The dramatic expansion of space capabilities has transformed space systems into critical infrastructure for many aspects of human society and for national security. With opportunities for global societal benefits come risks. The global governance framework remains weak and contested. Vulnerabilities now exist with space systems, and these are especially pronounced in the face of cyberthreats. We now confront a volatile “space-cyber nexus,” which the Cybersecurity and Outer Space essay series explores across a diverse and wide range of perspectives. The series is organized around three themes: space security and risk; international governance challenges; and global perspectives and the pursuit of inclusivity.


Foreword: Is the Earth’s Orbit Becoming a Lawless Frontier?
Paul Samson

Securing the New Space Domain: An Introduction
Aaron Shull, Wesley Wark and Jessica West

Space Security and Risk

Where Outer Space Meets Cyberspace: A Human-Centric Look at Space Security
Jessica West

The Five Eyes and Space: A New Frontier for an Old Intelligence Alliance
Wesley Wark

Responding to the Cybersecurity Challenges of the New Space Environment
Robert Mazzolin

The Growth of the Space Economy and New Cyber Vulnerabilities
Brian Gallant and Jordan Miller

The Cyber Counterspace Threat: Coming Out of the Shadows
Victoria Samson

Commercial Space Operators on the Digital Battlefield
Laetitia Cesari

International Governance Challenges

Formulating, Interpreting and Applying International Law in Space
Aaron Shull and Timiebi Aganaba

Cyberproofing India’s Space Assets
Tobby Simon

International Humanitarian Law in the “Grey Zone” of Space and Cyber
Cassandra Steer

The Ungoverned Space of US Space-Cyber Governance
Gregory Falco

The Cyber Phantom Menace to Space Security
Almudena Azcárate Ortega

Global Perspectives and the Pursuit of Inclusivity

Cybersecurity of Space Infrastructure and Space Sustainability: Japan’s View
Aya Iwamoto and Quentin Verspieren

Space and Cyber Global Governance: A View from the Global South
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Chinese Thinking on the Space-Cyber Nexus
Yue Yuan

NATO versus Non-kinetic Threats: Implications and Opportunities
Giulia Pavesi

About the Authors

Aaron Shull is the managing director and general counsel at CIGI. He is a senior legal executive and is recognized as a leading expert on complex issues at the intersection of public policy, emerging technology, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection.

Wesley Wark is a CIGI senior fellow.

Jessica West is a CIGI senior fellow and a senior researcher at Project Ploughshares, a Canadian peace and security research institute, where she focuses on technology, security and governance in outer space.

Timiebi Aganaba is an assistant professor of space and society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University.

Almudena Azcárate Ortega is a researcher in the Space Security and Weapons of Mass Destruction programs at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

Laetitia Cesari is a consultant at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

Gregory Falco has been at the forefront of space system and critical infrastructure security in both industry and academia for the past decade. He is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Assured Autonomy and the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering.

Aya Iwamoto is the director of Japan space policy at Astroscale Japan.

Jordan Miller is a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal Military College of Canada and works in the defence and space industry.

Giulia Pavesi is finishing her Ph.D. in space law at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Institute for International Law, KU Leuven.

Rajeswari (Raji) Pillai Rajagopalan is the director of the Centre for Security, Strategy & Technology at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Paul Samson is president of CIGI. He has 30 years of experience across a range of policy issues with partners from around the world. He is a former senior government official and also served for many years as co-chair of the principal G20 working group on the global economy.

Victoria Samson is the chief director of Space, Security and Stability for Secure World Foundation (SWF) and has over 25 years of experience in military space and security issues.

Tobby Simon is the president and founder of Synergia Foundation, an India-based think tank that works closely with academia, industry and government to establish impactful solutions in the areas of geoeconomics and geosecurity.

Cassandra Steer is Chair and founder of the Australian Centre for Space Governance, and concurrently Deputy Director of the Australian National University Institute for Space.

Quentin Verspieren is assistant professor in the Science, Technology, and Innovation Governance program at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy and associate research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute.

Yue Yuan is a Ph.D. candidate at China Foreign Affairs University and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.