Space Policy

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0265-9646
Publications
Article
This essay explores the pros and cons of maximizing the number of species that can be maintained on the Space Station. It reviews some of the history of comparative space biology to show that different cultures have different perspectives on the study of non-traditional research organisms (ie non-rodents) in space. Despite these differences, there are simple principles that all international partners in the Space Station endeavour should be able to uphold when deciding what facilities to build and what species to fly. As an argument for maximizing the taxonomic diversity on the Space Station, examples are given to show how very similar organisms may have different reactions to microgravity. At the same time the political pressure in the USA to make the Space Station an institution specifically servicing the 'health, well-being and economic benefits of people on earth', is acknowledged. Ultimately the justification for what species will be on the Space Station should rest with the quality of the scientific questions being asked.
 
Article
Over the years innovative technologies developed for space flight have found their way into a variety of useful terrestrial applications. Significant examples can be found in the area of space medicine, which has greatly influenced human health care delivery on Earth. This report discusses several US applications of space medicine to terrestrial health needs and services, stressing the importance of a 'space applications mentality' as a valuable national asset.
 
Article
It is logical to propose that if a human mission is flown to Mars, it should be composed of an entirely female crew. On the average, women have lower mass and take less volume than males, and use proportionately less consumables. In addition, sociological research indicates that a female crew may have a preferable interpersonal dynamic, and be likely to choose non-confrontational approaches to solve interpersonal problems.
 
Article
The concept of advanced manned space missions has captured the interest and imagination of spacefaring nations. However, the physiological and psychological effects of space flight increase in magnitude and significance in the 'extended time-in-space' context. The unencumbered weightless condition enjoyed during short flights might compromise crew productivity upon return to a gravity field and extremely effective countermeasures may be essential. Missions remote from Earth require careful consideration of the medical facilities, psychological support and life support needed. The author discusses pressing issues that must be resolved before the visions of bolder human missions can be realistically fulfilled.
 
Article
Space exploration is now moving beyond the stage when technical development dominated research. As thinking shifts towards the problems of long-term colonization of the Solar System, the biological and behavioural sciences must make major contributions. This article outlines some of the issues which must be addressed, such as group behaviour and dynamics in space flight, the environment created at space stations and other outposts, recruitment and training of suitable spacefarers, and the planning and governing of space settlements. Ten dimensions of the human aspect of space habitation are described and an indication given of how they may form the basis for a new taxonomy of space planning, operations and management.
 
Article
In 1979 the author Tom Wolfe likened US astronauts to sacrificial gladiators characterized by competitiveness, independence, self-sufficiency, extroversion and a sense of moral righteousness and superiority--in short, 'the right stuff'. But are these the qualities needed for long-duration international missions? The author's hunch is that they are on the whole still necessary but not sufficient, but he emphasizes that systematic study of past behavioural reactions and analogous environments is needed if vital questions of interpersonal dynamics are to be answered correctly.
 
Article
The Space Agency Forum (SAF) met for its 10th plenary meeting in Bremen on 30 September 2003. Its motto was “Space Agencies and the UN System”. Following various presentations on relevant issues, including the UN Space Applications Programme and the follow-up of UNISPACE III, SAF members discussed their participation in these fields. The meeting resulted in a number of inputs to these issue areas and coordinated approaches vis-à-vis policy questions.
 
Article
This article uses space power theory to analyse the military space policy of the United States during the Cold War period up to the demise of the Soviet Union. It examines the consensus that emerged during this period which sought to prevent the weaponization of space. This consensus was called into question during the latter period with the announcement of the Strategic Defence Initiative and its subsequent orientation to Global Protection Against Limited Strikes system.
 
Article
Little analysis exists of the interaction between the two most influential modern science-based social movements: space exploration and environmentalism. Since 1970 the term “Spaceship Earth” has been in common usage and the notion that the world requires careful stewardship has been acknowledged. Yet NASA had comparatively little to do with this important process of conceptual change for decades. It was meteorologists and oceanographers, among others, who established new government agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to pioneer areas like climatology. This paper examines how NASA’s view of itself as a “space” agency long underplayed Earth as a part of the Solar System. Conceptual conflicts continue, to the detriment of political and public support for space.
 
Article
This article considers the US policy objectives at the forthcoming WARC-ORB 85 Conference, and argues that with US willingness to modify its position the Conference seems for the first time to provide a good basis for a dialogue between the USA and those countries that feel the existing system is not equitable. Two main problems still need to be considered: the role of common user organizations such as INTELSAT, and the relationship between the Federal Communications Commission and other actors involved in the US international telecommunication decision-making process. Failure to reach agreement at the conference could lead to the USA being the country which suffers most.
 
Article
The euphoria surrounding the maiden voyage of the Buran space shuttle seemed to evaporate in 1989, and the Soviet space programme entered a critical period of re-evaluation and self-criticism. Setbacks dogged the Mir, Phobos and other programmes, though there did not appear to be a launch failure throughout the year. Public debate was dominated by economic issues, though useful figures are hard to obtain.
 
Article
The events leading up to the convening of the Cox Committee by the US Congress in 1998, and those following the declassification of its report in 1999, have had a significant worldwide impact on the US export licensing process. US laws that were once business-friendly have become more stringent to accommodate national security concerns, but with no differentiation between potential adversaries and allies. Whether the change will actually be able to achieve the intended national security goals is uncertain, especially since many of the new measures taken differ from the actual recommendations of the Cox report. In the meantime, international aerospace commerce has become encumbered by rules at best ambiguous, at worst counterproductive.
 
Article
The earky 1990s have seen growing interest in using orbits other than the geostationary orbit for telecommunications satellites and, while this trend looks set to continue, it raises a number of technical and policy issues. This article discusses the advantages (eg reduced time delay, greater coverage of certain areas) and disadvantages (possible radiation damage, over-demand for certain frequencies) of various non-geostationary orbits and examines potential applications of satellites therein and the kind of regulation that will be needed. Current regulatory systems are not yet ready to cope, the author believes.
 
Article
A member of the Cal Space group convened to study ways of capitalizing on the past 20 years of investment in space, Philip R. Harris here outlines how he believes the US space effort can be galvanized to meet the challenges of the next decade. A new space ethos must be fostered within the national culture by broadening popular involvement in space enterprise. NASA should also be reformed to give it more independence and initiative. This calls for transformational leadership, committed to creating and communicating the vision of change.
 
Article
The authors present proposals for establishing an international environmental resources satellite consortium. All countries share a need for data on the Earth and its resources, and economies of scale could be achieved through an international system. The formation of Inmarsat could serve as a model for setting up Envirosat. The role of Envirosat could expand as international confidence in it grows.
 
Article
Scientific and policy developments in the field of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) since the UN NEO conference in 1995 are briefly outlined. Some areas of research and discovery have exhibited considerable progress while others have languished. In particular, facilities in the southern hemisphere for discovery and tracking of NEOs are inadequate. Suggestions are made both at the scientific and technical levels as well as at the policy level to provide coordinated and coherent progress in developing a long-term approach to NEO hazard mitigation. The next step should be the establishment of a panel of international scientific experts on the subject.
 
Article
At its 1996/1997 session, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution 51/122, containing a Declaration on international cooperation in space. This Declaration finalizes the agenda item which has become known as ‘Space Benefits’ in the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee. It provides an authoritative interpretation of the cooperation principle in Article I of the Outer Space Treaty and should thereby put an end to North-South confrontation over the question of shaping the international order for space activities. This article traces the history of the run-up to adoption of the Resolution, analyses how it came to be accepted by all sides and examines its likely impact.
 
Article
This report describes the background to and rationale for World Space Week, now an annual event aiming to increase public awareness of the benefits of peaceful space use and to act as an educational tool for the young. Examples of typical activities in a variety of countries are presented. The report concludes with recommendations—such as rescheduling existing events to the period of World Space Week—to make the event even more successful.
 
Article
China and Brazil have been cooperating in space since 1986 and, after 15 years of successful joint creative work, the two sides agreed a 2002 Protocol, providing a more concrete framework for further cooperation in space projects. This bilateral agreement was heralded as an authentic bilateral effort amplifying the so-called South–South relationship. A close examination of the Protocol has revealed that the document, while responding to the UN Declaration on International Cooperation, has made a significant contribution and set a good example for space cooperation among developing countries. Placed against the background of ongoing space commercialization, the success of this model can test the viability of existing space commercial rules and help introduce further improvements.
 
Article
The United Nations Programme on Space Applications was established in 1971 to assist countries in making full use of the benefits of space technology and its applications for social and economic development. Since its inception the programme has organized numerous training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences and provided funding support for more than 10 000 experts, mainly from developing countries, to participate in those activities. The programme has continuously evolved over four decades, taking into account the latest developments in the field of space activities, to best serve the capacity-building needs of countries and to help ensure that space-based solutions contribute to improving life on Earth. This report describes the status and direction of the UN Programme on Space Applications as recommended for approval by the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) Scientific and Technical Subcommittee at its 47th session held in Vienna in February 2010.
 
Article
In the economic and social circumstances of the 21st century globalized world, there is a need to rethink the traditional roles and positions in space of international intergovernmental organizations, states, both developed and developing, and humankind itself. Uruguay provides an example of a non-typical country that has managed to carve an important niche for itself in the field of space law. Although globalization is an irreversible phenomenon, which has had a devastating effect on the weakest countries, following the attacks of 11 September 2001 insecurity has become globalized for everyone. From the point of view of a state such as Uruguay, this crisis must be looked upon as an opportunity to renew and inspire intelligence, education and culture. In this way—and by continuing to argue for a global space organization—it can contribute to making the Space Age an era of global and planetary solidarity for the benefit of humankind.
 
Article
Europe has at last started to integrate the assets of its broad set of actors into a comprehensive European Space Strategy. But will this first approach be ambitious enough to strengthen Europe as a global actor? In this contribution, the individuals responsible for strategy in the French and German space agencies seek an answer to this question. They do so by reviewing the historical background to European space efforts, and its role in shaping present-day activities; setting forth a vision of how Europe should proceed in space, and measuring current progress in drafting a European space strategy against this vision.
 
Article
Satellite land remotely sensed data are used by scientists and resource managers world-wide to study similar multidisciplinary earth science problems. Most of their information requirements can be met by a small number of satellite sensor types. Moderate-resolution resource satellites and low-resolution environmental satellites are the most prominent of these, and they are the focus of this paper. Building, launching, and operating satellite systems are very expensive endeavors. Consequently, nations should change the current pattern of independently launching and operating similar, largely redundant resource and environmental satellite systems in favor of true and full collaboration in developing, launching, operating, and sharing the data from such systems of the future. The past decade has seen encouraging signs of increasing international collaboration in earth remote sensing, but full collaboration has not yet been attempted. A general strategy to achieve such international collaboration is presented here, including discussion of potential obstacles, ideas for organizing and overseeing the long-term process toward collaboration, and short-term objectives whereby early successes critical to accomplishing long-term goals can be achieved.
 
Article
The context within which the major government space programs of the world are planned and obtain political approval has changed dramatically with the end of the Cold War. International economic competition has become a central issue in international affairs. Economic and political constraints require that space agencies adapt the ambitious plans they put forward in the 1980s to the realities of this decade and beyond. This paper argues that in this changed context, enhanced international space cooperation can make important contributions to advancing the core interests of nations and firms, and that in some situations, increased and more intimate cooperation may be the only way to achieve ambitious space goals. The paper contains a series of policy-oriented findings and recommendations that together comprise a 'new cooperative strategy' for space.
 
Article
This article considers the problems to be discussed at the WARC-ORB 85 Conference from the perspective of the developing countries. Two main concerns have been expressed by developing countries: access to the geostationary orbit and the technical and financial burdens imposed by technical standards for satellites and earth stations. It is argued that cooperation in outer space particularly in the field of telecommunications is essential, and that programmes such as the UN technical assistance programmes offer the basis for such cooperation.
 
