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NATO's inaugural Space Symposium kicks off in Toulouse

The inaugural NATO Space Symposium, held in Toulouse on 29 and 30 April 2024, aimed to bring key stakeholders together to stress the importance of the domain and highlight the key requirements among the alliance. (Armée de l'air et de l'espace)

NATO's inaugural Space Symposium has begun with senior NATO executives and space commanders from across the alliance as well as 44 companies in attendance to highlight the growing importance of space.

Held in Toulouse, France, on 29 and 30 April, the symposium aims to “bring all of the key players together to really understand where we are today, and where we need to go tomorrow”, both in terms of capabilities and policy, Lieutenant General David Julazadeh, the deputy chief of staff for Capability Development at Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation (ACT), told Janes and other media representatives at the event.

This is necessary because NATO is “behind the power curve in space”, Lt Gen Julazadeh continued. The event is also about getting the alliance to think about “space as a physical domain” and not just an enabler, he added.

Along with this, the symposium aims to bridge the gap between the commercial space industry and NATO, with a commercial space strategy scheduled to be released in the coming months, a NATO expert said.

While at the symposium it was acknowledged by both General Philippe Lavigne, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Lieutenant General Thomas James, the deputy commander of US Space Command, that NATO's top space priority was improving its understanding of the space environment through space domain awareness. More details regarding this are expected to emerge at the upcoming NATO Washington summit in July.

For more information on NATO and space, please see

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