Militarization of Space

November 8, 2016
Sua Shin  Portola Highly Gifted Middle School  8th Grade

Sua Shin
Portola Highly Gifted Middle School
8th Grade

These days, our space technology have developed much, much better since the last few decades. We also had several wars that gave us experiences of survival and peace. Now, many countries such as North Korea and Russia are planning for the expension of weapons in outer space for greater benefits. Therefore, there are some facts to elaborate on for clearer views on militarization of space, for both our and the whole world’s peace.

Militarization of space can be a new idea in this world. It can be seem as an impossible action, but it is not hard to accomplish. However, it bring serious effect and damage to many parts of the world. It refers to the placement and development of weaponry and military technology in outer space. It means we would place military spacecrafts in outer space and launch them toward Earth at a certain target, if necessary. Although there are specifically two types of weapons of Space-to-Earth weapons and Earth-to-Earth weapons, mostly the Space-to-Earth weapons would be used.

In the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations 2016, which is also called as GCIMUN, there was an agenda that was ‘Militarization of Space’ in the General Assembly’s First Committee, Disarmament and International Security, also called as DISEC. There were more than a hundred countries that participated in the debate. Most countries opposed the agenda, but there were some countries that agreed to it. Some of the opposing reasons mentioned in the conference were firstly, the unfairness. Only a small portion of the 193 countries can launch the weaponized spacecrafts onto space, such as America, Russia, China, and North Korea. However, for the countries that are not so developed in space technology, cannot benefit themselves through this opportunity of defense. They can even be harmed by other countries, through accidents and experiments.

Another factor that can effect the most is that the entire globe would not benefit from this opportunity. We can think that it is just a weapon in space that is meant to shoot at people. However, there would be multiple spacecrafts launched per country that would be in space. This enormous motivation of simultaneous launchings of weapons will increase the space debris, which we call as ‘space junk’. This is also an global issue that many countries throughout the world had discussed on. We have finally recognized the fact that this is crisis. However, the declaration of the freedom to launch weapons to outer space can worsen this crisis. The space debris collide into each other as they orbit. This creates more debris, which leads to a more higher possibility for a piece of space junk to fall into Earth. Small objects falling from outer space gives a huge loss to many families and countries, because of its speed increasing due to gravity. It may crash onto a field, a building, or a house. There was an incident where on Febuary 1, 2003, during its return to Earth, Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry, killing seven astronauts. The catastrophic, lethal accident shed thousands of pieces of debris across a 28,000 square mile (72,520 square kilometers) area in eastern Texas and western Louisiana. More than 80,000 recovered pieces were stored for follow-up research.

Hoping that the outer space would not be militarized, there were some factors that were necessary to be elaborated. The crisis of space junk, the increasing gap of low and high income countries, and etc. However, even if the world actually does weaponize the space, there needs to be management between countries of how they would be responsible of their accidents, their further creation of space debris, and how they would support the recoverings of innocent third-party-countries. Although opposing the militarization can be a good support for world peace, we should think about the world’s future in both perspectives from now for when the real time comes.

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4 Comments

  1. Colleen M. Driscoll, PhD

    November 8, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Dear Sua Shin: I just read your very intelligent and timely article. I have been working on the prevention of an arms race in outer space for many years. You are correct that there is a increasing development of space weapons that threaten every country and person on earth. I am proposing that next year, on the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty, governments work together to plan a Management Plan for Space that will address all of the issues involved and that they write a treaty that bans placing weapons in space, as Russia and China have proposed.

    I hope you continue your interest in outer space and work to get your government’s support for banning space weapons.

  2. Sua Shin

    November 9, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Dr. Driscoll! Your encouragement motivated me to study and research more on this topic. I will continue on to have interest in this kind of category and will search more about it to find a solution to this problem. If I have any questions, can ask you through emails? (My email is: suashin03@gmail.com)

    • Colleen M. Driscoll, PhD

      January 4, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      I would be happy to communicate with you by e-mail. I fear that the danger of weapons in space has increased with the results of the U.S. election. It is more important than ever that we all work to prevent an arms race in outer space.

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