Press Release

Assessing the Contribution of Codes of Conduct to U.S. Security in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
January 31, 2011
Filed under ,

Reportedly, the Obama Administration is nearing or has reached a decision to agree to the European Union’s Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities.

The EU proposal is a series of statements designed to establish a normative framework defining responsible behavior in outer space. It includes calls for states to take actions to minimize the prospect of collisions on orbit, to avoid purposefully creating space debris, and to agree to registration requirements for space launches and satellite maneuvers.

Questions persist about the need for such a document. For example, as we noted in 2007, many of these issues already are being addressed through multilateral and bilateral processes as space-faring nations have found a need for them. How the Code’s requirements will constrain U.S. security also is frequently cited as a reason to critically and thoroughly examine the utility of the Code of Conduct and similar proposals. And the lack of enforcement and verification provisions have led many to conclude that the Code inevitably will give way to more robust forms of arms control.

Still, the Code has useful attributes, too. The Code (or the discussions that take place about a Code) could help further clarify debris mitigation standards and mature manuever and traffic management standards by providing top-level diplomatic cover for the ongoing dialogues.

On February 4, the George C. Marshall Institute will convene a forum to discuss the EU Code and its implications for U.S. national security space activities.

A panel will assess the strengths and limitations of the EU Code, identify areas of concern and areas for improvement, and discuss likely next steps.

The panel will include:

Peter Marquez, former Director of Space Policy at the National Security Council and a Fellow at the Marshall Institute;

Paula DeSutter, former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation; and

Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University and formerly with NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Please Note: On February 10, the Institute is hosting another event discussing space issues.

Outsourced: The Role of Commercial and International Capabilities in U.S. National Security Space

Date: Feb 4, 2011

Time: 9-10:30am

Where: Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street, SE, Washington, DC


On February 10, at 9am, the George C. Marshall Institute and the Space Enterprise Council will co-host a forum focusing on the role of commercial and international space capabilities in America’s national security space portfolio.

Panelists will address the following questions:

* Which space capabilities should NOT be outsourced?
* What should be the limits on what is outsourced? To what levels?
* How does outsourcing (or not outsourcing) capabilities affect the demand for greater cooperation with our allies?

Introductory Remarks will be delivered by Rosie Rosenberg – Retired Air Force Major General, author of the Carter Administration space policy, former GM SAIC.

Panelists include:

* Steven Huybrechts- former Director, Space Programs and Policy at Department of Defense
* Andrea Maleter- Technical Director, Futron Corporation
* Peter Marquez- former Director, Space Policy, National Security Council, and Fellow at the Marshall Institute

This event is being held at the offices of Tech America, 601 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 600, Washington, DC. RSVP to

SpaceRef staff editor.