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A Pacific Space Age?: U.S., Japanese, and Chinese Perspectives on Space March 21, 2014

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On March 11, Heritage Foundation hosts discussion of Asian space issues featuring:

The Honorable Katsuyuki Kawai, Member, Japanese House of Representatives

Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation

John Sheldon, Ph.D., Research Fellow, George C. Marshall Institute


Intel Threat Assessment Summarizes Counterspace Threats January 30, 2014

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James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, summarizes Counterspace threats to the U.S. in the annual threat assessment:



Threats to US space services will increase during 2014 and beyond as potential adversaries pursue disruptive and destructive counterspace capabilities. Chinese and Russian military leaders understand the unique information advantages afforded by space systems and are developing capabilities to disrupt US use of space in a conflict. For example, Chinese military writings highlight the need to interfere with, damage, and destroy reconnaissance, navigation, and communication satellites. China has satellite jamming capabilities and is pursuing antisatellite systems. In 2007, China conducted a destructive antisatellite test against its own satellite. Russia’s 2010 military doctrine emphasizes space defense as a vital component of its national defense. Russian leaders openly maintain that the Russian armed forces have antisatellite weapons and conduct antisatellite research. Russia has satellite jammers and is also pursuing antisatellite systems.


Document at http://www.odni.gov/files/documents/Intelligence%20Reports/2014%20WWTA%20%20SFR_SSCI_29_Jan.pdf

HASC Hearing to Consider China and Space Security Matters January 27, 2014

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On January 28, the HASC will hear testimony on China’s space security efforts as well as the implications for the U.S.  

Institute Director Dr. Robert Butterworth will appear before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on January 28 to discuss space security issues.

Joint Hearing on the People’s Republic of China’s Counterspace Program and the Implications for U.S. National Security

Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Rayburn HOB – 2118
Watch Live


Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces


Dr. Robert L. Butterworth
President, Aries Analytics, Inc.

Mr. Michael Krepon
Co-Founder/Senior Associate, The Stimson Center

Dr. Ashley J. Tellis
Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Permalink: http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/2014/1/joint-hearing-on-the-people-s-republic-of-china-s-counterspace-program-and-the-implications-for-u-s-national-security

Iran’s New Space Monitoring Facility June 11, 2013

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By John B. Sheldon, Ph.D., George C. Marshall Institute Fellow

Several reports, especially from RFE/RL and Israel’s Ha’aretz, appeared earlier this week on the unveiling of an Iranian space monitoring center located at Delijan, about 125 miles south of Tehran.

The facility was officially opened by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday, June 9, 2013. During the ceremonies General Vahidi is reported to have said that, “[T]he base is aimed at securing the country’s space facilities and monitoring space objects especially satellites that pass overhead.”

General Vahidi is also reported to have said that Iran is ready to share data received at the Delijan facility with the space agencies of other countries, and that the new space monitoring site is now one of nine Iranian space facilities, including one based in Syria.

The U.S.-based Iranian expatriate news website, Payvand.com, has published a number of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) photographs of the facility and its official opening here. The facility has two electro-optical telescopes, a radio telescope, and radar to carry out its space monitoring mission.

There is good reason to question the sophistication of Iran’s declared space monitoring capabilities, especially since Tehran’s propaganda machine is prone to exaggerating its actual ability to carry out complex and difficult missions. That said, even relatively basic capabilities can provide the Iranians with good enough data about the timing and orbital tracks of high-resolution imaging satellites in low-earth orbit operated by other countries, to include the United States and Israel. Furthermore, Iran has demonstrated, in the face of tough sanctions and persistent sabotage efforts, a certain tenaciousness in the development of its nuclear, missile, and space programs. Over time analysts should not be surprised if the Delijan facility improves its capabilities and methods, and thus sophistication, and becomes a key part of an Iranian space situational awareness program that not only monitors Iranian satellites, but also provides the basis of a wider Iranian counterspace capability.

Disaggregation in the Era of Austerity: A Path Forward January 14, 2013

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The Techamerica Space Enterprise Council and the George C. Marshall Institute present a forum on

Disaggregation in the Era of Austerity: A Path Forward

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
TechAmerica 601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 600 North Building (Indiana Ave. entrance)
Washington, D.C.

The TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council and the George C. Marshall Institute are hosting a forum focusing on the pros and cons of DISAGGREGATION of military satellite constellations.  The U.S. Air Force expects to decide in 2015 whether to redesign some of its key space missions by dispersing payload sets currently flown aboard large satellite platforms to larger numbers of smaller craft. The disaggregation concept is being considered for two key space missions in particular: secure communications, including nuclear command and control; and weather forecasting.

Featured speakers include:

  • Marc Berkowitz, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Lockheed Martin
  • Peter Marquez, former Director, Space Policy, National Security Council
  • Josh Hartman, CEO, Horizons Strategy Group
  • William P. (Bill) Reiner, Director, Missions & Programs, Commercial Satellite Services, The Boeing Company


Is China Preparing for an ASAT Test? January 14, 2013

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Several articles in recent weeks suggest China may be preparing to conduct another anti-satellite (ASAT) or missile defense test.  That they should do so should surprise no one.  Chinese strategists have been writing for years about the vulnerabilities of U.S. space systems and the importance of those systems to U.S. military power.  These tests, however sophisticated, signal strongly intentions and capabilities to hold those systems at risk, and thereby complicate matters for the United States.

Background and details at: