Space may seem infinite, but the narrow band that hugs the Earth, where satellites and space stations operate, is not. Existing space treaties won't be enough to keep satellites safe, to prevent crowding and collisions, and to preserve the promise of outer space.
Without further cooperation and agreement among space powers, multiple, competing governance systems may end up being established, further increasing potential for conflict. The time to address this issue is now, so that the use of deep-space resources contributes to prosperity, security, and freedom on Earth and throughout the solar system.
Space mirrors can reflect solar radiation away from Earth, potentially helping to address the effects of climate change. But decisionmakers need more information about this technology to determine if it's a viable option.
Chinese and Russian primary sources reflect a perception that U.S. space activities are threatening and demonstrate hostile intent. At the same time, they characterize their own, similar actions as nonthreatening. Washington, Beijing, and Moscow appear to be caught in an action-reaction cycle that perpetuates justifications for continued military action in space.
RAND is proud to celebrate 75 years of excellence in space research and analysis. Here, we spotlight a small number of reports to highlight the range of our contributions and celebrate our commitment to making a difference for decades to come.
Space has the potential to be a domain in which current great-power competitions and frictions can be mediated. The international community might consider updating the existing space legal regime to ensure it meets current political, economic, social, and technical challenges.
Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.
The authors summarize research about using a game-theoretic model of competition and cooperation in space to examine the dynamics of conflict there, short of wars of total destruction. They focus specifically on the dynamics of space competition .
Space is becoming more contested, competed and congested. This report covers Wilton Park consultations on how to define and promote responsible behaviors in space, ahead of formal United Nations negotiations to try to reduce threats to space security.
There are currently no international binding rules that would address growing threats in space. Without more-defined and enforceable rules of war regarding space and space assets, the danger of a destructive conflict in space grows significantly.
The United States recently committed not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing. This sets an important example others might follow and takes an important first step towards a binding, international ban.
The growing commercial space industry offers a range of capabilities and services, including emerging technologies. Opportunities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of Defense to leverage these capabilities for military purposes are expanding. What concerns should stakeholders address?