Future Wars Will Probably Be Fought in Space

Future Wars Will Probably Be Fought in Space

There’s a bunch of shit in space, and we keep putting more shit up there. Space is more accessible than ever before, and the U.S., China, and Russia are all hurtling toward potential space war and mutually-assured satellite destruction. It won’t be happening out among the stars, though; it’s likely to be waged in low earth orbit. You might have thought Space Force was a joke when President Donald Trump enshrined it as a part of the country’s armed forces in 2019, but it’s becoming increasingly more relevant every year.

“Both Russia and the PRC are evolving their military doctrines to extend into space,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said. “They’re both deploying capabilities that can target GPS and other vital space-based systems, and we’ve seen both countries conduct operations against us and our allies and partners to degrade our space advantages. Our competitors’ aggressive actions seek to turn space into a warfighting domain.”


The Growing Inevitability of War in Space

All three major space superpowers have demonstrated an ability to launch rockets with the express purpose of destroying satellites. Similarly, all three countries have secretly been operating “tailing” satellites, capable of repositioning to be nearer satellites from other countries, potentially with the purpose of one-for-one ramming destruction events. Russia has launched satellites with hidden satellites inside them, as well as satellites capable of deploying high-speed projectiles.

If enough satellites are destroyed in collision events or targeted attacks, the debris field could become wide enough that every nearby satellite is rended into tens of thousands of hunks of space junk, potentially hitting other satellites and carrying on the pattern until they’re all gone. Analogous to nuclear warfare, this kind of space warfare could destroy the fabric of life as we know it.

Ever since the Ruskies launched old Sputnik, we’ve been looking to the stars as a potential battleground for international warfare. With decades of experience and technological advancement, it makes sense that powerful and potentially unhinged leaders of the world are racing to find advantages in space wars. Here’s hoping it never happens.

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