Protecting the Outer Space

While human progression is usually fuelled by many different factors, there is one in particular that sticks out rather comfortably. Yes, we are talking about the human ability to optimize potential. If you look through our history, you’ll observe how this skill has benefited on so many occasions, but upon a deeper look, you’ll also notice that its biggest milestone only came once it was used alongside technology. You see, when you link up such a skill with technology’s crazy promise, the by-products are always going to be impactful beyond all limits. In fact, the same became true in quite a literal sense as soon as the creation birthed a full-fledged space industry. Having a space industry proved to be a much bigger deal than any of us could have imagined. We say so because what started from a highly exclusive dream of moon landing has now turned into a relentless ambition to make something like space exploration accessible for everyone. However, before we focus on realizing that and many other space-related objectives, we have to ensure some basic but highly important things. US government’s latest decision caters to one such need.

The US government has officially committed to ending the questionable practice of anti-satellite missile tests. In case you are not aware, anti-satellite weapons test, or more conveniently known as ASAT, is a military demonstration where the countries prepare to destroy a spacecraft in the orbit. While the practice is limited to nation’s own assets, it does leave a hugely detrimental impact on the space surroundings. To give you an example, when Russia carried out the same test last year, it left thousands of pieces of debris in low Earth orbit, thus creating a crisis-like situation for all those astronauts who were on the International Space Station at that time. Talk about US, the last time it destroyed a satellite was in 2008. The said operation was reportedly designed to get rid of a malfunctioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite USA-193.

After taking the initiative, the US government is now looking to establish a defined set of space norms, but the other countries’ stance on that remains unclear, at least for now.

“Conflict or confrontation in outer space is not inevitable, and the United States seeks to ensure outer space remains free from conflict,” the White House statement said. “The administration had made clear that the United States will engage the international community to uphold and strengthen a rules-based international order for space.”

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