Space has become an essential part of the modern world, with satellite services playing increasingly central roles in civil, scientific, commercial, and military affairs. The number of countries and companies with satellites or other important interests in space continues to grow, as does the range of purposes for which satellites are used.
While space was once seen as vast and empty, recent trends and events make clear that the space environment needs more protection, that satellites face growing risks, and that space activities may be a potential source of mistrust and tension.
Policymakers in the United States and around the world are recognizing that existing international legal agreements and norms are not adequate to address these issues.
The United States has a vital interest in ensuring the sustainability of the space environment, keeping satellites safe and secure, and enhancing stability not only in space but also on the ground. The United States cannot address these space-related issues on its own, but its international leadership is essential.
This report recommends 10 practical near-term steps that the United States should take to protect its own assets and to move the world toward a more secure and sustainable future in space.