Broadcast 2625

The Space Foundation Conference

17 Jan 2016 Christopher Stone
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Guest:  Christopher (Chris) Stone;  Topics:  Space asset defense, protection and deterrence for national security & commercial assets.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See  For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. 

We welcomed Chris Stone back to the program to discuss national security space issues.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 50 minute program, Chris started out by giving us a working definition for national security space and some of the key issues associated with this segment of the space industry.  We talked about passive defense and active defense, jamming, and physical attacks on space hardware, both of the reversible kind and the irreversible kind.  I asked our guest if we considered an attack on our space assets as an act of war.  Don't miss his reply to this question.  Dr. Doug from S. California called for a somewhat lengthy discussion with Chris until we cut it short due to cell phone problems with Doug's line.  Doug was questioning the value of the rapid replacement and quick launch to replace damaged space assets.  List to what he had to say about this, why he was not supportive of it and hear what Chris said about Doug's ideas.  Doug include satellite replacement, GPS, and the use of our SM3 missile defense system in his analysis.  Its an interesting discussion so don't miss it. 

Also in this segment, Chris talked about first strike vulnerability and the idea brought up by Doug of giving up on space and diversifying capability to advanced ground and air systems if we lose the space component.  Chris had much to say about this but was not advocating giving up on space as he said it was a key part of our defense and economic triad.  In addition, it would signal our retreat which would open the door for even more aggressive adversarial problems.  I asked Chris to comment on the progress of the Responsive Space programs to date.  Chris talked about the potential Chinese Operationally Responsive Space Satellite knows as Koizhou (see, then I read an email from Jack about the effectiveness of our budget for space defense matters. 

Next in this segment, we had a discussion about vulnerability and risk regarding the different types of interference.  Since Chris had been indicating that we were not that well prepared, Ben sent in a note asking for the justification for our leaders to not fully prepare this country for serious attacks on our space assets given the nature of today's economy and the role space place across all segments of our lives and commerce.  I then read a note from Roger suggesting that the best deterrence was to make sure the adversary knew all hell would be unleashed on them for messing with our space assets.  This prompted Chris to discuss the nature of credible threats as a deterrent in the sense that both the capability to unleash the hell being threatened was real plus there had to be a will to do what was being said would be done as a consequence.  He indicated that those types of threats do not have credibility today due to our evolving policy.

In the second segment, we took a call from John in Ft. Worth.  John wanted to discuss the impact of a degraded GPS system on our weapons and military since so much today was predicated on "smart" bombs and weapons.  This proved to be a very interesting discussion, don't miss it.  Pay attention to the comparison Chris offered us with squadrons of B17 bombers in WW2 needed to hit a target whereas today, one new bomber with one or two bombs could do far more damage than the B17s with far less collateral damage and risk to American military men and women.  In this discussion, Chris talked about the need for private sector leadership in this area, not just government leadership. 

Later in the segment, our guest again stressed the need for a tailored and tiered response to an aggressor, referring to historic escalation ladders used in policy making to illustrate this concept.  He spoke of historical programs and famous analysists who worked in the field years ago

Adrian in San Diego sent in a note about an adversary getting the high ground on the Moon and the lunar far side in particular, referring to the Chinese program.  Adrian was asking about launching offensive weapons that would not be visible to us here on Earth until the last minute.  Don't miss what Chris had to say about this topic and the threat regarding space based weapons and deep space asset threats.  After China, listener Rob asked about Iran's capabilities.  Toward the end of the program, a listener asked if we were approaching a point where individuals could interfere with space assets on their own given advancements in small sats, cubesats, etc.  This prompted a cyber security threat discussion using space as a part of the cyber security threat matrix.

Prior to the show ending, Allison wanted to know if space asset defense issues were partisan or bipartisan with our political leaders.  Then just before the show ended, Becky sent in a note asking to what degree climate change played a role in space asset and national security space defense.  Don't miss what Chris had to say about this one.

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National Security and Defense Space

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