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Space Threat Assessment 2024

 of Space Threat Assessment by the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). For the last six years, CSIS has used open-source information to produce an annual assessment of threats to U.S. national security space systems posed by foreign government capabilities. Each report in this series catalogs yearly trends, uses, and advancements of counterspace weapons and enablers to […]

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Space Threat Assessment 2023

This resource for policymakers and the public leverages open-source information to assess key developments in foreign counterspace weapons. Drawing on six years of collected data and analyses, this series describes trends in the development, testing, and use of counterspace weapons and enables readers to develop a deeper understanding of threats to U.S. national security interests in space. The past year was dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where space capabilities, including commercial satellites, played a highly visible and compelling role in Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion. Thus, this year’s featured analysis provides an in-depth look at Russia’s battlefield employment of counterspace weapons.

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Battle Networks: The Three Part Series

Militaries use battle networks to detect what is happening on the battlefield, process that data into actionable information, decide on a course of action, communicate decisions among forces, act on those decisions, and assess the effectiveness of the actions taken. Battle networks are sometimes referred to as the “sensor-to-shooter kill chain” (or just the “kill […]

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U.S. Civil Space Primer

refers to departments, agencies, and organizations of the federal government that have operational, regulatory, policy, or other responsibilities over the space activities of the United States, including private sector space activities, which are non-military in nature. Civil space has its roots in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which separated military and civilian […]

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The Evolution of French Space Security

In the last decade, there has been an international resurgence of focus on space for commercial, civil, and military activities. Space is now a critical domain for many nations around the globe, and both individual countries and multinational coalitions have recently released space policies and strategies. European nations have taken a greater interest in space […]

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The Pitfalls of Labeling Whole Space Missions as Inherently Governmental

The Department of Defense (DOD) will soon release two strategies aimed at harnessing commercial space capabilities for national security needs. Defense officials have said that the strategy to be released by the U.S. Space Force will categorize certain space missions as “inherently governmental,” with mission criticality influencing which missions fall into this group. While well meaning, this approach does […]

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No Place to Hide: A Look into China’s Geosynchronous Surveillance Capabilities

China launched a remote-sensing satellite called Yaogan-41 into geostationary orbit (GEO) on December 15, 2023. Analysts expect the satellite to settle into a position that would allow continuous surveillance of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as Taiwan and Mainland China. Paired with data from other Chinese surveillance satellites, Yaogan-41 could provide China an unprecedented ability […]

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Mission Authorization: Decoding the Space Policy Dilemma

On November 15, 2023, the White House’s National Space Council released a legislative proposal that would create a licensing process for private sector novel space activities, called mission authorization, consistent with U.S. obligations under the Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967. Meanwhile, Congress and a government-chartered space advisory group have offered their own proposals. While all parties acknowledge […]

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Another Leap Forward: India’s Historic Moon Landing and the Space Competition Underway

Critical Questions is produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions. Accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in this publication should be understood to be solely those of the author(s). […]

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