Published On: Thu, Oct 31st, 2019

Space news: NATO prepares for space warfare in explosive December summit announcement | World | News


The decision is set to take place at the beginning of December at a summit in London, where US President Donald Trump is due to attend. It is thought that NATO will formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space.

A senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions said: “There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official.”

Although, the diplomat cautioned that technical policy work was still underway.

Other NATO diplomats currently deny the alliance would be on a war footing space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defences or destroy satellites.

It has been reported that France and the US are currently the main advocates of initiating space as a frontier of war.

NATO is set to announce it is ready to make space a warfare domain

NATO is set to announce it is ready to make space a warfare domain (Image: GETTY)

Donald Trump is due to attend the summit

Donald Trump is due to attend the summit (Image: GETTY)

France in particular has been vocal in its criticism and accusations of Russia already using space as a means to target other nations.

In July, France announced it would start to develop anti-satellite masters to protect its satellite fleet following its claim that Russia had been using its own satellites for space-based espionage.

And, joining the warning party, earlier this month the head of the newly established US Space Command warned that China would likely attempt to blind satellites in wartime.

Fears may not be far-fetched, as Russia recently launched a commercial satellite designed to rendezvous with other satellites.

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The news comes after Russia was accused of using satellites to target other nations

The news comes after Russia was accused of using satellites to target other nations (Image: GETTY)

Despite the peaceful nature of the satellite, it marked the first time commercial companies were able to carry out such high-tech operations; meaning global military powers to likely already have the technology, if not more advanced.

It caught the attention of NATO as the organisation theorised if a country or company is able to manoeuvre its own satellites within close proximity of others, then in theory, it could do so for military or sabotage purposes – potentially without detection.

The idea to weaponise space may woo Trump into thinking NATO to be of use to the US.

The president will likely be on board with the idea of challenging China’s power grip in space in order to advance the West’s influence in the new domain.

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Space has long been thought to be the final frontier of warfare

Space has long been thought to be the final frontier of warfare (Image: GETTY)

SpaceX has already exerted considerable influence in space

SpaceX has already exerted considerable influence in space (Image: GETTY)

While NATO countries today own 65% of satellites in space, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking missiles and armed forces on the ground.

China’s advance in space has alarmed government’s around the world.

Last year, it became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon.

More recently, it was reported that China is developing weapons it could use in orbit.

The US has been to the moon the most times

The US has been to the moon the most times (Image: Express Newspapers)

The Communist nation currently has an operational ground-based anti-missile intended to target assets in low Earth orbit, with Beijing expected to field a ground-based aster weapon that can counter low-orbit space-based sensors by 2020.

The US military could extend its influence inspire by buying commercially available products from SpaceX.

Elon Musk’s company is reportedly ready to treat the US military as a customer for its advance space fleet technology.

This collaboration would see the military have access to SpaceX’s next generation of Starships as well as its Starlink satellites.

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer, Gwynne Shotwell, on Wednesday appeared at a conference held alongside the US military who talked about their efforts to modernise the force and bring it up to date in the latest weaponry and technology.

Ms Shotwell gave a brief outline of SpaceX’s history and the transportation systems it has built in recent years.

SpaceX is reprtedly ready to make its technology commercially available

SpaceX is reprtedly ready to make its technology commercially available (Image: GETTY)

Following the discussion, Ms Shottwell told SpaceNews that SpaceX viewed the US military as a potential customer for its services and products.

Mr Musk wants Starship to be the first space craft to take humans to Mars and return them safely.

He plans to use the new vehicles to send people to the Moon, Mars, and also to move at never before seen speeds across the globe.

The ability to move people around the Earth swiftly is something that the US military has reportedly been interested in.

Although the military doesn’t launch big satellites or send crews to space, it could conceivably use Starship to deliver cargo halfway around the world in minutes, according to SpaceNews.



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