Space and Satellites

What’s in space—and how does it affect global security?


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North Korea Successfully Puts Its Second Satellite in Orbit

, co-director and senior scientist

North Korea launched earlier than expected, and successfully placed its second satellite into orbit. Read more >

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North Korea is Launching a Rocket Soon: What Do We Know About It?

, co-director and senior scientist

North Korea has announced that it will launch a rocket sometime in the next two weeks to put a satellite in orbit for the second time. What do we know about it, and how worried should we be? Read more >

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Russian Rocket Body Seen as a Streak over Arizona

, co-director and senior scientist

A fireball seen in the sky over the western U.S. got a lot of press attention today, with people wondering what it was and whether it was a threat.

The U.S. military, which tracks objects in space, said that it was caused by the reentry into the atmosphere of the empty stage of a Russian SL-4 rocket body, which apparently had been launched a day earlier. Read more >

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Space-based missile defense. Again?

, senior scientist

UPDATE: In September 2018, UCS released an animated feature and video that explains how space-based missile defense works. Check it out here.

The concept of zombies, coopted and corrupted as it has been over time, seems to follow the cultural moment. Apparently, the idea of a creature that persistently gets up after it’s good and knocked down really resonates with Americans. (I agree with the commentators who suggest we have reached “peak zombie.”) Clearly, however, Congress is not on the cultural vanguard, and seems not to have gotten the message that we are all set with the undead. Read more >

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U.S. and China Talk Civil Space Cooperation

, senior scientist

With little fanfare beyond a State Department press release, the United States on Monday began bilateral discussions with China on civil space cooperation.

You would be forgiven for not thinking that’s remarkable, since the United States and China are the two biggest space players. Why wouldn’t they be talking at a high level about space debris, how to avoid satellite collisions, and ways to collaborate on space science or coordinate weather observations?

But in fact, it has been extraordinarily difficult to get this to happen and it deserves a bit of applause. Read more >

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