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Towards a Common Understanding of the Risks and Threats to Safety, Security and Sustainability in Outer Space (Part 1 – virtual)

8 July 2021

The Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique organised a virtual EUNPDC Ad hoc seminar on “Towards a Common Understanding of the risks and threats to safety, Security and sustainability in Outer Space”. The first session was held online on July 8th 2021 and the second part is to take place on October 13th 2021.

This ad-hoc seminar aimed at building a common understanding of the main risks and threats in outer space today, through exchanges of views and information between experts. This international perspective of the main security and safety issues in outer space, built within the 3SOS framework, will serve to provide political recommendations to officials across the geopolitical spectrum.

This webinar, held under the Chatham House rule, was designed so that its outputs could contribute to foster discussions at the European level. The first round table focused on the congestion of outer space and new activities in space, which induces challenges for short-term space operations and poses a significant risk to the long-term sustainability of the space environment, while some provide solutions to long-term problems. Three presentations by experts introduced each discussion session. The webinar brought together more than sixty participants including researchers, representatives from EU Member States, the EEAS and the European Commission.

13:00 – 13:10 Introduction and Welcoming Remarks

Xavier Pasco, Director, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)

Carine Claeys, Special Envoy for Space and Head of SECDEFPOL.5 Space Division, European External Action Service, European Union (EU)

13:10 – 14:10 Session 1: Congestion of the outer space environment

The growing number of satellites and debris in the space environment induces challenges for short-term space operations and poses a significant risk to the long-term sustainability of the space environment.

Chair: Roxana Banu, Space Policy Officer, SECDEFPOL.5 Space Division, European External Action Service, European Union (EU)

Speakers:

  • Rajagopalan Rajeswari Pillai, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology, Observer Research Foundation (ORF)
  • Hubert Foy, Director & Senior Research Scientist, African Center for Science and International Security (AFRICSIS)
  • Annette Froehlich, Honorary Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town

14:10 – 14:25 Break

14:25 – 15:25 Session 2: New technologies and their impact on space safety and security

New technologies are developing at a rapid pace in the space environment. Some increase the risks in outer space (mega constellations, small satellites and ASAT) while some aim at reducing collision risks in outer space (Active Debris Removal solutions, Mega-constellation automated collision avoidance manoeuvres).

Chair: Paul Wohrer, Research Fellow, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)

Speakers:

  • Almudena Azcárate Ortega, Associate Researcher, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons, UNIDIR
  • Kazuto Suzuki, Professor, Tokyo University
  • Nivedita Raju, Associate Researcher, SIPRI

15:25 – 15:30 Concluding Remarks

Carine Claeys, Special Envoy for Space and Head of SECDEFPOL.5 Space Division, European External Action Service, European Union (EU)

Xavier Pasco, Director, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)

Details

Date:
8 July 2021
Event Category: