Short Cuts: Space Security 2016, SmallSats, Space Resource Utilization Law and Upcoming Events

In today’s Short Cuts: The 2016 Space Security Index has been released, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) comments on the CubeSat call for Letters of Intent, space resource utilization law, this weeks and upcoming events.
If you would like to submit a Short Cut, please email us at [email protected].

Space Security Index 2016

The Space Security Index 2016 was released yesterday. The Index “tracks developments and activities in 2015 related to four indicators of the security of outer space – environmental sustainability, access to and use of space, technologies for space security, and space governance – to capture long-term changes.”

“According to project manager Jessica West of the Canadian peace-and-security think tank Project Ploughshares, the newly released 13th volume of the report is striking for its illustration of the growing emphasis on space as a domain of warfare.”

Here are the key findings in this year’s report:

  • Key states continue to develop and demonstrate anti-satellite capabilities;
  • Military tensions grow in outer space, linked to terrestrial hotspots such as the South China Sea and Eastern Europe;
  • Military strategies in some states shift to a more aggressive use of outer space as a domain of warfare;
  • Few mechanisms are being developed to restrict the use of force in outer space;
  • The international community has so far failed to agree to the most basic guidelines on space activities.

Press release: Ready For Crisis in Outer Space?

You can download the Executive Summary (PDF) here and the full report is available for purchase for $30.

CSA CubeSat Call for Letters of Intent

In mid-July the Canadian Space Agency sent out a notice to the space community that they should expect a Call for Letters of Intent by the end of the month for post-secondary institutions to develop a CubeSat. The intent is to have one CubeSat built in each province and territory and to have them launched. The CSA would arrange for the launch of each CubeSat.

That notice never went out.

SpaceRef contacted the CSA to find what was happening with this potential program that the community was excited about. Unfortunately the CSA provided us with this vague quote; “We are evaluating different options on how best to move forward. We will communicate further information to the interested parties as the initiative gets confirmed.”

Why would then send out a notice and then change their minds? Is the yet to be defined government Innovation Agenda the cause? We’ll update you when we learn more.

In the meantime NASA is moving full steam ahead with several SmallSat initiatives and held a press briefing yesterday yesterday’s to discuss the upcoming launch of six next-generation SmallSats; NASA Small Satellites Set to Take a Fresh Look at Earth

Related: SmallSats are the Next Big Thing, NASA

Press conference (Webcast): New Luxembourg Space Law to Provide Legal Framework for Space Resource Utilization Activities

Luxembourg is holding a press conference to talk about their new space law which will provide a framework for space resource utilization. It’s clear that Luxembourg is staking out its claim for a the future benefits of commercialization of space resources.

From the press release: “The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is pleased to announce an international press conference within the initiative to present a legal and regulatory framework for space resource utilization activities.”

“The initiative defines a general framework for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids. Amongst the key actions undertaken is the establishment of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for space resource utilization activities to guarantee operators the right to harvest resources in outer space in accordance with international law.”

The press conference is scheduled for 8:00 A.M. ET (2 P.M. Luxembourg Time) on Friday, November 11, 2016 for a

duration of 1 hour. The press conference will be held in English and will be webcast here:

Related: Planetary Resources and the Government of Luxembourg Announce €25 Million Investment and Cooperation Agreement

Noteworthy Events This Week

Canadian Space Policy Symposium Agenda

7:00-8:00 am – Registration begins and breakfast
8:00-8:05 am – Welcome / Introduction, Michelle Mendes, CEO, CSCA
8:10-8:40 am – Opening keynote,Mr. Sylvain Laporte, President Canadian Space Agency
8:45-9:35 am – Session 1 PLENARY: Space Policy & the Canadian Innovation
Agenda, Madam Sharon Irwin, Dr. Iain Christie, Dr. Christopher Herd
9:35-9:55 am – Morning Break
10:00-10:50 am – Session 2A: PANEL: Creating a Thriving Ecosystem for Commercial Space – Funding & Finance Focus, Moderator: Dr. Christian Sallaberger, Panelists: Alex MacDonald, Christopher Baird, Hassan Kahn
10:55-11:45 am – Session 2B: PANEL: Creating a Thriving Ecosystem for Commercial Space – Start Up, Accelerator and SME Focus, Moderator: Adam Keith, Panelists: Jefferey Osborne, Dr. Christian Sallaberger, James Slifierz
11:45 am -12:15 pm – LUNCH
12:15-1:05 pm – Session 3: PANEL: Achieving Excellence in Innovation Through Academics
Moderator: Dr. Gordon Osinski, Panelists: Dr. Mike Daly, Prof. Christopher Herd, Prof. Rene Doyon, Prof. David Naylor
1:10-2:00 pm – Session 4 PANEL: Leading Critical Technologies
Moderator: Ms. Charity Weeden, Panelists: Phillip Miller, Mr. Dan King, Prof. Robert Zee, Mr. Prashant Shukle
2:05-2:20 pm – Closing Recommendations
2:25-3:00 pm – Closing Keynote, Dr. Lucy Stojak
3:00 pm – Closing remarks – Michelle Mendes
3:10 pm – End of Symposium – Closing Refreshments

CanMars Mission Public Night, Western University

The CanMars Mars Sample Return Simulation team is holding a Public Night on Thursday Nov. 10th at Western University. Representatives from the Canadian Space Agency, NASA MDA and the science team will be in attendance. We’re told It’s a family friendly event, so friends and family are most welcome.

CanMars Mission Public Night, Western University

Upcoming Noteworthy Events

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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