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Why does space matter?

We aren't talking about dark matter! We depend on space for critical existing functions, as well as future innovation. Essential systems–such as communications, air transport, maritime trade, financial services, GPS, weather monitoring and defense–all rely heavily on space infrastructure, including satellites, ground stations and data links at the national, regional and international level. In order to tackle major social and environmental challenges, such as climate change and global connectivity, states and private organizations will continue to rely on the services provided by satellites in orbit. Additionally,  scientific research conducted on satellites and the International Space Station provide researchers on the ground with better information on how humans can live and thrive in space in the future.

The International Space Station

The Global Legal Landscape of Space: Who Writes the Rules on the Final Frontier?

We no longer need a telescope to see the critical importance of space. The current global space governance framework has been slow to take evolving state and industry practices as well as technological changes into consideration, namely around issues of celestial resource use and space militarization. What does the future hold?

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Satellite over California/Earth in space
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Seeking Strategic Advantage: How Geopolitical Competition and Cooperation are Playing Out in Space

In an increasingly democratized space environment, countries, non-state actors, international organizations, and corporations are all harnessing space capabilities and employing them in more applications. As our dependency on space grows, what are the implications for the world’s critical infrastructure? Do risks to space capabilities threaten global economic development and international security?

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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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