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The United States, more than any other nation, faces pressure from space terrorism and random trash and debris floating in orbit

Due to heavy reliance on satellites and space equipment, the United States is more vulnerable to space terrorism and uncontrollable space junk, according to a report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) group. 

Space debris, for example, can travel up to eighteen thousand miles per hour, the report says, and with more satellites in space than any other nation, catastrophic satellite destruction is possible.  Even a piece of debris just half an inch in diameter could impact something in orbit with as much force as a bowling ball moving more than 300 miles per hour.   

In addition, there also is risk of space nations, increasingly militarizing their space programs, that could lead to real world issues.

If a situation escalates, the U.S. does have military options to prevent – or respond to – hostile space actions, according to the report.

“Military options to deter impending actions, or respond if necessary, include deploying naval assets toward a potential adversary, placing regionally based bombers on high-alert status, attempting to intercept a space launch with the sea-based Aegis ballistic missile defense system (a near impossibility for far inland China launches), or attempting to preemptively strike the space launch platform with long-range bombers or conventionally armed ballistic missiles.”

As countries such as China, Iran and North Korea further develop their space capabilities, the U.S. needs to closely monitor technological developments – the U.S. wants to prevent any space-related issues, as the country is the most dependent on space systems. 

Continued political tension between the U.S. and its allies against Russia also is growing, and space cooperation has largely been put on hold.  Although a direct military conflict seems rather unlikely 

Source: CFR





"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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