Program Activities

As part of the Space Security Program, PSSI's staff is hosting, or actively participating in, conferences and other events. 


PSSI Delivered a Lecture on Law and Space Security

On December 18, 2018, PSSI Senior Fellow and a diplomat and international lawyer at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Martina Šmuclerová, delivered a lecture entitled "Law and Space Security" at the Charles University in Prague to students of the Space Security Course, part of the PSSI/Charles University’s Master’s Degree Program in International Security Studies. Dr. Šmuclerová presented the international legal framework of space activities with a focus on space security issues.

The overview of general principles of space law was set in the current scene of international space politics and illustrated via three legal issues: exploitation of natural resources in outer space, law applicable to suborbital flights, and space debris mitigation measures. The presentation also covered discussion concerning the term "peaceful purposes" as the ultimate qualification for the use and exploration of outer space. Dr. Šmuclerová highlighted the need to apply both space law norms and general international law, in particular the UN Charter, with respect to the issues of military uses of outer space.

SWF’s Washington Office Director Delivers Guest Lecture to PSSI’s Space Security Course

On November 28, 2018, Ms. Victoria Samson, the Secure World Foundation’s (SWF) Washington Office Director delivered a guest lecture entitled “Disruptions to Space Security and Stability“ to students of the Space Security Course, part of the PSSI/Charles University’s Master’s Degree Program in International Security Studies. The lecture was hosted by the American Center in Prague. She introduced SWF‘s latest activities, including their work in evaluating the impact of increasing number of actors, commercialization, the rising popularity of small satellites and mega-constellations, and other trends in space security and stability. A video recording of the lecture is available here.

CSIS Director of Missile Defense Project Delivers Guest Lecture to PSSI Security Scholars

On October 24, 2018, Tom Karako, Senior Fellow and Director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), delivered a guest lecture on “The Future of Air and Missile Defense for Europe and Eastern Asia” to the students of the PSSI’s Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program (RMSSP). He also highlighted the potential consequences of the recent U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the security situation between Taiwan and China.

PSSI Addresses Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) during India’s SAGAR 2.0 Discourse

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, participated in a panel discussion on “International Space Cooperation” at Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Discourse 2.0 organized by India’s Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) in Goa, India, on October 23-25, 2018. The conference included regional participants from some 10 countries. Dr. Robinson discussed the challenges confronting the U.S., Europe, India, Japan and other partners related to space hybrid operations, especially in the economic and financial (E&F) domain. She argued that attention needs to be given to the implications of authoritarian space powers (notably China and Russia) seeking to capture the space sectors of those countries with which they are forging space partnerships, as well as global space security more broadly. More information about the conference can be found here. Dr. Robinson’s PPT presentation can be accessed here.

PSSI Takes Part in CSIS Discussion on Reorganizing the Missile Defense Enterprise

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, took part in a closed roundtable, organized on October 19, 2018, by CSIS Missile Defense Project, headed by Tom Karako, on issues related to the evolution of the missile defense enterprise. The discussion focused largely on challenges related to the division of institutional roles. 

PSSI at 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

PSSI took part in the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held this year on October 1-5, 2018, in Bremen, Germany. The theme of this year’s Congress was “IAC2018 – Involving Eveyone“ (more information about IAC 2018 available here). PSSI contributed with a lecture and two papers. Dr. Martina Šmuclerová, PSSI Senior Fellow, delivered a lecture (and an article) on October 3 at the 61st IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space on the topic “Legal Perspectives for the Further Development of the Five United Nations Treaties on Outer Space in Light of Rising Multistakeholderism“. Dr. Smuclerova presented the legal modes concerning how international space law can be updated and developed with and without the revision of the UN Space Treaties (PPT presentation available here). PSSI also presented a paper entitled “Europe’s Management of Space Hybrid Threats“ in session D5.4 entitled “Cybersecurity Threats to Space Missions and Countermeasures to Address Them“. It argued that to build a resilient space architecture in Europe, hybrid operations, including those stemming from cyber and economic and financial (E&F) predations, need to be integrated into the broader security architectures of NATO and EU member states. (PPT presentation can be accessed here.)

PSSI Contributes To 12th ESPI Annual Conference

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, moderated the first session of the 12th annual conference of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), entitled “Security in Outer Space: Rising Stakes for Civilian Space Programmes” that was held on September 27 – 28, 2018 in Vienna. The panel discussed the status of space security strategies and vulnerability of Europe’s space assets. It served as the foundation for the subsequent discussions on the future of space security in Europe and transatlantic partnership in this key portfolio. The conference program can be accessed here

PSSI Contributes to AMOS SSA Policy Forum

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, participated in a panel discussion at the SSA Policy Forum, part of the annual Advanced Maui Optical and Surveillance (AMOS) Technologies Conference, held in Maui, Hawaii, on September 11-14, 2018. The conference brought together some 830 participants from 22 countries, including civil and military officials, defense contractors and space experts from academia and think tanks. Dr. Robinson talked about the challenges confronting U.S. and allied space security interests stemming from China’s and Russia’s brand of “space partnership” arrangements. She argued that these partnerships are often driven by a desire to gain influence, or even control, over the nascent space sectors of countries such as Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, Nigeria, and Pakistan (what PSSI terms “space sector capture”).  More information about the conference can be found here.  An article about the event in The Maui News can be accessed here

PSSI Delivers a Lecture at the European Centre for Space Law Summer Course in Helsinki

PSSI’s Senior Fellow, Dr. Martina Smuclerova, delivered a lecture on „Military Activities in Outer Space“ at the 27th Summer Course on Space Law and Policy of the European Centre for Space Law held in Helsinki from August 27 to September 7, 2018. The presentation outlined the legal framework of the use of force in space and explained the applicable space law norms as well as rules of general international law. Dr. Smuclerova highlighted the topical issues in the domain of space security such as the recent call of the U.S. Administration to create aSpace Forceas a new service of the U.S. military, and provided an assessment of this policy direction from the perspective of international law. Rules of general international law regulating military activities apply in principle in Outer Space with the limitations defined by space law and other relevant lex specialis. For more information on the ECSL Summer Course 2018, see ECSL website.

PSSI Addresses First Session of UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on PAROS in Geneva

On August 6, 2018, PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, delivered remarks on the current trends and developments in space security at the first session in Geneva of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Further Practical Measures for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space established pursuant UN General Assembly Resolution 72/250 of December 2017. The presentation reviewed practical obstacles related to the pursuit of arms control in space, including the “grey zone” of temporary, reversible, and less-attributable actions/activities, such as cyber attacks. She also explained the growing concern of "space sector capture”, the definition of which is “a state actor's provision of space-related equipment, technology, services and financing ultimately designed to limit the freedom of action and independence of the recipient state's space sector, generally implemented on an incremental basis". Her PPT can be accessed here. A recent PSSI report on “space hybrid operations” is available here.

PSSI Published Report on Space Hybrid Operations

On July 30, 2018, PSSI released its latest space security report, entitled “Europe’s Preparedness to Respond to Space Hybrid Operations”. The Report, and an associated Fact Sheet, (available here and here) focuses on the “grey zone” spectrum of counterspace actions/activities. These operations pose a major threat as they are designed to probe gaps in targeted countries’ preparedness, readiness, level of allied coordination and response options. They can also serve to fine-tune an adversary’s strategy to create asymmetric effects without paying a significant price. The Report also offers recommendations on how to strengthen pre-crisis planning related to this family of issue. 

PSSI Contributes to the International Academy of Astronautics Study Entitled “Space Traffic Management: Towards a Roadmap for Implementation"

Dr. Jana Robinson, Space Security Program Director, was a managing team member of the The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Study entitled “Space Traffic Management: Towards a Roadmap for Implementation”. The Study was published in July 2018. It will contribute to national and international discussions on Space Traffic Management (STM) regime. An increased attention has been placed on the need for a comprehensive STM, including through the establishment of STM as an agenda item in the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee and the U.S. policy on STM. This study will contribute importantly to these discussions. In October 2018, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning a cooperative initiative to develop comprehensive approaches and proposals for STM (MOU available here). 

Space Security Lecture at PSSI’s 14th NATO Summer School

On July 6, 2018, PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, delivered a lecture on space security at PSSI’s 14th NATO Summer School, entitled “NATO in the Age of Hybrid Warfare” that was held between July 1-7, 2018, at Hotel Orlik, Czech Republic. The Summer School’s program can be accessed here. The lecture provided an overview of the changing space security landscape and the evolution of the threat environment. It then reviewed how space supports NATO operations and explained how space constitutes a priority portfolio for NATO. Finally, it reviewed key issues to be considered in the process of the establishment of a comprehensive space policy for the Alliance. The PPT presentation is available here.

PSSI Held a Closed Roundtable on Unconventional Threats to Europe’s Space Operations

On May 18, 2018, PSSI convened in Prague a closed roundtable entitled “Responding to Unconventional Threats to Europe’s Space Operation”. The event discussed challenges related to what we termed “space hybrid operations”, that is space-relevant actions/activities that involve ambiguous attribution, temporary and mostly reversible effects, and limited public visibility (e.g. jamming or spoofing, use of low-power lasers, proximity and rendezvous operations, cyber attacks, or economic and financial “space sector capture”). The goal of the roundtable was to establish a framework for discussion concerning space hybrid operations and their knock-on effects; configure key arguments for European civil, commercial and military decision-makers to raise the priority accorded these threats; and review possible options available in Europe to help integrate these threats into the space security architectures of individual NATO and EU member states in order to strengthen space infrastructure resiliency, deterrence, and responses. More information about the event is available here.

PSSI Introduces Its Brand of Economic and Financial Cross-Domain Responses to Space Hybrid Threats 

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, took part in the U.S. Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance 2018 Conference and related tabletop exercise (TTX) at Offutt Air Force Base. The event, entitled “Thinking Outside the Silo: Creative Problem Solving in Deterrence and Assurance”, was hosted in Lincoln, Nebraska by the University of Nebraska’s College of Law on March 15-16, 2018. More information about the event can be found here. Consistent with the theme of this year’s event, Dr. Robinson introduced PSSI’s concept of economic and financial (E&F) cross-domain responses to space hybrid threats. Her paper and PPT presentation can be accessed here and here.

PSSI Contributes to Mitchell Institute’s Policy Paper on Major Space Policy Issues

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, contributed to a study entitled “Major Policy Issues in Evolving Global Space Operations” that was released during a panel discussion hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies on December 5, 2017, in Washington, DC. The project was conducted jointly by The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy and the Mitchell Institute. The study presents results of a survey of experts on a number of space policy issues, including rendezvous operations, active debris removal, deterrence, space situational awareness and role of commercial actors in government space activities. The paper is available for download here

PSSI Contributes to 2017 Space Security Index Working Group Meeting

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, contributed to the 14th annual Space Security Index Working Group meeting hosted by McGill University in Montreal on May 2-3, 2017. The Space Security Index, a report seeking to assess breaking space security developments on an annual basis, is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, The Simons Foundation, the Research Unit for Military Law and Ethics at the University of Adelaide, the School of Law at Xi’an Jiaotong University, and Project Ploughshares, and supported by George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute. Reports are available at the following link:

PSSI Prepared Learning Unit on “Delivery Vehicles, Missile Defence and Space Security” for the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament eLearning Course

The Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) contributed to the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament eLearning Course prepared by the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium and funded by the European Union. In 15 different learning units, participants can be briefed on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament of both conventional and unconventional weapons, as well as the EU non-proliferation and disarmament agenda. Specifically, PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, in collaboration with Charles University’s Dr. Michael Romancov, prepared Learning Unit 8 entitled “Delivery Vehicles, Missile Defence and Space Security”.

The eLearning course can be accessed here.

Learning Unit 8 on “Missiles and Space” is here.

Learn more about the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium here.


PSSI Participates in the 2016 Global Maritime Forum

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, delivered a presentation on a panel entitled “The Emergence of Space-Based Capabilities for Maritime Domain Awareness” at the Global Maritime Forum (GMF), sponsored by the U.S. National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO) and hosted by the Center for Collaborative Systems for Safety, Security and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR) in Seattle on November 15-16, 2016. The meeting brought together U.S. government and industry experts in the fields of maritime and space operations. The panel discussed issues related to implementing policies that advance the most effective technology development and solutions. Dr. Robinson’s presentation concentrated on the role of space assets in deterrence and the risks posed to these assets during heightened maritime tensions or conflicts (e.g. South and East China Seas, the Black Sea etc.) in the context of maritime domain awareness (MDA).


PSSI Takes Part in “Space Crisis Dynamics and Uncertainty” Tabletop Exercise

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Jana Robinson, participated in a tabletop exercise (TTX) organized jointly by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) on November 9-10, 2016, in Washington, DC. Some 30 invited experts from government, the private sector and non-governmental entities sought to assess threats to space assets and the associated challenges to preserving a secure space environment under various geopolitical scenarios. The goal was to identify gaps in existing international and national frameworks governing space activities and raise awareness concerning the increasing threats to space operations and services.


PSSI Provides Global Assessment for 2016 Space Security Index (SSI) Report

Dr. Jana Robinson, PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, prepared a “Global Assessment” for the 2016 Space Security Index (SSI) report. It concentrates on the link between the worsening geopolitical situation, particularly maritime disputes, and space security, which now requires an urgent attention by the allied security communities. The article is available here. Executive Summary of the 2016 SSI report is available here.


PSSI Contributes to the Ploughshares Monitor

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Dr. Jana Robinson, contributed an article entitled “Crisis in Space: Are We Ready for a Service Disruption” to the Autumn 2016 edition of the Ploughshares Monitor (available here). A longer version of the article appears in the 2016 Space Security Index (SSI) report (see  webnews above). 


CSIS Senior Fellow, Tom Karako, delivers lecture on “The Future of Air and Missile Defense for NATO” at PSSI Security Scholars Program

On October 24, Tom Karako, CSIS Senior Fellow and Director of its Missile Defense Project delivered a lecture on “The Future of Air and Missile Defense for NATO” to the students enrolled in the PSSI’s Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program (RMSSP). He discussed the contribution of missile defense to deterrence, Russia’s ballistic missile modernization, the conclusions from the latest NATO Summit in Warsaw, and missile and nuclear proliferation issues, among other topics.


PSSI Space Security Program Director Chairs Inaugural Defence Satellite Conference in Brussels

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Jana Robinson, chaired the inaugural Defence Satellites conference organized by [Intelligence Sec] in Brussels on May 10-12, 2016 (agenda is available here). Representatives from the EU, ESA, national Ministries of Defense, and commercial entities (e.g. AGI, SES, LuxGovSat, etc.) discussed developments in the vital areas of Space Situational Awareness (SSA)/Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST), Earth observation, and satellite communications, with the main focus on the European space landscape in both the public and private sectors. 

For more information please click here.


Handbook of Space Security Presented at the European Parliament

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Jana Robinson, served as a co-editor of, and author of three articles in, the Handbook of Space Security, a two-volume publication that took over three years to compile. The book provides an excellent resource on the space security portfolio for experts in the field, space policy decision-makers, as well as academic, industry, NGOs and other audiences. Since its online publication in October 2014 (printed version came out in 2015), there were over 20.000 chapter downloads almost equally distributed among individual articles.

The Handbook was presented at the European Parliament on 15 March 2016, at a gathering organized by the Kangaroo Group, demonstrating the growing interest of European decision-makers in this vital foreign and security policy portfolio. A power-point presentation from the event is available here. The welcoming remarks were delivered by Michael Gahler MEP, President of the Kangaroo Group and the meeting was moderated by Karl Won Wogau, Secretary General of the same group.


18th Asian Security Conference

PSSI participated in the 18th Asian Security Conference held in New Delhi on February 9-11, 2016, entitled “Securing Cyberspace: Asian and International Perspectives” organized by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses” (agenda available here). The gathering brought together Indian, European, Japanese, U.S., South Korean, Chinese, Australian and other governmental and non-governmental experts in the field of cyberspace security.  PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Jana Robinson, made a presentation, and contributed an article, to this prestigious gathering entitled “Governance Challenges at the Intersection of Space and Cyber Security”. The presentation and the paper examined considerations relevant to more effective crisis management preparedness. She argued that configuring transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs) need to be accompanied by robust crisis management, including the prospect of (often asymmetric) penalties and other responses to future crises. Taken together they provide the proper ingredients to construct an architecture for the management of sensitive space situations/incidents, as well as a credible deterrent.

Ms Robinson’s presentation is available here.

Her article is available here.


Annual Conference of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium

PSSI’s Space Security Program Director, Jana Robinson, chaired a panel entitled “Fostering Cooperation and Non-Weaponisation of Space” at the annual international conference of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium held in Brussels on November 11-12, 2015.  The meeting (agenda available here) brought together European and other governmental and non-governmental experts in the fields of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), small arms and light weapons (SALW), disarmament issues, and space. The panel on space discussed various threats to the safety and security of outer space activities and sought to identify what common ground can be identified in seeking to establish principles and behavioral norms governing space activities. It likewise discussed most urgent priorities in the pursuit of a safe and stable operational environment in space.

You can watch video from the panel here


66th International Astronautical Congress

PSSI participates in the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held this year in Jerusalem. The theme of this year’s Congress is “Space-the Gateway for Mankind’s Future”. PSSI’s Space Security Director Jana Robinson contributed to the Plenary on Small Satellites. She likewise co-chaired the session on “Legal Issues of Space Traffic Management” (E7.4.) and made a presentation there concerning the status of Second Study on Space Traffic Management conducted in the framework of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Ms Robinson, in her capacity as the IAA Corresponding Member, is part of the core team preparing the study. The session on STM was one of five sessions of the Colloquium of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) held annually at the IAC. The PPT presentation can be found in the menu on the right.


Presentation at the UNIDIR 2015 Space Security Conference in Geneva

In August 2015, PSSI's Jana Robinson presented at the UNIDIR 2015 Space Security Conference in Geneva. PSSI’s Jana Robinson delivered a presentation on threats to space activities and changing space security environment at the annual Conference on Space Security organized by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), in collaboration with Secure World Foundation (SWF) and the Simons Foundation, in Geneva on 24-25 August 2015. The gathering brought together representatives from various governments, including the U.S., Russia, China, and India, as well as civil and commercial entities and non-governmental organizations. The panel on “Foundational Concepts” discussed issues related to building a consensus on global space governance and sought to enrich the understanding of decision-makers concerning key challenges related to this endeavor. To read the conference program and Ms. Robinson remarks, please see the menu on the right.


Presentation at the annual meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium

In July 2015, PSSI’s Jana Robinson delivered a presentation on “Militarized Competition in Outer Space and the EU draft International Code of Conduct” at the annual consultative meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium. The panel on space security discussed the changing space security atmospherics and challenges presented by a more volatile global security environment. To read the agenda and PPT presentation, please see the menu on the right.