On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit the Earth. Precisely 60 years later, space-faring nations face a much different space environment; one that’s more diverse, disruptive, disordered, and dangerous. Today’s space domain presents a number of asymmetries that differ from other domains, creating a specific deterrence environment with unique policy implications.

Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age is a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Aerospace Security Project.

The report discusses the evolution of space as a contested domain, the changing threats to U.S. space systems, deterrence theory and its applications to the space domain, and findings from a space crisis exercise administered by CSIS last year.


The report, Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age, written by Todd Harrison, Zack Cooper, Kaitlyn Johnson, and Thomas G. Roberts is available at:

A CSIS video provides a good overview of the report, and can be viewed at:

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