Anti-satellite weapons and space debris are increasing threats to the security of outer space. This is a key finding from the newly released Space Security 2008, a study by Project Ploughshares which coordinated and published the report.
While space debris caused by routine space operations is an issue, the fragments spewed out into space from China’s January 2007 anti-satellite test has created a serious problem for the routine and safe operations of all nations’ spacecraft, the report points out. That action by China is gauged as the worst debris-creating event in the history of the space age.
Weapons programs also threaten stability in outer space, demonstrated by the Chinese anti-satellite experiment in 2007 and the U.S. intercept of an American failed satellite using its missile defense system in February 2008.
It is in all nations’ self-interest to safeguard use of the space environment, but there is a widening impasse on how to do this.“There is growing tension between the U.S. and China over the security of outer space, largely driven by mistrust and suspicions over weapons programs,” says
Dr. Ray Williamson, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation (SWF), a contributor to the report.
SWF’s Williamson saluted the Space Security 2008 report’s flagging of issues that need watching, to assure that the space environment can be of beneficial use to all nations.
Space Security 2008 is the fifth annual report on trends and developments in space, covering the period January to December 2007. It is part of a wider Space Security Index (SSI) project that facilitates dialog among space experts on space security challenges.
Space Security 2008 is the only comprehensive source of data and analysis on space activities and their cumulative impact on the security of outer space.
Each report chapter provides a description of a specific indicator and its impact on space security. In this year’s report, space security is assessed according to the following eight indicators:• The space environment
-- Space surveillance capabilities to support collision avoidance are slowly improving.-- There is a growing focus within national military doctrines on the security
-- U.S. and Russia continue to lead in deploying military space systems. More actors are developing military space capabilities.
-- There is an ongoing proliferation of ground-based capabilities to attack satellites.
-- An expanding number of countries are developing more advanced space-based strike-enabling technologies through other civil, commercial, and military programs.The report and executive summary are available at:
The project also seeks to determine how policies and actions affect space security, which, West adds, is becoming more complex. “Space Security 2008 reflects the real-life challenges faced by policymakers in determining the manifold effects of their decisions. There is a delicate balance in outer space - if you mess up one thing, you risk messing up a lot of things.”
Space Security 2008 joins its predecessors as “a trustworthy interdisciplinary source of information for policymakers required to understand and balance the competing demands and resulting tensions of commercial, military and civil uses of space,” pointed out John Siebert, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares based in Waterloo, Ontario.
Project partners include Project Ploughshares, the Secure World Foundation, the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, the Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research at the University of British Columbia, the Cypress Fund for Peace and Security, and the Space Generation Foundation.
The project is supported by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Secure World Foundation and the Ploughshares Fund.
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering