The following is based on excerpts from the March 2021 Diplomat Risk Intelligence Monthly Report An Asian Space Odyssey. The full report is available here.
After a relative lull following the end of the Cold War, space is back with a vengeance, along with geopolitical rivalry and accelerated defense modernization plans. What is new and an additional complicating factor, this time around, is the realization that space exploration and presence may be intimately tied not only with national prestige and military gains (its principal drivers during the Cold War) but also with an economic edge for those invested in it. However, technical advances that have contributed to civilian, military and commercial space capabilities in, and aspirations of, key Asia-Pacific powers have not been matched with commensurate shared understanding on how these capabilities are to be put in to play in a way acceptable to all.
In a new Diplomat Risk Intelligence, five prominent experts on space issues examined among many other key issues related to Asia-Pacifics outer space engagement how the space security regime, and capabilities and intent, have not tracked each other, with geopolitics and national economic aspirations introducing further complications.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute scholar Malcolm Davis writes:
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) bans the deployment or use of nuclear weapons in space. It doesnt ban the development, testing and deployment of non-nuclear ASATs [anti-satellite weapons]. Efforts since the OST to prohibit ASATs, such as the Russian and Chinese proposals for a Prohibition on the Placement of Weapons (PPWT) in space, and the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space agreement, as well as an EU Code of Conduct for Outer Space activities, have failed in part due to challenges in defining what constitutes a space weapon and challenges associated with verification and monitoring. The Russian and Chinese efforts with PPWT sought to ban co-orbital ASATs, but did nothing to constrain either direct-ascent ASATs or ground-based counterspace capabilities. Defining what constitutes a co-orbital ASAT is becoming increasingly difficult as a grey zone in orbit emerges due to the blurring between commercial space capability and potentially hazardous or malign rendezvous and proximity operations.
Interestingly, as Secure World Foundation analyst Victoria Samson points out in her contribution to the report:
An added complication is that Russia historically has not accepted that commercial space exists. When negotiations were underway in the 1960s for the Outer Space Treaty (OST), Soviet negotiators wanted it enshrined in the treaty that space would be for nation-states only. Finally, as a compromise, Article 6 of the OST requires nations to provide continuing supervision of any space activities by its citizens. Right now, there are roughly 3500 active satellites. Looking at filings with the FCC for spectrum, there could potentially be 107,000 active ones by the end of this decade. They will not all come to fruition but a lot of them will, and with that will solidify a fundamental change in the space domain, as it is commercial actors launching these mega-constellations, not nation-states. With the space domain shifting from one dominated by nation-state actors to one that is dominated by commercial actors, Russias lack of true commercial space very well may contribute to its drop in space stature.
Get briefed on the story of the week, and developing stories to watch across the Asia-Pacific.
The result? Russia could very well like to make up for the lack of its commercial/civilian space heft by doubling down on its military counterspace capabilities, adding further stress on the extant space security regime.
Growing interest in space-resource extraction too is increasingly playing a large role in pushing the edges of the OST. Consider the fact that in April last year, then-U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that allowed the United States to mine the moon and otherwise extract resources from outer space. While his administration had argued at that time that this order was not in violation of the OST and keep in mind that the U.S. is not a signatory to the 1979 Moon Treaty, which the order would have run afoul of had the U.S. been a party analysts have pointed out that Trumps moon-mining plans (and the Artemis Accords that buttress it) run against the spirit of the outer space as a global commons.
Chinas space ambitions too have a significant economic bent. Scholar Namrata Goswami writes in her contribution:
For China, investing in outer space moves beyond prestige and reputation, beyond a flags and footprints model of the Cold War. Instead, China aims to develop capacity for establishing permanent space presence, from which it would economically benefit in the long term. The global space economy today is worth $350 billion but is predicted to be worth between $1.2 trillion to $3 trillion by 2040. The economic returns from future mining of space-based resources like titanium, platinum, water-ice, thorium, Helium-3, iron-ore, are several trillions. By 2050, China aspires to return $10 trillion annually from investments in the Earth-moon economic zone.
Observer Research Foundation scholar Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan flags that the problem with the existing space security regime and the supporting legal treaties is even deeper and foundational. She writes:
There are also definitional issues with the existing treaties. For instance, the understanding of key terms such as militarization of space has undergone important changes over the decades. In the 1950s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union emphasized the peaceful uses of space, at least in their official rhetoric. This, in the initial years, meant non-military uses. But once they launched their own satellites, they began to interpret the term more broadly to suggest non-aggressive actions. By the 1960s, both the U.S. and the USSR were launching many satellites with direct military uses. This was a slippery slope, with the distinction between militarization and weaponization of space becoming vaguer. Today, this understanding has become even broader to mean non-destructive uses. So, while OST has prevented states from placing WMD in space, development of counter-space capabilities with an apparent non-destructive use is considered acceptable. Therefore, in the absence of clarity of what constitutes peaceful use of space or a space weapon, the effectiveness of existing mechanisms is questionable.
It is of course tempting to put the blame for the fraying space security regime on growing capabilities as well as intent especially when it comes to new space military technologies, including the development of co-orbital ASATs and other weapons. But the fundamental issue is that increasingly and quite naturally, as a matter of fact intense geopolitical rivalries are also manifesting themselves as hindrances in further developing new norms and regimes, including those for the outer space. As Carnegie Endowment for International Peace researcher Ankit Panda writes in the concluding section of the DRI report:
While certain technological developments especially in the military realm have stymied progress on governance (for instance, disagreements between the United States on the one hand and China and Russia on the other), technologies in and of themselves are not the source of the continued dearth of institutions and mechanisms to manage the safe and sustainable use of space. With the major powers still divided on space, the obstacles today to better and more robust space governance are largely political. New initiatives, such as the United Kingdoms submission of a resolution at the U.N. General Assembly in 2020, could enhance common understanding among states. Absent major systemic shifts in how the main space powers relate to each other, technological progress is likely to continue to outpace progress on space governance over the next decade.
DRI Monthly Reports are rigorous research investigations that go beyond reportage and commentary to add permanent value for clients. Access previous reports here.
Go here to see the original:
Space Regime in Deep Distress: Experts The Diplomat - The Diplomat
- Validation and clinical applicability of a deep learning system for retinal disease (Tuesday, 10th August 2021) City, University of London - City,... - June 16th, 2021
- Physical works out the dark side of the mind in an honest way - Metro US - June 16th, 2021
- The Number One Voice Certain To Drive Your Leadership Off The Deep End - Forbes - June 16th, 2021
- Consumer Companies Bail on Non-Core Assets: "Deep is the New Wide" - Mergers & Acquisitions - June 16th, 2021
- Bengio Team Proposes Flow Network-Based Generative Models That Learn a Stochastic Policy From a Sequence of Actions - Synced - June 16th, 2021
- It's more than just skin-deep: Feel and look amazing with Bubble Skincare | Sponsored - Harvard Crimson - June 16th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Drivers, Challenges, Opportunities and Competitive Strategy Over 2021-2031 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind... - June 16th, 2021
- NVIDIA and the battle for the future of AI chips - Wired.co.uk - June 16th, 2021
- Accelerating Deep Learning on the JVM with Apache Spark and NVIDIA GPUs - InfoQ.com - June 16th, 2021
- AI in Europe: Who's leading the way and where is it heading? - Siliconrepublic.com - June 16th, 2021
