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Space Threat Assessment 2024

Welcome to the seventh edition 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…

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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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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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Does the FY24 Budget Request Reflect Defense Priorities?

This commentary was originally published by the National Security Space Association on May 30, 2023, as part of a compilation of views on the U.S. Space Force budget from national security space experts. While this is the fourth budget request for the U.S. Space Force, it is the first since the release of the Biden administration’s National…

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U.S. Space-Based Nuclear Command and Control: A Guide

The United States has long depended on a vast array of complex sensing and communications infrastructure to receive…

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Commercial Space Remote Sensing and Its Role in National Security

Over the past two decades, the pace of innovation in the commercial space remote sensing industry has accelerated. The capabilities provided by commercial firms can be used to complement government space systems across a wide range of national security missions and fill in gaps in capabilities where the U.S. government has lagged. The challenge for…

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