31 May 2011. ESPI, together with the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies of the US Air Force Academy, hosted a workshop that sought to address the challenges to the long-term sustainability and stability of the space environment and activities there.
Participants of a workshop entitled, “Assuring the Sustainability of Space” discussed the basic premise that sustainability is fundamental to the responsible use of space. Preserving the space environment for future generations, often referred to as space sustainability, is gradually appearing on the agendas of foreign policy decision-makers as space represents an important multiplier for many areas of sustainable development and security on Earth. One of the key objectives of the workshop was to probe how best to define space sustainability in this context and identify the main obstacles to the peaceful use of space.
The workshop brought together distinguished speakers from a number of countries and proved a highly useful forum to exchange ideas and experiences that could help configure next steps for governments, as well as better define the role of commercial and other nongovernmental entities. The event took place a day before the commencement of the fifty-fourth session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
The workshop was introduced by welcoming remarks of the representatives of the two hosting organizations, Ambassador Roger Harrison, Director of the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies and Jana Robinson, ESPI Resident Fellow. Jana Robinson also chaired the discussion of the first panel entitled “Sustainability and Space: Defining Common Interests in a Shared Domain”. Other panels were chaired by Ken Hodgkins, Director of the Office of Space and Advanced Technology in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, Richard Buenneke, Deputy Director, Space Policy Office of Missile Defense and Space Policy Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, Deron Jackson, Deputy Director of the Eisenhower Center of Space and Defense Studies, and Lt. Col. Tom Single, Space Protection Program, U.S. Department of Defense.
Workshop organizers (from left) Ambassador Roger Harrison (Eisenhower Center), Lt. Col. Deron Jackson (Eisenhower Center), Jana Robinson (ESPI), Tracy Hicks (Eisenhower Center), Kyle Kenerley and Grant Meyer (US Air Force Academy)
Panel discussion on US National Space Policy and Sustainability
This was not the first event that ESPI has jointly held with the Eisenhower Center. The Eisenhower Center’s Mike Gleason recently contributed to our upcoming publication on “European Identity through Space” with an article entitled, “Space, Pride, and Identity”. In June 2010, both organizations convened a workshop on transatlantic cooperation in the field of space security (related webnews here).