Chinese test Anti-Satellite weapon: One step closer towards an arms race and the Weaponization of Outer Space?

20 01 2007

China’s recent successful attempt in destroying one of its own orbiting satellites with an anti-satellite missile has raised the threat of an arms race in Outer Space, with satellite killing missiles being just the first step towards the weaponization of Outer Space.

Chinese test Anti-Satellite weapon: One step closer towards an arms race and the Weaponization of Outer Space?

By James Tay

October 1967, as mankind made further forays into Space exploration, the U.N. Outer Space Treaty was signed. It was held that the use of Outer Space was to be for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of all mankind. It was the last frontier which had not been weaponized or militarized, it was the only frontier that was still pure and untainted from war and destruction. It was all humanity’s hope that it would remain that way.

However, the idea of the use of Space for peaceful purposes is somewhat misleading. Although, there are currently no weapons in space, it has been used in the past several years by militaries around the world for communication, navigation and information for military operations and surveillance purposes with satellites.

Fast forward to January 2007, and China’s successful attempt in destroying one of its own orbiting satellites with an anti-satellite missile has raised the threat of an arms race in Outer Space.

Satellite killing missiles may be just the first step in the weaponization of Outer Space.

This incident should force the United States to seriously consider negotiating a ban on space weapons, something which it has avoided doing in the past because of its own ambitions in developing space based/directed weapons as it sought to dominate space as the 4th military arena (the other 3 being sea, land and air).

For more info on the Chinese weapon test, New York Times article go here

Some other useful sites on the topic of the Weaponization of Outer Space

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/space-weapons/basics/introduction-weaponization-space.htm

http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsControl/Space.asp

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