The Foundation for Defense of Democracies issued a Report late last week entitled Time to Designate Space Systems as Critical Infrastructure which cogently outlines the risks associated with space systems (which are basically the same as any other electronic system) in order to designate space systems as the seventeenth critical infrastructure sector.

Space systems are defined in the Report as “the ecosystem from ground to orbit, including sensors and signals, data and payloads, and critical technologies and supply chains.”  The Report outlines the reasons why designating space systems as critical infrastructure is a matter of national security as “the threat from Russia and China is growing. Both those authoritarian powers have placed American and partner space systems in their crosshairs, as demonstrated by their testing of anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities.”

The Report lists recommendations for the Executive Branch, Congress Industry, and Industry and Government Together. Its conclusion is that “the United States needs a more concerted and coherent approach to risk management and public-private collaboration regarding space systems infrastructure.” Space systems have similar risks as any other system—it is just in a different location. These risks need to be addressed similarly to other critical infrastructure sectors.