On June 19-21, 2022, the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) will convene in Prague its 6th Space Security Conference. This year’s gathering is entitled “The Global Space Competition: Security, Markets and Sanctions.” The central goal of the conference is to illuminate the connectivity among global space commerce, deterrence/security-related considerations, and proper space governance.
The conference will build on the previous conference entitled “Evolution of the Counterspace Threat and Strengthening of International Space Partnerships”, which was held in Prague on June 9—11, 2019, and which focused on the prominent role played by the state-controlled space companies of authoritarian space powers (notably China and Russia) and how they are deployed to recruit smaller countries aspiring to build space capabilities. This generally entails practices that ultimately lead to sole-source contracts and unhealthy levels of dependency.
To compound the problems associated with the approach to space sector partnerships described above, a number of Chinese and Russian space companies are often operating under official sanctions of the U.S., EU, and/or Japan for various forms of national security and human rights abuses. The imposition of sanctions on space companies raises a number of new, vexing questions with regard to the risk calculus associated with space-related cooperation or partnering arrangements. These have not, to date, been included in the multilateral deliberations on space behavioral norms and governance.
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- evaluate the latest developments regarding space deterrence and readiness to manage ever-more sophisticated counterspace scenarios, including those emanating from the economic and financial domain;
- consider requirements for allied space domain awareness systems and policies to share information;
- identify attributes of 21st century global space leadership;
- elevate the importance and urgency of government-industry collaboration in strengthening innovation and market competitiveness of allied space companies;
- discuss the role of commercial companies in strengthening the democratic space alliance;
- assess the risks and threats of an uneven playing field presently favoring Chinese and Russian state-led companies in competition with their allied corporate counterparts in global space markets;
- gauge the level of political interest of allied governments in pushing back against the non-market business practices of state-controlled space companies which are inconsistent with international trade rules and/or have been subject to allied-sanctioned corporate national security and human rights abuses; and
- propose policy options to integrate sanctions-related considerations into existing deterrence/space security strategies and behavioral norms.
You can find more information about the upcoming conference here.