Promoting Space Security and Sustainability   [open pdf - 149KB]

"For decades, we have been inspired by humanity's space endeavors and reaped the benefits of the use and exploration of outer space. While some take these benefits for granted, let me be clear: space assets are essential to U.S. national security as well as the security of our allies and coalition partners. This shared interest is recognized here in the United Kingdom, where HM [Her Majesty's] Government's National Space Security Policy establishes the promotion of a safe and more secure space environment as a key objective. Outer space is a domain that no nation owns but on which all rely. Yet today, space is becoming increasingly congested from orbital debris, including man-made threats--such as the testing of debris-generating anti-satellite, or ASAT, systems. Left unchecked, such debris could result in access to some space services being seriously degraded or even lost -- creating a direct threat to international security. The world's growing dependence on the globe-spanning and interconnected nature of space capabilities mean that it is more important than ever for all citizens to understand that irresponsible acts in space by one entity can have damaging consequences for all. Therefore, all nations must work together to adopt a responsible approach to activities in outer space in order to preserve this domain for future generations. Today, I would like to cover two aspects in regard to ensuring the security and sustainability of the space environment: first, the risks and dangers to space systems from debris generating ASAT tests; second, the role of international diplomatic initiatives in protecting the long-term sustainability and security of the space environment."

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U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/
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