a Theory of Spacepower
The Influence of Spacepower on History and Implications for the Future
National Defense University
Institute for National Strategic Studies
300 5th Avenue
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington, DC 20319
Phone: 202-685-3857 Fax: 202-685-3866
April 25-26, 2007
This symposium will review the progress of a year-long research effort headed by the Institute for National Strategic Studies, commissioned by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, to articulate an overarching spacepower theory. This spacepower theory is designed to provide policy makers and space professionals – whether in the national security, civil, or commercial sectors – with a shared intellectual foundation to address space activities. The goal is a comprehensive, robust, and articulate Spacepower theory that describes, explains, and anticipates principles governing the uses of space.
In the nearly fifty years since Sputnik first orbited earth, we have made tremendous advances, allowing the use of space and space-based technologies in ways that until recently were unimaginable. Space systems, services, and capabilities are used to improve productivity in areas as diverse as entertainment, information services, banking, farming, mining, construction, surveying, as well as in providing communications, navigation, weather forecasting, and enabling search and rescue missions. Science is improved by space-based monitoring of the Earth and its atmosphere, as well as far-reaching missions to the outer reaches of the solar system. Space may be able to mitigate future environmental and resource challenges such as global warming, environmental disasters, and depleted energy sources. Although space based or space-enabled technologies are ubiquitous across the civil, commercial, military, intelligence, and scientific sectors, debate on the use of space is inconsistent. Protagonists focus intently upon the purported costs and benefits of specific courses of action in the absence of any overarching framework for judging the logic, significance, proper balance, or future implications of space activity. The United States, as the most heavily invested space-faring nation, will benefit from this broadly accepted path for developing the nation’s space capability, especially its military and intelligence components. Recent tests of a Chinese anti-satellite system serve to remind us of the need and urgency of establishing this comprehensive framework of spacepower.
The draft Spacepower theory presented during this symposium is a starting point; this forum provides an opportunity to present ideas, challenge assumptions, and offer alternative views in order to shape the final product.
During this symposium we will:
Solicit feedback on the proposed Spacepower theory,
Engage in a dialogue with experts and the public on spacepower,
Explore alternate spacepower concepts, and
Test assumptions and hypotheses.
Featured speakers include current and former senior government officials involved in space policy and a wide range of experts. Agenda and other information is available at: http://www.ndu.edu/inss/symposia/SP2007/agenda.htm
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