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Title: Space: Forum for Cooperation or Next Frontier for WMD Proliferation?

Space Forum for Cooperation or Next Frontier for
WMD Proliferation?
Benchmark I
  • Definition of Space

Space includes all existing matter beyond an
altitude of 57.5 miles (92.6 kilometers) from any
point on the earth at sea level.
But first
  • We must understand, How High is the Sky?

Troposphere ground to 6 miles Stratosphere
6 miles to 50 miles Ionosphere 50 to 300
miles Exosphere 300 to 600 miles Space
Shuttle 150 miles Other Manned
Spacecraft 90 to 300 miles
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  • Understanding Space Security
  • A comprehensive and holistic outlook is necessary
    to achieve a reasonable understanding of space
    security. More
  • precisely, it is important to look at the eight
    indicators of space security.

1. The Space Environment Some of the gravest
threats to space security are environmental.
Because of its extremely high speed in orbit,
space debris can endanger space assets. The
number of objects in Earth orbit has increased
steadily. There are currently over 13,000 objects
large enough to seriously damage or destroy
spacecraft in orbit over 90 percent of which are
space debris. Space surveillance capabilities to
track debris and support collision avoidance are
slowly improving. To carry out their functions,
satellites also require an orbital slot and a
portion of the radiofrequency spectrum to ensure
communication. The expansion of satellite
applications is driving growing demand for scarce
radio frequency spectrum. Similarly, the growing
demand for limited orbital slots has resulted in
increased competition for allocations between
satellite operators.
2. Laws, Policies, and Doctrines There has been a
progressive development of the legal framework
for outer space activities. At present there are
five space-specific treaties in force. However,
there exists no legal instrument barring the use
of conventional weapons in and from space.
Furthermore, the Conference on Disarmament, the
principal international institution mandated to
discuss space security issues, has been
deadlocked since 1998. The policies of space-
faring nations, for their part, show diverging
patterns. On the one hand, the national space
policies of all space faring nations consistently
emphasize international cooperation and the
peaceful uses of outer space. On the other hand,
growing dependence on space assets has led
several of these states to view them as critical
infrastructure for national security and to focus
on the security uses of outer space.
3. Civil Space Programs and Global
Utilities Civil space programs are central to the
sustainable access to, and use of, space. The
number of actors with access to space is on the
rise. In 2004, there were 10 actors with an
independent orbital launch capacity, and a
further 34 states with indirect space access.
International cooperation has also been the
hallmark of civil space programs. There has been
a dramatic growth in global utilities as states
acknowledge the strategic importance of
satellite-based navigation systems. The
consumption of the Global Positioning System
generated sales revenue of 6.2 billion in 1999.
Global space-based utilities also help save lives
by taking the search out of search and rescue
efforts and by providing crucial meteorological
4. Commercial Space Commercial space is a
growing industry that is increasingly imbedded in
our day-to-day lives. Space manufacturing, launch
services, space products, and operating
insurance, accounted for an estimated 2.1
billion in revenues in 1980 and 91 billion in
2003. Commercial space also accounts for roughly
one third of all space launches. The growth in
the industry has been linked to decreasing costs
for space access. For example, the price of
sending a satellite into geostationary orbit has
dropped from 40,000/kilogram to 26,000/kilogram
between 1990 and 2000. Governments continue to
play an important role in the commercial space
sector through subsidies and export controls.
5. Space Support for Terrestrial Military
Operations Space systems provide key support for
an ever-widening array of military function such
as communications, navigation, early-warning,
reconnaissance, surveillance, imaging, and
remote-sensing. These systems allow militaries to
carry out operations with increasing speed,
precision, and economy of force while avoiding
collateral damage. The US and Russia lead in the
development of military space systems. The US has
developed the most advanced systems and accounts
for some 90 of world military space spending. In
the past decades, more states such as Canada,
China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy,
Spain, and the UK have been developing military
space capabilities.
6. Space Systems Protection The ability to detect
attacks, to withstand attacks, and to recover
from attacks on the Earth or space segments of a
space system are crucial to space security. The
US and Russia lead in general capabilities to
detect rocket launches, while the US leads in the
development of advanced technologies to detect
direct attacks on satellites. While protection of
satellite communications links is poor but
improving, protection of vulnerable satellite
ground stations remains a concern. Protection of
satellites against some direct threats is
improving, largely through radiation hardening,
system redundancy, and greater use of higher
orbits. Finally, Russia and the US are leading in
the development of capabilities to rapidly
rebuild space systems following a direct attack
on satellites.
7. Space Systems Negation Space systems can be
negated by means of deception, denial,
disruption, degradation, and destruction by
electronic, explosive, kinetic, or directed
energy weapons. There has been a proliferation of
capabilities to attack ground stations and
communications links and of ground-based
capabilities to attack satellites. There has also
been increased access to enabling technologies
for space-based negation capabilities. The US
leads in the development of space situational
awareness capabilities to support space negation.
8. Space-based Strike Weapons Space-based strike
weapons would target objects on Earth or
traveling through space through the project of
mass or energy. No space-based strike weapons
have yet been tested or deployed. However, the US
continues to develop a space-based interceptor
for its missile defense system and a growing
number of actors are developing space-based
strike weapons precursor technologies outside of
dedicated weapons programs.
Space organisations                    Around
the world, there are many organisations which are
devoted to developing technologies for space
faring craft such as rockets, satellites, space
probes and manned space vehicles. Among these
organisations, some are government funded and
owned, developing technologies to be used by that
particular nation for military, political or
scientific purposes. There are quite a few
countries that are capable of launching
satellites into space independently but there are
also collaborative groups of countries which each
chip in a bit of money in order for the
organisation to conduct its own research and
development for the next frontier - SPACE. There
are, of course, privately owned companies which
do not send humans into space, but rather making
satellites and near-space fliers. The only three
countries which have independently developed
programmes for human space flight, of which are
successful, are the countries Russia (former
USSR), the United States and the Peoples
Republic of China. Countries such as Japan and
India have successfully sent satellites into
space. Japan has even launched a probe to Mars to
scan it for a magnetic field, though the probe
was recently (late 2003) lost on the journey. An
organisation called the European Space Agency is
an organisation consisting of more or less 15
counties, mostly around Europe. It has conducted
numerous successful missions, which range from
sending probes to Mars to research on aspects of
the solar system.
  • European space agency (ESA)                    
  • The European Space Agency (ESA) was established
    in July 1973 when was merged from the
    organisations European Space Research
    Organisation and the European Launcher
    Development Organisation. Beginning its
    operations in 1975, its purpose was to develop
    space research technology through the cooperation
    of European countries in this area. The 15
    members of the ESA are as follows
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Even though it is not on the list, Canada may
    sometimes take part in ESA operations. ESAs
    headquarters is in Paris though major facilities
    exist in many nations including the launch pad
    which is in Kourou, French Guiana on the Atlantic
    coat of South America.

Projects- a brief                      The
ESA developed Spacelab, a compartment designed to
be fitted into the NASA space shuttles cargo bay
so that experiments may be undertaken in it,
first flown on the Shuttles ninth mission in
1983. In 1985 ESA launched the Giotto space probe
to Halleys Comet, later taking part in the
development of the Hubble Space Telescope which
was launched in 1990. In 1989 the European Centre
of Space Law was founded by the ESA. Other major
spacecraft developed by the agency include the
Huygens probe that journeyed to one of Saturns
moon called Titan, the XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray
observatory, the Mars Express mission and the
collaborative project with Canada, Japan, Russia
and the US in the International Space Station
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA)                   NASA is an agency of
the United States government which was
established in 1958, the functions of which were
specified to be to direct and conduct all US
aeronautical and space activities except for
those that are chiefly military (which is
controlled by the USAF). NASA has played an
important role with the Russian space agency (and
the former USSR) in the past and now the present
to shape the development of space faring
expertise, a well as pioneering a new
technologies. Projects-a brief
                     NASA was the second country,
following closely to the former USSR, to send
humans into space with independently developed
space craft. Following the intense competition of
the space programmes between the US and the USSR
in the cold war, NASA placed the first men on the
moon with the Apollo Programme and took numerous
images of the planets with many space probes
including the vastly successful voyager probes.
The Hubble Space Telescope developed in
co-operation with the United Kingdom has brought
with it a wealth of spectacular pictures of the
stars and galaxies, teaching humanity more about
the vastness and grandeur of space. Recently NASA
has sent the Mars Odyssey to Mars but after the
Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, operations have
slowed down.
Russian Aviation and Space Agency (former USSR)
                 During the Soviet era, the
government poured large amounts of money into
research and development of a variety of fields,
including space science and technology. The space
programme was tightly integrated with the
government and was very successful in its early
years. During its later years, the Russian
Government could no longer fund the space
programme to operate independently (from the rest
of the world) so the Mir space station (with its
history of 1600 breakdowns) was finally brought
into the atmosphere and so burnt up. The country
is now committed to building the International
Space Station. Projects- a brief
                   The USSR/Russia was the first
country to send a human into space, with the
launch of Yury Gagarin in Vostok 1 in 1961.
Planets visited by space probes include Venus,
Mars and the moon. Recent projects consist of
Russia participating in the International Space
Station construction, and with the suspension of
United States space shuttle missions (due to the
re-evaluation of the space shuttle design
following the Columbia tragedy) the
responsibility rests with Russia to transport
crew to the ISS.
China National Space Administration (CNSA)
           The China National Space
Administration is an institution set up by the
Chinese government that is designed to be in
charge of the national space policies (of China)
and to manage the national space science,
technology and industry. It has signed agreements
with Brazil, Chile, the United Kingdom, the
United States and other countries on the question
of space cooperation. Already, the CNSA have sent
a human into space the third such country to
ever do so independently and has launched
numerous satellites into orbit.
Indian space research organisation (ISRO)
                  The Indian space research
organisation was established by the Indian
government in June 1972. The organisations
objective is to developing satellites, launch
vehicles, sounding rockets and associated ground
systems. The ISRO have already launched many
satellites consisting of telecommunications,
meteorological and disaster warning, resource
monitoring, scientific satellites as well as
developing launch vehicles. The ISRO provides aid
to other space agencies in the world in the form
of training, personnel and various other ways.
National Space Development Agency
(NASDA)(Japan)                   The Japanese
government established the National Space
Development Agency on October 1st, 1969 to act so
as to develop technologies for space.
Accomplishments of NASDA includes the development
of rockets, satellites, performing space
experiments, collaborating with other space
organisations to send their own astronauts into
space and even attempted sending a probe to Mars
a mission which ended in failure after the probe
failed to correct its path deviation.
International space organisations
Brazil- National Institute for Space Research
Canada- Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
Denmark- Danish Space Research Institute
Europe- European Space Industry Directory (ESID)
France- Centre Nationale d' Etudes Spatiales
France- Centre d'Études et de Recherches de
Toulouse (CERT)
Germany- German Aerospace Establishment (DLR)
Italy- Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)
Netherlands- National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR)
Norway- Norwegian Space Centre
Poland- Space Research Centre (SRC)
Sweden- Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
Russian- Federation Russian Space Science
Internet (RSSI)
UK- British National Space Centre
Russian Space History
Prelude to Space Stations (1903-1964) Soviet
engineers began work on large rockets in the
1930s. In May 1955, work began on the Baikonur
launch site in central Asia. In August-1957, the
world's first intercontinental ballistic missile
lifted off from Baikonur on a test flight,
followed by the launch of Sputnik I, the world's
first artificial satellite, on October 4, 1957.
