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Event Recap

May 18, 2022

Viva la space: Why the commercial small satellite revolution matters for the US government

By Madison Littlepage

A panel of space experts and practitioners discuss with Forward Defense how the US government can leverage commercial small satellite technology to secure the space domain.

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

Please join the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and its Forward Defense practice for a public conversation on “The National Security Implications of Small Satellites,” on Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. ET via Zoom. Register by clicking the button above.

This event will feature the launch of a new report titled “Small Satellites: The Implications for National Security” by Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Nicholas Eftimiades and produced in partnership with Thales. It will explore how the small satellite revolution—or the commercial-led launch of smaller and lower-cost satellites—is impacting space security, and how the US government can keep pace.

The Earth’s most congested orbits are witnessing an influx of thousands (soon to be tens of thousands) small satellites. Small satellites are manufactured at a lower cost and can field significant defense capabilities, increasing the size and resilience of constellations today. China and Russia recognize this paradigm shift and are using laser “dazzling” and cyberattacks to target US space assets.

We’ll be joined by a panel of experts and formal officials to discuss how the United States and its allies can refresh their commercial relationships to harness the advantages of small satellites, as well as ensure safe and secure access to and in space amid the small satellite revolution.

We hope you can join us for this timely discussion. To receive the virtual Zoom link, register by completing the registration form below.

Read the report

Several tiny satellites photographed by an Expedition 33 crew member on the International Space Station. The satellites were released outside the Kibo laboratory using a Small Satellite Orbital Deployer attached to the Japanese module’s robotic arm on Oct. 4, 2012. Source: NASA, “Several tiny satellites,” Wikimedia Commons, October 4, 2012, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ISS-33_Several_tiny_satellites_1.jpg.


May 5, 2022

Small satellites: The implications for national security

By Nicholas Eftimiades

Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Nicholas Eftimiades considers how the US government can better leverage commercial satellites to enhance space security.

China Defense Industry

Welcome remarks by

Frederick Kempe

President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council

Alan Pellegrini

Chief Executive Officer, Thales North America

A panel featuring

Nicholas Eftimiades

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Forward Defense, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council; Professor, Homeland Security Program, Penn State University

Paula Trimble

Policy Chief and Legislative Affairs Director, Space Development Agency, US Department of Defense

Dr. Bleddyn Bowen

Associate Professor of International Relations, Space Policy/Warfare Expert, and Director for Postgraduate Teaching and International Relations, School of History, Politics, and International Relations, University of Leicester

Paul Graziani

Chief Executive Officer, COMSPOC; Co-Founder, Analytical Graphics, Inc.

Moderated by

Sandra Erwin

Senior Staff Writer, SpaceNews

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.