Space Exploration

Space exploration is both an international and a commercial effort; several countries, companies, and multinational organizations operate hundreds of Earth observation and information exchange platforms near and beyond Earth's orbital plane. RAND research assists policymakers in planning the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for advancing space exploration and cooperation for both military and commercial benefits.

  • Blog

    Truth Decay, School Lunch Nutrition, Regulating Space: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on tackling Truth Decay, how civilian tech experts view the military's use of artificial intelligence, a new approach to regulating outer space, and more.

    May 13, 2022

  • Illustration of astronauts on a space colony unloading boxes from a spaceship, photo by CSA-Printstock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    An Alternative Way to Think About Space Regulation

    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.

    May 9, 2022

  • Blog

    The West's Response to Russia, the State of the Union, Outer Space: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to prevent Russia's war on Ukraine from becoming a war with NATO, insights from RAND on the State of the Union, the future of outer space, and more.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Global communication network concept network dots surrounding planet earth with focus on America. Information exchange via satellites, illustration by Thomas/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Space Might Be Used Between Now and 2050

    The number of space-related activities conducted by government, military, and commercial actors around the world is increasing. How will the way space is used change? Who will the key actors be? And what can be done to ensure a more future-proof space strategy?

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Nasty, Brutish, and Short—The Future of Space Operations in the Absence of the Rule of Law: Addressing Congestion, Contestation, and Competitiveness in the New Space Era

    Existing treaties and laws are not sufficient to govern space given the dramatic growth in space activity. Ensuring a safe, secure, and prosperous space for all nations may require the application of social contract theory to space governance.

    Feb 15, 2022

  • Senior policy analyst Sale Lilly reading a science fiction trilogy by Cixin Liu, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Commentary

    Where Chinese Science Fiction and RAND History Meet

    Senior policy analyst Sale Lilly read about renowned RAND researcher Bill Mathers in an award-winning Chinese science fiction trilogy—but somehow had never heard of him before.

    Sep 2, 2021

  • Blog

    The Fight Against COVID, Sexual Violence in the Military, Disinformation on Social Media: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the ongoing fight against COVID-19, countering sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military, disinformation on social media, and more.

    Jul 23, 2021

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Disinformation, Biden's Address, Leaving Afghanistan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russian and Chinese campaigns to spread malign and subversive information on COVID-19, President Biden's address to Congress, the planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more.

    Apr 30, 2021

  • Super Typhoon Noru photographed by ISS astronaut Randy Bresnick above the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on August 1, 2017, photo courtesy of NASA

    Report

    Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era

    The early space domain was dominated by two superpowers. Today, the world has more than 60 spacefaring nations, multiple commercial space operators, and a global economy that is inextricably linked to space. Now is the time to develop responsible space norms.

    Apr 26, 2021

  • RAND Space Enterprise Initiative (crop)

    Multimedia

    Introducing the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative

    RAND Space Enterprise Initiative lead Bruce McClintock describes the mission and goals of the Space Enterprise Initiative and the importance of making space research available to all.

    Sep 4, 2020

  • Astronauts on a planet looking at outer space, illustration by yogysic/Getty Images

    Blog

    How Accurate Were Predictions for the Future?

    Anticipating the risks and opportunities posed by all kinds of change is a RAND specialty. In 1964, using RAND's now-famous Delphi method, experts pondered topics like medical advancements, space, artificial intelligence, and controlling the weather.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • 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

  • An artist's rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration between Earth and the moon

    Commentary

    Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

    May 16, 2017

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research on new ways to measure wellbeing in cities; effects of cigarette advertising on teens; supermarkets in so-called "food deserts"; the decline of civics education in American schools; and more.

    Feb 29, 2016

  • NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman works outside the International Space Station's Quest airlock in October 2014

    Commentary

    Don't Worry About Russia Backing Away from Space and WMD Cooperation

    Two symbols of U.S.-Russian cooperation are nearing the end of their life expectancies, the International Space Station and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. But both stand as remarkable milestones of achievement and reminders of what can be accomplished when nations put aside political differences for the betterment of humanity.

    Feb 27, 2015

  • Satellite space station

    Blog

    Space Talk Launches Politics Aside

    Hundreds of guests packed the Cary Grant Theatre at Sony Studios to kick off RAND's Politics Aside event with a discussion on space technology, policy, and leadership. Matt Miller, columnist, author, and radio host moderated the panel, which included Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs; George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic; and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.

    Nov 14, 2014

  • space launch

    Blog

    A Public-Private Model for Funding Space Missions

    The future of manned space flight, including missions to Mars and other deep space destinations, will likely depend on the combined resources of governments and commercial enterprises, say Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Jul 23, 2013

  • The International Space Station

    Commentary

    Kill the Space Launch System to Save Human Spaceflight

    Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.

    Apr 5, 2013

  • People commuting to work in London

    Journal Article

    Update to The Sigma Scan

    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.

    Jan 1, 2011