Among all the excitement and engineering challenges of reaching space, it’s easy to lose sight of the true goal: expanding humanity beyond the limits of Earth. We not only must be technically capable of space exploration, but prepared as a society for this change by building a framework for our spacefaring future. In SSI, we believe that understanding the social, economic, political, and philosophical underpinnings of space is just as important as building the hardware and software. SSI’s Policy Team exists to bridge this gap between science and society. We hope to anticipate the issues we’ll face over the next decades so that as soon as the technology is there, we’re ready for launch.
Looking Up is Policy’s biweekly column in the Stanford Daily! Filling a niche between our weekly podcasts and our long-term research projects, Looking Up uses a crisp, approachable writing style to bring analysis of space policy to the entire Stanford community. Every article defends a specific, heavily researched position on some aspect of space policy, from the politics of building spaceports to the uses and dangers of Anti-Satellite Weapons.
New posts can be found in the Stanford Daily and on our blog, every two weeks!
Understanding what’s happening in space policy means following space news. So Policy team hosts a weekly podcast that delves into space news issues, helping deliver greater perspective to our members, campus, and beyond. Submissions are welcome from everyone, and even if you don’t submit, you are welcome to come to Podcast Lunch, where we keep each other informed, make jokes about obscure laws, and enjoy each other’s company!
The SSI Policy Team is currently collaborating with For All Moonkind, a non-governmental organization committed to the preservation of human heritage sites in space, to present a proposal for a space preservation treaty to UNESCO in the spring. This project entails a deep dive into international space policy and United Nations resolutions regarding the use of international territory and the preservation of sites of human and environmental interest.
Each year, the Policy Team also sends members to the Citizens for Space Exploration Conference in Washington, DC, where we speak directly with lawmakers and elected officials, working to promote space exploration and determine the role of government in space.
As part of giving members the hands-on experience needed to work in the aerospace industry of the 21st century, SSI projects have to also engage with state and federal regulations. Members of the Policy team coordinate regulatory compliance for the organization at large, ensuring our activities remain above board on their way to space.