SWF March 2020 Newsletter
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Upcoming Events

Mar 27-Mar 28, 2020
IISL Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court: North American Regional Competition

Mar 28-Mar 30, 2020
Space Generation Fusion Forum 2020 

Apr 1, 2020
Proliferation of Global Counterspace Capabilities and the Need for Greater Transparency

Apr 2, 2020
The UK-US Relationship: Working Together for Excellence and Sustainability in Space

Apr 7-Apr 8, 2020
2020 UNIDIR Space Security Conference

Jun 2-Jun 3, 2020
Summit for Space Sustainability

Mar 10-Mar 12, 2020
Chris Johnson will participate in a workshop with the Outer Space Institute to address the benefits and challenges of space mining from science, exploration, legal, and security perspectives in Vancouver, British Columbia

Mar 12, 2020
Victoria Samson will give a presentation on "Defining New Cyber-Security and Network Threats," at Satellite 2020, in Washington, DC

Mar 12, 2020
Brian Weeden will give a public lecture on the U.S. Space Force and space security trends to the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations in Charlottesville, VA

Mar 22-Mar 31, 2020
Chris Johnson and Ian Christensen will attend and participate in the 59th Session of the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee in Vienna, Austria

Mar 28, 2020
Chris Johnson will run a workshop on Megaconstellations and sustainability at an Open University Astrobiology Space and Sustainability Workshop in Vienna, Austria

Mar 30-Apr 2, 2020 
Peter Martinez, Krystal Azelton, Ian Christensen, Brian Weeden, and Josh Wolny will attend the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO 

Mar 30-Apr 2, 2020
Ian Christensen will present on behalf of CONFERS at the ESA Clean Space Industrial Days event in Noordwijk, Netherlands

March 30-Apr 5, 2020
Victoria Samson will speak about space security issues at FIDAE 2020 in Santiago, Chile

Apr 20-Apr 22, 2020
Krystal Azelton will participate in the sixth High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management in Windsor, United Kingdom

Apr 22-May 2, 2020
Chris Johnson will participate in the ninth MILAMOS workshop, in Oxford, MS



Secure World Foundation Newsletter

March 2020

Insight - The Long Road to Civil Space Situational Awareness

By Project Manager Josh Wolny, Summit for Space Sustainability Intern Renata K. Kommel, and Director of Program Planning Brian Weeden

One of the most critical challenges to the long-term sustainability of outer space is the growing risk of collisions between space objects, including both active satellites and space debris. This risk is particularly exacerbated by the rapid proliferation of space actors and activities, and the associated growing congestion of the space environment. While space sustainability has increased in salience as a highly discussed policy topic, this increased awareness has not translated to coordinated and conclusive action among the many government stakeholders that are required to change the status quo.   

That is one of the reasons why Secure World Foundation is hosting its second Summit for Space Sustainability on June 2-3, 2020, which will be a unique gathering of global stakeholders from government, industry, and civil society focused on developing solutions for space sustainability. The Summit will encompass a cross-section of issue areas, including both space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM), which are critical components of any efforts to tackle the problem of orbital congestion.


Register Now or the 2020 Summit for Sustainability
Space sustainability has successfully been recognized as a priority issue among many policymakers and space practitioners. Building on the success of the inaugural Summit in 2019, this year’s Summit for Space Sustainability will focus on the progress being made in improving space sustainability and the gaps and challenges that remain. Participants will engage with a diverse group of international stakeholders to examine a range of issues across civil, commercial, and national security sectors and ideas for action. Follow this link for the current agenda, see our statement on COVID-19, click the button below to register, and use the code SUSTAINABILITY10 for 10% off.
Register Now


Feb 24, 2020
The United States is losing its leadership role in the fight against orbital debris
Director of Program Planning Brian Weeden has published a new article in The Space Review on the recent update to the U.S. Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices. While the updated Standard Practices do have some improvements, Dr. Weeden assesses them as falling short of where U.S. policy should be on dealing with the threat of orbital debris. Dr. Weeden also discusses the failure of the United States to make progress on active debris removal capabilities and enforcing the existing debris mitigation guidelines and urges the United States to remedy the situation by implementing new authorities for civil space situational awareness, space traffic management, and space environmental management.


Feb 5, 2020
Investor Perspective on Responsible Space Behavior Discussed at Singapore Workshop
SWF, in partnership with the Singapore Space & Technology Association, organized a workshop in Singapore on the topic of the “Responsible Space Behavior and the Democratization of Space.” The workshop was held the day prior to the 2020 Global Space and Technology Convention. The workshop included presentations on general trends in commercial space, presentations from space-related start-ups on the challenges of operational space sustainability, a keynote from OneWeb on that company's Responsible Space Initiative, and a panel of representatives involved in space-related investment and finance activities.

Feb 5, 2020
Opportunities and Challenges for International Cooperation in the Implementation of the LTS Guidelines
Executive Director Peter Martinez moderated a panel discussion on the implementation of the 21 LTS guidelines that was organized by SWF during the 57th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. The panel featured speakers from the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, the U.S. Department of State, the European Space Agency, the Space Safety Coalition and SpaceX, who talked about their on-going efforts to implement the guidelines and some of the remaining challenges that still need to be addressed by the international space community. 

Staff Activities and Presentations

Feb 7, 2020 
SWF Participates in 57th Session of the COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
Dr. Martinez and Dr. Weeden participated in the 57th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space held at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. During the session, SWF and the Mexican Space Agency launched the new Spanish language edition of the Handbook for Space Actors.

Feb 11, 2020
SWF Testifies Before U.S. Congress on Space Situational Awareness
Dr. Weeden testified before the U.S. Congress as part of a hearing on space situational awareness. The hearing was called by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics to discuss key issues between SSA and space sustainability. Dr. Weeden's oral testimony highlighted the recent near miss between two dead U.S. satellites as an example of why Congress needed to take action on improving civil SSA capabilities.

Feb 12, 2020
SWF Participates in Lunar Polar Resources Roundtable
Director of Private Sector Programs Ian Christensen participated in a Lunar Polar Resources Roundtable co-organized by the U.S. National Space Council and the Council of Economic Advisers. Held in Washington, DC, the Roundtable discussed the integration of technical, scientific, economic, and policy approaches to implementing lunar polar resource access and exploration strategies. Mr. Christensen presented an overview of multilateral and international coordination discussions related to legal and regulatory frameworks for space resources utilization, including the recently concluded work of the Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group.

Feb 19, 2020 
SWF Speaks on Space Weather Policy for Preparedness and Recovery on Capitol Hill
Director of Space Applications Programs Krystal Azelton was invited to speak on a panel for the Space Advocates Congressional Staff Organization. This non-partisan group organizes regular briefings for Congressional staff on issues related to space. Ms. Azelton joined panelists from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the National Science Foundation to share SWF's insights into the policy discussions related to space weather.

Feb 20, 2020
SWF Participates in 6th Annual Space Traffic Management Conference in Austin, TX
The Space Security and Safety Program at the University of Texas at Austin’s Strauss Center, and the Cockrell School of Engineering, in partnership with the International Academy of Astronautics, hosted the 6th Annual Space Traffic Management Conference. Space traffic management and the environmental effects of an increasing amount of objects in orbit were discussed at the event. Washington Office Director Victoria Samson attended the conference, speaking on a security panel and moderating a discussion highlighting international perspectives. 

Feb 28, 2020
SWF Staff Present on Satellite Servicing Standards and Implementing Guidelines for Long-term Sustainability of Space at JSF Symposium in Tokyo
Dr. Weeden gave two presentations at the International Symposium on Ensuring Stable Use of Outer Space in Tokyo, Japan. The annual event is organized by the Japan Space Forum and brings together international experts to talk about cooperation on space situational awareness and space sustainability. Dr. Weeden gave a presentation on the ongoing efforts to implement the 21 guidelines for the long-term sustainability of space activities agreed to at the United Nations in 2019 and another presentation summarizing the work of the Consortium for the Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations in developing best practices and standards for commercial satellite servicing.

Experts in the Media

Feb 3, 2020 
Legal action could be used to stop Starlink affecting telescope images
Space Law Advisor Christopher Johnson quoted in New Scientist on mega constellations.

Feb 5, 2020
Astronomers Call for Legal Action to Stop Launch of 42-thousand Satellites
Mr. Johnson interviewed by KCBS Radio on potential legal challenges to mega constellations. 

Feb 4, 2020
Axios Space: Feb 4, 2020
Washington Office Director Victoria Samson quoted in Axios Space Newsletter on US government

Feb 7, 2020
India proudly showcases its anti-satellite weapon at an arms bazaar
Dr. Weeden quoted by Arstechnica on India's Display of its ASAT Weapons System

Feb 9, 2020
Space Force: What will the new military branch actually do?
Dr. Martinez interviewed by on the role of the Space Force.

Feb 10, 2020
Exclusive: Strange Russian Spacecraft Shadowing U.S. Spy Satellite, General Says
Dr. Weeden quoted by on the potential impact of Russian satellite shadowing US space satellite.

Feb 14, 2020
Donald Trump India visit: India and US strategic partnership in space and the need for SSA agreement
Ms. Samson quoted in Financial Express on US-India Cooperation in Space. 

Feb 18, 2020
Avoiding space debris might require new legal framework, US lawmakers say
Dr. Weeden’s testimony to the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics quoted by

Feb 19, 2020 
Cockrell School of Engineering hosts annual space traffic conference
Ms. Samson interviewed by The Daily Texan on the 6th Annual Space Traffic Management Conference.

Feb 24, 2020
Plans for African Space Agency jeopardized by lack of progress
Dr. Martinez interviewed by Physics World on the future of the African Space Agency.

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