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The Weaponization of Space is inescapable

U.S. Air Force [Public domain]

The current militarization of space will lead sooner or later to its weaponization. It needs to be reminded that under the terms of the Outer Space Treaty which came into force on 10 October 1967 the parties are prohibited from placing nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit, on the Moon, or on other bodies in space. Today, the reality on the ground and in the space is far removed from these principles. And the weaponization of outer space could easily become another source of tension and conflict. It should also be highlighted that the vast majority -95%- of satellites which are currently in orbit around Earth have both military and civilian purposes (Re.Space.com). It is recognized that the US, Russia and China are developing military capabilities in space, from laser weapons to ground-based anti-satellite missiles. Furthermore, in March 2019, India joined this exclusive club. India’s government said it used an indigenously developed ballistic missile interceptor to destroy one of its own satellites at a height of 186 miles. The aim of this test was to boost its defenses in space. In this highly sensitive area, China, Russia and the US are leading the way. And India has become the fourth country to test an anti-satellite technology (ASAT). The European Union has decided to spend € 16 billion on its space policy for the period 2021-2027. However, it will be difficult for the EU to catch up. The weaponization of outer space could spiral into an arms race. Obviously, the International Community should take this matter extremely seriously. During the Cold War, the armament industry was one of the economy’s most developed industries. The military use of outer space could bring us back to that time.

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