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To Keep Outer Space Peaceful

22.02.2007 12:00

Active development of space ABM defense weapon systems and high pace of ABM system deployment by the United States cause concerns of the world community.

The United States leaders refrained from militarization of the outer space even in the most severe years of the Cold War, because they understood that the consequences of such militarization may be disastrous. Today Pentagon under the pretext of the USA interest protection provides funds for development of ground-based, air-based and space-based anti-satellite weapon systems as well as for deployment of space ABM systems that would enable the USA to conduct warfare “in the space, from the space and through the space”. The world is under a new threat: militarization of the outer space.

On August 2, 2004, the US Air Force adopted a doctrine of Counterspace Operations that determines “the ways and means to be used by the Air Force to achieve space superiority”. The doctrine was adopted in elaboration of the AF Transformation Plan approved in November 2003. Both documents regulate conduct of counterspace operations and strikes inclusive of preventive strikes against different objects in the outer space and on the Earth. Currently we observe a trend to radical increase of appropriated funds on space monitoring and counterspace weapon R &D to find and assess the most promising technologies. .

In FY 2006, Pentagon provided 60.9 million Dollars only for development of experimental space vehicle XXS to launch micro-interceptors of enemy spacecraft. According to the design, the strategic ABM system should identify and destroy dozens of maneuvering targets inclusive of decoys within minutes. One-by-one kill of satellites in a preliminarily reconnoitered constellation is a principally simpler problem. Annual US expenditures on military space programs total about 20 billion Dollars, i.e. approximately 90 per cent of worldwide expenditures of this kind (according to Washington ProFile).

Experts believe that the United States will succeed in space militarization within the nearest decade. Construction and test of micro-satellites XSS-10 and XSS-11 in 2003-2005 became a significant step forward towards deployment of space ABM systems that will have not only anti-missile but also anti-satellite capabilities. The American satellites of new generation will be able to inspect alien spacecraft on the orbit and kill them in need. First of all, it will make the USA a monopoly in the outer space, and let it monitor not only satellite constellations of other countries but also a main worldwide data flow, 90 per cent of which are transmitted via satellite channels.

The USA still lacks any official counterspace systems but multi-billion expenditures on the R & D confirm that it will have them. Thus, in the near future the United States will get a possibility to control over the outer space, and grant access to the space to other nations depending on their loyalty to the American policy.

However, there is another problem. Many experts are sure that the US activities towards space militarization will encourage other countries that have capabilities for development or procurement of the respective technologies to the same activities. It was confirmed by an anti-satellite test recently successfully performed by China.

The outer space is a province of all mankind. And it should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Today, there is no weapon in the space, but there are plans to pollute its “purity”. Therefore the world community should make collective efforts to counter the US plans to deploy weapon systems in the outer space.