Report of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on its forty-sixth session, held in Vienna from 9 to 20 February 2009

March 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Report of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on its forty-sixth session, held in Vienna from 9 to 20 February 2009 is now available from UNOOSA.

ESA-CNES Contract on Guiana Space Center

March 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From ESA:

ESA and CNES sign contract on Guiana Space Centre (CSG)

27 March 2009
On 25 March, ESA and CNES, the French Space Agency, signed a 435 million Euro contract assuring the availability of the CSG launch range for ESA programmes and activities and for the exploitation of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz launchers over the period 2009 to 2013.

The signature ceremony took place at the Guiana Space Centre (Centre Spatial Guyanais – CSG), Europe’s Spaceport located in Kourou, French Guiana. Antonio Fabrizi, ESA Director of Launchers, and Joël Barre, Director of CNES/CSG, signed the contract in the presence of ESA Member States’ Delegations to the Launchers Programme Board.

From 2009 onward, a family of launchers, composed of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz, will be operated from CSG under a new legal framework, which includes in particular an agreement between ESA and the French Government on CSG and associated services. Under this agreement, the French Government guarantees to ESA the availability of the CSG launch range for ESA programmes and activities and for the exploitation of Ariane, Vega and Soyuz. The French Government has designated CNES as the authority responsible for the implementation of this guarantee on its behalf by means of the contract just concluded between ESA and CNES.

ESA has, since 1975, contributed through such contracts to the upkeep and operating costs of the CSG launch range, ensuring the availability of the range as a key element of guaranteed access to space for Europe.

Russia Speaks Out Against North Korean Launch Plans

March 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From RIA Novosti:

Russia urges N. Korea against rocket launch plans
11:34 | 27/ 03/ 2009

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) – A deputy Russian foreign minister has joined international criticism of North Korea’s planned launch of a rocket, cautioning the reclusive-communist country on Friday against increasing tensions in the region.

North Korea announced plans last month to launch what it says is a communications satellite from its Musudan-ri launch site in early April. However, the U.S., Japan and South Korea believe that the secretive state is planning to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile.

“We understand that the situation in northeast Asia is currently very tense. It would therefore be better if our North Korean partners were to refrain from the launch,” Alexei Borodavkin told reporters. . . . [Full Story]

Nigeria And China Sign Pact To Replace Faulty Satellite By 2011

March 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From Space Daily:

Nigeria And China Sign Pact To Replace Faulty Satellite By 2011

by Staff Writers
Lagos, Nigeria (XNA) Mar 27, 2009
Nigeria and China have signed a contract for a new communications satellite that will replace one sidelined by a power failure, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

According to the contract signed in Beijing on Tuesday, the replacement satellite has been named NIGCOMSAT-1R and is due to be launched by 2011 with no cost to Nigeria, the Lagos-based Guardian reported. . . . [Full Story]

White House Press Secretary on Planned North Korea Launch

March 27, 2009 at 8:53 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From a March 26, 2009 press briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

Q On North Korea and the impending rocket launch, is the President as alarmed as some others have said? Does he believe the North Koreans are really going to launch a satellite or does he think that really this is a missile test?

MR. GIBBS: I don’t want to get into the motivations, except to say that we believe that such a launch would be provocative and that such a launch would be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. We continue to maintain the goal of a denuclearized North Korea and look to working with our allies to ensure that that happens.

Q And he believes that this is in fact a missile launch, and if he believes it’s a threat, does he want U.S. forces to attempt to shoot it down?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I — I’m not going to engage in diplomacy here, except to reiterate that we believe that any action would be provocative and in violation of the U.N. Security Council.

Canada Tables PAROS Paper at the Conference on Disarmament

March 27, 2009 at 8:45 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

According to the statement made by Canada’s representative to the conference on Disarmament at the March 26, 2009 plenary meeting, Canada has formally tabled a working paper titled “The Merits of Certain Draft Transparency and Confidence Building Measures and Treaty Proposals for Space Security.”

Canada – Ambassador Grinius (French) (English)

North Korea says criticism of rocket launches ‘hostile act’

March 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From RIA Novosti:

N. Korea says criticism of rocket launches ‘hostile act’
16:34 | 26/ 03/ 2009

MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told state media that if rocket launches in the country “are criticized” either by the UN Security Council or collectively, then this would be viewed as a “hostile act.”

