Anarchy: a threat looms over space exploration

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Anarchy: a threat looms over space exploration

Anarchy: a threat looms over space exploration

Anarchy: a threat looms over space exploration

New realities and rules in the development of the Earth’s near space have practically put an end to the generally accepted agreement where outer space … | 2022-04-29, InoSMI

2022-04-29T12: 30

2022-04-29T12: 30

2022-04-29T12: 43

the national interest

elon mysk

jeff bezos

Richard Branson

moon

USA

China

spacex

nasa

U.N

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Robert A. Manning, Peter A. Wilson We are entering a new age of space with a complete complement of superpower loads: ambition, fear and greed. From the perspective of Elon Musk, founder of the hugely successful space rocket carrier and spacecraft communications SpaceX – the colonization of the moon and Mars and the transformation of humanity into a “multiplanetary species” are associated with both profit and necessity. NASA has supported this ambitious vision for space exploration and has worked closely between the lunar exploration program Artemis and SpaceX to soon launch a lander based on the high-performance spaceship design Starship. From the Pentagon’s perspective, US space dominance plays a key role in national defense. This militarized aspect was legitimized by the Trump administration’s creation of the United States Space Force (USSF). They will significantly improve the situational perception of human activity in the circular space. The problem is the prospect of the USSF using force in outer space – a new, vast and controversial area. It is clear that we are entering a new space with a full set of great power loads: ambition, fear and greed. The bipolar rivalry between the United States and China is intensifying, and the proven space powers vis-à-vis Russia, the European Union, Japan and India play a secondary role in this and lean in one direction or the other. Ground-based competition between Washington and Beijing thus generates new realities and rules for the direction of respective space policies and the policies of commercial actors, which overshadows the universally recognized principle of the Outer Space Treaty, where outer space is defined as the “property” of all mankind. “Let’s call it the new tragedy of shared resources.The main paradox of the current unpredictable era lies in the growing importance of outer space in the context of the preservation of civilization – from GPS, global TV and the Internet to the system of military command and control – however, it is right now 2021 marked a new milestone in space exploration, with billionaires queuing to become the next space tourists; the United States and China have successfully landed rovers on the red planet, and NASA launched the $ 10 billion Web Telescope to study related issues to the origins of the universe.The commercial space industry is growing by storm g, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, whose presence in space may soon compete with and even exceed the functions of governments, which are currently solely responsible for private sector action. But there are obviously not enough global rules to regulate the behavior of the space powers. The situation is best illustrated by the latest test in November of the Russian anti-satellite system (ASAT), when one of its own non-functioning military satellites exploded, resulting in a cloud of more than 1,500 fragments of space debris. Due to the speed of 27 thousand kilometers per hour, even small fragments can cause serious damage to satellites and disrupt the space infrastructure, which has become a kind of “nervous system” in modern life. The risk of a collision forced astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to take emergency measures. The Russian test followed the equally dangerous Chinese and American tests in 2007 and 2008, respectively (although the latter aimed to minimize the amount of debris in the runway). Most recently, China protested against SpaceX’s launch of cube sets, small satellites as large as shoeboxes, to build a global broadband network under the Starlink project. One of them came so close to the Chinese space station that its crew had to take evasive measures, and Beijing was forced to appeal to the UN with a protest. The Starlink constellation currently has about 1,600 small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), but Musk has set a target of 40,000. And other planets have blurred the line between civilian and military activities until the emergence of at least some well-thought-out regulation. on an international scale. However, the most promising area for cooperation is the fight against space debris. There are currently 4,550 active satellites in low orbit around the Earth from some eighty countries, and almost half of them are US commercial and state / military satellites. They are needed for many purposes, including nuclear power management and control, climate change monitoring, GPS, Internet, video streaming services and ATM operations. The situation in the already narrow earth’s orbit is getting worse. The private sector has become the driving force behind the new space economy, based on new satellite miniaturization technologies such as the previously mentioned cube set. This decade, Google and Elon Musk’s SpaceX alone plan to launch about 50,000 of these satellites. All of this is a disturbing sign of anarchy in space in light of the furious struggle for space resources and the full-scale militarization of space, which has become one of the ill-considered aspects of the rampant arms race in the current era’s great power competition. Tendencies towards the revival of the bifurcated international system are intensifying. The problem lies in the lack of rules for behavior in space, which like the sea, air and cyberspace are the property of all mankind. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is the only basic agreement signed by all major space powers (111 in total). They all agreed on the principles of Articles I and II: “The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is carried out for the benefit of and in the interest of all countries, regardless of their degree of economic or scientific development, and is the property of all mankind. .. Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, are not subject to national appropriation, either by declaring sovereignty over them, or by use or occupation, or by any other means. ” In the real world, unfortunately, the treaty is outdated in terms of both technology (like anti-satellite testing) and politics, as the US and China plan to build bases on the moon, and many other countries enact laws that give private companies the right to mine asteroids. The treaty provides some guidance on conflicts, the increase in the problem of space debris, intrusion and obstruction of a country’s space resources and dispute resolution mechanisms are not specified at all. Within the little-known United Nations Office on External Space, a number of additional legal agreements operate: on liability for damage caused by space objects; on the safety and rescue of spacecraft and astronauts; on the registration of space activities. In theory, there is also a treaty on the activities of states on the moon and other celestial bodies, but it has not been ratified by the United States, Russia or China. The International Telecommunication Union regulates radio communications and orbital resources (satellites), but will it handle tens of thousands of cubesat satellites? Luxembourg, for example, in an effort to become a European Center for the Development of Space Natural Resources, adopted a law giving private companies the right to extract and develop minerals in space, created a space mining center and invested in related start-ups. The United Arab Emirates has adopted a law similar to the United States, which allows the development of minerals on space bodies (in the United States, such a law was signed in 2015 by President Barack Obama). Donald Trump went even further and issued an executive order in 2020 to commercialize resources on the moon and other celestial bodies, sending an unequivocal signal to the world that America does not view space as a public space. Conventionally, all of these laws differentiate between resource ownership. and sovereignty over them. But since space belongs to all equally, the outer space treaty, ratified by great nations, explicitly forbids national appropriation of celestial bodies “neither by asserting sovereignty, nor by use or occupation, or in any other way.” How to build an inclusive rule-based order? (Continued) Robert Manning is a Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Served as Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2004, was with the United States Department of Public Policy Planning from 2004 to 2008 and was a member of the National Intelligence Council’s strategic future team. Peter Wilson is a Senior National Security Fellow at RAND Corporation. He is currently teaching a course in the history of military engineering innovations at the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI).

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national interest, elon musk, jeff bezos, richard branson, moon, usa, china, spacex, nasa, un, international space station (ISS), space, russia

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