The Emerging Threat Landscape of Space Terrorism | Space

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Authors: Rosemary Kurian and Dr. Karamala Areesh Kumar

The Cold War pivoted a new domain of ‘space race’ between the USA and the USSR, to prove superior spaceflight capabilities and leave their marks on the moon and other celestial bodies. An attempt at military superiority, the space race later translated to the militarization of space with tests of anti-satellite weapons, ballistic missiles and increasing space debris that could prove detrimental to orbiting satellites. With the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, states agreed to the prevention of nuclear weapons and military stations in outer space, albeit the treaty is marred with loopholes. The twenty-first-century world order has no potential for a conventional war in outer space. With increased access to space through the dramatically falling cost of launch, outer space is bound to get busier. Recent launch costs have waned from USD 20,000 per kilogram to below USD 2,000 per kilogram, which increased the threat of access to space.

Several multinational corporations (MNCs) like Virgin Galactic and Rocket Lab have accessed Outer Space without any state assistance. Elon Musk’s SpaceX offers services to the state in terms of taking key satellites to space, which was, at one point, a key foreign policy manoeuvre during Israel’s war in Gaza. These instances are proof of the increasing role of non-state actors in a…


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