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.
This external publication is an online database of short Horizon Scanning Centre think-pieces. RAND Europe updated 25% of the papers on this database, to incorporate more recent policy issues, evidence, and developments.
Orbital debris represents a threat to the operation of man-made objects in space, such as satellite television and weather satellites. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of objects greater than one centimeter in diameter in Earth's orbit.
Celestial real estate is increasingly popular. All in all more than 900 satellites, along with tens of thousands of bits of man-made space detritus, jockey for elbow room overhead. The result: a growing threat our atmosphere will soon become so crowded with floating junk as to become almost unusable, write Caroline Reilly and Peter D. Zimmerman.
Why have the costs of acquiring space systems been so high? What are the sources of the problems? To answer these questions, RAND researchers examined the sources of cost growth of Air Force space systems and undertook an extensive study of two space systems.
Seminal guide from 1958 on the uses and characteristics of space systems, including astronautics and its applications, technology, rocket vehicles, propulsion systems, propellants, internal power sources, guidance, communication, and more.
Space assets are vital to the economic, social, and military interests of the United States. Sustainment complexities suggest a need to define a AFSPC commandwide sustainment philosophy separating demand, supply, and integrator processes.
As space systems age, the U.S. Air Force Space Command needs to understand how budgeting for the maintenance and sustainment of ground segments affects the performance of their associated space systems. New metrics and models can help this process.
This monograph presents findings of a RAND Project AIR FORCE research project documenting lessons learned from the implementation of evolutionary acquisition (EA) strategies on major Defense Department military space programs.
With no breakthroughs likely in space propulsion or rocket design in the near future, a new family of space-launch vehicles developed for military payloads should satisfy all projected national security needs through 2020.
Presents a method for assessing Air and Space Expeditionary Force manpower and materiel deployment capabilities and a detailed description of software tools developed by RAND for quantifying deployment capabilities.
Japan's space program has seen a succession of satellite and launcher failures over the past decade, as well as decreases in funding and public support. Recent reorganization of the program will determine its future focus—civil or military.
Merton Edward Davies (1917-2001) was a major contributor to U.S. space efforts from when he first became affiliated with the RAND Corporation in 1947 until his death in 2001, at which time he still maintained his office at RAND.
A new study by RAND Project AIR FORCE confirms that, once the technology becomes available, distributed satellite systems will perform better and cost less to launch and operate than equivalent monolithic satellites.