2017 Plenary 6: Satellite Armies: The Race in Space

When it comes to military deterrence, space remains the final frontier. While decades have passed since Regan’s ’Star Wars’ initiative, interest in the weaponization of space has continued. Since the launch of Sputnik, hundreds of satellites have been launched for a variety of purposes by both state and non-state actors. This panel’s discussion focused on the uses of these satellites and whether some may be weapons in disguise. From the military perspective, General Hyten sees space as another medium of military activity, comparable to ships at sea or planes in the air. In the 60 years since the launch of Sputnik, thousands of pieces of space junk poses a threat to functional satellites and space stations. All agree that states must go where no one has gone before to form rules, laws and norms around the use of space.