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How are we dependent on space?

Houston, we have a problem with our critical infrastructure in space. While our individual dependency on space has also grown, safeguarding space still remains an issue. Critical infrastructure and services like 5G connectivity and GPS navigation rely on space-based assets to carry out their daily functioning. This dependency makes space-based assets potential targets for description and espionage by strategic adversaries, as well as a potential target for criminal groups.  So how can we defend and secure this critical backbone? In many ways, questions of securing critical infrastructure and bolstering cybersecurity in space systems are similar to those we face in securing terrestrial assets. But are there key differences in how we must secure space systems? What are those similarities and differences? Who has jurisdiction? Where do we still have gaps, both in terms of our own capabilities and understanding the threats posed by adversaries?

Ground satellite at dawn

The Role of Satellites in 5G Networks

Satellites will play a key role in determining our collective 5G future. How we integrate terrestrial and space-based components will determine the type and degree of connectivity 5G networks enable in practice across the United States and around the world, rather than what they could have enabled in theory.

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Earth view from space. Global network. Blockchain technology. Planet and communication. Future world 3D illustration. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA
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Cybersecurity on the Final Frontier: Protecting Our Critical Space Assets from Cyber Threats

Our overwhelming reliance on space technology puts us in a precarious position. Like any other increasingly digitized critical infrastructure, satellites and other space-based assets are vulnerable to cyberattacks. These concerns are no longer merely hypothetical and, if not mitigated, could interfere with the space-enabled technology we take for granted in our day-to-day lives as well as national security and global economic development broadly.

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The MUOS 2 satellite launches from Cape Canaveral

Cybersecurity Threats in Space: A Roadmap for Future Policy

Much of the world’s critical infrastructure is heavily dependent on space, specifically space-based assets, for its daily functioning. This dependence poses a serious, and yet frequently underrecognized, security dilemma -- especially cyber threats -- for critical infrastructure providers and policymakers alike.

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The Space Race and the Origins of the Space Age

The Space Race and the Origins of the Space Age

October 4, 2017 was the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, which initiated the Space Race. A panel discussion at the Wilson Center, featuring expert historians and current space industry professionals, reflected upon the past, present, and future of human space activity.

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

On 20 July 1969, over half the world’s population witnessed Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon. While often remembered as a scientific and technological feat, the ambitions of the Apollo program aimed far beyond the Moon. Through spaceflight, America sought to win hearts and minds, foster alliances, and shape the political trajectories of newly independent nations. Drawing on a rich array of untapped archives and firsthand interviews, Operation Moonglow knits together a story of politics and propaganda; diplomacy and spaceflight; decolonization and globalization to reveal the political forces that not only sent humans to the Moon but also attracted the largest audience in history.