Space Security Index

The Space Security Index is the first and only annual, comprehensive and integrated assessment of space security. The project seeks to provide a policy-neutral fact base of trends and developments in space security based on primary, open-source research in an annual report.

The objective is to facilitate dialogue on space security challenges and potential responses by providing the necessary facts and focus to inform an important debate that has become unnecessarily polarized.

The project produces an annual report on trends and developments in space. Space Security 2018, released in October 2018, covers the period January to December 2016. Space Security 2018 can be purchased at the project’s website.

The definition for space security that guides this project is:

  • the secure and sustainable access to, and use of space and;
  • freedom from space-based threats.

Space security is assessed according to the following nine indicators:

  • The space environment
  • Space situational awareness
  • Space security laws, policies and doctrines
  • Civil space programs, and global utilities
  • Commercial space
  • Space support for terrestrial military operations
  • Space systems protection
  • Space systems negation
  • Space-based strike weapons


Space is the only global commons that borders every community, providing an unprecedented potential nexus for scientific achievement, economic prosperity and strategic stability.

Space-based assets are rapidly becoming a part of our critical national and international infrastructure. They support our medical systems, our public services, our police forces and our militaries.

As our dependency on space assets has grown, so have legitimate concerns about the security of those assets, stimulating an important debate over the nature and direction of space security, and how best to balance our civil, commercial and military uses of space.

New tools are needed in this increasingly fragmented debate, broadening the dialogue to consider new, and more comprehensive approaches to space security.

It is our hope that the Space Security Index project will improve the transparency of activity in outer space. As with all security matters, perceptions and misperceptions are tremendously important. Great effort is made to ensure a complete, neutral and accurate description of developments based on a critical appraisal of the available information and consultation with space experts.

Project Partners

The project is made possible through the generous financial and in-kind support of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, the Erin J.C. Arsenault Fund at McGill University, Project Ploughshares, The Simons Foundation, the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, the Research Unit for Military Law and Ethics at the University of Adelaide, and the School of Law at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Spread the Word