Dancing Lights in Space: How to Manage The Risks of Satellite Close Approaches in Geostationary Orbit

Event Details
DateJanuary 26, 2022
Time10am - 12pm ET

This event has already taken place.


Both commercial satellite operators and governments are increasingly concerned about uncoordinated close approaches of their satellites by others in space, particularly in the geostationary belt where many valuable commercial and national security satellites reside.

The Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) are holding this online event from 10:00 to 12:00 EST January 26, 2022 to discuss this issue and what might be done about it. The event will kick off with a keynote address from Ms. Audrey Schaffer, Space Director for the U.S. National Security Council, which will be followed by panel discussions on current space situational awareness capabilities to see what is happening in space and national and multilateral policy initiatives to manage the risks posed by close approaches.

The event will also introduce the Satellite Dashboard, a new public website developed by SWF, CSIS, and the University of Texas at Austin, that uses publicly-available data to monitor and detect close approaches in the geostationary orbit.



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Event host:

Todd Harrison: Director, Defense Budget Analysis, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program – CSIS


  • Audrey Schaffer: Director for Space Policy, National Security Council

Panel 1 – How Well Can We Monitor and Characterize Close Approaches in GEO?

  • Moderator – Makena Young: Associate Fellow, Aerospace Security Project,  CSIS
  • Brien Flewelling: Innovation Boffin, ExoAnalytic Solutions
  • Dan Oltrogge: Director, Integrated Operations and Research – ComSpOC
  • Marc Becker: Policy Officer, German Space Administration

Satellite Dashboard Demo Video

Kaitlyn Johnson – Deputy Director and Fellow, Aerospace Security Project

Panel 2 – Policies and Norms to Manage Satellite Close Approaches (45 min)

  • Moderator – Brian Weeden: Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation
  • Doug Loverro: CSIS non-resident Senior Associate
  • Alessandro Cacioni: Director, Flight Dynamics – Inmarsat
  • Almudena Azcárate Ortega: Associate Researcher, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons – UNIDIR