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“Cyber Security and Space Cooperation,” in Europe-India Space Cooperation: Policy, Legal and Business Perspectives from India, ESPI-ORF, April 2019
The number of countries using space for enhancement of societal services, communication, weather, resource management, positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) and disaster management is constantly increasing. Space plays an important role in supplementing and supporting the goals set out in the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. In fact, the vision document of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UN-ESCAP) states that by 2030 all countries in the Asia-Pacific region will be able to access and use space science, technology and their applications to the fullest extent to meet their individual and regional needs to achieving the sustainable development goals. Similar vision exists for other regions/groupings around the world and one can imagine the assets that need to be in space for meeting the goals worldwide. The fact that 382420 objects were launched into space on board launch vehicles in 114 launches421 in 2018 mirrors the magnitude of the effort needed. In this statistic it must be noted that China with 39 launches, USA with 31 launches and Russia with 21 launches were the lead space launch countries. For Russia, discounting the Progress launches to ISS, the number of launches stands at 17. Many of the launches of these three countries have a military bearing – the Atlas launched satellites of the US and SS-20 launched satellites of Russia are an obvious give away and the Chinese satellites can be deciphered with some effort. The exponential increase in micro, cube and nanosatellites has further contributed to the overcrowding of space.