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Policy and Law

#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Japan’s New Space Domain Mission Unit And Security In The Indo-Pacific Region

By Yuka Koshino Japan’s establishment of the Space Domain Mission Unit, which is planned to become fully operational in 2023, reflects the country’s increasing reliance on space systems to meet its security needs. It could emerge as a key actor in the defence of space assets in the Indo-Pacific. In …

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Lunapolitics: Russia’s Roscosmos Signals Openness To US-Proposed Artemis Accords

By John B. Sheldon A senior official from the Russian state space corporation, Roscosmos, has indicated that Russia is open to discussions with the United States regarding Russia’s role in the Artemis lunar programme – in particular the Lunar Gateway mission – within the framework of NASA’s proposed Artemis Accords. …

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Japan Stands Up Its First Military Space Operations Squadron

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and Ministry of Defense (MoD) stood up the country’s first Space Operations Squadron – the first component of Japan’s Space Domain Mission Unit (SDMU) – in a ceremony presided by the Japanese Minister of Defense Taro Kono on 18 May 2020. The Space Operations Squadron, …

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Lunapolitics: NASA Releases More Details About Its Proposed Artemis Accords

By John B. Sheldon Following the announcement on 5 May 2020 by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine of the proposed Artemis Accords, NASA revealed further details on 14 May 2020 that provide some granularity of what is likely being discussed in private channels with like-minded countries. The new details about the …

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India To Open Up Space To The Private Sector

The Indian finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced on 16 May 2020 that the Indian government will enact all necessary measures to create a level playing field for the private sector to take part in all Indian space activities. Sitharaman announced the initiative during her fourth press conference in as many days …

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Intelsat Files For Chapter 11 Protection In US Bankruptcy Courts

Intelsat, one of the largest commercial satellite communications operators in the world, announced on 13 May 2020 that it is seeking Chapter 11 protections from its creditors in US bankruptcy courts. The satellite communications operator with a fleet of over 50 satellites is reported to have debts of at least …

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#SpaceWatchGL Perspectives On Iran’s Satellite Launch: Mahsa Rouhi On The IRGC’s Quest For Space And Political Power

On 22 April 2020 Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) successfully launched a small satellite – the Noor-1 (Farsi for ‘Light’) – on a previously unseen satellite launch vehicle called the Qased. This past week SpaceWatch.Global has published a series of perspectives on the strategic, political, and geopolitical implications of the …

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