Boosting Space Diplomacy at State

With ever-increasing speed, humanity is expanding the scope of its activities in outer space, thanks to private enterprise as well as via national pursuits. In the last two years alone, for example, the number of active and defunct satellites in low Earth orbit has increased by more than 50 percent, to around 5,000, with plans to add tens of thousands more in the coming years. Equally surprising, these satellites are owned and operated by nearly 100 different countries and organizations around the world—not just the small but growing number of nations with domestic satellite launch capabilities—and involve a wide range of commercial, scientific and security and defense endeavors. Dangers lurk, however, and U.S. diplomacy must be prepared.


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