New Space Race

August 4, 2017 – Volume 27, Issue 28
Is the U.S. falling behind Russia and China? By Patrick Marshall



Spitzmiller, Ted , The History of Human Spaceflight , University Press of Florida, 2017. An aviation historian and pilot delivers a colorful history of human space flight, beginning in 1783 with balloonists and ending with the debate over returning humans to the moon and colonizing other planets.

MacDonald, Alexander , The Long Space Age: The Economic Origins of Space Exploration from Colonial America to the Cold War , Yale University Press, 2017. An economist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says philanthropists and private companies historically have provided crucial financing for space programs.

Sivolella, Davide , The Space Shuttle Program: Technologies and Accomplishments , Springer Praxis Books, 2017. An aerospace engineer offers a detailed history of the space shuttle program.


Baiocchi, Dave, and William Welser IV , “The Democratization of Space: New Actors Need New Rules,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2015, Two engineers with the RAND Corp. think tank argue that governments need to develop a new legal framework to accommodate the growing role of private companies in space.

Chow, Brian G. , “Stalkers in Space: Defeating the Threat,” Strategic Studies Quarterly, Summer 2017, An adjunct physical scientist at the RAND Corp. says the best way to defend U.S. satellite systems against anti-satellite weapons is to announce a policy of pre-emptive strikes against potential adversaries who behave suspiciously.

Pace, Scott , “Regulating Outer Space: Making Space Commerce a Priority,” Foreign Affairs, May 12, 2016, The director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University says the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 does not adequately cover the activities of private aerospace companies and that the United States needs to take the lead in setting international norms for using space.

Thompson, Loren , “Capitalism In Space: The Beguiling Myth Market Forces Can Fix Everything,” Forbes, March 16, 2017, A public-policy analyst challenges the argument that the private sector is better suited than NASA to manage space programs, saying private efforts have regularly run behind schedule, and concern for profits may cause companies to skimp on safety.

Reports and Studies

“National Security Space Defense and Protection: Public Report,” Committee on National Security Space Defense and Protection; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, National Academies Press, 2016. A panel of military, academic and private-sector experts assesses the risks to U.S. national security presented by other countries’ space capabilities as well as potential measures for countering those risks.

Canis, Bill , “Commercial Space Industry Launches a New Phase,” Congressional Research Service, Dec. 12, 2016, An analyst for the research arm of Congress describes the growing role of private companies in space, their relationship with NASA and federal regulation of private-sector activities in space.

Colby, Elbridge , “From Sanctuary to Battlefield: A Framework for a U.S. Defense and Deterrence Strategy for Space,” Center for a New American Security, January 2017, A senior fellow at a national security think tank assesses the vulnerability of U.S. satellite systems and other space-related technology, details the limited steps taken to mitigate those vulnerabilities and explores potential ways to deter attacks by other countries.

Harrison, Todd, Andrew Hunter, Kaitlyn Johnson, Evan Linck and Thomas Roberts , “Beyond the RD-180,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 2017, Analysts at a centrist think tank explore how the U.S. government came to depend on Russian rockets for trips to the International Space Station and options for ending that dependence.

Pollpeter, Kevin, Eric Anderson, Jordan Wilson and Fan Yang , “China Dream, Space Dream: China's Progress in Space Technologies and Implications for the United States,” prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, March 2, 2015, Scholars from the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation say China's space program poses challenges for the United States but also may present opportunities for scientific collaboration.

Zimmerman, Robert , “Capitalism in Space: Private Enterprise and Competition Reshape the Global Aerospace Launch Industry,” Center for a New American Security, January 2017, In a report that prompted heated debate among space analysts, a space historian argues that private-sector companies are more efficient than NASA at designing and managing space programs.

Go to top
Go to The Next Step

Document APA Citation
Marshall, P. (2017, August 4). New space race. CQ researcher, 27, 653-676. Retrieved from
Document ID: cqresrre2017080409
Document URL:
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Space Exploration
Aug. 04, 2017  New Space Race
Jun. 20, 2014  Search for Life On New Planets
Feb. 24, 2012  Space Program
Aug. 16, 2011  Weapons in Space
Oct. 16, 2009  Human Spaceflight
May 23, 2003  NASA's Future
Jul. 23, 1999  New Challenges in Space
Apr. 25, 1997  Space Program's Future
Dec. 24, 1993  Space Program's Future
Mar. 29, 1991  Uncertain Future for Man in Space
Jul. 31, 1987  Space Race
Feb. 07, 1986  Space Decisions after Challenger
Feb. 18, 1983  American Options in Space
Nov. 10, 1978  Changing U.S. Space Policy
Jul. 04, 1975  Cooperation in Space
Mar. 15, 1972  Space Shuttle Controversy
Oct. 01, 1969  Mission to Mars: Benefits Vs. Costs
Nov. 13, 1968  Goals in Space
Jun. 29, 1966  Future of Space Exploration
May 08, 1963  Moon Race Controversy
Jun. 27, 1962  Peaceful Use of Outer Space
Nov. 01, 1961  Space Exploration
Dec. 09, 1959  National Space Policy
Feb. 19, 1958  Control of Outer Space
Arms Control and Disarmament
Congress Actions
General Defense and National Security
General International Relations
Powers and History of the Presidency
Space Sciences and Exploration
No comments on this report yet.
Comment on this Report