International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

[op-ed snap] Gearing up for space wars: on America’s plans to build space weapons


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Assassin Mace technology

Mains level: USA’s plans to weaponize space may bring in a new wave of war that will be unconventional and more dangerous


American plans for a space weapons corps

  1. The announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump in June about the creation of a “space force” or a sixth branch of the American armed forces has taken many by surprise within and outside the U.S.
  2. The imperative by America to build space weapons is not new and has had its roots going back to the Cold War
  3. The creation of the new force represents an important shift at an institutional level

The militarization of space & international response

  1. The purpose being stated is to deny the Russians and the Chinese advantages in space
  2. The intention is to see that the U.S. establishes and maintains dominance in space
  3. China has announced that it opposes the weaponization of space
  4. China’s space military programme has been dedicated to building “Assassin Mace” technologies (an array of kinetic and non-kinetic means of attack)

Impacts of this move on India

  1. Beijing’s reaction could be much stronger than its seemingly muted official response
  2. It possesses a formidable space military programme that far exceeds current Indian capabilities

Way forward

  1. New Delhi would do well to come out with an official white paper on space weapons
  2. The government needs to engage with multiple stakeholders directly about the role space weapons will play in India’s grand strategy
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