Americans want to “privatize” space in the style of western movies about the Wild West

World Space Week (October 4-10) this year is timed to coincide with two important dates – the launch of the world’s first artificial earth satellite in 1957 and the entry into force of the Outer Space Treaty, which took place on October 10, 1967. The last document is rarely remembered today …

Equal access for all

“This is a wonderful treaty filled with romance from the early years of the space age. At that time, many believed that as early as 2000 there would be a settlement of astronauts on the moon. In fact, he imagined the status of space much like Antarctica: no militarization , no grant, everything is in the interest of humanity, “the scientific director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ space research institute, a graduate of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Parlamentskaya Gazeta. Lion green.

The document was originally signed by the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, and today more than 100 countries participate. For half a century it was kept strict, but then silent intrusions began on it. Already today, opinions are heard that the treaty was adopted under the conditions of the Cold War, that its provisions are outdated and do not reflect the new realities.

“Our State’s position is based on the fact that this document is a source of international law in the field of space activities and its provisions should not be revised,” the head of the Department of Interaction with International Organizations in the Department of International Cooperation of State Corporation Roscosmos told our publication. Vasily Gudnov.

Russia stands for the inviolability of the principles set out in the 1967 Treaty. That is, not for freedom of action, as some of our partners understand, but specifically for free and equal access to outer space.

Today, the United States has withdrawn from missile defense, European countries are drawn into the potential economic exploration of space. The subject of the industrial development of asteroids and other celestial bodies for the extraction of valuable minerals has arisen … human property, experts say.

“The problem with the treaty has many dimensions,” the first vice-president of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Russia’s former ambassador to the United States, confirmed to Parlamentskaya Gazeta. Sergey Kislyak. – The United States and Russia have different views. In 2019, space forces appeared in the United States Armed Forces. A new space policy has recently been approved with a view to absolute military dominance in space. This year, Trump passed an executive order that gives Americans the right to develop space resources. “

Although the US position is not unexpected, he notes. Washington has long been engaged in a dialogue on the maximum use of space, not only for peaceful purposes, but sees it as a space for the use of its military forces, where the Americans should have an absolute advantage.

The fact that technological progress in the world creates opportunities for other countries to engage in space irritates Americans, as it questions their main internal installation – permanent and universal leadership.

An attempt at space law

Russia’s position is to reach agreements that prevent the placement of weapons in space. It is supported by China, and not only, noted Sergey Kislyak.

“But, unfortunately, the Americans are pushing away our proposals and will not have a dialogue,” he stressed. “Their intentions, if implemented, will, of course, make strategic stability much more vulnerable than it is today. After all, if necessary, as has been said, they will win in military operations, which entirely suggests As technology evolves, they will distribute weapons in space as well.

What position should our country have? “We have never refused to work together at the negotiating table to develop acceptable standards of behavior, including in space,” the senator said.

In his speech at the 75th anniversary of the UN General Assembly, Vladimir Putin proposed the conclusion of a legally binding convention on the impermissibility of placing weapons of mass destruction in outer space, recalling the Vice-Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs Alexey Chepa.

“The risks of space militarization are quite justified,” he told parliamentary Gazeta. “Our country does not accept this. The latest acts of the United States go beyond the norms of international law, which they only follow when it is beneficial to them.”

And the launch by Elon Musk of a network of satellites (as a result of the implementation of the US Starlink project), the deputy considers “a dual-use project suitable for military use.”

“For example,” he noted, “for almost immediate data transfer between US military units. And in the civilian sector, Starlink will be able to serve their national interests. It will certainly be used as a tool for worldwide dissemination of information in the US military. key that Washington needs in states that actively oppose interference in their internal affairs. “

The Western world did not support Russia’s and China’s initiative on non-deployment of weapons in space. The question arises: do we have our own “road map” to respond to expansion?

“We have a military doctrine,” says Aleksey Chepa, “which takes into account the potential threats of placing weapons in space. But it also provides for the conclusion of an appropriate international treaty. There are also diplomatic measures – harmonization within the UN “In the case of military action, the Deputy called the strengthening and modernization of the Russian terrestrial constellation of space satellites, as well as means of air defense, the most important of them.”

