Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Faculty of Law

The affirmation of the U.S. space nuclear technology strategy

Since 2017, U.S. interest in space-based nuclear power applications appears renewed. In a context of growing international competition, these applications are even receiving increasingly structured political support. The objective of this note is to examine these developments in order to put into perspective the issues that accompany them. Although primarily intended for interplanetary exploration (surface energy supply and high-performance propulsion), space nuclear technologies remain dual.

By Amaury Dufay

Exploration note of the space wargame realized on 19/11/2021

Designed in two phases, crisis management and Red Team exploitation of the results of the crisis, this Wargame allowed an in-depth reflection of the players, leading to the most negative possible result of a generalized catastrophe of the Kessler syndrome type. The causes of this development are to be found in a continuous escalation due to the export of traditional geopolitical oppositions to space competition, in particular between great powers, pushing the players to act in a logic of confrontation rather than cooperation. The relevance of decisions, as well as their rationality, have demonstrated a fundamental political dimension of management of Space, in particular in case of crisis, with the pursuit of interests and the will to power as the main engine of actions.

By Thibault Fouillet

Between force and space diplomacy: the Russian Nudol missile invites itself to the negotiating table

Since November 15, 2021, and the firing of the Russian Nudol missile which caused the destruction of an old Russian spy satellite, Cosmos 1408, dating from the Soviet era, the debate has mainly revolved around the debris created by the impact, which is now spreading in an alarming manner. These thousands of pieces, some of which are tiny and difficult to detect, are all potentially destructive to space assets and astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), located not far from the impact site.

By Valentin Degrange

War in Ukraine: initial international space consequences of a regional conflict

Scientific space cooperation is not immune to geopolitical dynamics, and the conflict in Ukraine promises to have important technical and capability consequences on launch means and programs. One week after the beginning of the hostilities, this news note offers a first overview, in the measure of the available information and the fast evolution of the situation.

By Amaury Dufay

Cyber threats: a new issue for space security

For a long time, reflections on space security have focused on attacks of a kinetic nature or of electromagnetic origin. With the expansion of cyberspace, the space industry has had to consider new threats and new types of actors.

By Benoît Wagner