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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden should anticipate major and minor conflicts in space from even the earliest days of his presidency.

The big picture: President Donald Trump's military and civil space policies are well-documented, but Biden's record and views on space are less clear.

"They need to be prepared on day one, for space contingencies that could arise — everything from a hostile attack in space to some sort of anti-satellite test," Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, told me.

  • It's also possible an attack could be in the "gray zone" where a country does something that isn't overt — like jamming or using one satellite to inspect another — but would put the U.S. in a tough spot, according to Harrison.

Between the lines: The Biden administration will face pressure to stay the course on some of Trump's space-related policies.

  • The Space Force, for example, is seen as largely beneficial by space insiders because it makes space a priority.
  • Some experts tell Axios they hope Biden will take a relatively hands-off approach to the Space Force, by comparison to Trump, who used the new military branch as a rallying cry for supporters.

The intrigue: While the U.S.' civil and military space programs operate separately, they often act as a united front geopolitically.

  • Harrison warns that the Trump administration's Artemis Accords and Artemis Moon mission to send NASA astronauts back to the lunar surface could have national security implications for the nations that have signed on as partners.
  • Partnering with NASA, "gives them standing geopolitically," Harrison said. "It also is going to help stimulate their own aerospace industrial base and help counter the influence of China in their regions."

Go deeper: The rise of military space powers

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Podcasts

When investing goes viral

You've likely heard the headlines this week about the stock market mania around GameStop. But this isn't just about the stock market. It's a kind of populist uprising borne of the Internet.

  • Plus, what’s behind GM’s big electric vehicle announcement.
  • And, the new Wild West is in outer space.
2 hours ago - World

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as fighting enters 7th day

Smoke billows from a fire following Israeli airstrikes on multiple targets in Gaza on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

7 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

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