Realistic adjustments

“The difference between Russia’s and the United States’ approach is that our military doctrine is defensive in nature, while foreign partners are looking for military superiority. The 1967 treaty is relevant and must be in force,” Sergey Kislyak stressed. pursue a policy of securing the widest possible international support for the idea of ​​a political solution to the problem. The negotiation process is still possible. ”

In the threat of “privatization” of space, the senator sees a new development of the problem. And in such an arrogant (arrogant) way for the Americans, – he uses a term from a diplomatic turnover. “It reminds me a little bit of the philosophy of the American conquest of the Wild West, whose essence is that whoever rushes stronger and faster will win,” he says. – This is an investment in their own technical, military and economic power. Behind it lies psychology: the one who is stronger is right. But I do not think it will work. “

As always, the United States will form a coalition of interested states that would support such a strategy. So far, only Luxembourg has been actively involved in this. It is true, according to the senator, his current economic, military, technical ability to develop the resources of the moon and Mars gives some imagination. Apparently, Luxembourgers, quite practical people, hope to quickly create a legal space in their country so that companies registered with the government’s consent for the use of space resources pay money and replenish the treasury.

The senator believes that it will take a long time before receiving a dividend from the Earth satellite, more than one US administration will be replaced, but at the moment it looks irresponsible.

Aleksey Chepa also agrees with him, who in such actions sees a continuation of the US policy of refusing to fulfill its international obligations.

Interestingly, the representative of Roscosmos Vasily Gudnov has a slightly different view on the issue of extraction and use of space resources. “This project is primarily commercial,” he says. – And we have no information that the Russian leadership sees it as an attempt to “privatize” space. The comment of the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation says that the US initiative must be analyzed from a legal point of view, draw conclusions and, depending on them, develop a position, if necessary.

Well, Lev Zeleny does not rule out that in order to prevent the situation with California’s “gold rush” in space, it may be necessary to supplement the 1967 Treaty with amendments. For example, to regulate the rights and obligations of states that want to set up a scientific station on the Moon and start extracting resources.

Space G5

By the way, China is actively moving in all directions. A government memorandum on cooperation between Russia and China in the field of space will soon be signed.

believes that Russia maintains its position in space

“Of course this is good, but I would not want to be a junior partner here,” concludes Lev Zeleny. – China is developing at a very fast pace, right in front of our eyes. In the early 2000s, at a meeting of the International Space Committee, the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said: “We are new players, but you will soon be counting on this.” And then there were few who believed in it. They had just started exploring space, they admitted that they had learned a lot from us, they modeled their first programs with the help of Russian scientists. It’s kind of forgotten now. “

In general, in terms of costs and success in space exploration, academia today places China in second place after the United States. A very strong player in space exploration is the European Space Agency … Everyone has much higher spending on space than Russia. Japan has a budget that is in proportion to the Russian, it has an interesting project to supply matter from asteroids, programs in space physics, astrophysics, the sun, said the academic … In general, in his opinion, in general, in various fields of space research, Europe, Russia and Japan share third – fifth place.


The Treaty on the Principles of State Activities for the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, was approved by the 21st Session of the UN General Assembly on 19 December 1966 and signed by the Depositaries. (guardian of the text) – Soviet Union, United States and Great Britain on January 27, 1967 in Moscow, Washington and London.

On the same day, the signing of the treaty by other states began. Entry into force on 10 October 1967. It consists of a preamble and 17 articles. It consolidates the principle of free exploration of outer space and celestial bodies of all countries. The acquisition of outer space and celestial bodies by all states is in some way prohibited, and the general principle of international responsibility for the participating states for national activities in outer space has been established.

The parties to the treaty promised not to launch any weapons of mass destruction into orbit around the Earth, not to install such weapons on the moon and other celestial bodies or place them in outer space in any other way, and also to use the Moon and other celestial bodies solely for peaceful purposes , to prevent the creation of military bases, structures and fortifications on them, testing of all types of weapons and military maneuvers. It is mandatory to apply measures that exclude harmful pollution of space and celestial bodies, which prevents negative changes in the Earth’s sphere.


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