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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



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Terrorism?
By littlebitstrouds on 4/28/2014 3:14:08 PM , Rating: 3
Can we stop with the terrorist thing? It's a catch phrase for fear mongers, and does nothing for solving complex problems.




RE: Terrorism?
By Flunk on 4/28/2014 4:49:38 PM , Rating: 5
But won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?


RE: Terrorism?
By CalaverasGrande on 4/28/2014 5:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
good point.
Terrorism usually applies to non-state actors engaged in hit and run tactics of attrition. Usually targeting non-military assets like infrastructure, public space or civilians.
This describes none of that.
States that we have an adversarial relationship with, using their space capability to damage our military presence or telecommunications in space is pretty much conventional warfare.
Calling it 'TERROR!' is Rupert Murdoch style journalism.


RE: Terrorism?
By fteoath64 on 4/29/2014 4:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
CFR always wants to find a new "challenge" for the military which it controls to terrorise people in the country and around the world. It is well known that no private group other than military contractors possess the technology and equipment to seize control of such things. So it had to be a foreign government that has gone rogue. Such as North Korea. But threats from NK has so far been empty and will remain so for a very long time yet. That leverage is wearing thin these days so a new threat needs to be conjured up to drive the required agenda.


FIrst !
By royalcrown on 4/28/2014 11:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'M using Dept of Spaceland Security first, so suck it govt ! I'll sell it for 78,900 USD !




RE: FIrst !
By godlyatheist on 5/9/2014 10:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
They will just send you into space with no suit and a gun loaded with 1 bullet so you can work as head of your department, unless you wish to nominate a replacement.


RE: FIrst !
By jihadjoe on 5/20/2014 6:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
Good luck squatting on a .gov domain.


Not 18,000mph closing speed...
By tonteria on 5/19/2014 5:09:13 AM , Rating: 2
One thing these articles seem to always trip up on is the speed of collisions between a satellite and a bit of another satellite. You can't have something going at a 18,000mph closing speed with a satellite in the same orbit for more than a fraction of a second.

Satellites have to be going at a certain speed to be in a certain altitude orbit (that's what fundamentally defines their orbit) - putting the geostationary ones aside, you're usually looking at 17,000-18,000 mph. All of them. If they go faster, they go higher. If the go slower they go lower.

Of course if a satellite explodes (a very very rare event so far) things are going to fly in all directions, but you're still staggeringly unlikely to have something going at 18,000 mph different to something else being in the same place.

Something going at such a different speed to everything else in their orbit will very quickly *be* in a different orbit (or hit the atmosphere and deorbit if they are angled downwards enough).

The only way I can see parts of one satellite crossing the path of another satellite at a big speed is by their orbits crossing, but that's a vanishingly tiny window to hit, and you would hope/expect that orbits are designed to avoid each other. Satellites are expensive and the amount of volume available is truly enormous.




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