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Emerging Spacefaring Nations

Alongside the rapid growth of both uses and users of space, perhaps the most striking trend characterizing the ongoing evolution of the space sector is the increase in the number of actors – both private and public, conducting space activities. 

The emergence and development of new state actors has far-reaching implications for the future of the space sector and for the international space community, including Europe. In this context, we seek to raise awareness among European decisionmakers about this developing international situation and about the opportunities and challenges associated with the emergence of new spacefaring nations in the global space arena. 

We selected four countries to provide an illustrative overview of the variety of “emerging spacefaring nations” in terms of objectives and priorities, space programme and history, industrial developments as well as socio-economic development, and space diplomacy: 

  • The United Arab Emirates, 
  • Australia, 
  • Argentina, 
  • South Korea. 

The report provides insights on the programmatic, industrial, commercial, diplomatic, and political implications of these developments for Europe as well as recommendations for European decision makers.  

Overall, embedding European “external actions” within a more coherent European space diplomacy, as well as a Europe-wide policy framework for space industry and space security matters will be an essential condition to effectively seize the manifold opportunities and address the inherent challenges raised by the emergence of new spacefaring nations in the international arena.  

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