Preserving the peace

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A new space race is on. Symbolized by the historic landing of China’s robotic explorer on the far side of the Moon, the goal this time is to create a permanent human presence on the Moon and beyond.

Looking ahead: Trends shaping space security in 2019

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

The world has entered a Second Space Age, marked by an intensification of our interactions and reach into outer space. A core part of the international Space Security Index project, managed by Project Ploughshares, is to look holistically at how states, companies, and people around the world access and make use of this domain. Looking to the year ahead, five …

It’s back: Space-based missile defence

Jessica West Featured, Space Security Leave a Comment

Like boomerangs, some bad ideas keep coming back. Space-based missile defence has been pursued intermittently by the United States since the launch of the Space Age. Now, under Donald Trump, America is once again dreaming that it can protect itself from nuclear-armed missiles by deploying a “shield” of interceptors in outer space. Closely resembling President Reagan’s derided “Star Wars,” this …

Why the chances of conflict in outer space are going up

Jessica West Featured, Space Security Leave a Comment

U.S. President Trump’s desire to create a Space Force—a new military branch focused solely on outer space operations—has drawn public attention to the prospects of warfare in a domain that has been used only for peaceful and passive purposes. Despite the provocative name, the proposed mission would in many ways be mundane: the command and control of spacecraft rather than …

A call for leadership: New report details security concerns in outer space

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November 6, 2018 Key findings of a new report point to deteriorating security conditions in outer space in the absence of renewed governance efforts. Space Security Index 2018 tracks developments under 18 indicators related to four aspects of the security of outer space: environmental sustainability, access to and use of space, technologies for space security, and space governance. Project manager …

An arms race in outer space? New report raises alarm

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November 6, 2018 A new report on the security of outer space warns that an arms race is looming if we do not constrain conflict and the use of force in outer space. Space Security Index 2018 tracks developments and activities in 2017 related to four indicators of the security of outer space – environmental sustainability, access to and use …

Uncharted territory in outer space

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For most of us, outer space is not a topic of regular conversation. It seems to be physically removed from our everyday experiences, a distant place that we imagine to be cold and barren or the stuff of fantastic fiction. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 2 Summer 2018 by Jessica West This distance is an illusion. We on Earth …

Trump just announced the creation of a Space Force. Should we be concerned?

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

On Monday, U.S. President Trump was due to sign Space Policy Directive-3 on space traffic management. This was exciting to those of us who work on space governance, if not to many others. Then Trump announced that he would create a Space Force – a new branch of the U.S. military – and pointed to the chairman of the Joint …