Space Crisis Management: Filling the Gaps
29 March 2012
Space Crisis Management: Filling the Gaps



The growing global dependency on space assets has revealed weaknesses in the ability of the international space community to manage space emergencies and “incidents”. The workshop will focus on those crises that involve space-based assets, rather than space capabilities that can be used for crisis management on Earth. Effective space crisis management necessitates understanding the origin of the crisis, the assets involved, the scope of the crisis, and the global geopolitical backdrop. Crisis management also involves detailed operational aspects.


The overarching objective of space crisis management is to avoid conflicts or disruptive incidents in space. The roundtable participants will discuss various modalities of space crisis management, including deterrence and defence/counterspace operations on the basis of current and projected capabilities/technologies that could pose a risk to space-based systems. Deterrence has been recognized as an integral component of enhancing space security. It involves, among other activities, the preemptive expenditure of political and diplomatic capital, taking carefully-calibrated steps to address the problem, and assessing the credibility of the actors involved. Traditionally, deterrence theory has primarily addressed terrestrial nuclear or conventional conflicts. Accordingly, deterrence as it pertains to space remains somewhat murky due to fewer precedents. Defence, the actual possession of counterspace capabilities (i.e. those than can temporarily deny, or destroy, an adversary’s space capability), comes into play should deterrence fail. This workshop will seek to blend deterrence and defence/counterspace as both are essential tools for effective space crisis management. It will also explore realistic contingencies and scenarios in space that could trigger crisis management operations.




Benefits of Attending


  • An opportunity to discuss available deterrence options, including transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBM), with fellow experts in the field
  • An ability to contribute to an analysis of various contingency plans and scenarios for some of the most realistic space “incidents” that could require crisis management measures
  • An opportunity to gain important knowledge concerning existing capabilities and technologies that could create significant disruptions to space operations
  • An ability to participate in a cutting-edge dialogue on the kind of contingencies and counter measures that could be faced in the relatively near term for planning purposes



In Association with:

Workshop agenda



Registration & Coffee



Welcome and Opening Remarks



Space Crisis Prevention

  • Challenges of a congested, contested and competitive space environment
  • Potential crises stemming from threats to space assets
  • Interface of the space and terrestrial environments
  • Modalities of space deterrence
  • The status of international norms for space
  • Opinions for improving SSA to facilitate crisis prevention and management
  • clock


    Morning Coffee



    Space Crisis Management

  • Labelling a crisis (issue of attribution)
  • Contingency planning
  • Response options
  • Involvement of commercial entities
  • Strategic value of collaborative diplomatic and military actions
  • Institutional and operational mechanisms to react in a timely manner
  • clock


    Networking Lunch



    Crisis Management Scenario(s) Discussion



    End of Roundtable

    Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna

    Rennweg 16
    Vienna 1030 Wien

    Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna



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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

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    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


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    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

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