Carnegie Space Project

Carnegie’s Space Project seeks to facilitate international cooperation to assure the continued security, viability, and sustainability of commercial, civil, and defense activities in Earth orbits.

Satellites in Earth orbits—such as remote sensing capabilities that support environmental monitoring or position, navigation, and timing networks that map our daily commutes—constitute critical civil and military infrastructure. Yet despite the inextricable importance of space-based services to everyday life, pervasive debris and disagreement about acceptable behaviors in space threaten the long-term security and sustainability of human activities in Earth orbits.

The Carnegie Space Project seeks to examine the implications of intensifying competition among space powers, develop a roadmap for international cooperative risk reduction in space, and facilitate responsible and sustainable progress on space governance.

The project focuses on two core issues:

Orbital Debris

Debris in Earth orbits—whether produced accidentally or created as a result of deliberate actions—poses a significant challenge to the continued use of space for scientific, economic and security purposes. Our project seeks to incentivize and secure commitments to significantly diminish, if not eliminate, creation of new space debris, and to validate responsible practices for removing orbital debris.

Enhancing Space Situational Awareness

Space situational awareness (SSA) is vital for effective international use of space orbits, yet there are neither current nor binding guidelines to regulate on-orbit behavior amid the rapid growth in space activity. Our project will identify approaches to improve SSA solutions, including commercial, international, or public interest-based platforms for space object registration and surveillance to support transparency and reinforce accountability.

All nations benefit from reducing risks in space. As a public interest organization with a global presence and network, Carnegie mobilizes international actors to explore merits of alternative approaches to mitigate debris and improve space situational awareness. We collaborate with commercial actors, key states, specialized insurers, industry organizations, and other interested stakeholders to identify incentives and design methods to improve operational predictability in space.

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  • James M. Acton

    Jessica T. Mathews Chair
    Co-director
    Nuclear Policy Program

    Acton holds the Jessica T. Mathews Chair and is co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  • Toby Dalton

    Co-director and Senior Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program

    Dalton is the co-director and a senior fellow of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. An expert on nonproliferation and nuclear energy, his work addresses regional security challenges and the evolution of the global nuclear order.

  • Moriba Jah

    Nonresident Scholar
    Carnegie Space Project

    Moriba Jah is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Space Project.

  • Ariel (Eli) Levite

    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Cyber Policy Initiative

    Levite was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007.

  • Ankit Panda

    Stanton Senior Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program

    Ankit Panda is the Stanton Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  • George Perkovich

    Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Chair
    Vice President for Studies

    Perkovich works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues; cyberconflict; and new approaches to international public-private management of strategic technologies.

  • Benjamin Silverstein

    Research Analyst
    Space Project

    Benjamin Silverstein is a research analyst for the Space Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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