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Spacepower’s Role in Addressing Earthly Security Challenges Pete Hays, SAIC. The Future of Space Exploration: Solutions to Earthly Problems? Boston University. 12-14 April 2007. National Defense University Spacepower Theory Study. Originated during 2005 QDR Feb 06 OSD Letter with TOR to NDU

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Spacepower’s Role in Addressing Earthly Security Challenges

Pete Hays, SAIC

The Future of Space Exploration: Solutions to Earthly Problems?

Boston University

12-14 April 2007

national defense university spacepower theory study
National Defense University Spacepower Theory Study
  • Originated during 2005 QDR
  • Feb 06 OSD Letter with TOR to NDU
  • Study Design
    • Yearlong effort: due Summer 07
    • Seminars, Workshops, Conferences
    • Product: Two Books
      • Volume I: Concise Spacepower Theory
      • Volume II: Comprehensive Spacepower Theory
edited volume comprehensive spacepower theory
Edited Volume: Comprehensive Spacepower Theory


Foreword: Implications of Spacepower for Geopolitics and Grand Strategy

Section I: Introduction to Spacepower Theory

Chapter 1: On the Nature of Theory: Harold R. Winton

Chapter 2: International Relations Theory and Spacepower: Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.

Chapter 3: Landpower, Seapower, and Spacepower: Jon T. Sumida

Chapter 4: Airpower, Cyberpower, and Spacepower: Benjamin S. Lambeth

Section II: Spacepower and Geopolitics

Chapter 5: Orbital Terrain and Space Physics: Martin E.B. France & Jerry Jon Sellers

Chapter 6: Space Law and Governance Structures: Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz

Chapter 7: Building on Previous Spacepower Theory: Colin S. Gray & John B. Sheldon

Section III: Commercial Space Perspectives

Chapter 8: History of Commercial Space Activity and Spacepower: Henry R. Hertzfeld

Chapter 9: Commercial Space Industry and Markets: Joseph Fuller, Jr.

Chapter 10: Merchants and Guardians: Scott Pace

Chapter 11: Innovative Approaches to Commercial Space: Ivan Bekey

Section IV: Civil Space Perspectives

Chapter 12: History of Civil Space Activity and Spacepower: Roger D. Launius

Chapter 13: Affordable and Responsive Space Systems: Sir Martin Sweeting

Chapter 14: Space and Environmental Issues: Eligar Sadeh

Chapter 15: Competing Visions for Exploration: Klaus P. Heiss & Dennis R. Wingo; Robert Zubrin

edited volume cont
Edited Volume (cont.)

Section V: Security Space Perspectives

Chapter 16: History of Security Space Activity and Spacepower: James Lewis

Chapter 17: Increasing the Military Uses of Space: Henry F. Cooper, Jr. & Everett C. Dolman

Chapter 18: Preserving Freedom of Action in Space: Michael Krepon, Theresa Hitchens & Michael Katz-Hyman

Chapter 19: Balancing Security Interests: Michael E. O’Hanlon

Section VI: International Perspectives

Chapter 20: Russia: James E. Oberg

Chapter 21: China: Dean Cheng

Chapter 22: Europe: Xavier Pasco

Chapter 23: Emerging Actors: Randall R. Correll

Section VII: Evolving Futures for Spacepower

Chapter 24: Evolving U.S. Structures: John M. Logsdon

Chapter 25: Organizational Drivers for Spacepower: John M. Collins

Chapter 26: Technological Drivers for Spacepower: Taylor Dinerman

Chapter 27: Building Human Capital for Spacepower: S. Peter Worden

Afterword: The Future of Spacepower:


Space Law: Outer Space Treaty, Registration Convention, Rescue and Return Agreement, Liability Convention, Moon Treaty, PAROS Proposals, IADC

Orbits and Orbital Mechanics

Basics of Space System Design

Possibly Bibliographic Essay, Annotated Bibliography (assembled from COP), and Comprehensive Bibliography

requirements for concise spacepower theory
Requirements for Concise Spacepower Theory

Account for the structure of the field:

  • the divergent world views of each sector and
  • the dynamics of their interactions

Define the boundary conditions of the theory:

  • Cis-Lunar space as opposed to all of space
  • International perceptions of spacepower and their effect on US policy

Ask the key, fundamental questions regarding the uses and purposes of space to extract underlying principles.

  • Question hypotheses and present conditions.
  • Test counterfactuals

Construct a framework that integrates divergent points of view and takes into account potential future scenarios.

Roles of Theory: Define – Construct – Explain – Connect – Anticipate

upcoming conference
Upcoming Conference

Capstone Symposium: 25-26 April 07, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.

Initial presentation of Concise Spacepower Theory

For more info or to sign up:;

Community of Practice Website:


Soviet Space Systems and Co-Orbital ASAT


Co-Orbital ASAT


Energia carrying Skif DM (Polus)

prototype “battle station”

DS-P1-M Target Satellite

soviet space systems and co orbital asat
Soviet Space Systems and Co-Orbital ASAT
  • Many details about this system remain classified or are lost to history. The system used two types of satellites: co-orbital active killers (Istrebitel or killer) and passive targets
  • The first tests, Polyot-1 and Polyot-2, were conducted in 1963 and 1964. There were subsequently 19 target satellite tests and 22 killer satellite tests. The system reached full operational capability in 1972. The last test was on 18 Jun 1982
  • Killer satellites tested in the 1970s were ready for launch within 90 minutes (using a Tsiklon booster) and could close within less than one kilometer of target satellites within 40-50 minutes
  • On 23 Mar 1983 Yuri Andropov announced a moratorium on design, construction, and testing of the system; the moratorium ended in Sep 1986
  • In May 1987 Michael Gorbachev visited Baikonur and saw the co-orbital killer satellite and the prototype of the anti-satellite and anti-missile platform called Narvad (Guard). General Zavalishin, who escorted Gorbachev, used the opportunity to advocate resumption of testing. Zavalishin pointed at similar developments in the US and promised to cover up ASAT launches so no one would suspect tests were taking place. As Zavalishin recalls, “...Gorbachev issued incoherent and wordy explanations, which concluded with a polite, but resolute refusal.”
  • Ironically, only few days after this conversation, on 15 May 1987, the first heavy-lift Energia rocket blasted off from Baikonur, carrying Skif DM (Polus) spacecraft, which was later described as a prototype “battle station” in space. Due to a software glitch, the 90-ton-class spacecraft never made it into orbit
us asat testing and systems
US ASAT Testing and Systems
  • Bold Orion air-launched, nuclear-tipped ASAT tested in late 1950s; world’s first known test 19 Oct 1959
  • Programs 505 and 437 ground-launched, nuclear-tipped ASATs operationally deployed 1963-70
  • NSDM 345 in Jan 77 called for development of air-launched KEW ASAT
  • MHV ASAT successfully tested on 13 Sep 1985; Congressional restrictions led to cancellation in 1989; KEASAT was follow-on system
  • MIRACL tests in Oct 1997; highlighted satellite vulnerability to DEW
  • ASAT potential of BMD systems: BP and ABL
asat arms control efforts
ASAT Arms Control Efforts
  • Development and testing of ASAT capabilities not covered by OST or other space agreements
  • Two-Track Diplomacy with three rounds of US-USSR ASAT negotiations 1978-79
  • USSR testing moratorium 1982-86; Congressional restrictions on MHV ASAT testing
  • DST was only “bucket” of AC that did not lead to agreements during 1980s-90s
  • PAROS efforts at CD and UNGA Resolutions

Gain or Maintain

Space Control

Provide Freedom of

Action in Space for

Friendly Forces

Deny Freedom of Action in Space to

Enemy Forces


Employ active and

Passive defensive

measures to ensure US and friendly space

systems operate as



Detect, identify, assess, and track space objects and events


Employ measures to prevent adversary use of data or services from US and friendly space systems for purposes hostile to the US


Disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, or destroy adversary space capabilities


Attributes of Military Space Doctrines

Primary Value and

Space System

Conflict Missions


Functions of Military

Characteristics and

of Space Forces


Space Forces

Employment Strategies

Organization for

Operations and







Limited Numbers


Enhance Strategic



Fragile Systems


Facilitate Arms


Vulnerable Orbits



Optimize for NTMV


Above functions plus:



Major Command or


Terrestrial Backups






Unified Command






Autonomous Control






Control Space



Control Space

Unified Command



Significant Force


Significant Force

or Space Force




Orbit Spares









Offensive, and


Less Vulnerable Orbits





High Ground

Above functions plus:

Above functions plus:

Space Force


Attack Warning Sensors


Decisive Space



Decisive Impact on


5 Ds: Deception,



Space and

Terrestrial Conflict

Disruption, Denial,





















three major objectives of current u s missile defense program
Three Major Objectives of Current U.S. Missile Defense Program

1) “Maintain and sustain an initial capability to defend the U.S., allies, and our deployed forces against rogue attacks.” MDA plans by 2013 to:

Complete fielding of Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) in Alaska and California

Enhance Early Warning Radars in Alaska, California, and United Kingdom

Field Sea-Based X-Band Radar in the Pacific

Field a forward-transportable radar in Japan

Expand command and control, battle management, and communications capabilities

Augment GBI midcourse defense capability by deploying Aegis BMD interceptors and engagement ships

2) “close the gaps and improve this initial capability;” MDA plans by 2013 to:

Add more Aegis BMD sea-based interceptors

Field four transportable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) units

Introduce land and sea variants of the Multiple Kill Vehicle program

Upgrade the early warning radar in Greenland

Establish a GBI site and corresponding radar capability in Europe

3) “develop options for the future;” MDA plans to:

Continue development of the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)

Maintain two programs, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) and the Airborne Laser (ABL), one of which is to be selected as the boost-phase missile defense element by 2010

Develop a Space Test Bed to examine space-based options for expanding the coverage and effectiveness for future BMD systems

u s missile defense programmatic issues and challenges
U.S. Missile DefenseProgrammatic Issues and Challenges

European third site for GBI and associated radar

$206M requested for FY08 but Congress cut funding last year; political issues in host nations; objections raised by Russians

Airborne Laser

Fully funded at $632M in FY07; FY08 request is $549M. Initial airborne attempt to intercept boosting missile pushed back to last quarter of FY09

Kinetic Energy Interceptor

Congress cut FY07 request of $406M by $48M; program restructured and scheduled for FY08 flight test but may not offer a significant new capability such as boost phase intercept capability or a mobile launcher

Multiple Kill Vehicle

FY07 funding request of $165M was cut by $20M; $271M requested for FY08; program refocused on developing two separate payload configurations


$597M appropriated in FY07 and $586M requested for FY08 but concerns remain about breadth and scope of testing


Request for Space Test Bed for FY08 is $10M and is projected to grow to $15M for FY09

balancing issues and challenges for space and missile defense
Balancing Issues and Challengesfor Space and Missile Defense

Desire for constantly deployed, global boost phase missile intercept capabilities via space basing of kinetic and/or directed energy weapons versus concerns over “weaponization of space”

Desire for robust global capability to dissuade, deter, and defend against rogue actors versus concerns with undercutting strategic stability with Russia and China

Desire to test base-based missile defense components versus concerns with “weaponization of space” and space debris

Development of non-space based boost phase missile intercept capabilities (e.g. ground-based interceptors, ground-based lasers, and Airborne Laser) versus their significant anti-satellite capabilities