Article
No definitive work on space power theory is currently recognized by military theorists. Considering the similarities between space and the seas as arenas for commerce, transport, observation, and conflict, one would do well to consider the earlier work of sea power theorist A.T. Mahan when attempting to develop a theory of space power and to develop strategies for space control. Comparisons are drawn in this paper between Mahan's elements of sea power and those that characterize nations exercising some form of space power today, and current interpretations of space control are contrasted with that of sea control.
 
Article
This essay explores the place of the Apollo program in the popular recollection of Americans more than 30 years after the last Moon landings in 1972, partly through a discussion of films and popular music. The collective memory of this singular episode in the history of the USA has altered over time. It has taken on mythical qualities, as well as a nostalgia for a time long gone. From a postmodern, post-cold war perspective Project Apollo appears increasingly unique, an experience born out of cold war rivalries long gone in which a demonstration of American technological capability was required. Many in the spaceflight community seek to become a multi-planetary species, and they point to Apollo in an increasingly mythical way as a representation of something that should be replicated. But the circumstances that made Apollo succeed have long since passed.
 
Article
The entrepreneurial space industry today faces challenges similar to those facing the commercial aircraft industry in the early part of the last century. At that time the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) helped develop many of the key technologies that enabled air travel to become effective, economical and safe. Today, in discussing how best to support the realization of a commercial space economy, we suggest revisiting what an NACA-style organization can contribute. This paper outlines the key concepts that made the NACA so successful: a committee structure, open source publication, a willingness to try any useful experimental method, and a focus on problem definition.
 
Article
There is a concern in the developing world that industrialized countries have not done all they might under Article 1 of the Outer Space Treaty to make the benefits of space technology available to all countries; some are now seeking codification of rights and responsibilities in this sphere. This article discusses recent debate on the issues by COPUOS and its Legal Subcommittee on whether an additional legal framework is necessary to ensure a fairer distribution of benefits. G77 countries were strongly in favour of some form of technology and information transfer, while industrialized countries favoured the existing practice of developing international cooperative space projects. The author believes that a new set of principles will be formulated in the next few years and that organizations like Intelsat and Inmarsat can provide valuable models for ensuring access through cooperative programmes.
 
Article
This article reports on a major survey of American attitudes towards the space programme in general, and the Shuttle in particular. The survey was carried out in three waves: before the January 1986 Challenger accident, immediately afterwards, and five months later. It was found that the net effect of the accident was a strong shift of public sentiment in favour of the space programme and the Shuttle. Expectation was high for a timely resumption of Shuttle flights, although there was a delayed recognition that the impact of the accident on the space programme was more significant than originally thought by most Americans. There was a shift towards a more positive assessment of the benefits and costs of space exploration. Positive attitudes towards funding increased even more markedly. These shifts were of a magnitude rarely found in studies of public attitudes.
 
Article
In an acknowledgement that private spaceflight is becoming a reality, the USA has enacted legislation, in the form of the CSLA, to assist the development of commercial, including passenger-carrying, launch vehicles. This report describes the salient features of the new act and explains the steps necessary for the obtention of a commercial launch license.
 
Article
Those in the space community interested in deploying space solar power (SSP) need to know whether it would make economic sense. This article aims to develop a conceptual model of the economic value of SSP as a source of power to in-space activities, such as spacecraft and space stations. We offer several estimates of the value based on interviews and published data, discuss technological innovations that may compete with or be complementary to SSP, and consider alternative institutional arrangements for government and the private sector to provide SSP.
 
Article
Both political and scientific motives are involved in the possible re-establishment of the US-Soviet Intergovernmental Agreement on Space Cooperation. This article outlines the policy concerns which would have to be addressed in considering a new agreement, from issues of technology transfer and actual scientific benefits, to US political influence on Soviet policies. Some guidelines are offered for future cooperation, on the basis of past experience, and possible long-range cooperative projects are suggested.
 
Article
The semantic ambiguity of the word ‘space’ causes problems for both the funding of space activities and the determining of space policies. The historical practice of lumping all space activities together, to be funded by a single budgetary line, is inappropriate to the range of such activities and for the economic and strategic interests at stake: it has direct consequences for the priorities governments want to make, and can pervert the directions industry is trying to go in. While continued government support for space is imperative, given the strategic, national-development nature of many of its applications, new ways must be found of allocating it a budget that take account of the diversity of the areas in which it plays a role.
 
Article
This article considers how the USA can best maintain its commercial and governmental competitiveness in space, while facilitating private investment and international marketing, and at the same time keeping up significant cooperation with other nations. The current state of US civilian space activities in each of these areas is summarized, and several alternative solutions are presented. The article concludes that strengthening US competition with other space-capable nations, and improving US ability to cooperate effectively, will require careful coordination of the activities of federal agencies with each other and with the private sector.
 
Article
On 5 and 6 December 1994, a two-day workshop was organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) at ESA's Headquarters in Paris on the theme ‘Intellectual property rights and space activities: a worldwide perspective’. It was attended by some 90 participants and 16 papers were presented, analysing legal and policy issues with regard to intellectual property rights (IPRs) and space activities in a world context.
 
Article
1991 is one of the most decisive years in the history of German space activities. Not only do major policy decisions have to be taken concerning the continuation of the European programmes Hermes and Columbus — which, due to the heavy involvement of Germany in international cooperation, strongly affect its space policy — but one year after the unification of Germany the country is about to set up its new space programme. This is in fact a ‘new’ programme because for the first time it includes all space activities of the unified Germany.
 
Article
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed to use financial prizes to encourage innovation in space technology. Public debate about the use of prizes questions their effectiveness, the role of government compared with the private sector in administering prizes—for example, the Ansari X-Prize for human suborbital flight was privately funded and administered—and other issues that are likely to influence the success of this approach.
 
Article
Public perceptions have played a significant role in the movement of mankind into space. Popular support for any mission, however, cannot be taken for granted. On the contrary, the proliferation of specialized interest groups within the general population adds to the likelihood that a projected program will attract critical scrutiny. Moreover, the US judiciary increasingly has been utilized as a forum in which national policy may be challenged, examined and measured against the yardstick of transient public perceptions. These perceptions are often based on trans-scientific issues, in which political, social and scientific factors must be considered. This article examines previous litigation challenges to scientific programs based on the potential for harm to a natural environment to determine the factors and considerations which may influence courts to judicially review or revise a mission profile. Concluding observations include suggestions by which the designers of mission profiles may anticipate and prepare for potential legal challenges which could delay, hinder or prevent the conduct of individual programs.
 
Article
It is over 30 years since the last human being stood on the lunar surface and this long hiatus in human exploration has been to the detriment of lunar and planetary science. The primary scientific importance of the Moon lies in the record it preserves of the early evolution of a terrestrial planet, and of the near-Earth cosmic environment in the first billion years or so of Solar System history. This record may not be preserved anywhere else; gaining proper access to it will require a human presence. Moreover, while this will primarily be a task for the geosciences, the astronomical and biological sciences would also benefit from a renewed human presence on the Moon, and especially from the establishment of a permanently occupied scientific outpost.
 
Article
Europe has to reshape the structure of its space activities and its process of space policy making in order to become a really strong, unified player at the global level. A comprehensive effort has been initiated through ESA's Ministerial Council meeting of March 1997. Subsequently, ideas have been developed, aiming at a new approach for Europe in space. These include a strengthening of ESA's working mechanisms, the clarification of the question of who leads in Europe and a new dynamic programmatic orientation. This article critically analyses these points and presents what is at stake at ESA's next Ministerial Council meeting, scheduled for May 1999.
 
Article
Space activity has lost the momentum it had in the past. During the Cold War the use of space was constrained by specific political and military conditions which gave it a strong but narrow identity. The aerospace industry, in particular, was in a position to develop protected and exclusive ties with the public sector. These times have passed and diminishing competition between the two main space powers has had consequences for the planning of major space undertakings. Space activity is in the process of being thoroughly transformed as it is forced to become more connected to general economic and industrial activity, especially in the field of information. An opportunity for a sector that has been struggling could also prove to be risky as space activity is losing some of its previously strong identity. Space currently seems to lack the high level of public support from governments it once enjoyed, while not finding an alternative in the industry itself to this declining investment. This situation should lead both the space community and the political authorities to consider new general space applications that will be more in line with the preoccupations of our modern societies and thus contribute to solving the principal global issues of tomorrow.
 
Article
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) coordinates international civil space-borne missions designed to observe and study planet Earth. With over 100 Earth observation satellites expected to be launched during the next 10 years, it is clear that collaborative opportunities have not been fully maximized. In 2003 CEOS has been focusing on articulating a more comprehensive satellite data utilization approach and in following up on its significant involvement in the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The CEOS Chair also serves as Co-Chair of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partnership, which seeks to reduce observation gaps and unnecessary overlaps and to harmonize and integrate common interests of space-based and in situ systems. IGOS focused in 2003 on development of a number of themes, including Carbon Cycle, Water Cycle and GeoHazards. The IGOS Ocean Theme is now in its implementation phase. NOAA, while chairing CEOS and co-chairing IGOS, has also been actively involved in organizing and hosting a ministerial-level Earth Observation Summit with a follow-on Group on Earth Observations (GEO) charged with developing the framework for a comprehensive global Earth observation system(s). All these activities demonstrate the commitment to developing more coherent and sustained Earth observation strategies for the good of the planet.
 
Article
Christianity, Judaism and Islam share certain preconceptions, among them an adherence to the idea of man created in the image of God. This article examines the responses of religious experts in these religions to the possibility of contact with ETI. Responses from religious experts of varying branches in all three of these religions suggest that even within a given religion a number of paradigms could emerge in response to possible ETI contact. Some of the factors that might affect responses within each religion are examined.
 
Article
The Japanese administrative reform which took place in recent years integrated NASDA and ISAS to create a larger space agency. Why was such an agency called for? What was the purpose behind the administrative reform? This article examines the motivations, objectives and responses to the reform process by using policy logic and institutional analysis to examine the evolution of the Japanese space programme. It argues that the reform aimed to rationalize the national administrative system and salvage the government from financial crisis. Thus, the reform was not designed to strengthen space activities in Japan, and as a result, Japanese space policy making is confused.
 
Article
As a result of increasing public and political interest in ‘space’ (i.e. solar system) exploration at the global scale, the Space Advisory Group of the European Commission has evaluated the situation in Europe with regard to its potential to participate in this ambitious global enterprise. Aspects of science, technology, environment and safety, society, spin-offs and international cooperation were all considered. The group concluded that Europe possesses sufficient key technologies and scientific expertise to play a major role in international space exploration and has recommended that the EU take a central role to ensure the success of future European space exploration, not only to give a clear political signal for the way forward but also to ensure an appropriate financial framework. In this way Europe would embrace the spirit of the European Space Policy and contribute to the knowledge-based society by investing significantly in space-based science and technology, thereby playing a strong role in international space exploration.
 
Article
The role of remote sensing in promoting sustainable development, its general benefits and easing access to remotely sensed images, especially for developing countries, have all been examined by the International Policy Advisory Committee of the ISPRS in 2003. This report, a slightly revised version of an article that appears in the September 2003 issue of the ISPRS's Highlights magazine, presents the committee's findings and recommendations.
 
Article
Recent progress in the development of an aerospace plane calls for consideration of an applicable legal regime. Since the aerospace plane is by definition a hybrid vehicle, it is unclear whether international air space law or outer space law should be applied to it. This article outlines the practical considerations affecting the debate and compares the existing legal principles and rules that might be applied. The author argues that a new allocative theory, which would take account of the purposes of a hybrid vehicle and its actual effects, is needed to determine whether air space law or outer space law should be applied to it.
 
Article
Since 1988, the United Nations, through the Programme on Space Applications, is supporting the establishment and operation of regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Asia. Simultaneously, education curricula have been developed for remote sensing and geographic information system, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and global climate, and space and atmospheric science. The paper reviews briefly these developments and highlights the most recent updated education curricula in the four disciplines that are made available in 2002, in the six official languages of the United Nations, for implementation at the regional Centres and beyond.
 
Top-cited authors
John Mortimer Logsdon
  • George Washington University
Charles S Cockell
  • The University of Edinburgh
Ray Harris
  • University College London
Linda Billings
  • National Institute of Aerospace
Ian A Crawford
  • Birkbeck, University of London