Space is back in the popular imagination in a way that it hasn’t been since the peak of the 1960s Space Age and the Cold War race to the Moon. Today we have billionaires taking joy rides to space, a new Chinese space station being constructed, bits of rocket tumbling out of control as they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and in the US a new Space Force.
Australia is a globally recognised entrant into this re-emerging space economy, with the birth of the Australian Space Agency in 2018, Australian companies taking part in NASA’s Artemis programme to return to the Moon by the end of the decade, and new space launch sites in South Australia, the Northern Territory and possibly Queensland.
In 2022 our Air Force will also have its own dedicated Space Division. Global space governance is under pressure dealing with space debris management, space arms control and an emerging security dilemma. Space has become a strategic domain of equal importance to cyberspace, with similar governance and regulatory challenges. Australia and similar middle powers have an enormously important role to play as we move into a 21st century space age.
Access Cassandra’s National Security College Policy Options Paper No 19, May 2021, Australia as a space power: combining civil, defence and diplomatic efforts here
About the Speaker
Dr Cassandra Steer
is Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law and Mission Specialist with the Institute for Space. She has published widely on space security and space law, including the application of the law of armed conflict and use of force in outer space. Cassandra has been a consultant to the Australian, Canadian and US Departments of Defence, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on space law issues.
Formerly Cassandra was Acting Executive Director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Ethics and Rule of Law, Executive Director of Women in International Security - Canada, Executive Director of the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law.
Cassandra is a member of the Australian Space Agency’s Technical Advisory Group for Space Situational Awareness, an Associate Expert on the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations, and a member of the International Institute of Space Law
This event will be delivered online only via Zoom.
Image credit: image of NASA-TV live coverage of SpaceX Dragon departure viewed from the International Space Station by steve p2008 on flickr (CC BY 2.0).