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.
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.
China's recent antisatellite test, which the military conducted while leaving civilian authorities mostly in the dark, raises a disturbing question: Will Beijing's stovepiped bureaucracies prevent China from becoming a reliable global partner?
China’s anti-satellite test set off fears of a space arms race, but American plans for space weaponization predate the test.
The successful test of a Chinese anti-satellite weapon brought cries of foul from Washington and others.
The Bush administration’s new National Space Policy goes far beyond previous policies in asserting America’s right to put what it wants into orbit, and to deny that right to others.
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.
Peter A. Garretson examines whether space-based solar power is the next major step in the Indo-U.S. strategic partnership.
See more in Space
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.
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.
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.
China's anti-satellite test in January drew international condemnation but also piqued interest in some quarters about instituting a space weapons ban.
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.
In this report, Bruce W. MacDonald illuminates the strategic landscape of military space competition between the United States and China and highlights the dangers and opportunities the United States confronts in space.
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.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Red Team provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates. More
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Read and download »