the timelines for a nation under attack to respond. The United States, Russia, and China should agree not to export hypersonic missile systems or components to other nations.

    Sep 27, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation

    RAND researchers present an overview of their key findings on hypersonic missiles — a new class of threat that could penetrate most missile defenses and compress the timelines for a nation under attack to respond.

    Sep 26, 2017

  • Journal Article

    The Russian Space Sector: Adaptation, Retrenchment, and Stagnation

    The journey of the Russian space industry since the collapse of the Soviet Union offers a case study in how Russia, in spite of indications to do otherwise, chose not to break with previous models of behavior and organization.

    Jul 20, 2017