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Assuring Access to Space Conference 2017

13 September 2017,
9:00 to 16:00
RUSI Whitehall
This conference will bring together senior leaders from the military, business and civil society to explore what the UK needs to do to operate in this increasingly contested and competitive area.


'We are playing catch up on Space and if we take much more time in doing so, we will be left behind'
General Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence (June 2017)

Military forces are increasingly recognising the need to operate in five domains - air, land, sea, space and cyber. While the UK has applied a concerted effort to understand, defend and operate in Cyberspace, it has not invested the same level of effort in the Space Domain. Now with an explosion in commercial activity, space debris and states seeking to deny access to space services, the UK - and indeed NATO - needs to take the Space Domain much more seriously. This is important not just for the armed forces themselves but because civil society is increasingly dependent on space services.

There is, however, a great deal of UK space expertise and the UK Space Agency has set an ambitious target of expanding UK footprint from 6% in 2013 to 10% of the global market by 2030. It is also looking to pass a Spaceflight Bill in 2017 and license UK spaceports. But the Outer Space Treaty is clear - UK government holds unlimited liability for all UK-flagged space activities. Investment in Space Situational Awareness will therefore be key to underpin this activity.

Drawing together another senior level panel of speakers from the UK and overseas, this conference examines the NewSpace era and what governments may need to do to assure access to a growing market and operate in an increasingly competitive and contested space.

Keynote Presentation:

General Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence, UK

With presentations from UK Space Agency, Department for Transport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, National Cyber Security Centre and a range of NewSpace actors.

If you would like to attend this event, please contact rusievents@rusi.org

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