Categorie
Space

Return of ASATs and counterspace technologies: A slippery slope to weaponisation? (Alumenda Azácrate Ortega, ORF)

Counterspace technology is not a new phenomenon. In 1958, only one year after the successful launch of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s satellite, Sputnik 1—the first artificial satellite to ever complete an orbit around the Earth—the first nuclear tests in outer space were conducted. This was a cause for concern for the international community, which aimed to ensure that outer space did not become a new stage for warfare. And yet, despite this, counterspace capabilities remain an issue that has never been properly regulated. This regulatory gap nowadays presents a greater danger than ever: The more important space technology becomes to humankind—particularly for military purposes—the more eager states would be to protect their space assets. As such, in recent years, some states have been increasingly investing in the development and testing of anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), creating an escalatory cycle that threatens to pave the way towards the weaponisation of space, and eventually could lead to it becoming a theatre of conflict.

Return of ASATs and counterspace technologies: A slippery slope to weaponisation? | ORF (orfonline.org)