Aerospace Corporation, Mitchell Institute Release Report on Space Operations Policy Needs

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2017) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) and the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute today released the results of a wide-ranging survey highlighting the perceptions and recommendations of more than 30 experts on major areas of concern within the U.S. space enterprise.

The report, Major Policy Issues in Evolving Global Space Operations, takes a multi-faceted look at the current state of the space industry and how it might evolve. In particular, the authors examine how future endeavors in space will be shaped by the proliferation of new space entrants and the growing clout of the commercial sector in an increasingly crowded and democratized space domain.

The study covered 11 areas of concern affecting multiple stakeholders, including these key issues: establishing space tracking roles, improving surveillance of small satellites and mitigating orbital debris, enforcing behavioral norms, preparing for proximity operations, addressing foreign counterspace activities, and protecting commercial and foreign assets. The study was conducted between August and November 2017. It presents a diverse range of perspectives, with representatives from domestic and international governmental agencies, universities, research organizations, and commercial ventures.

“We 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,” said co-author James Vedda, Ph.D., a policy expert with CSPS. “This study highlights expert opinions and recommendations that take this into account and should be considered in the formulation of new policy.”

“Senior U.S. officials repeatedly tell us that while space continues to provide support for terrestrial national security activities, it has also become a warfighting domain in its own right,” said co-author Peter Hays, Ph.D., adjunct professor at George Washington University. “Expansion in the number and diversity of space operators worldwide may compel greater transparency as the United States strives to build space-capable alliances and maintain trust in its capabilities, reliability, and intentions.”

Jamie Morin, vice president and executive director of CSPS, believes the new report will help to build consensus in several key areas. “This focused study identified several areas where expert opinion is beginning to coalesce about how the U.S. and allied nations should adapt to and shape a rapidly changing industry and domain,” he said. “We appreciate the participation of so many noted experts in preparing it.”

To read Major Policy Issues in Evolving Global Space Operations and other publications related to space policy matters, visit

About the Center for Space Policy and Strategy

The Center for Space Policy and Strategy was formed in 2000 to address the need for expert analysis to support development of well-informed, technically defensible, and forward-looking space and technology policy. The center is committed to helping policymakers manage the opportunities and challenges inherent in a time of tremendous change for the overall space enterprise.

About The Aerospace Corporation

The Aerospace Corporation is a California nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 3,800 employees. It provides guidance and advice to military, civil, and commercial customers to ensure the success of complex, technology-based programs. The Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with multiple locations across the United States. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.

About The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is an independent, nonpartisan policy research institute established to provide creative, insightful policy options that better empower our nation’s leaders by: 1) Informing the national security debate; 2) Educating about aerospace power’s unique role in securing America’s global interests; and 3) Cultivating airminded talent. The Mitchell Institute provides independent, sound analysis outlining the right solutions in the aerospace domain to protect our nation. Access our work at: