Foreign Affairs Article

Drone On

Author: Gretchen West
In the beginning, drones were almost exclusively the province of militaries. At first little more than remote-controlled model planes used in the World War I era, military drones advanced steadily over the decades, eventually becoming sophisticated tools that could surveil battlefield enemies from the sky. Today, the terms “drone” and “unmanned aircraft system” denote a vehicle that navigates through the air from point A to point B and is either remotely controlled or flies autonomously.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Democratization of Space

Authors: Dave Baiocchi and William Wesler IV

Starting with the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, early space missions were funded exclusively by national governments, and for good reason: going to space was astronomically expensive. Setting up a successful space program meant making major investments in expertise and infrastructure, along with tolerating a great deal of risk—which only the superpowers could do.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Case for Space

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama articulated his vision for the future of American space exploration, which included an eventual manned mission to Mars. Such an endeavor would surely cost hundreds of billions of dollars -- maybe even $1 trillion.

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Waste of Space

Author: Micah Zenko

Orbit space debris threatens U.S. space assets and assured access to the domain. Micah Zenko argues that the United States has a unique obligation to prevent or mitigate the consequences of dangerous space incidents, which are the primary cause of space debris, because it relies heavily on space and has unmatched space situational awareness.

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The Future of U.S. Space Policy

Speakers: Scott Pace and Robert Walker
Presider: James Fallows

Scott Pace and Robert Walker discuss U.S. space program budget cuts, the indefinite cancellation of U.S.-government-sponsored human space exploration, and the rise of private sector activity in the area.

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China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security (Audio)

Speaker: Bruce W. MacDonald
Introductory Speaker: Charles D. Ferguson
Presider: Thomas Behling

Listen to Bruce Walter MacDonald, senior director, Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, discuss China's space, counterspace, and satellite programs and their implications for U.S.-China relations.

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Backgrounder Author: Steven J. Markovich

U.S. space exploration inspired a generation of students and innovators, but NASA's role has diminished, and the number of global space competitors is growing. This Backgrounder explores U.S. competitiveness in space.

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China’s Anti-Satellite Test

Author: Carin Zissis

China's anti-satellite test in January drew international condemnation but also piqued interest in some quarters about instituting a space weapons ban.

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Contingency Planning Memorandum

Dangerous Space Incidents

Author: Micah Zenko

Dangerous incidents in outer space pose an increasing threat to U.S. assets and risk escalating into militarized crises. Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko details how the Obama administration could reduce the likelihood of such crises, or mitigate their consequences should they occur.

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The Future of Space

Speaker: Lori Garver
Speaker: John Logsdon
Speaker: Charles Miller

Experts discuss the latest innovations in space technology, the prospects for a human mission to Mars, and the importance of sustaining American leadership in space exploration. 

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