Space Agenda 2021

Space exploration, development, and security are increasingly important elements of national policy and strategy. Inevitably, the presidential term starting in 2021 will include the need for many high-level decisions on space-related issues. Aerospace has created a series of discussion papers—Space Agenda 2021—on topics already at the forefront, or likely to emerge in the next few years.


From evolving adversary threats to game-changing technologies to emerging commercial capabilities, the space enterprise is in an era of rapid change. This moment presents countless opportunities to shape the future of space. Challenges will have to be addressed, whether it’s managing space traffic and orbital debris, integrating new commercial operators or preparing for a new era of contested space. 

Space Agenda 2021, is a series of papers highlighting issues already at the forefront of U.S. space policy or are likely to emerge in the coming years. Each paper serves as a chapter in the full Space Agenda 2021 report, offering concise backgrounds, astute analyses, and potential options to aid government decisionmakers, industry leaders and other space stakeholders. 

Read the Full Collection

All of these papers are available in a single collection for download.
national security in space

Outpacing the Threat

CPA Threat

This is a critical moment for the U.S. and its allies in space. As the space domain becomes more crowded and contested, potential adversaries are developing new capabilities that threaten national security and interests. These papers offer insights into key topics and trends that must be considered in order to continuously outpace the threat.

Expanding Frontiers


As the nation’s space capabilities continue to advance, leveraging new innovations and partnerships with the commercial sector and international allies can create new opportunities to augment U.S. government missions. These papers discuss key ideas and topics that will help shape the trajectory and expectations for this expansion of new frontiers.

Managing the Growth in Space Traffic


Technological advances and new commercial entrants are lowering the barriers of entry to put spacecraft on orbit. While this trend provides promising opportunities, issues such as an increasingly congested orbit, impact on existing operations, and long-term sustainability must be addressed. These papers highlight some of the key issues in keeping space accessible and safe for the growing enterprise.

Leading in a Time of Change


Space leadership has enduring importance, yet it seems to mean different things to different people. Shaping the future of space must account for the domain’s rapidly evolving complexities as a physical, political, economic, and threat environment. These papers explore the challenges, priorities and potential strategies for a modern space enterprise.