- Review: Bo Burnhams Inside is a successful depiction of a lonely mind - Los Angeles Times - June 16th, 2021
- Alma Allens biomorphic sculptures have minds of their own - Wallpaper* - June 16th, 2021
- AI In Healthcare Market Rapid Growth USD 120 Bn by 2028| IBM Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Nuance Communications, Microsoft, Intel Corporation,... - June 16th, 2021
- Microsoft & OneFlow Leverage the Efficient Coding Principle to Design Unsupervised DNN Structure-Learning That Outperforms Human-Designed... - June 4th, 2021
- Machine Learning Artificial intelligence Market Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends And Forecast To 2027 | AIBrain, Amazon, Anki,... - June 4th, 2021
- Mind the gap: why training is vital to pursuing transgender inclusion - TrainingZone.co.uk - June 4th, 2021
- Phaidra raises more cash from Mark Cuban and others to build the future of industrial automation - GeekWire - May 24th, 2021
- DeepMind reportedly lost a yearslong bid to win more independence from Google - The Verge - May 24th, 2021
- Aging With Honor and Dignity: An Intuitive Approach for Men - The Good Men Project - May 24th, 2021
- Damien Harris clearly wouldn't mind a trade that lands Julio Jones with Patriots - Patriots Wire - May 24th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Rugged Expansion Foreseen by 2031 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies Limited, IBM Corporation The Courier -... - May 24th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market in deep Research about Growth & Competitive Analysis by 2021-2031 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies... - May 24th, 2021
- Dallas Comedy House Will Reopen With a New Name and Look - Eater Dallas - May 24th, 2021
- 3 Major Benefits of a Long-Term Insurance Carrier Relationship - Senior Housing News - May 24th, 2021
- IoT Cloud Company Tuya Smart Holds Meeting on Fast-tracked Connectivity and Innovation Amid COVID-19 Pandemic - Synced - May 24th, 2021
- DeepMind extends hunt for the worlds best A.I. researchers to Toronto - CNBC - May 10th, 2021
- ECO V2 by Pangeanic: Deep Adaptive Machine Translation Document Translator and Anonymization Solution - PRNewswire - May 10th, 2021
- Matters of the Mind: Compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and hopelessness - The Indian Express - May 10th, 2021
- Prison education alums work with undergrads on theater piece | Cornell Chronicle - Cornell Chronicle - May 10th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Insights, Deep Analysis of Key Vendor in the Industry 2021-2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies Limited,... - May 2nd, 2021
- Matisse & Sadko unveil the mind bending progressive tune 'Heal Me' - We Rave You - May 2nd, 2021
- The Deep-Sea Podcast review: The mind-boggling mysteries of the deep - New Scientist - May 1st, 2021
- Three Books: Zena Hitz *05 on a Life of the Mind - Princeton Alumni Weekly - May 1st, 2021
- Flavor 1st has Georgia on its mind | Produce News - TheProduceNews.com - May 1st, 2021
- Young attorney digs deep to make a genuine mark in the profession - Loop News Jamaica - May 1st, 2021
- Figures of Speech: 40 Ways to Improve your Writing - Visual Capitalist - May 1st, 2021
- Tony Bailie's Take on Nature: Bear in mind the simple principles of Leave No Trace - The Irish News - May 1st, 2021
- Food & Wine names 10 best pizza states in America and New York isnt in the top spot - KXAN.com - May 1st, 2021
- Essence Group Announces 'Peace of Mind' Strategy as Top Objective of All Future IoT Products and Services - PRNewswire - April 28th, 2021
- Centring of The Mind - Economic Times - April 28th, 2021
- PLU professors and students dive deep into the psychology of the pandemic - Pacific Lutheran University - April 28th, 2021
- Derby Undercard: Eclipse Winner Whitmore is a fan favorite in deep field of 13 for the Churchill Downs - Past The Wire - April 28th, 2021
- How Luxury Travel Is Leading the Recovery: A Skift Deep Dive - Skift - April 28th, 2021
- 'I recall it with deep despair': North Sea marks five years since Norway helicopter crash - News for the Oil and Gas Sector - Energy Voice - April 28th, 2021
