There are claims by the U.S. Space Command that Russia recently tested an anti-satellite weapon test. Earlier this year, the same satellite in question was also allegedly spying on the U.S. spy satellite. According to Space Command, there has been a repeat of the same. According to the commander of the U.S. Space Command General John Raymond, that has shown that Russia continues to not only develop but also test space-based weapons. He also adds that if that continues, all assets in space, including those of the United States, are at risk.
That marks the continued militarization of space. Various countries keep coming up with space-based weapons technology with the aim of either attacking others or defending themselves if an attack happens.
That also brings about the fear of the destruction of satellites by other satellites. Under such circumstances, key military assets set up for observation, as well as the defense, could be in great danger. Terrestrial battlefields could be vulnerable if the existing infrastructure, intelligence, or communication between space and the ground could be destroyed. Supports, as well as control, could become impossible. That comes not long after India launched the anti-satellite missile system in back in April. The interesting part is that many global powers have also done that in the past. Russia, China, and the U.S. have done similar tests.
This space militarization has seen various states look for alternatives, especially in space assets. For instance, the Department of Defense, as well as agencies mandated to deal with that together with those handling intelligence, has had a change of heart on the satellites that they invest in. For instance, instead of going for the large, geosynchronous, expensive, and unique ones, they are opting for the small ones. They are relatively nimble and comprise of constellations coupled with built-in redundancy. Equally important, they will operate on low Earth orbit.
The U.S. is also looking for satellites with orbital launch services that are more responsive than those that current providers, including SpaceX, are offering at the moment. They are setting aside funds for commercial launcher startups developing small-scale spacecraft.
Some people are quick to dismiss the claim that militarization of space is a non-issue. However, the superpowers already believe in their existence and are investing in the same heavily. They seem to hold onto the wise saying of better late than sorry.
Mainly, the U.S. won’t rest until it has solutions. It is in search of technological startups, both creative and advanced enough, even from the private sector. After all, the publicity, as well as the frequency of these tests, is alarming.