Space Jam

Space is getting crowded. The biggest challenge is space junk—the debris that results when satellites break up or get shot down. If we aren’t careful, space junk, and space conflict, could cause a lot of problems down here on Earth.

Play Button Pause Button
0:00 0:00
x
Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Charles F. Bolden
    Former Administrator of NASA
  • Stewart M. Patrick
    James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
  • Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson
    Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command

Show Notes

We often envision space as a dark, empty void. But in recent decades, Earth’s orbital zone has become crowded and dangerous. One factor is the proliferation of satellites, many of them privately owned. Another is space junk, or the growing mass of debris left behind when satellites break up or are shot down. Some experts say that, without new rules of the road, space junk—and the militarization of space—could lead to catastrophe. 

 

From CFR

 

The Danger of Space Debris,” Micah Zenko

 

Space Exploration and U.S. Competitiveness,” Steven J. Markovich and Andrew Chatzky

 

Read More

 

The Right Way to Achieve Security in Space,” Foreign Affairs

 

Space Threat Assessment 2019, Center for Strategic and International Studies 

 

Space war is coming—and the U.S. is not ready,” Politico

 

Is there anything we can do to tackle space debris?,” MIT Technology Review

 

Meet the Space Custodians: Debris Cleanup Plans Emerge,” Space.com

 

The Danger of Space Junk,” Atlantic

 

Watch and Listen

 

Space Junk Around Earth,” DCODE by Discovery

 

End of Space–Creating a Prison for Humanity,” Kurzgesagt

 

This 19-year-old can keep astronauts safe from space junk,” Vox 

West Africa

West Africa is losing many of its best and brightest. Across the region, doctors, lawyers, and engineers are leaving, depriving some of the world’s youngest countries of the minds they need to develop sustainably. At the same time, coups have rocked the nearby Sahel, threatening to create a corrosive cycle of instability. Can West Africa quell the tide of emigration?

Maternal and Child Health

In the past thirty years, sixty countries have expanded access to abortion care as an underpinning of maternal health. The 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the United States the fourth country ever to decrease access to abortion—and the world took notice. Some countries have since reinforced protections for abortion care, while others have moved to further restrict it.

India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most popular man in India. On track to be elected for a third term, he has boosted the country’s global standing and propelled strong economic growth while consolidating power and galvanizing majoritarian support for his Hindu nationalist agenda—all while growing closer to the United States. How could Hindu nationalism reshape India?

Top Stories on CFR

United Kingdom

CFR experts discuss the results of presidential elections in France and the United Kingdom, as well as what to expect from the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington, DC.

Election 2024

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This Week: Republicans are gathering in Milwaukee next week optimistic about their chances in November.  

France

The surprising shift to the left in snap elections has broken the far-right populist fever in France, but now a crisis of governability looms in Paris that has further weakened President Emmanuel Macron’s grip on power.