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Cover credit: Helen Lundeberg, “The Veil,” 1947, The Macfarlane Collection

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series

Apr 11, 2021

The future of security in space: A thirty-year US strategy

By Clementine G. Starling, Mark J. Massa, Lt Col Christopher P. Mulder, and Julia T. Siegel

Outer space is rapidly transforming as new actors test new limits. This Atlantic Council Strategy Paper calls for the United States and its allies and partners to secure space over the next three decades or risk wasting the promise of this emerging domain.

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Missed the event? Read the recap

Event Recap

Jun 12, 2021

Achieving security in space: A recap of The Atlantic Council space strategy launch

By Raphael Piliero

Sixty years since the first human launched into orbit, what is the future of security and prosperity in space? On April 12, the International Day of Human Spaceflight, the Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense practice sought to answer this question with an engaging virtual public event featuring esteemed space experts and the launch of a new Atlantic Council Strategy Paper.

Economy & Business National Security

The Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense practice is delighted to invite you to the public launch of the latest Atlantic Council Strategy Paper, titled “The Future of Security in Space: A Thirty-Year US Strategy.” This star-studded event will feature key voices from the commercial, government, and expert space communities and will take place on Monday, April 12, 2021, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT via Zoom.

We will be joined in conversation with Atlantic Council board directors and report co-chairs Gen James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.) and The Hon. Deborah Lee James, former NASA administrator and astronaut The Hon. Charles F. Bolden Jr., MajGen, USMC (Ret.), former executive secretary of the National Space Council, Dr. Scott Pace, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense’s Debra Facktor, and many more (see speakers below).  In addition to these distinguished panelists, we are pleased to feature a live interview with NASA astronaut COL Andrew R. Morgan, who will speak about his personal experience living on board the International Space Station and the role that human spaceflight plays in diplomacy.

Activity in space is rapidly expanding with an explosion of actors and commerce in recent years. More than seventy nations operate national space programs, making international space governance prime for a reboot. Private-sector investment in unique space technologies and more affordable space launch creates the exciting prospect of a space commerce boom. Meanwhile, the increasing salience of space in great-power competition and counterspace capabilities threaten freedom of access. Space exploration will likely evolve at pace over the next decades, offering potential resource abundance and the ability to expand the frontiers of space development. The United States and its allies require a strategy to meet the moment and shape the strategic landscape through 2050 and beyond.

In this forward-looking report, “The Future of Security in Space: A Thirty-Year US Strategy,” Forward Defense lays out an ambitious vision for a US space strategy spanning the next thirty years. Offering an actionable plan to reform space governance, form a space alliance, accelerate space commerce, and take a cislunar approach to space development, this landmark report offers recommendations for the short, medium, and long term to advance US and allied objectives in the space domain.

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Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.

More from Forward Defense on Space Security

In the News

Mar 29, 2021

Gen Cartwright, Sec. James in Breaking Defense on the need for a long-term strategy on space

By Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council Board Directors former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.) and former Secretary of the US Air Force the Hon. Deborah Lee James released an article in Breaking Defense titled “The Space Rush: New US strategy must bring order, regulation.”

Rule of Law Security & Defense