Credit: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. government should learn to live with the proliferation of space capabilities, even in the face of potential threats, in order to maximize their potential benefits.

That’s one of the key points in a new Mitchell Policy Paper Release: Leading in a Rapidly Changing World: Policy Issues in Global Space Operations

The authors of the new paper: Jim Vedda, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Space Policy and Strategy,The Aerospace Corporation and Peter Hays, Adjunct Professor of Space Policy and International Relations, Space Policy Institute at George Washington University.

An advanced ground-based radar system – a “Space Fence.”
Credit: Lockheed Martin

Key points

Other key points raised in the paper:

  • The United States and the growing list of global space actors currently are participants in a fundamental reordering of many tenets and assumptions that have been long-standing attributes of U.S. national space policy and international agreements.
  • The United States should lead by example. Part of this leadership is creating a path that does more than react to the technical evolution, programmatic developments, and perceived intentions of other countries.
  • The path should serve U.S. national interests by expanding capabilities that enhance security, the economy, and science.
  • The United States should embrace emerging technologies and services rather than try to restrain them.
  • U.S. entities can be competitive or even dominant in the world market if the U.S. government encourages and facilitates new space applications.

Vedda and Hays closely analyze many dynamic aspects of civil and national security space operations they believe will demand the attention of decision-makers in the near future, such as space traffic management, the expanded use of small satellites or “smallsats,” satellite and orbital vehicle proximity operations, debris concerns, counterspace threats, and norms of behavior.


For a copy of “Leading in a Rapidly Changing World: Policy Issues in Global Space Operations,” go to:

Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event