Time to ban debris-generating weapons tests in space

Jessica West Analysis and Commentary, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

Orbiting our planet are thousands of satellites that support military operations as well as critical civilian and commercial infrastructures that provide essential services for humans all over the world. These satellites are unprotected and can be seriously damaged by even the smallest piece of orbital shrapnel or debris. And in space, the danger is ongoing, because the debris stays in orbit.

Consulting Canadians on a framework for future space exploration

Jessica West Featured, News, Reports, Space Security

The following response to the Canadian consultation on a framework for future space exploration is submitted by Project Ploughshares, a Canadian peace research institute with a focus on disarmament efforts and international security. Project Ploughshares has been engaged in space security and international policy governance for almost 20 years and leads the Space Security Index project.

From safety to security: mapping the normative landscape in outer space

Jessica West Featured, Multimedia, Space Security

This map is a visualization of the existing normative landscape in outer space. Created from detailed coding of 90 space governance documents and additional expert feedback from an online survey and global series of workshops, it identifies the prevailing values, documented activities, and prescribed behaviours that currently influence practices in space.

From Safety to Security: Global Workshop Series Report

Jessica West Featured, Reports, Space Security

In November 2020, global space experts were invited to participate in a series of regional online workshops to identify priorities and possible next steps in the development of norms related to space-based military capabilities and activities.

Protecting humans on Earth from war in space

Jessica West Featured, Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

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.

Video: The Future of Peace and Conflict: Nuclear Arms, Space and Robotics

Ploughshares Emerging Technologies, Featured, Multimedia, News, Nuclear Weapons, Research in Action, Space Security

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 …

Has the first shot been fired in space?

Jessica West Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

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.

Report: From safety to security – extending outer space norms

Jessica West Featured, Reports, Space Security

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.