In a progressively fragile and complex reality, the true social, economic and industrial revolution will start from space.
From smart cities to digital economy, from geo-localization to smart-mobility, from telecommunications to international security, the most prominent innovations of nowadays society are shaped and progressively rely on Space platforms and tools. Space is in fact one of the most promising markets globally: a magnet for private and public investments, estimated to reach a value of €500 billions in the next decade.
It’s become increasingly clear that outer space is a key domain of U.S. and international security, and the Trump administration has made it a priority in recent years. On June 17, the Department of Defense (DOD) released a summary of its new Defense Space Strategy (DSS). The document outlines a strategy for advancing U.S. military space power over the next 10 years.
Indian space policy is undergoing important changes. In the early decades, as a newly independent nation developing its space programme, India was very conscious of the resource constraints and therefore India’s space programme developed with a primary focus on social and economic development of its people.
The evolution of the space economy has been defined by three phases, each of them marked by a different involvement of public and private actors. The first phase (1950-1969) was mainly characterized by governmental space programs, which contributed to the development of space technologies becoming part of the global collective imagination.
Space activities are expanding globally, with a record number of countries and commercial actors investing in space programmes. Never before has there been so much interest in the space economy, with satellites in orbit registered in over 80 countries. Ever more down-to-earth activities are derived from satellite signals and data, contributing to new economic activities often far removed from initial investments in space infrastructure.
Russia has a long history of prioritizing space power and today, more than ever, Russia’s emphasis on national security space activity is growing. The world should take note of Russia’s quietly growing capabilities and develop strategies for how to protect space for the benefits and in the interests of all countries. The response to Russia’s current behavior should be informed by an understanding of their past behavior and current motivations and potential vulnerabilities.