Middle East and North Africa Space Capabilities & Security Challenges
More than five decades after the launch of the Sputnik and the race to the Moon, new spacefaring nations emerge and consolidate their ambitions including countries in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Security interests, national prestige, the uses of space for climate and environmental research, alongside scientific, technological and economic purposes are the main drivers to space endeavours also in that region. Satellites and launch vehicles are associated with projection of power and extension of military capabilities, as well as with the international status of a certain country vis-à-vis both domestic public opinion and foreign actors.
Food-For-Thought paper prepared by IAI for the NATO Strategic Direction-South Hub as a background document for the conference: “MENA: Space Capabilities and Security Challenges”.
1. Outlook of space capabilities in MENA countries
1.1 General introduction on the status of space capabilities in the region
1.2 Overview of national cases
1.2.1 Middle East
1.2.2 North Africa
2. Space applications for socio-economic development: opportunities for MENA countries
2.1 Earth Observation
2.2 Satellite Navigation
2.3 Satellite Communication
3. Security implications for space programmes and capabilities
3.1 Four implications for space policies and capabilities