Space policy is finally moving into the 21st century
Nothing has ever happened in space like today. Commercial activity has ERUPTS over the past five years as private space companies have launched rockets, put satellites into orbit, and asked to serve missions to the moon.
But some experts are concerned this surge in activity is ahead of international agreements governing who can be in the field. Most of such policies were written and adopted before the commercial space sector heated up.
Now, countries know they need to update those agreements. This week, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research it is done annually The Outer Space Security Conference in Geneva, Switzerland (participants have the option to attend virtually or in person). For two days, diplomats, researchers, and military officials from around the world met to discuss threats and challenges, gun control, and space security. Their conversations provide a window into what the new space policies might look like.
Here are some of the most important picks.
An arms race can cook
Some experts are worried that the gap could be turned into the next battlefield. The use of anti-space technologies is advancing. For example, Russia and China Anti-satellite missile tests have recently been conducted, and the U.S. has long possessed similar capabilities.
“I object that we are watching a firearms career unfold,” he added Benjamin Silverstein, a research fellow for the Carnegie Endowment space project for International Peace. “Perhaps we have already crossed the point where it is wise to focus our primary effort to curb the arms race.”
Silverstein said that instead of being prevented, new policies should focus on minimizing the negative consequences of this arms race. He urged states to use the United Nations and their diplomatic resources to clarify and improve relations between rival actors.