When it comes to space technology, the U.S. has made some substantial investments through the latter part of its history. While many of them have been for the sake of science and exploration, our efforts to reach newer and greater heights beyond Earth have also been motivated by defense. This is true of other major powers around the globe, and as access and innovation grow beyond U.S. borders, some wonder how the U.S. would fare if conflict ever extends beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Would the U.S. dominate space if it became a battlefront?
Image Source: Reuters
“Where the United States can count on allies to host parts of a global sensor network, China has few formal allies and can only deploy space-awareness systems inside its own borders, on ships at sea or in space. The Chinese military can watch the skies over East Asia, but is mostly blind elsewhere. By contrast, Russia inherited an impressive space-awareness network from the Soviet Union. Russia’s allies in Europe — in particular, the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states — extend the network’s field of view. As a result, Moscow possesses ‘a relatively complete catalog of space objects,’ the Secure World Foundation concluded. But Russia is still far behind the United States and China as far as space weaponry is concerned. There was a 31-year gap between the Soviet Union’s last anti-satellite test and Russia’s first post-Soviet orbital-weapon experiment.”
As America’s military dominance has been questioned on the ground, it’s not surprising that some are concerned with our defensive presence in orbit. And as with our might on familiar fronts, technology and our allies may be the biggest factor in maintaining our lead.
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