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin lifted off from
Baikonur in the Vostok I capsule, becoming the
first human in space. A year later, Soviet
engineers described a space station comprised of
modules launched separately and brought together
in orbit. A quarter-century later, in 1987, this
concept became reality when the Kvant module was
added to the Mir core station.
First-Generation Stations (1964-1977)
First-generation space stations had one docking
port and could not be resupplied or refueled. The
stations were launched unmanned and later
occupied by crews. There were two types Almaz
military stations and Salyut civilian stations.
To confuse Western observers the Soviets called
both kinds Salyut. The Almaz military station
program was the first approved. When proposed in
1964, it had three parts the Almaz military
surveillance space station, Transport Logistics
Spacecraft for delivering soldier-cosmonauts and
cargo, and Proton rockets for launching both. All
of these spacecraft were built, but none was used
as originally planned. Soviet engineers completed
several Almaz station hulls by 1970. The Soviet
leadership ordered Almaz hulls transferred to a
crash program to launch a civilian space station.
Work on the Transport Logistics Spacecraft was
deferred, and the Soyuz spacecraft originally
built for the Soviet manned Moon program was
reapplied to ferry crews to space stations.
Salyut 1, the first space station in history,
reached orbit unmanned atop a Proton rocket on
April 19, 1971. The early first-generation
stations were plagued by failures. The crew of
Soyuz 10, the first spacecraft sent to Salyut 1,
was unable to enter the station because of a
docking mechanism problem. The Soyuz 11 crew
lived aboard Salyut I for three weeks, but died
during return to the Earth because the air
escaped from their Soyuz spacecraft. Then, three
first-generation stations failed to reach orbit
or broke up in orbit before crews could reach
them. The second failed station was Salyut 2, the
first Almaz military station to fly. The Soviets
recovered rapidly from these failures. Salyut 3,
Salyut 4, and Salyut 5 supported a total of five
crews. In addition to military surveillance and
scientific and industrial experiments, the
cosmonauts performed engineering tests to help
develop the second-generation space stations.
Second Generation Stations (1977-1985)
With the second-generation stations, the Soviet
space station program evolved from short-duration
to long-duration stays. Like the first-generation
stations, they were launched unmanned and their
crews arrived later in Soyuz spacecraft.
Second-generation stations had two docking ports.
This permitted refueling and resupply by
automated Progress freighters derived from Soyuz.
Progress docked automatically at the aft port,
and was then opened and unloaded by cosmonauts on
the station. Transfer of fuel to the station took
place automatically under supervision from the
ground. A second docking port also meant
long-duration resident crews could receive
visitors. Visiting crews often included
cosmonaut-researchers from Soviet bloc countries
or countries sympathetic to the Soviet Union.
Vladimir Remck of Czechoslovakia, the first space
traveler not from the U.S. or the Soviet Union,
visted Salyut 6 in 1978. Visiting crews relieved
the monotony of a long stay in space. They often
traded their Soyuz spacecraft for the one already
docked at the station because Soyuz only had a
limited lifteime in orbit. Lifetime was gradually
extended from 60-90 days for the Soyuz Ferry to
more than 180 days for the Soyuz-TM.
Third-Generation Station Mir (1986-present)
Mir was the first permanent space station. The
station has been in orbit for 13 years, and
staffed continuously for the past 9 years. The
complex weighs more than 100 tons and consists of
the Mir core, Kvant, Kvant 2, Kristall, Spektr,
Priroda and Docking modules. Mir measures more
than 107 feet long with docked Progress-M and
Soyuz-TM spacecraft, and is about 90 feet wide
across its modules.
A Brief Look At The History of the United States
in Space
Project Mercury began on October 7, 1958, one
year and three days after the Soviet Union
launched Sputnik 1 and was the United States'
first manned space program. The objectives of the
program, which was made up of six manned flights
from 1961 to 1963, were specific 1) to orbit a
manned spacecraft around Earth, 2) to investigate
man's ability to function in space and 3) to
recover both man and spacecraft safely. However,
three weeks after Alan Shepard's first U.S. human
suborbital flight, on May 5, 1961, and with only
15 minutes of U.S. space flight experience,
President John F. Kennedy announced the goal of
landing a man on the moon before the end of the
decade. Project Mercury was American's first
"small steps" toward that "Giant Leap for
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Project Gemini was a transitional step between
the pioneering Mercury Program and the actual
landing a man on the moon. Its success was
critical to achieving the goal of reaching the
Moon and was not without its problems and
difficulties. The main objectives of the ten
Gemini missions spanning a period of 20 months
from 1965 to 1966, were to learn how to "fly" a
spacecraft by 1) maneuvering it in orbit and by
2) rendezvousing and docking with other vehicles,
which were essential skills for the later Apollo
missions. One of these missions, Gemini VIII,
nearly killed the man who would go on to be the
first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
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The Apollo Program began with a tragedy, when
fire swept through a Block One Apollo spacecraft
on January 27, 1967 killing Virgil I. "Gus"
Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee during a
"plugs out" test on the pad. The subsequent
redesign produced a safer and superior spacecraft
for the 45 astronauts that flew in them from
Apollo 7 in October of 1968 to Apollo-Soyuz in
July of 1975. In all, twelve men, starting with
Neil Armstrong and ending with Eugene Cernan,
walked on the moon before Apollo was completed.
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What's possible and sensible? Space weapons have
been hotly debated for decades. At present, the
Bush administration's interest in ballistic
missile defense has brought the question of their
use once again to the forefront. The RAND study
does not argue for or against space weapons said
Bob Preston who led the effort. Rather, the
intent was to sort through realities and myths
surrounding space weapons. "We wanted to
provide an objective basis for grounding
discussion in physical realities and historical
context," Preston told His observation
after finishing the task is that the subject of
weapons in space "is both highly polarized with
people violently for and against the idea," he
said. Furthermore, those opposing views are
complicated by imprecision in definition, "and by
rather loose understanding of what's possible and
what's sensible," Preston added. Arguably, just
about all use of space from the beginning has
been about national security, Preston said.
"Even civilian scientific uses were undertaken
in large part for security reasons in the context
of the Cold War. There's a pretty good point of
view that says that almost everything we've ever
done in space has been predominately motivated by
a security perspective," the RAND analyst said.
Classic classes RAND reviewed several distinct
classes of weapons Directed-energy weapons,
such as space lasers. They use millions of watts
of power and large optics to deliver a
speed-of-light knockout punch as a missile arcs
over Earth. Depending on the wavelength of the
energy beamed out and atmospheric conditions, an
energy beam can destroy a target on Earth's
surface Kinetic-energy weapons against missile
targets. This hardware can ram headlong into a
target in space or an object still within the
upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere
Space-based kinetic energy weapons that slam
into targets on the ground, such as large ships,
tall buildings, and fuel tanks. Sleek and
meteoroid-like in speed, these weapons attack
targets at steep, nearly vertical trajectories
and Space-based conventional weapons capable of
maneuvering to hit terrestrial targets. These can
carry and dispense rather exotic packages of
destruction, such as radio-frequency or
high-power-microwave munitions.
Pros and cons Taken together, RAND analysts
found space weapons having a number of distinct
advantages and disadvantages. In the advantage
column, space weapons can take out targets that
may be inaccessible to other weapons. While ships
and aircraft can take days to weeks to reach a
far-flung battleground, space-based weapons can
respond in minutes to several hours. Also,
space-based weapons are less vulnerable to
attack. On the other hand, there are
shortcomings. For one, an opponent can saturate
a space weapon, overwhelming the weapon's ability
to fully thwart an attack. In addition, the
positions of space-based weapons are predictable.