- Single-Use Plastics Found at the Deepest Points of the Ocean - Technology Networks - April 28th, 2021
- Global Ai In Healthcare Market Top 10 Key players in 2021 |DeepMind Technologies Limited, IBM Corporation, Nuance Communications Inc, Microsoft,... - April 28th, 2021
- Has pharma missed the boat? - PharmaTimes - April 28th, 2021
- BlanQuil weighted blankets: Products and brand review - Medical News Today - April 28th, 2021
- A New Book Explores the Connections Between Music, Physics, and Neuroscience - Columbia University - April 28th, 2021
- Global Mindfulness Meditation Apps Market (2020) to Witness Huge Growth by 2026 | Deep Relax, Smiling Mind, Inner Explorer, Inc., Committee for... - April 19th, 2021
- Line of Duty, season 6 episode 5 recap: Davidson is in deep but who fired those cliffhanger shots? - The Telegraph - April 19th, 2021
- Calvin University Selects Noah Toly As Provost - News - Calvin News - April 19th, 2021
- I'm an insomniac who's tried everything from meds to sleep sprays. This meditation app is the only thing that' - Business Insider India - April 19th, 2021
- 'We've had this in mind for some time' - Gosden aims for another Blue Riband win - Racing Post - April 19th, 2021
- What two pieces of unrelated pop culture are forever connected in your mind? - The A.V. Club - April 19th, 2021
- Bringing China-US ties where they need to be - Chinadaily.com.cn - China Daily - April 8th, 2021
- Deep in the heart of the Texas Butterfly Ranch - The Picayune - April 8th, 2021
- Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Culture: Recruiting - ATD - ATD - ATD - April 8th, 2021
- The Mavericks Who Brought AI to the World - Review of Genius Makers by Cade Metz - Forbes - April 8th, 2021
- 'I can't unsee them': Rockland woman copes with trauma from Haiti earthquake by writing - Enterprise News - April 8th, 2021
- Q&A: How The Atlantic's Ed Yong navigated a year of deep coronavirus coverage - Poynter - April 8th, 2021
- Healthcare AI Market 2021 Is Rapidly Increasing Worldwide in Near Future | Top Companies Analysis- Apple, GE Healthcare, Google Deepmind Health, IBM... - April 8th, 2021
- Easter is when we go deep into the enduring stories of death and life - The National - April 4th, 2021
- How Open Source is Driving the Future of Data Science - RTInsights - April 4th, 2021
- Gulf News webinar to focus on fasting with health conditions during Ramadan | Uae - Gulf News - April 4th, 2021
- When it rains, it floods, and you better know what to do - Columbia Daily Herald - April 4th, 2021
- Opera Meets Film: How Opera is Used to Immerse Us Deeper into Anthony's Mind in 'The Father' - OperaWire - April 2nd, 2021
- Dive Deep Into These Mind-Blowing Underwater Photographer of the Year Entries - Yahoo News - April 2nd, 2021
- Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School dig deep to the root of learning - Port Townsend Leader - April 2nd, 2021
- Dear Eonni: A Filipino UAENA respects Lilac singer IU as a lyricist because her songs are 'active and awake' - PINKVILLA - April 2nd, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Is Set to Experience Revolutionary Growth by 2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies Limited KSU | The... - April 2nd, 2021
- Brain Tracking: Unraveling Mysteries of the Human Mind - WGEM - April 2nd, 2021
- On My Mind: The Solution To Gun Violence? More Guns, Apparently - WFAE - April 2nd, 2021
- System on Chips And The Modern Day Motherboards - Analytics India Magazine - April 2nd, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence Drug R&D: Market By New Business Developments, Innovations, And Top Companies Forecast To 2025 | Gatehouse Bio, Google... - April 2nd, 2021
- Artificial intelligence kept expanding through a turbulent year, with some exceptions - ZDNet - March 21st, 2021
- The Book Corner: The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes - University Press - March 21st, 2021
- 12-foot-deep sinkhole 'accidentally' discovered near Williams Arts Center The Lafayette - The Lafayette - March 21st, 2021
- DeepMind is building a team of A.I. researchers in New York - CNBC - March 16th, 2021
- AI & Robotics in the Global Defense Industry to Reach $61 Billion by 2027 - Robotics Anticipated to Account for the Largest Share of Expenditure -... - March 16th, 2021