Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .

Space terrorism, floating debris pose threats to US
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 27, 2014

Debris is especially problematic in LEO, where half of the world's 1,100 active satellites operate. Space objects - even flecks of paint - travel as fast as eighteen thousand miles per hour and can cause catastrophic damage to manned and unmanned spacecraft - creating even more debris in the process.

The United States is increasingly vulnerable to space terrorism, according to a new report, as it is more reliant on its satellites and other installations in space to conduct national security operations.

Because the US depends so much on its holdings in space for a variety of operations, and as it is the "primary guarantor of space access," it has more at stake in protecting its satellites from an attack or damage from another country's debris, according to a report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

"Threats to U.S. satellites would reduce the country's ability to attack suspected terrorists with precision-guided munitions and conduct imagery analysis of nuclear weapons programs, and could interrupt non-cash economic activity depending on the severity of the attack and number of satellites disrupted," wrote Micah Zenko, the Douglas Dillon Fellow at the CFR's Center for Preventive Action and the report's author.

The report identifies China, North Korea, and Iran - all working to further their military space presence - as the top suspects for targeting US space capabilities.

Should one of those countries attain advanced space operations, they could, in theory, attack a US satellite for leverage in negotiations, to ward off potentially hostile acts, or to act in defense in the face of pending conflict, the report continues.

Yet the report also goes on to state that terrorism may not be as big of an issue for US interests as the threat posed by space debris scattered by various countries.

"The U.S. National Research Council estimates that portions of LEO [low earth orbit] have reached a 'tipping point,' with hundreds of thousands of space debris larger than one centimeter stuck in orbit that will collide with other pieces of debris or spacecraft, thus creating exponentially more debris," according to the report.

"Significant growth in the quantity or density of space debris could render certain high-demand portions of outer space unnavigable and inutile. Currently, there are no legal or internationally accepted means for removing existing debris."

China is especially flippant about its profuse space junk, Zenko wrote.

"A January 2007 direct ascent ASAT [anti-satellite test] carried out by China against its defunct Fengyun-1C weather satellite instantly increased the amount of space debris in low earth 40 percent.

Debris is especially problematic in LEO, where half of the world's 1,100 active satellites operate. Space objects - even flecks of paint - travel as fast as eighteen thousand miles per hour and can cause catastrophic damage to manned and unmanned spacecraft - creating even more debris in the process."

The report says that unintended damage to a US or ally satellite could spur a "major international crisis" between the US and China.

"The risk is heightened by the fact that both countries have no pre-space-launch notification arrangements, similar to the U.S.-Russia agreement on notifications of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches."

Given the amount of reliance on space for crucial state operations, and because it is the leader in space technology and exploration, the US has "a unique obligation to lead international efforts to prevent or mitigate a dangerous space event," according to the report. It goes on to recommend a variety of technical and political adjustments that the US should implement to maintain its policy objectives.

Source: Voice of Russia


Related Links
Military Space Technology
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The Space Debris Radar Developed By Indra Passes ESA Tests
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Apr 01, 2014
The demonstrator radar developed by Indra for detecting objects in space has successfully passed the validation tests performed within the European Space Agency's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) preparation programme. The first phase of this programme aims to establish the basis for building the future European system that will monitor the waste from other missions that is floating freel ... read more

Thinnest feasible membrane produced

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

How Productive are the Ore Factories in the Deep Sea?

Vacuum Ultraviolet Lamp of the Future Created in Japan

Radio terminals for MUOS satellite communications have testing facility

High Gain Amplifiers for Commercial and Military Radar Released by Pasternack

Tactical radios tested with MUOS waveform

Harris supplying more communications terminals to Navy

Vega for third Arianespace mission, carrying Earth observation spacecraft

It's a "go" for Arianespace's Vega launch with Kazakhstan's first Earth observation satellite

Russia sends two satellites into space

SpaceX sues US Air Force over satellite contracts

Glonass Failure Caused by Faulty Software

Homegrown high-precision positioning system put to use

Russia eyes building Glonass stations in 36 countries

Turn your satnav ideas into business

Air Force enhancing mission capability to its remotely piloted aircraft

Northrop Grumman Awarded US Navy Contract for Next-Gen Mission Computer

Middle East country getting air combat training support from Cubic

Alenia Aermacchi, ATK MC-27J in flight test

Progress made in developing nanoscale electronics

Piezotronics and piezo-phototronics leading to unprecedented active electronics and optoelectronics

Superconducting Qubit Array Points the Way to Quantum Computers

Stanford bioengineers create circuit board modeled on the human brain

When next Earth's magnetic field reverse begins and what consequences for mankind will it have?

Ball Aerospace Moving Ahead on TEMPO and GEMS Air Quality Sensors

UV-radiation data to help ecological research

EO May Increase Survival Of 'Uncontacted' Tribes

China toughens environment law to target polluters

The result of slow degradation

MEPs back plans to slash use of plastic shopping bags

Oil company blamed for toxic tap water in China: Xinhua

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.