A European Approach to Space Security

Combining the Different Security Approaches in a New Comprehensive Framework

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Xavier Pasco
Reconsidering the Rules of Space

Any new consideration given to the security issues in the space debate should build on the following “facts of life” in space. On the one hand, the will of the United States to strengthen the defense of its space assets is now largely acknowledged. The use of ASAT systems to achieve such a goal has appeared to be the subject of a limited debate among U.S. policy-makers, with some consequences at the international level. As the ASAT-type events that occurred in 2007 and 2008 demonstrate, this debate is part and parcel of a larger strategic debate about the positioning of the United States as a political and military power on the world stage, with its relationship with China as one of the key variables in the equation. On the other hand, in coming years the space landscape will change at an increasing pace, and the definition of the “threat” will grow increasingly complex because of the emergence of new spacefaring countries and other actors.60 As more and more players arrive, the range of national motivations for being in space will diversify; and as the interest of emerging spacefaring nations in using the most advanced space technology to promote economic and social development grows, so, too, will interest in technologies that have inherent military applications.

This means that the intensity and the multinational character of civilian space activities, particularly those conducted in LEO, will increase at the same time that the potential for military use is on the rise. This simultaneity creates great challenges that warrant serious discussions on both the nature and efficiency of the technical protective measures that might be implemented and the political difficulties associated with those measures. Military-oriented technical protection measures can address only part of the general security problems in space. A military approach to space security is intrinsically ill-equipped to mitigate the political consequences such an approach might have on the international scene. Those consequences could have the potential to erode the overall level of space security. Moreover, military-oriented technical protection measures (that is, “defensive assets”) could increase tensions by becoming targets themselves.

The notion of comprehensive security in space being advanced by European representatives in the CD and elsewhere can act as a bridge to connect the security interests shared by all parties, covering both the security aspects and the promotion of space activities for developing countries.

Room exists to tackle the different conceptions of space security using an approach that would be both comprehensive and efficient. The key elements of the U.S. space control doctrine — namely, space surveillance, passive protection of space assets, and space systems protection with more active assets61 — should be considered in an orderly fashion that leads to some acceptable international framework, with the ultimate goal of rendering the last of these items unnecessary. Because any serious spacefaring country would be willing to recognize the existence of present and short-term security threats in space, a gradual approach that starts by addressing immediate or very short-term technical concerns would create a spill-over effect that could ultimately lead to better mutual political understanding and trust. Such an approach might follow a three-step sequence: identifying problems that require cooperation; agreeing on which projects are the best candidates for cooperation; and using successful experiences as a base for more ambitious forms of cooperation.

First Step: Identifying Problems That Require Cooperation

Several issues contribute directly to the changing space landscape and call for minimal agreements between nations because they pose serious security challenges even though they do not involve deliberate attacks on space assets.

The Issue of Orbital Debris Management. The security of the space environment already faces two physical challenges: the pollution by space debris of some orbital zones, especially in LEO; and satellites’ end-of-life cycles, which, if poorly managed, can lead to a shortage of orbital slots and/or frequencies in orbit, whether LEO or geostationary orbit (GEO), with potentially harmful and wide-ranging consequences.

More than 12,000 identified pieces of debris orbit Earth at various altitudes, with more than two-thirds distributed at altitudes between 300 and 1,500 kilometers and the rest in GEO (at an altitude of approximately 36,000 kilometers). As the modifier identified suggests, the actual amount of orbiting debris is potentially much greater (detected debris typically has a size larger than about 10 centimeters in LEO and larger than one meter in GEO). Some experts estimate that currently undetectable pieces of debris could number in the hundreds of thousands. Even these tiny pieces of debris can damage or destroy a satellite’s solar panels or instrumentation. Much orbiting debris is the result of launch and on-orbit disposal operations. Such debris comprises metal particles used in solid propellants and materials left over from the on-orbit breakup of the liquid upper stages of the rockets that place satellites in orbit. Spacecraft explosions and malfunctions in orbit also contribute to debris production.

In the 1970s, the main spacefaring nations began to recognize the debris problem. Since then they have adopted debris-mitigation measures that reduce debris associated with launching phases, spacecraft accidents, and the normal mechanical procedures that occur during a satellite’s life cycle. Cooperative measures have been implemented by the main space agencies to lower debris production during satellites’ on-orbit life cycle, to diminish the probability of accidental explosions, and to improve debris monitoring so as to minimize collision risk. The Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) was created in 1993 under the auspices of the United Nations; it comprises the main national space agencies and ESA. In 2001, the IADC had been engaged in a more proactive posture that led to the adoption of guidelines by the UN. At the European level, a cooperative effort is under way to propose preventive and protective measures for activities in LEO and GEO. These efforts to propose an international norm have been coordinated in the framework of the IADC with the goal of support at the UN COPUOS level. After a number of technical difficulties have been resolved, a consensus has been reached about different disposal measures to be adopted by spacefaring countries, in particular for the de-orbitation of low Earth orbit spacecrafts (that is, with an altitude inferior to 2,000 km) with a limit of twenty-five years after their end of life. In June 2007, UN COPUOS finally endorsed the IADC so-called space debris mitigation guidelines, which were subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2008.62

International efforts to reduce orbital debris demonstrate that technical negotiations can progress without too much political and legal conflict. The relatively long-standing international cooperation on space debris also shows that a collective view of common concerns can lay the groundwork for future technical cooperation, such as Europe’s integrated efforts to get a better collective surveillance system. Orbital Traffic and Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Issues. Another sensitive issue that must be addressed in the near term involves the collective management rules for dealing with orbital slots and satellites’ end-of-life cycles. The need for such rules is particularly true in the case of telecommunications satellites, which are typically positioned in GEO, where slot positions and frequencies are commercially exploitable resources that have become somewhat scarce. Interference problems and traffic-management issues arise from the growing use of GEO. To avoid conflicts in orbit, the minimum distance between satellites has generally been set at 0.05° at 36,000 kilometers, with a maximum of seven satellites per orbital slot. In GEO, the very ability of the satellite operator to provide telecommunication from and to the Earth’s surface and traffic-management issues (due to overcrowded orbital slots) are interrelated because both geographical position and frequency selection need be objects of fierce competition to ensure commercially viable activity. Indeed, some geographical positions are highly valuable due to their associated market, as well as broadband capacities provided in a limited portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and needed to satisfy ever-increasing worldwide telecommunication fluxes.

Managing end-of-life cycles for commercial and publicly owned satellites poses difficult questions because the operational lifespan of a satellite can make the difference between commercial success and failure. Indeed, geostationary satellites must typically be de-orbited some three months before the end of their life so they can use their on-board fuel to reach a so-called graveyard orbit above the geostationary orbit, where they don’t pose any risk to the remaining active satellite population. It is easy to imagine that reducing any telecommunication service by three months does not go without financial impact on any commercial project. Moreover, in the case of satellites developed for military purposes, governments will also be hard pressed to deliberately stop exploiting them in order to execute disposal procedures. Given the increasing military dependence on space assets, one can expect such a situation to get worse if militaries become more inclined to fight to extend the life of their on-orbit systems.

In recent years, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recommended that a graveyard orbit, some 200 to 300 kilometers beyond GEO, be used to dispose of satellites when they still have enough fuel left to reach this new position. A satellite graveyard would free up scarce orbital slots. In 2004, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission mandated that commercial satellite operators follow the IADC guidelines, which will create some pressure for other nations to follow suit.63

The exploitation of GEO may be one of the most contentious international space issues, pitting current spacefaring countries against emerging ones. Recently, some countries with an increasing interest in using GEO, such as Iran, have filed requests with the ITU to change rules inherited from a time when only a few dominant spacefaring nations shared the geostationary resource. The requests call into question the traditional international balance underlying those rules and signal the will to open them up for political debate. In particular, demands for non-permanently-attributed slots are growing and have become over the years a key issue for the ITU, obligating the institution to clarify its position on the subject.64

All of these issues will continue to evolve as the number of operators in orbit increases and will get more complicated as space becomes a field of more intense commercial and governmental competition. This competition has generated a large number of “paper satellites”: applications to the ITU for orbital slots from countries simply wanting to reserve space for projects that are, at present, little more than hypothetical. The large number of applications has caused a work backlog for the ITU, which only makes it harder for legitimate applications to be approved. Spacefaring nations will have to find creative political and technical ways to cope with this growth. While the challenges this growth brings do not involve direct hostile uses of space and cannot be mitigated by military responses, the situation is one of the most serious issues on the collective security agenda. Without careful collective examination, these difficult issues could potentially degrade the space environment and spark international confrontation. Using new technologies to place multiple satellites on the same orbital slots will make the management of these orbital platforms more delicate and will require increased transparency through commonly accepted rules. Establishing rules for behavior in space that are acceptable to every country will be one of the key international security challenges in the years to come.

Traffic Management Issues and Related Responsibilities. Except in the case of GEO, where the ITU is the main regulatory body, orbital activities have not been subject to widely applicable rules. A study published in 2006 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) underscores the relative paucity of UN regulations concerning behavior on orbit.65 In particular, the wide range of legal statuses among satellite operators increases the difficulty of assigning responsibility in case of collision or interference with orbital operations. The IAA study points to the difficulties that can arise when parties are more numerous and use continually improving techniques and services in orbit — for example, extended maneuverability, orbital changes, formation flying, constellation management techniques, and reentry capabilities. Among the most noteworthy of the potential problems are:

  • An increase in the danger of maneuvers in geostationary slots;
  • The inadequacy of the precision and level of reliability of existing orbital data in the face of increasing space traffic;
  • The lack of right-of-priority rules for orbital maneuvers;
  • The lack of obligation to communicate in advance about space activities;
  • The lack of precise regulations for LEO (that is, regulations comparable to ITU rules for GEO);
  • The complications for collective debris management related to reentry operations; and
  • The difficulties of reentry operations in relation to the selection of descent corridors and impact zones on scarcely populated areas.

These problems are further complicated by the ambiguity of terms such as launching state and space vehicle registration. The term launching state implies legal responsibility should a problem occur during the launch phase. The term remains ill-defined, however, and could mean the state that actually launches or orders a launch or the state whose territory and facilities are used for the launch. The range of possible meanings can lead to cases in which several states are held legally responsible for the same launch.66 Because of the potential for ambiguity, private operators of launch systems tend to limit their responsibility precisely. For example, the European launching firm Ariane-space limits by contract its responsibility to the rocket propulsion stages, with the customer being obliged to take all necessary measures to register its satellite and take legal responsibility for the satellite thereafter (or transfer that responsibility to the state).

In theory, only one state of registry can exist for any satellite. But in reality, the multiplication of actors in space and their often multinational status have complicated the matter, leading de facto to a number of unregistered operational satellites. Because these developments may have a direct impact on the security of space activities, better regulations would lead to a net improvement in the collective space security framework by making both inadvertent interference and, in the worst-case scenario, potentially hostile or aggressive exploitation more difficult.

Second Step: Agreeing on Which Projects are the Best Candidates for Cooperation

Some technical programs relevant to collective space security are good candidates for cooperation. The European experience, which is informed by Europe’s unique approach to collective security, is inspirational. Because a few European states have already developed equipment for space surveillance, ESA has emerged as a regional leader in federating existing national capabilities.

These systems can be as different as France’s initially defense-oriented Grand Réseau Adapté à la Veille Spatiale (GRAVES) bistatic radar system (managed by the Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales [ONERA], the French national aerospace research center); or the French Navy’s ballistic missile-tracking ship Monge, which is equipped with several advanced types of radar, including the ARMOR; or Germany’s FGANTIRA– Forschungsgesellschaft für Angewandte Naturwissenschaften’s (Research Establishment for Applied Science) Tracking and Imaging Radar; or the U.K.’s Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research, which includes several types of radar systems and is run by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; or the Starbrook wide-field telescope located in Cyprus and sponsored by the British National Space Centre.67

These and other systems in Europe form the basis for renewed consideration of a Europe-wide space surveillance network that, even with modest initial capabilities, could help inform common policies in Europe while allowing ESA to be part of wider exchanges with the United States. The GRAVES system, fully operational since December 2005, can be considered as a possible contributor of such a European endeavor.68 Further improvements to GRAVES include improving both the emitting system (doubling the system allows a 180° azimuth cover with observation of all detected satellites at least twice a day) and the signal processing system for the new data, which will include new orbital data-processing tools to construct and maintain a catalog of orbital parameters.

Further cooperative endeavors are under way to federate the European monitoring and tracking assets into a standardized system. In 2002, ESA took a leading role in coordinating these efforts by commissioning a study about the design of a European Space Surveillance System based on past national experiences. An initial proposal suggests pooling resources and technologies to build improved space surveillance systems in LEO and GEO.69 The main challenge will be to maintain a catalog of orbital objects that provides a genuine analytical capability, allowing, for example, links to be formed between detected debris and its origin (for example, a given satellite that exploded on orbit).

Because of the increased space activity expected in years to come, the cataloging and monitoring of orbital objects will be one of the main applications of both regional and global cooperative systems. Any GEO survey and cataloging strategy will require repeated and updated observation of space objects to secure correct orbital data, to better identify uncataloged objects, and to task observation for catalog maintenance and maneuver identifications.70 Cooperative technical solutions or strategies would pay off quickly here by offering participating states improved data collection, which in turn would provide better space-management capabilities and better security assessments. Already, France and Germany have been closely cooperating on better coordination of the use of their respective space surveillance assets. This nascent cooperation foreshadows the future European Space Situational Awareness (SSA) program. While extra-European cooperation — for example, by increased transatlantic data exchanges — logically fits with future planning, intra-European coordination remains at the heart of the project to produce data of “European” origin. Political autonomy is the key underlying concept for the future SSA technical architecture.

Image of GRAVES transmitter and receiver

The GRAVES transmitter and receiver in Dijon and Apt, France. © ONERA–Centre de Recherches Aerospatiales. Reprinted with permission from ONERA.

Image of GRAVES transmitter and receiver

The Télescope à Action Rapide pour les Objets Transitoires (Rapid Action Telescope for Transient Objects; or, TAROT), which CNES uses to monitor the geostationary orbit. © CNES, France. Reprinted with permission from CNES.

The main spacefaring countries recognize that improving space surveillance capabilities is necessary for the further development of their space activity and that by not pooling their existing capabilities and working in concert toward a future upgraded system they will be missing a tremendous opportunity. Recognizing this, the ESA ministerial council gave the European SSA program an official green light in November 2008. Initially, four services were considered: the surveillance and tracking of objects, the imaging of objects, a better space weather capability, and a survey of near-Earth objects (NEOs). As of 2009, the focus has narrowed to “one core element covering governance, data policy, data security, architecture and space surveillance, and three additional optional elements”: space weather studies, NEO surveillance, and pilot data centers.71 So-called enabling capabilities, including new supplementary surveillance radars, would come later, most likely in 2011 for the next ESA ministerial council. The support of ESA member states for SSA can be seen in the fact that the council pledged €50 million for SSA over the next three years. As such, the 2008 ESA ministerial council appears to have endorsed the political need for Europe to invest in a more complete space surveillance system and to define an SSA governance and data policy, allowing, when necessary, the confidential, secure exchange of information among the European member states as well as with other SSA systems.72 If successful, SSA might in a few years prove to have been the first concrete demonstration of the ESA’s political willingness to promote collective security in space.

Practical technical measures such as improved registration mechanisms may also help the international community deal with the projected increase in the number of space objects and actors. In the case of launch-debris mitigation, the international community will need to persuade countries that pursue autonomous launching efforts to comply with collective security rules by granting them access to launch-related debris-mitigation techniques not accessible to all countries.73 Although such mechanisms have become the norm among the main spacefaring countries, new spacefaring countries might see such policies as too intrusive and as interfering with their own right of access to space. Still, given the expected increase in the use of space by new countries, the international community will have to develop an equitable debris-mitigation policy.

International discussions about debris mitigation have made progress only because they are not intended to build a legally binding framework and because they deal with immediate concerns. In the case of launch-debris mitigation, existing international regulatory agreements, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, which reflects a shared view of collective security interests, should improve the possibility that Europe and the United States can find common ground for a coordinated policy using flexible negotiating schemes.

Because the technologies to dispose of orbiting rocket stages and satellites at the end of their operational life remain costly and have been utilized by only a few nations, both the United States and Europe should help other countries to develop their own capabilities. Pooling technical and diplomatic skills and resources at the international level would make clear to third parties that launch and end-of-life regulations are not meant to thwart national space-development efforts, but rather to foster the openness of such efforts.

Third Step: Using Successful Experiences as a Base for More Ambitious Forms of Cooperation

This overview of some of the most commonly noted difficulties in the utilization of space demonstrates that the relationships among diverse users are at the heart of the most immediate security concern for the international community. Coordinating national and commercial behaviors by creating a regulatory framework acceptable to all parties would be an efficient way to address the most probable near-term dangers in space. Collective transparency would be encouraged if connected to a properly designed regulatory framework for defining and detecting suspect or uncontrolled activity in space. Ideally, a collective approach to space security would prove pragmatic and efficient enough to diminish drastically any spacefaring nation’s interest in pursuing contentious activities in space.

At a time when discussions about security in space are almost stalled, a gradual approach might help states reach agreement about what the current problems actually are and might help them understand the extent to which a continuation of current activities could worsen the situation by degrading the space environment. Many authors have advocated new codes of conduct for space activities, or even additional treaties.74 To be efficient and acceptable, any legal approach to better-codified collective security in space will have to consider some basic facts of today’s and tomorrow’s international space environment. These include:

  • The existence of competing interests among spacefaring countries, emerging spacefaring countries, and nonspacefaring countries;
  • The existence of potentially competing positions and strategies among public and private actors; and
  • The diffusion of new space technologies that will irrevocably change the future space environment.

Europe is well positioned to be an honest broker because it is a spacefaring entity with strong interests in preserving space as a strategic investment area and because it is a political outsider vis-à-vis the most active participants in the CD’s PAROS standoff. Having based its own view of security on the preservation of a balanced use of space without massive investments in the military field, Europe is well placed to promote a renewed effort to reach agreement on collective rules of the game. A broader range of perspectives could fruitfully inform new discussions about both the implications of some military uses of space under development by some nations — namely, the United States and, possibly, China in the mid-term — and the evolution of civilian space techniques similar to some military techniques.

Any effort in this direction will have to deal first with the technical aspects of reinforcing the collective security of the space environment. Europe, because of its nascent effort to build the first cooperative space surveillance system, might find itself particularly well placed to lead in this area as well. Setting up a genuine European space surveillance network involving a number of EU member states could help Europe reach the technical and political critical mass needed to start discussions at the international level — but notably with the United States — for a global network with increased performance. At present, any discussion surrounding these issues would be limited to technical exchanges in which Europe’s contribution would be marginal compared to that of the United States, with its large investments and experience.

At the European level, such internal technical cooperation could pave the way for a more proactive European “security in space” policy on the international scene by giving the member states a better common awareness of the security issues associated with the development of space activities. Adopting such a proactive policy would mean giving Europe sufficient autonomy to

make its investment in space more credible and in-line with the security orientations announced in recent documents (such as the EC’s 2003 white paper and the Report of the Panel of Experts on Space and Security). The resulting increase in the performance of space surveillance systems would also offer the possibility of new talks promoting better sharing of data. One area that would benefit from increased data sharing is space-debris monitoring and detection, where, at present, the volume of data to process is huge and the modeling is relatively inaccurate. Additional detection facilities would multiply the amount of data collected for any given object, thus improving monitoring accuracy and allowing orbital measurements to be made more quickly.75

Technical cooperative advances such as these can occur only if the political aspects of cooperation for space security are simultaneously addressed. To be acceptable by all parties, such cooperative advances will have to define “win-win” rather than “zero-sum” situations so that all spacefaring nations see the collective advances as being highly beneficial to their national interest. Important work must be carried out to define in a precise and realistic fashion when and how the space security and defense interests of any nation, including the United States, would be technically and legally better guaranteed in the mid- and long-term by a collective security system than by the pursuit of national interests only. The ultimate goal of the international community would be to implement new rules of the road that could reduce the perceived need for accelerated military options while promoting an important collective effort to convince the more reluctant countries to take part in some kind of new space regime. The heart of this diplomatic effort would consist in demonstrating how such a space regime, often easily discarded as unrealistic, could be a perfect fit with pragmatic security policies.

Reflecting on a Collectively Acceptable Space Security Framework

The role of such a framework would be to set the scene for renewed international cooperation in space. As has been (and is still) the case for European security and defense construction, such a collective undertaking requires a gradual, mutually acknowledged approach. A cooperative framework must appear equitable (it has to allow the entrance of newcomers without any perceived discrimination) and rigorous (new entrants must comply with technical and legal rules, the goal of which is to make sure that the new activity will not create either military or security challenges). Possibly forming the basis for a genuine new international regime, this general understanding would be a decisive step toward reinforcing the regulation of the conditions under which new actors access space.

Europe should identify potentially cooperative domains where it can make its own contribution (such as collaborative space surveillance) and then develop active diplomacy in these areas. The goal would be to prepare a future international exchange forum, either under a new organization dedicated to this purpose or under an existing institutional structure, that would focus on the security of space activities within a definition of collective monitoring capabilities acceptable to a wide range of countries. Such an approach should include political incentives for participation but not legally binding constraints (at least initially), because they would immediately lead a number of countries to refrain from participation. Several domains present attractive opportunities for cooperation.

Collective Rules for Debris Prevention and Mitigation and for Spectrum Management The current debris-mitigation procedures promoted by the IADC should be extended to form the basis for a cooperative international framework that would regulate each delicate step of spaceflight (launch phase, disposal on orbit, management, end of life, and, possibly, reentry). Although the IADC guidelines are not legally binding, they can create normative obligations for parties who wish to access and use space in a responsible manner. Such normative guidelines aim to diminish the risks inherent in increased space activity without creating obligations that are so technologically demanding as to exclude emerging spacefaring countries from the benefits of national space activities. De facto discrimination should be avoided to preserve the win-win principle at the heart of this collective undertaking. Creative thinking might be needed to protect trade secrets and other sensitive information. All parties would also have to reach agreement on jurisdiction over private operators involved in the management of space applications.

This framework could also create the conditions for acceptable short-term regulatory measures addressing spectrum management issues. Keeping in mind the goal of improving political incentives for all countries to adhere to voluntary rules, near-term objectives could be to suggest the development of techniques to diminish the risk of electromagnetic interference, to better share orbital and frequency resources (especially for newcomers in space), and to ensure that private operators respect GEO management procedures.

Reinforcement of Legal Responsibilities. Reinforcing legal rules in space will significantly contribute to the reduction of uncertainty and thus may curb associated threats. Legal liability should be clear for any functional objects in space and should start with registry procedures that are more in depth and that take into account new technical features, such as increased maneuverability or new energy sources and that provide a more complete description of vehicles. The goal would be to increase collective awareness of space traffic at a time when it is expected to grow, thus preempting misunderstandings between nations.76 Given the sensitivity of this information, careful discussion among nations would be needed to set rules that both protect legitimate national and commercial interests and advance collective security, the latter being the key objective.

Regulations for better transparency and more responsible behavior by all actors and stakeholders should address registration issues, prenotification of maneuvers in space, satellite end-of-life management procedures, rights of priority and respect for protected zones in orbit according to the density of space vehicles in those zones. Once these initial security measures have been accepted and applied by all parties, considering relevant limits on offensive military activities, such as deployment of ASATs, should be easier.

Political Framework for Developing International Cooperation for Space Surveillance beyond First Technical Steps. The international community should adopt the principle that all countries have a right of access to space-traffic and surveillance data.77 A functional and accessible international database would include both registry information (for example, registry procedures and forecasted orbital data of any launched objects) and actual space-object data, possibly produced by an “international space surveillance network.” Such an effort would derive its legitimacy from an already widely accepted code of conduct for space activities.

60. See, for example, Simon Collard-Wexler, Jesse Cowan-Sharp, Sarah Estabrooks, Thomas Graham, Jr., Robert Lawson, and William Marshall, em>Space Security 2004 (Waterloo, Ontario: Space Security.org, 2004), 43–46, http://www.spacesecurity.org/SSI2004.pdf.

61. See Richard Kaufman, Henry Herzfeld, and Jeffrey Lewis, Space, Security and the Economy (Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Economists for Peace and Security, 2008), 10–21, http://www.epsusa.org/publications/papers/spacesecurity.pdf. Some of those systems were included in the U.S. federal budget for the 2009 fiscal year. See also, http://www.cdi.org/pdfs/SpaceWeaponsFY09.pdf.

62. UN General Assembly, “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,” A/RES/62/217, January 10, 2008.

63. Peter de Selding, “FCC Enters Orbital Debris Debate,” Space News, June 28, 2004, http://www.space.com/spacenews/businessmonday_040628.html.

64. See Ram Jakhu, “Legal Issues Relating to the Global Public Interest in Outer Space,” Journal of Space Law 32 (1) (Summer 2006): 38–41, http://www.cissm.umd.edu/papers/files/jakhu.pdf.

65. International Academy of Astronautics, Cosmic Study on Space Traffic Management, ed. Corinne Contant-Jorgenson, Petr Lála, and Kai-Uwe Schrogl (Paris: International Academy of Astronautics, 2006), http://iaaweb.org/iaa/Studies/spacetraffic.pdf.

66. See Armel Kerrest, “La notion d’état de lancement à la lumière des évolutions de l’activités spatiales,” UN COPUOS, Legal Subcommittee, 39th Session, April 2000, http://fraise.univbrest.fr/kerrest/IDEI/Copuos_SCJ_00_Fr_def.pdf.

67. See Heine Klinkrad, “Monitoring Efforts — Efforts Made by the European Countries,” presentation made during the 10th International Colloquium on Aerospace Security, Toulouse, France, November 27–28, 2002. See also Richard Crowther, “The Current Situation Regarding Space Debris and Future Problems,” presentation made during the 10th International Colloquium on Aerospace Security, November 27–28, 2002. For a discussion of GRAVES functioning and perspectives, see Thierry Michal, “Les perspectives d’avenir pour les équipements-sols” presentation made during the 10th International Colloquium on Aerospace Security, November 27–28, 2002.

68. Control of the GRAVES system has been transferred from ONERA to the French Air Force.

69. This study, led by the ONERA with expertise from Germany and the United Kingdom, was presented in a 2005 technical paper. A first system envisioned for 2010, with upgrades in 2015, would reach 1,700 kilometers and provide 98 percent LEO coverage. A second system for 2015 would provide 95 percent GEO coverage (based on the use of three globally distributed sites). T. Donath, T. Schildknecht, P. Brousse, J. Laycock, T. Michal, P. Ameline, and L. Leushacke, “Proposal for a European Space Surveillance System,” in Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Space Debris 18–20 April 2005, ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, ESA SP-587, ed. D. Danesy, 31–38 (Noordwijk, The Netherlands: ESA Publications Division, 2005), http://www.esa.int/esapub/conference/toc/tocSP587.pdf.

70. Ibid.

71. “Ministers Meet to Define the Role of Space in Delivering Europe’s Global Objectives,” ESA Portal, November 18, 2008, http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMUPQ4DHNF_index_0.html.

72. A first European study on SSA governance and data policy mandated by ESA was led in 2008 by the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (and coordinated by the author of this paper) with the objective of identifying possible organizational models and data policy mechanisms that would allow mixing data of different types and nature (civilian and military) into a multinational organization. This aspect of the European SSA system presents a key challenge that will need further research in the context of the core SSA program approved by the ESA ministerial council. See the Executive Summary of the study at esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/ gsp/completed/C21443ExS.pdf.

73. The main space agencies have worked together in the Interagency Space Debris coordinating committee to promote sophisticated techniques allowing them to passivate the orbital stages of launch vehicles — that is, prevent their explosion in space. The techniques for doing this involve elaborate technical skills and capabilities not accessible to any one country.

74. See, for example, Richard Garwin, Kurt Gottfried, and Len Meeker, “A Draft Treaty Limiting Anti-Satellite Weapons,” Union of Concerned Scientists, 1983, http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_weapons_and_global_security/space_weapons/policy_issues/a-draft-treaty-limiting.html; Michael Krepon and Michael Heller, “A Model Code of Conduct for the Prevention of Incidents and Dangerous Military Practices in Outer Space,” Disarmament Diplomacy, 77 (May/ June 2004), http://www.acronym.org.uk/dd/dd77/77mkmh.htm; and Hitchens, Future Security in Space. The EU used the phrase “Code of Conduct” for its 2008 “Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities.”

75. All of this depends on technical advances in the field of “intelligent” software design. The required software will need to be able to take into account all the exceptional or unpredictable events that might accompany space activity (such as multiple launches, more frequent orbital maneuvers, and orbital explosion tracking). The development of software capable of sophisticated identification and monitoring simulations is currently well under way (for example, ONERA’s S3 software). See Michal, “Les perspectives d’avenir.”

76. The February 10, 2009, collision of a U.S. commercial Iridium satellite and a Russian government-owned Kosmos satellite highlights the need for improved information sharing, even if only at the level of better satellite cataloging and performance monitoring.

77. Such a principle would mirror the UN’s “Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space,” December 3, 1986, A/RES/41/65, http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/41/a41r065.htm.