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Space Policy

This project focuses on key trends, developments, and challenges related to outer space activities with the aim to examine the interplay between space policy and international relations.

The LSE IDEAS Space Policy project is home to Space Policy: An International Journal and hosts public lectures and events at LSE.

From the growing militarisation and commercialisation of space activities to new spacefaring nations and pressing challenges such as space debris, the intersection between space policy and international relations has become more important than ever. Examining the domestic and external influences that shape space policy and strategies and their implications for the study and conduct of international relations from a global perspective can help us to understand better the dynamic interaction between space technology and global order as well as enhance space policy decision making. To this end, LSE IDEAS Space Policy seeks to bring together academics and practitioners to share insights into the evolving relationship between space policy and international politics with the aim to inform space policy decision making and the public.

Research Clusters

  • Space Statecraft: The High Frontier in International Relations
  • The Global Governance of Space Activities: Developments, Challenges, and Global Strategies 
  • Space Policy and the Global South 
  • Space Technology and Change in Global Politics


Climate change policy as a guide for orbital debris policy
4 April, 2023

Orbital pollution, also known as space debris, is one of the most important global challenges in space. Although some progress has been made within the existing voluntary policy framework, more comprehensive regulations are still needed to effectively address this issue and prevent further accumulation of debris in orbit. In this commentary, Professor Nodir Adilov, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Dr. Peter Alexander, Federal Communications Commission, and Professor Brendan Cunningham, Eastern Connecticut State University, discuss a policy proposal for dealing with orbital debris that can build on climate change policy.

Understanding Growth in the Global Space Situational Awareness Sector 
3 September, 2022

Global trends in partnerships and data exchanges will affect global SSA capabilities overall, and ultimately, the sustainability of the space environment for all users. Dr Mariel Borowitz presents a model for better understanding of the global SSA sector.

Space Traffic Management: A Brief History
29 June, 2022

Dr Quentin Verspieren explores how the idea of regulating space traffic has been present and formalised since the early beginnings of space law, starting in the 1930s, and becoming a widely debated topic in the following years. Increasing concerns about space traffic should be explained by the actual growth of space traffic as well as the emergence of the very closely related issue of space debris mitigation.

Australia's Space Journey: Never lost, now charting a new course
30 May, 2022

In this commentary on Australia's space programme, Dr Brett Biddington argues that happenstance and incrementalism are the defining factors of its journey, and that external pressures, more than internal vision and understanding, have forced a succession of Australian Governments to pay increasing public attention to space matters.

Cyberattacks on Satellites: An Underestimated Political Threat
5 May, 2022

While ransomware is mainly distributed via terrestrial networks, the threat of cyberattacks on satellite systems has become increasingly real. In this piece, Professor Walter Peeters of the International Space University explores the hypothetical aftermath of a complete shutdown of the global satellite network system, and argues for the possibility of such a shutdown to be taken more seriously as a political threat.

The Growth of Non-governmental Space Sector in China  [coming soon]


Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Future of SpacePolicyFrom the commercialisation and militarisation of space activities to calls for space colonisation, space advocates have been influential in pushing for the expansion of human activities in outer space. The lecture examines these space activities from a critical perspective, highlighting that one of the most important consequences of space activities is the increasing likelihood of nuclear war. It also asks whether space expansionism poses multiple threats to humanity at a time when our focus should be on how we can utilise space assets for solving Earth problems.


The international politics of outer space | LSE Research
26 Sept, 2023

Prof Chris Alden and Dr Dimitrios Stroikos discuss the international politics of outer space. With a growing number of state and non-state actors that are involved in space activities, there is a lot of debate around the democratisation of space, regulation of activities in space (and lack thereof), the role of science is space activities as well as space debris and its implications for the long-term sustainability of space activities.


Meet the Team

Dr Dimitrios Stroikos is Head of the Space Policy Project

Molly Prochaska is Project Coordinator of the Space Policy Project