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Kaitlyn Johnson | March 4, 2021

Kaitlyn Johnson | March 4, 2021

Watch the event here.

On March 4, AGS Council Co-Chair Spencer Kaplan joined Kaitlyn Johnson, the Deputy Director and Fellow of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in a conversation on threats and opportunities for the Second Space Age. The conversation began with a discussion of Space Force, its role within the military and the future of the branch. Johnson clarified the position of Space Force within the U.S. military, and specified that the creation of Space Force was via Congress, so its existence will not vary across presidential administrations. She spoke about the mandate of Space Force, to protect U.S. assets and interests in space. The discussion turned to counterspace weapons, passive and active defense, the types of satellites the counterspace weapons are meant to protect, and the possibility for dual use technology to be perceived as threatening by other states.

The conversation then turned to the role of the civil space sector, particularly the role of SpaceX compared to the U.S. government space programs. She also spoke on the question of the potential for space-based cooperation, including a space or counterspace arms control treaty. She suggested that while there are concerns about space-based conflict, space could also be a forum for cooperation; however, meaningful cooperation in space would require a substantial international coalition alongside commercial partners. The discussion also touched on the future for human space flight, and the potential for unseen benefits in technological development as a result of space programs. Finally, she talked about some of the key issues facing space policy, including the need for active debris removal. During the Q&A, Johnson addressed questions relating to the use of artificial intelligence by Space Force, the inter-reliance between companies and the government regarding potential conflict, and the potential for security cooperation in space.

Report mentioned: Defense Against the Dark Arts in Space

Event summary coming soon.