This statement was drafted on behalf of civil society by Project Ploughshares Senior Researcher Jessica West. Dr. West presented it to the United Nations General Assembly First Committee for Disarmament and International Security on October 13, 2020.
More states are preparing for war in outer space. The result could be accelerated, intensified conflict; environmental destruction; and nuclear winter. Even if we avoid the ultimate catastrophe, the consequences of war in space are serious. The destruction of space systems would harm every human on Earth. We must start working to protect civilians on Earth from such a fate.
In this video, Senior Researcher Jessica West presents work conducted as part of a project funded by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) Mobilizing Insights in National Defence (MINDS) program to generate knowledge about how existing and emerging norms of responsible behaviour in outer space can be applied to contemporary space-based military capabilities and activities. The goal is to …
On September 28, Ploughshares Senior Researchers Jessica West and Branka Marijan participated in an online panel on the future of peace and conflict hosted by the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Event description From the invention of the machine-gun, to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, to the use of armed drones, technological advances in war craft have transformed geopolitical rivalries …
What if space has already been weaponized? This is the claim of the United States military. Following the official establishment of the Space Force in January 2020, a new Defense Space Strategy published in June presents a strategy for “winning wars” in a domain that it depicts as “weaponized” by Russia and China. Russia and China have made similar accusations against the United States.
On July 23, 2020, the United States Space Command Public Affairs Office released information claiming that on July 15, Russia “injected a new object [Object 45915] into orbit from Cosmos 2543” and “released this object in proximity to another Russian satellite.”
As part of a wider research project that is mapping the normative landscape in outer space with the aim of informing the further development of norms related to space-based military capabilities and activities, we invited global space experts to participate in a survey that was open from May 15 to June 10.
On June 18, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a public summary of its updated Defense Space Strategy. Making public the military’s approach to space is a critical transparency and confidence-building measure (TCBM), enhancing the security of the space environment for all actors. As many states fail to provide such information, the United States should be applauded for this …
The security of outer space is a cooperative endeavor to achieve a shared benefit. Yet, while cooperation is essential for space security, it is often fraught. This chapter examines the logic for cooperation as an approach to space security, including supportive governance mechanisms, and traces the impetus and evolution of such efforts over time, marked by struggle to overcome strategic competition.
Even during a global pandemic, humans continue their journey back to the Moon. On May 30, the SpaceX Dragon Crew spacecraft, propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket, carried two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. Years behind schedule, the first crewed launch of a private space vehicle was still a triumph.