Newswise — The Space Security Index (SSI) is pleased to announce the release of the executive summary of Space Security 2011, the eighth annual report on developments that have an impact on the security and long-term sustainability of outer space.

“The Index provides a comprehensive summary of civil, commercial and military space activities in 2010, identified important trends, and analyzes their impact on space security,” said Cesar Jaramillo, Project Manager for the report. It was produced by the Space Security Index, an international research consortium that aims to improve transparency with respect to space activities and to support the development of national and international policies that contribute to space security.

Funding and support for the SSI project comes from Secure World Foundation (SWF), The Simons Foundation, Project Ploughshares, the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The goal of the Index is to provide a well-informed, unbiased perspective on the current status of space security.

“The Space Security Index is a unique source of information about civil, military, and commercial space activities,” said Dr. Ray Williamson, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation. “The SSI has proven to be a valuable resource for our discussions of space security issues and the long-term sustainability of outer space in numerous forums. We support the SSI because it makes a difference,” he said.

Wide range of issues

The developments covered in the report are related to areas such as the physical and electromagnetic space environment, the efforts to develop policies and laws for space activities, commercial space, and space support for terrestrial military operations and national security.

Among the significant developments from 2010 covered in this year’s report:

-- The amount of orbital debris cataloged from the intentional destruction of a Chinese satellite in 2007 surpasses 3,000 objects

-- The U.S. military continues to expand its Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Sharing Program and looks to establish data-sharing agreements with commercial companies and other countries

-- The European Union’s proposed international Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities is revised and presented for international consultation

-- Africa considers the establishment of an African Space Agency

-- Russia proposes a United Nations resolution that would create a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to study Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs)

-- European telecommunications satellite broadcasts continue to be jammed from Iran, despite international pressure

-- Secrecy surrounds launch of the U.S. military’s X-37B test vehicle, raising questions about its precise mission and potential capabilities

Valuable Tool for Policymakers

“The Simons Foundation values the contribution that the Space Security Index. The SSI is making a valuable contribution to informed international discussion of outer space security and how best to preserve a sustainable environment in space for all users,” said Paul Meyer, Senior Fellow at The Simons Foundation.

“I recommend the annual monograph by the Space Security Index to my students, experienced aerospace professionals, diplomats and security officials,” said Bertrand de Montluc, Associate Professor at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. “There you can find the most accurate data and the best policy analysis,” he added.

The principal findings of the SSI annual report were presented in early June at the plenary session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, and will be featured during a special workshop organized by SWF and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, on June 22. More information on the workshop can be found on SWF’s website. The full Index will be released later this year.

Reporters Note:

For access to the Space Security 2011 please go to:

For further information contact:

Brian Weeden, Technical AdvisorSecure World FoundationEmail: [email protected] Phone: 514-466-2756

Cesar Jaramillo, SSI Project ManagerProject PloughsharesEmail: [email protected] Phone: 519-888-6541 x 708

About the SSI Project Partners

Secure World Foundation (SWF) is headquartered in Superior, Colorado, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium. SWF is a private operating foundation dedicated to the secure and sustainable use of space for the benefit of Earth and all its peoples. The Foundation acts as a research body, convener and facilitator to advocate for key space security and other space related topics and to examine their influence on governance and international development.

The Simons Foundation is a private charitable foundation based in Vancouver, Canada, with a clear mission focused on nuclear disarmament, human security and international law. The Foundation is actively engaged in promoting positive change through education in peace, disarmament, international law, and human rights, and also supports the local arts and cultural community in Vancouver.

The Institute of Air & Space Law (IASL) at McGill University was established in 1951 to provide graduate legal education for students from around the world. In the ensuing half century, IASL has educated some 800 students from 120 countries. Today, IASL graduates hold some of the highest positions in international organizations, governmental air transport ministries, airlines, and law firms around the world.

The International Security Research and Outreach Programme (ISROP) is part of the International Security Bureau of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. ISROP acts as a focal point for timely, high quality and policy-relevant research on international security and defense issues related to North American, regional and multilateral security and defense cooperation, non-proliferation (nuclear and non-nuclear), arms control and disarmament.

Project Ploughshares was founded in 1976 and is based in Waterloo, Ontario. The group works with governments, churches, and civil society, in Canada and abroad, to advance policies and actions aimed at preventing war and armed violence through advocacy and research. Project Ploughshares’ areas of work include space security, advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, controlling the global arms trade, and reducing reliance on the use of military force.