Pyongyang has announced it will launch a satellite at the beginning of April. The Japanese Jiji Press agency last week cited diplomats in Beijing as saying the launch would go ahead on April 4 barring adverse weather conditions or last-minute repairs.

“Such hostile acts breach the September 19 agreement of the Group of Six talks, and from that moment those talks will be stopped,” the spokesman said. . . .[Full Story]

Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2009 Office

March 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2009 has been published. The section on space states:

Space Warfare. PLA strategists see space as central to enabling modern informatized warfare; indeed, a 2003 analytic article in the PLA’s leading journal was entitled “Control of Space is Decisive
in Modern High-Tech Informatized Warfare.” That said, China does not appear to have a dedicated space campaign; rather, space operations form an integral component of all campaigns. The PLA’s military theoretical journal China Military Science argues that “it is in space that information age warfare will come into its more intensive points.”
Specifically, space-based Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) is
important to enable and coordinate joint operations and win modern wars. Accordingly, the PLA is acquiring technologies to improve China’s spacebased C4ISR. A PLA analysis of U.S. and Coalition
military operations reinforced the importance of operations in space to enable informatized warfare, claiming that “space is the commanding point for the information battlefield. Battlefield monitor and control, information communications, navigation and position, and precision guidance all rely on satellites and other sensors.”

Concurrently, China is developing the ability to attack an adversary’s space assets. PLA writings emphasize the necessity of “destroying, damaging, and interfering with the enemy’s reconnaissance/observation and communications satellites,” suggesting that such systems, as well as navigation and early warning satellites, could be among initial targets of attack to “blind and deafen the enemy.” The same PLA analysis of U.S. and Coalition military operations also states that “destroying or capturing satellites and other sensors … will deprive the opponents of initiatives on the battlefield and [make it difficult] for them to bring their precision guided weapons into full play.”

PRC military writings also discuss the importance of space warfare for its supposed psychological impact on the will of the adversary to fight. In a PLA National Defense University book, Joint Space War Campaigns (2005), author Colonel Yuan Zelu writes:

“[The] goal of a space shock and awe strike is [to] deter the enemy, not to provoke the enemy into combat. For this reason, the objectives selected for strike must be few and precise … [for example], on important information sources, command and control centers, communications hubs, and other objectives. This will shake the structure of the opponent’s operational system of organization and will create huge psychological impact on the opponent’s policymakers.”

The January 2007 test of a direct ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon demonstrates that the PLA’s interest in counterspace systems is more than theoretical. In addition to the “kinetic kill” capability demonstrated by the ASAT test, the PLA is developing the ability to jam, blind, or otherwise disable satellites and their terrestrial support infrastructure.

Secretary Clinton on Planned North Korean Launch

March 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From RIA Novosti:

Clinton says North Korean missile launch would be ‘provocative’
09:45 | 26/ 03/ 2009

MEXICO CITY, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the firing by North Korea of a missile of any kind would be a “provocative act.”

North Korea announced plans last month to launch what it says is a communications satellite from the newly constructed Musudan-ri launch pad on the country’s northeast coast. However, the U.S., Japan and South Korea believe that the secretive communist state is in fact planning to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile.

Speaking to journalists in Mexico City, Clinton said Washington would consider the firing of a missile by North Korea a violation of a UN Security Council resolution that forbids the country from undertaking ballistic activity. She also said that any missile launch could have consequences for six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program. The talks involve the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China and Japan.

“We have made it very clear that the North Koreans pursue this pathway at a cost and with consequences to the six-party talks, which we would like to see revived,” Clinton said. . . . [Full Story]

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio-navigation programmes.

March 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Council of the European Union has posted a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio-navigation programmes. The Grounds and objectives of this regulation are:

To bring the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 of 12 July 2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio-navigation programmes into line with those of Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo). In recital 17 of Regulation (EC) No 683/2008, the European Parliament and the Council also invited the Commission to ‘put forward a proposal in order to align formally the management structures of the programmes as set out in Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 with the new roles of the Commission and the Authority’.

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