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Are we heading towards a war in space ?


Posted on Tuesday, 11 August, 2015 | Comment icon 14 comments

Could space become the battleground of the 21st century ? Image Credit: US Navy
Concerns have been raised over the development of new defensive and offensive space technologies.
The prospect of a war in space is something that has been around ever since the development of the first anti-satellite weapons in the 1950s. The US even tested nuclear bombs in space before orbital weapons were banned by the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

While today it may seem as though the major players are getting on a lot better, especially given the prevalence of co-operative projects such as the International Space Station, behind the scenes efforts are still underway to develop technologies that could one day lead to an all-out space war.

Chief among these are weapons capable of disabling or hijacking enemy satellites, something that can now be achieved surreptitiously without having to resort to blowing one up with a missile.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper last year echoed the concerns held by many US senior government officials regarding the threat posed by Russian and Chinese anti-satellite technologies and indicated that both countries were developing such weapons behind the scenes.

The Obama administration has even budgeted more than $5 billion over the next five years in response to these threats through the development of counter weapons and defenses.

Diplomatic efforts to curb this trend have unfortunately proven ineffective after discussions on a European Union-drafted code of conduct for spacefaring nations stalled following opposition from Russia, China and several other countries including Brazil, India and Iran.

Whether these issues will ultimately lead to an all-out conflict however remains to be seen.

"The bottom line is the United States does not want conflict in outer space," said Frank Rose, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance.

"But let me make it very clear: we will defend our space assets if attacked."

Source: Scientific American | Comments (14)

Tags: Space, Weapons, Satellites

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by toast on 10 August, 2015, 20:20
There is no such thing as a "cold war". War is outright and declared and concerns heavy casualties. A "cold war" is an extension of the pre-war dance that happens before two countries (or more) go at it. The history of the past century has shown that your explanation of the term "cold war" is just your individual explanation and so it is not backed by history.
Comment icon #6 Posted by PrisonerX on 11 August, 2015, 12:36
WAR HUMANS!!!!! WE WON'T STOP UNTIL THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE IS A BATTLEFIELD WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!! Lol. How truly pathetic that this is even being talked about.
Comment icon #7 Posted by MissJatti on 11 August, 2015, 13:58
Space war should only be in Movies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWoGkrt5Upg
Comment icon #8 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 11 August, 2015, 14:19
Wonder wat happens when space colonisation starts. Who is to take which part of the planets..
Comment icon #9 Posted by DieChecker on 11 August, 2015, 17:20
HACKERS..... IN...in.... in.... in..... SPACE!!... Space... space... space.... If I read that right, this isn't about weapons in space but cyber weapons used against a nations assets in space. I was hoping for TIE fighters and Ion Cannons.
Comment icon #10 Posted by seeder on 11 August, 2015, 17:23
HACKERS..... IN...in.... in.... in..... SPACE!!... Space... space... space.... If I read that right, this isn't about weapons in space but cyber weapons used against a nations assets in space. I was hoping for TIE fighters and Ion Cannons. HACKERS..... IN...in.... in.... in..... SPACE!!... Space... space... space.... If I read that right, this isn't about weapons in space but cyber weapons used against a nations assets in space. I was hoping for TIE fighters and Ion Cannons. The OP link mentions 'dual use' satellites, and satellites that could disable other satellites, amongst other stuff
Comment icon #11 Posted by Infernal Gnu on 12 August, 2015, 0:59
AWESOME! I hope that someday we will extend warfare to other dimensions as well. Maybe even develop freeze rays so we can have cold wars as well.
Comment icon #12 Posted by lightly on 12 August, 2015, 1:16
Near space is next next frontier .. for offensive and defensive war toys profiteers. it's the politicians job to talk about how crucial it all is.
Comment icon #13 Posted by aquatus1 on 12 August, 2015, 1:25
The history of the past century has shown that your explanation of the term "cold war" is just your individual explanation and so it is not backed by history. It isn't totally wrong. Mostly just the "pre-war". A "Cold War" isn't pre-war. It is an actual state of war. It isn't as violent or immediate as what we normally think of as war, but there is a reason why the word is in the name. The example of the two men facing off but not fighting is fairly accurate. Where the intent of a "hot war" (to coin a non-existent term) is to defeat the enemy, the purpose of a "cold war" is basically to wait o... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker on 12 August, 2015, 2:48
Considering "space" is only 50 to 60 miles up, I think the prospect of machines fighting up there is terrifying. That is like if robots were fighting a war across town.


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