Space Warfare

  • An artist's rendering of WGS-11+, a U.S. military communications satellite to be operated by the U.S. Space Force in 2024, image by Boeing via U.S. Space Force

    Report

    How Do China and Russia Perceive U.S. Military Activities in Space?

    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.

    Oct 11, 2022

  • Astronaut on a spacewalk outside a space station, photo by Blue Planet Studio/Adobe Stock

    Multimedia

    Expert Insights: Future Uses of Space

    In this Expert Insights podcast, James Black and Linda Slapakova discuss the potential uses of space out to 2050, ranging from defence, manufacturing, climate protection, and tourism.

    Jul 13, 2022

  • Report

    Space Competition and the Dynamics of Conflict: Using Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence to Gain Strategic Insight

    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 .

    Jul 5, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Considering Responsible Behaviours as Part of Managing Threats to Space Systems

    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.

    May 17, 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

  • 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

  • Report

    Report

    Realising the Ambitions of the UK's Defence Space Strategy: Factors Shaping Implementation to 2030

    This study provides an initial look at the factors influencing the implementation of the Defence Space Strategy to 2030 and the strengths and weaknesses of the UK space enterprise. It also includes a decision support tool for capability management.

    Feb 17, 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

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing the Readiness of Contractor-Provided Space Operations Capabilities

    There are a significant number of private contractors performing space operations functions and tasks for the Air Force. This report examines how the Air Force evaluates its ability to deliver space operations capabilities provided by contractors.

    Jan 3, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Historic Lynchings and Voter Registration, China in Space, Firefighters' Mental Health: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the link between historic lynchings and voter registration, Afghanistan in the era of fentanyl, supporting firefighters’ mental health, and more.

    Jul 30, 2021

  • A staff member stands in front of the launchpad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center ahead of the Shenzhou-12 mission to build China's space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China, June 16, 2021, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Report

    Deterring China in Space

    How could the United States, along with key allies and partners, prevent China from taking actions in space or interfering with space-based capabilities in ways that are harmful to U.S. national security interests?

    Jul 27, 2021

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    West Coast Aerospace Forum 2020: Aerospace Vision for the Future

    The 6th annual West Coast Aerospace Forum in December 2020 featured discussions between some of the Department of the Air Force‘s most senior and experienced leaders and top civilian national security experts.

    Feb 19, 2021

  • 3D rendering of earth with red lines representing communication or weapons, photo by DKosig/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Joe Biden Can Galvanize Space Diplomacy

    The potential for conflicts to originate in outer space, or for terrestrial conflicts to extend there, has grown with the development of counterspace weapons and the explosion of commercial space activity. But previous efforts to establish norms have had limited results. The Biden administration has an opportunity, working with like-minded allies and partners, to galvanize nascent international efforts.

    Jan 15, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    RAND Space Launch Virtual Panel

    A virtual panel discussion hosted by the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative tackles issues related to the global space launch enterprise.

    Dec 8, 2020

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Starlink satellites into orbit lifts off from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, October 6, 2020, photo by Space X/Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Avoid a Space Arms Race

    Some 70 countries and multinational organizations own or operate satellites and there are plans for many more. Multilateral cooperative efforts could help set a foundation for the adoption of transparency and confidence measures that offer realistic hope of reducing risks and protecting freedom of access to space for all nations.

    Oct 26, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Improving Acquisition to Support the Space Enterprise Vision

    A new RAND report examines potential acquisition approaches to support the Space Enterprise Vision and identifies several promising ones that merit in-depth examination: modular open system architectures, agile acquisition, rapid prototyping.

    Jul 15, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Enhancing Assessments of Space Mission Assurance

    The authors describe decisionmaker needs for assessments of space mission assurance (SMA), challenges for conducting SMA assessments, the shortfalls that may result from the challenges, and options for addressing the shortfalls.

    May 20, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    New Space Force Will Need Resources, Clear Definition of Warfighting Mission

    To meet the goals of the U.S. Space Force most space activities in the Department of Defense should be moved into the new service. Moreover, it will be critical that the Space Force clearly define and clarify its space warfighting mission.

    Mar 13, 2020

  • A military camouflage uniform bearing a U.S. Space Force nametape and U.S. Space Command shoulder patch, January 17, 2020, photo by U.S. Space Force/Handout via Reuters

    Research Brief

    How to Build an Effective, Efficient, and Independent Space Force

    To increase its likelihood of developing into a successful organization, the new U.S. Space Force should define and clarify its space warfighting missions. And most space activities in the Department of Defense should be moved into the new service.

    Mar 13, 2020

  • light in space

    Report

    A Separate Space: Creating a Military Service for Space

    As the United States creates the Space Force as a service within the Department of the Air Force, RAND assessed which units to bring into the Space Force, analyzed career field sustainability and drew lessons from other defense organizations.

    Mar 13, 2020