Partnerships Are Vital to Space Domain Security

Partnerships Are Vital to Space Domain Security

By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo
September 13, 2021

Space Foundation, a U.S. nongovernmental organization that advocates for the global space industry, in association with KPMG International, a Dutch network that provides audit, tax, and advisory services in 146 countries, published the report Navigating Space: A Vision for Space in Defense, which explores the space domain and ecosystem.

To that effect, Chile will begin a “new space age” with the launch of 10 satellites between 2021 and 2025, eight of them manufactured in Chile, to “access international constellations of about 250 satellites,” the Chilean Ministry of Defense said in a statement. The National Space Center will open in 2022, the Ministry added.

For its part, the Colombian Space Agency (AEC, in Spanish), a non-profit private entity, will launch the country’s first two non-experimental satellites in 2022, the Colombian magazine Semana reported. Among the AEC’s main objectives “is the construction of an operations center and the launch of more satellites in the medium term that will involve the government, academia, and the private sector,” said WRadio of Colombia.

Thomas Dorame, Space Foundation vice president, said at the report presentation that “without planning and effective partnerships, nations and their allies will experience tremendous consequences.” The foundation based its report on interviews with almost two dozen international industry and defense leaders at the highest level of the space domain.

One of the interviewees, General John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Force chief of Space Operations, said, “In the long term, I believe space is going to become the most vital domain for national security, surpassing air, land, and sea. Space will become more critical as an economic hub.”

As part of the space race, Chile will launch 10 satellites from 2021 to 2025. (Photo: Chilean Ministry of Defense)

Space predictions

The report offered four predictions for the future of defense in space.

 1.- Space will define the future of national security. Some countries, such as Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others, are already developing organizations focusing on the space domain.

2.- The pace of innovation will continue to accelerate. Some of the interviewees predict that public data sources will rival classified sources.

3.- Partnerships will be decisive for space domain success in the long term, with special attention to collaboration between partners, commercial and civil operations, and dual use civil-military satellites.

4.- Transparent and open communication by military actors in space will be key to preventing conflict.

“Through space, we seek a reduction of the digital divide, the technological divide, an increase in people’s quality of life, and, of course, security and drive toward a more sustainable and digital economy,” Colonel Luis Felipe Sáez, deputy director of the Chilean Air Force Space Affairs, said at the 36th annual Space Symposium, which took place in Colorado Springs, August 23-26, said ADN Radio of Chile.

At that same symposium, John Hill, U.S. assistant secretary of Defense for Space Policy, said: “Chinese and Russian military doctrines indicate that they view space as critical to modern warfare and see the use of counterspace capabilities as both a means of reducing U.S. military effectiveness and for winning future wars.”

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