In this regard, a weapon destroyed on orbit would
leave a persistent cloud of debris, posing a
hazard to other satellites. Lastly, large numbers
of weapons are required to ensure that one of
them is in the right place at the right time.
Asteroid weapons Even the notion of purposely
diverting an asteroid toward Earth as a weapon
was examined by RAND specialists. "For nations
that already have nuclear arsenals, asteroid
weapons might be of only academic interest," the
study notes. There is no doubt, the study
explains, that asteroids have acted as big
bruisers in the past. The Earth has the scars to
prove the point. However, to use asteroids as
natural bombs, the scale of the undertaking would
be grander than that required to build the first
A-bomb via the Manhattan Project in World War II,
the RAND report points out. "Aside from the
limited range of possible effects and the great
uncertainty about the precision of an effect, one
clear argument against asteroids as weapons is
that smaller, cheaper means of acquiring an
equivalent to a nuclear deterrent are available,"
the study explains. Asteroids as a space weapon
of mass destruction "is likely to remain safely
in the realm of science fiction."
Waiting game RAND's Preston emphasized that the
opportunity to acquire space weapons is not
limited to the United States. While many
countries have only modest spacefaring
capabilities, each nation knows how space can
benefit their security. "There's probably nobody
that's involved in space that doesn't understand
its security uses and isn't motivated to some
degree by its security uses," Preston said.
Space-based weapons could be a high-leverage,
asymmetric response to U.S. military strengths,
he said. In the report's summary, there is this
observation "Before deciding to acquire or forgo
space weapons for terrestrial conflict, the
United States should fully discuss what such
weapons can do, what they will cost, and the
likely consequences of acquiring them. The
discussion should also address whether other
countries might acquire them, which ones would be
most likely to do so, and how the United States
could discern these developments and respond
effectively." For Preston, a personal view is
that it's not obvious now there's urgent need for
the United States to defend itself in space from
things in space. "But its not unreasonable to
expect that you may have to before long," he said.
Peacetime uses The prospect of space weapons and
the growing military space agenda engenders a
wide variety of viewpoints. Such is the case for
America's first woman in Earth orbit, Sally Ride.
She recently underscored the fact that space has
been used for military purposes for decades.
(Ride is the former president of Last month, Ride presented the
annual Drell Lecture at Stanford University,
sponsored by the on-campus Center for
International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).
After her NASA tour-of-duty, Ride worked in the
late 1980s as a CISAC science fellow, serving
alongside Sidney Drell, noted physicist and arms
control expert. "Space is a real priority for
national security," Ride said. She is presently a
physics professor at the University of
California-San Diego and director of the
University of California's Space Institute in La
Jolla. Today, U.S. intelligence agencies and the
military count on some 100 satellites as part of
the country's national security. These
space-based assets snap detailed images day and
night, keeping an eye on global hotspots, even
pinpointing missile launchings around the globe
for early warning purposes. A satellite that in
peacetime uses the global positioning system
(GPS) constellation of spacecraft for navigation
purposes, may in wartime utilize that same
capability to target bombs or remotely piloted
vehicles, Ride said. "The current landscape is
that the United States has an absolutely huge
advantage over every other country in space
capabilities," Ride said. "It's hard getting to
space. It's hard developing things that work in
space, and it's really, really hard to get things
to work reliably over long periods of time in
space," she added.
Ante up Anti-satellites The policy question
going forward, Ride explained, might be
simplistically stated as Does it make sense for
the U.S. to place weapons into space? One issue
in this regard, she said, is developing and
placing in space anti-satellite weapons, or ASATs
for short. Unless appropriate constraints are put
on testing of ASATs, there could be a problem,
Ride suggested. High-speed run-ins with space
debris resulting from any ASAT testing could
cripple or destroy numbers of satellites in Earth
orbit. Ride recalled an encounter with space
debris on her first space shuttle voyage. A small
but visible gouge in one of the space plane's
window appeared about halfway through the flight.
Later analysis showed that an orbiting fleck of
paint caused the pit, she said. "A fleck of paint
is not the same as a small piece of metal
traveling at that same speed. So, as soon as you
start increasing the amount of junk in low-Earth
orbit, you have an unintended byproduct that
starts putting some of your own quite valuable
satellites at possible risk," Ride stressed
Preserve by prohibiting One lawmaker is already
pitching legislation before the U.S. Congress
that bans the weaponization of space. Congressman
Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Cleveland, Ohio,
introduced early this year The Space Preservation
Act of 2002. The bill is crafted "to preserve
the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the
benefit of all humankind by prohibiting the
basing of weapons in space and the use of weapons
to destroy or damage objects in space that are in
orbit, and for other purposes. In bill
language, the terms "space-based weapon" and
"space-based system" mean a device capable of
damaging or destroying an object or person --
whether in outer space, in atmosphere, or on
Earth -- by (A) firing one or more projectiles to
collide with that object or person (B)
detonating one or more explosive devices in close
proximity to that object or person (C) directing
a source of energy against that object or person
or (D) any other undeveloped means. Kucinich is
shopping the bill through the halls of Congress
trying to gain support for the legislation, which
also calls for an international treaty to
preserve space and prevent an arms race in outer
Complicated distinction Prying out differences
between weaponization and militarization of space
is not easy. "It's an important distinction,"
said Bruce Gagnon, head of the Global Network
Against Weapons Nuclear Power in Space in
Gainesville, Florida. "Weaponization I think is
clear. Our position is no weapons in space, at
any level, period. Militarization is more
complicated," he told Gagnon took
part in last week's 10th Annual International
Space Organizing Conference and Protest, held at
the University of California in Berkeley. During
the gathering of peace movement leaders from 12
nations, various strategies were discussed to
block the nuclear arms race from ascending into
the heavens. "While we accept some aspects of
the militarization of space for treaty
verification, confidence building measures, etc.,
we are firmly against military space technologies
that are used for conventional war fighting,"
Gagnon said. "Satellite systems that identify and
direct war on Earth, which essentially allow for
'full spectrum dominance' are not acceptable in
our view," he said. "We want a de-escalation of
all military systems for fighting war on Earth or
in space. We'd like to see the stabilizing,
treaty verifying satellite technologies commonly
shared globally. And, of course, no nuclear power
in space for any reason," Gagnon concluded.
Space Weapons Space weapons' are weapons that
can attack and negate the capability of space
systems in orbit (i.e. anti-satellite weapons)
attack targets on the earth (i.e. orbital
bombardment weapons) defeat missiles travelling
through space (i.e. elements of the ongoing U.S.
Strategic Defense Initiative program) Anti-satel
lite weapons, which are primarily
surface-to-space and air-to- space missiles, have
been developed by the United States, the
USSR/Russia, and the People's Republic of China.
Some test firings have been successful in
destroying orbiting satellites. On March 23
1983, President Ronald Reagan proposed the
Strategic Defense Initiative, a defensive system
which would destroy enemy ICBMs. The defensive
system was nicknamed Star Wars, after the movie.
The system was intended to consist of satellites
in geosynchronous orbit carrying powerful lasers.
When a missile launch was detected, the satellite
would fire its laser at the missile and destroy
it. Although the satellites never took off the
ground, today the military is testing the use of
lasers mounted on Boeing 747s to destroy
missiles. The tests are taking place at Edwards
Air Force Base.
Space Technology on Earth
Space technology has provided many advances in
our everyday life. Scientists  invent products
and techniques to meet the requirements of space
exploration. Often these inventions can also be
used on Earth. Many people call space products
used on Earth "space spin-offs". Here are just
some of them.
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Space technology has helped make our life on
Earth so much better. It has helped improve our
quality of life and our environment. If you would
like more information on space spin-offs, you can
check out the Space Technology Hall of Fame or
the information provided by NASA. Youll be
amazed at how many innovations come from space.
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