Institute News

Is Outer-Space the Final Frontier?

By July 29, 2016 No Comments

The Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, once wrote:

“Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.”

In 2001, Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space, and has since recounted his experiences viewing the world from above. The words he wrote in his autobiography, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, still ring true today. Particularly in regards to outer-space security.

Outer-space is neither a far-away nor futuristic place. In fact, we already rely heavily on it. This is the reality since humans breached its borders in 1957, when the Soviets launched the first artificial satellite. Our economy, national security, and even our phone applications ­- like Snapchat – are at the mercy of outer-space because of the thousands of satellites operating in it today.

However, those same satellites – and even space itself – are threatened by three important elements; the outdated policies that have failed to catch up to the ever-changing geopolitical dynamics of space exploration; the increasing militarization of space ­- a realm that was to remain ‘peaceful’ according to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty; and the millions of ‘space debris’ that orbit the earth threatening to damage our precious satellites and space-craft.



The forthcoming three-part video series developed by The Mackenzie Institute will explore the importance of ‘security’ in outer-space, featuring an interview with Dr. Cassandra Steer, Arsenault Fellow at the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, and Executive Director of Women in International Security Canada.

Each video will focus on a different aspect of outer-space security including: 1) space technologies and our increasing reliance on them, 2) international and domestic space policy, and 3) the militarization of space.

The aim of this series is to inform viewers about the significance of outer-space, and the problems (as well as the possible solutions), regarding this final frontier.

Why? Because our future, and security here on Earth, depend on it.

The first part of this series will be published on Wednesday, August 17th.

To view the promotional video regarding this series, please follow this link.