What is Space Development Theory?

By: Joshua Carlson, 7 September 2020


Space Development Theory is the attempt to grasp the purposes of going to space and systematize them in such a way that they can both assess current status and provide assistance in planning strategy, and predicting hostile intentions.


Space Development Theory has two baseline assumptions:

  1. That actions done in any domain have a purpose, and the most benefit possible to gain is from economic advantage that benefits national power. This is accomplished through the systematized phases of Exploration, Expansion, Exploitation, and Exclusion.

  2. Exploration - going into the domain to observe and assess what is present, how it operates, and identify what key areas must be held for economic or military benefit. Maps, names, and other such things lay claim to land and lay the ground work for expansion.

  3. Expansion - extending permanent bases and nation