Expanded Uses and New Risks
This chapter explores military-related challenges and opportunities in space. To date, most military space activities consist of support functions—that is, technologies that allow military forces on the ground, at sea, and in the air to operate more effectively. These include weather forecasting, communications, precision timing and navigation, reconnaissance, and early warning. Space assets make military systems work better and thereby enhance the tools that can be used in other environments, including improving weapons accuracy to reduce casualties and collateral damage. Currently, a number of nations are trying to develop space weapons capabilities, ranging from electronic jammers that interrupt signals to kinetic weapons that destroy enemy spacecraft. China's anti-satellite (ASAT) test in 2007 is a clear example of this. The main goals of such developments are to deny an enemy's “eyes and ears” in space, which could be extremely useful in conflict.
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