SWF February 2021 Newsletter
Web version  |  Update preferences  |  Unsubscribe
Upcoming Events

Feb 16–Feb 18, 2021
Sustainable Space Logistics Digital Symposium

Feb 23, 2021
Report Release Event: Lost Without Translation: Identifying Gaps in U.S. Perceptions of the Chinese Commercial Space Sector

Upcoming Engagements

Feb 10, 2021
Brian Weeden will take part in a "Space Debris Day" webinar, hosted by the MacMillan Space Center, to talk about the science and politics of orbital debris

Feb 18, 2021
Ian Christensen will speak at the US-China Series: The Business of Space: China’s Ambitions & the Global Context event, discussing perceptions of China's commercial space sector

Feb 24-26, 2021
Brian Weeden and Ian Christensen will participate in panels at the 2021 IASC Commons in Space Virtual Conference

Secure World Foundation Newsletter

February 2021 

Insight - Space Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration

by SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden

Outer space activities are more important to the United States now than at almost any time in our history. The capabilities and services delivered by satellites provide critical national security capabilities, scientific advances, economic opportunities, and the tools to understand and respond to a changing climate. At the same time, the space domain is becoming increasingly complicated. Three major trends -  the rapid growth in new actors conducting space activities, an increasing number of active satellites and debris objects, and the growing potential for conflict – create both opportunities and challenges that require policy responses. As the world’s leading space power, the United States remains at the forefront of most space activities, but that position is not guaranteed.

Under the leadership of the recently reestablished National Space Council, solid progress was made on updating space-related policy for the changing space situation. While some of the Trump administration's space policy decisions and initiatives have generated criticism, that is more due to the political rhetoric accompanying them than the substance. Many of the Trump administration’s space policy decisions built on work started under the Obama administration and continue long-standing principles and goals that have persisted across administrations, Republican and Democrat, because they reflect core American values and national interests. First and foremost among those interests is sustained U.S. international leadership in ensuring the long-term sustainability, safety, and security of the space domain and space activities. This is not done out of pure altruism, but to ensure that we - the United States, our citizens, government, and companies - can continue to use space for benefits into the future.

Read more here


2021 Updates to Advisory Committee and Board of Directors Announced
This year, we welcome Marcia Smith to the SWF Board of Directors. Ms. Smith is the founder and editor of and president of the Space and Technology Policy Group, LLC. Ms. Smith has more than four decades of experience in space policy. 

Bruce McClintock, a policy researcher and lead of the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative, has been appointed to the SWF Advisory Committee. Mr. McClintock's primary research focus at RAND has been space power, military doctrine, strategy, and Eurasia security issues. 

SWF also thanks outgoing Advisory Committee members Jay Santee, Mazlan Othman, and Tanja Masson-Zwaan for their expertise and engagement over the last several years. Advisory Committee members are nominated by the Board, current advisors, and staff. They are chosen by the Board of Directors on an annual basis, and begin their 3-year term at the Annual Advisory Committee meeting in August. SWF is pleased to be able to work with such distinguished and committed advisors.

SWF Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Colorado Boulder to Launch Space and Sustainability Initiative 
The University of Colorado Boulder and the Secure World Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the Space and Sustainability Initiative (SSI). As the first program in the nation to focus on the role of the private sector and entrepreneurship in the sustainable commercialization of space activities, the Space and Sustainability Initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder will orient much of its work toward the development of norms of responsible behavior for commercial space activities. For more information, please click here to visit the SSI website. 

SWF Staff Appointed to Journal of Air & Space Law Editorial Board
Space Law Advisor Christopher Johnson has been appointed to serve on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Air & Space Law, published by Kluwer. The journal is a peer-reviewed forum for practitioners, regulators, policymakers and academics who deal with international, regional and national aviation and space law and policy. 

SWF Staff Appointed to Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
Director of Space Applications Programs Krystal Azelton was appointed to a two year term on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES). ACCRES was established by the Secretary of Commerce to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on issues relating to the commercial remote sensing satellite industry.

SWF Staff Appointed as Institute of Space Commerce Fellow
Director of Private Sector Programs Ian Christensen was named one of three inaugural fellows by the Institute of Space Commerce. The organization's goal is to transform the global discussion on space commerce by providing a home for the exchange, discussion, and creation of new ideas in space commerce.  For more information, please visit   


Moon Dialogs Policy Takeaways and Event Report
The ninth Moon Dialogs Research Salon took place on Dec. 14, 2020, with the aim for the entire Moon Dialogs community to collectively reflect upon the research salon series. This salon revisited highlights from the past year and shared an end-of-the-year report to summarize policy recommendations surfaced during the course of the salons. Next to our convenors, many former panelists and regular attendants from all disciplines joined together in collaboratively defining what the Moon Dialogs is, what it represents, and what it should become. 

Summary Report from 2020 AMOS Virtual Dialogue Now Available
Since 2013, SWF has partnered with the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) to hold an invite-only workshop that promotes collaboration and cooperation on space situational awareness. This year's Dialogue took place virtually on Sept. 21, 2020, following the 2020 Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference. A summary report is now available.

Staff Activities and Presentations 

Dec 17, 2020
SWF Provides Overview of Space Security and Deterrence Challenges
Dr. Weeden gave a lecture on space security and deterrence challenges as part of the Air and Space Power International Seminar 2020, held virtually on Dec. 17, 2020. The event was organized by the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and featured experts from the United States and Japan discussing changes in the operational environment of the air, space, cyber, nuclear, and maritime domains. Dr. Weeden's presentation focused on changes in the space domain, the security challenges they were creating, and the role of deterrence in addressing those challenges. 

Dec 18, 2020
SWF Staff Present on Space Arms Control and Space Law
Mr. Johnson spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Project on Nuclear Issues webinar, “Arms Control in an Era of Strategic Competition Workshop 4: Structural Models and Approaches: Scope, Participation and Structure in Competitive Arms Control,” held virtually on Dec. 18, 2020. His presentation was on the current status of international space law and its applicability to future arms control agreements.

Jan 12, 2021
SWF Staff Moderates International Panel on Cubesat SSA Issues
Washington Office Director Victoria Samson moderated a panel representing diverse international perspectives at Aerospace's CubeSat Confusion Industry Day. The speakers on the panel were: Andrew Johnson (New Zealand Space Agency); Pontsho Maruping (Current Chair of the South African Council for Space Affairs); Pierros Papadeas (SatNOGS); and Quentin Verspieren (University of Tokyo). For a discussion by Aerospace of some of their major takeaways from the overall workshop, click here.

Jan 17, 2021
SWF Staff Discuss Fostering and Regulating the US Commercial Space Industry
Mr. Johnson spoke on the “Great Game of Economics Afoot in Space” hosted by NewSpace NewMexico and held virtually on January 14, 2021. The event featured a keynote by Kevin O’Connell of the Office of Space Commerce, and discussed NewSpace New Mexico’s recently released report on US space industrial base competitiveness, “US Space Policies for the New Space Age: Competing on the Final Economic Frontier."   

Jan 26, 2021
7th Annual IAA Space Traffic Management Conference
Dr. Weeden participated virtually in the 7th annual Space Traffic Management conference, “Trust, But Verify: Incentivizing Compliance Through Shared Monitoring and Assessment,” on a panel representing international and NGO perspectives. This event was organized by the Space Security and Safety (SSS) 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 (IAA) and Lockheed Martin.

Jan 26, 2021
SWF Staff Participate in Space Cafè WebTalk 
Executive Director Dr. Peter Martinez discussed potential scenarios for the future of humanity in space during a Space Cafè WebTalk hosted by Torsten Kriening, publisher of Spacewatch.Global. The web talk can be viewed here

Jan 27, 2021
SWF Staff Speaks on POLITICO Live Panel on U.S. National Security Space Policy
Ms. Samson was a panelist at a POLITICO Live event, "Ready to Launch—Space Policy in the Biden Era," where she discussed national security space policy options for the new Biden administration. Other panelists were Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Peter Garretson (American Foreign Policy Council). 

Jan 28-29, 2021 
SWF Staff Participate in a Ditchley Foundation Conference on Space
Ms. Samson participated in a Ditchley Foundation conference and panel discussion on the use of space and the related geostrategic and economic implications. “Space: the new space race and its intersection with power, the rules-based order and the economy” broke up participants in groups that looked at these areas; Ms. Samson was in the group examining “The geostrategic implications of different forms of the utilisation of space.” She also spoke on a panel afterwards that went over the most prevalent takeaways from the conference.  

Experts in the Media

Dec 20, 2020
Biden space advisers urge cooperation with China
Ms. Samson was quoted by POLITICO on the Biden Administration’s potential cooperation with China.

Dec 21, 2020
Twilight for Trump space policy
Dr. Weeden and the SWF Briefing for Biden Administration were quoted in The Space Review. 

Dec 22, 2020
The space industry comes of age
Ian Christensen was quoted in the Axios Space newsletter on the developing space industry. 

Dec 22, 2020
Dr. Weeden was quoted by Voice of America on Russian Anti-Satellite Testing and Conflict in Space. (in Russian)

Dec 31, 2020
2021: A Space (Force) Odyssey: Norms, Arms Control & Warfighting
Ms. Samson and Dr. Weeden were quoted by BreakingDefense on predictions for national security space priorities in 2021.

Dec 31, 2020
From around the globe, a small cadre of trackers document classified satellites
Dr. Weeden was quoted by the Houston Chronicle on the secrecy of satellite locations.

Jan 4, 2021
Pace steps down from National Space Council
The SWF Biden Administration Briefing was quoted in SpaceNews.

Jan 12, 2021
Moon Dialogs bring together stakeholders in near-future lunar activity
2020 lunar policy takeaways were highlighted in Spaceflight Insider.

Jan 13, 2021
Can Biden solve the Space Force's public relations crisis?
Brian Weeden was quoted by DefenseNews on what the Biden Administration should do with the Space Force. 

Jan 13, 2021
Trump orders DoD to explore use of nuclear power for space systems
Dr. Weeden was quoted by Defense News on the new Trump executive order on nuclear power sources in space.

Jan 13, 2021
Colorado Politicians Vow To Fight Huntsville Choice For SPACECOM
Brian Weeden and Victoria Samson were quoted in BreakingDefense on Huntsville choice for SPACECOM. 

Jan 15, 2021
Trump's enduring space legacy
Dr. Weeden spoke with POLITICO about the Trump Administration's space policy legacy.

Jan 20, 2021
White House, DoT Promote More Dough For GPS Alternatives
Dr. Weeden was quoted by BreakingDefense on new US policy to encourage GPS alternatives.

Jan 21, 2021
Satellites are not safe enough. Here’s why that should worry you
Dr. Weeden was quoted by CyberNews on cyber threats to satellites.

Jan 25, 2021
SpaceX smashes record with launch of 143 small satellites
Dr. Weeden was quoted by Spaceflight Now on the space traffic management challenges posed by SpaceX's record-breaking satellite launch.

Jan 26, 2021
What Happens to the Space Force Now?
Ms. Samson was quoted by The Atlantic on the future of the Space Force. 

Jan 26, 2021
The coming land rush in space
Ian Christensen was quoted by Axios on property rights and space resources.

Jan 27, 2021
Biden Administration Urged to Boost Space Force S&T Funding
Ms. Samson was quoted by National Defense on Space Systems Command. 

Jan 28, 2021
Biden Elevates Science in Week One Actions
Brian Weeden was quoted by Scientific American on early initiatives by the Biden Administration.

Jan 28, 2021
SPACECOM’s New Vision Targets ‘Space Superiority’
Dr. Weeden provided context for the recently issued  SPACECOM Commander’s Vision in BreakingDefense. 

Jan 28, 2021 
Placement of Weapons in Outer Space: The Dichotomy Between Word and Deed
The SWF Global Counterspace Capabilities Report was cited in this article on the Lawfare blog. 

Jan 29, 2021 
Space Force likely to survive Biden's reversal of Trump policies
The SWF briefing document for the Biden Administration was cited by WQAD News 8.

Copyright © 2021 Secure World Foundation, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp