What is the geopolitics of outer space? And what will be its impact on India

What is the geopolitics of outer space? And what will be its impact on India

India has engaged itself more actively to explore new opportunities for outer space cooperation with the US and other “Quad” partners—Australia and Japan.

Outer space is a rapidly emerging new field, where the situation of more and more commerce and competition is visible in recent years.

India’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on identifying two key trends.

first, the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the global order of the 21st century; and second, the urgency of setting new rules for peace and stability in outer space.

What is the geopolitics of outer space? And what will be its impact onIndia


Geostrategy of outer space

The commercial aspect of outer space has often been dominated by the US. America’s military competition with Russia has set important benchmarks for the security sector.

China’s rise as a major space power in both the civilian and military spheres is giving a new shape to ‘astropolitics‘ or ‘celestial politics‘.

The dramatic expansion of China’s space capabilities and its ambition to expand its dominance in outer space has created a new urgency for the world’s democracies to come together to promote a sustainable order in space while protecting their national interests.

It’s important for India

The space sector is emerging as a potential fourth branch of the country’s defense system.

The US, Russia, and China are already on their way to become a major space power, so India will need to prepare itself appropriately to meet the emerging security challenges.

Significantly, often a space power country has the ability to use space in its own interest while depriving its enemies or competitors of space.

India already has a remarkable ability to harness space.

But its ability to deprive a resistor of its use of space is inherently negligible right now.

As far as artificial satellites are concerned, India has only a few military satellites, while the country has more than 40 civilian satellites.

India’s first dedicated military satellite was launched in the year 2013.

However, India has made some progress in the path of becoming a space power.

The recently conducted ‘Mission Shakti‘ has demonstrated India’s capability to target enemy satellites.

The newly established Defense Space Agency (DSA) will be supported by the Defense Space Research Organization (DSRO), which has been tasked with manufacturing armaments to ‘undermine, disrupt or destroy the opponent’s space capability. Is.

Problems Related to Outer Space Geopolitics

The weaponization of Space: The militarization and armament of space is fundamentally the opposite of creative commercial and scientific projects.

A war situation in space would destroy the underlying support needed to maintain systems deployed in space for peaceful purposes.

Despite these facts, there has been a steady increase in the militarization and armament of outer space.

The problem of Space Debris: Any satellite destroyed by a missile often breaks up into many smaller pieces, which add up to space debris.

This debris floating freely in space pose a potential danger to operating satellites and can cause satellites to become virtually inactive or even destroyed.

With more and more satellites being launched by different countries, where each of them is of strategic or commercial importance, space debris could become a major challenge in the future.

Competition of Space Exploration: ‘Space Mining’ means the ongoing competition for space exploration will usher in a new era of conflict and cooperation.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the commercial space industry will be worth approximately US$1.5 trillion by the year 2040.

‘Moon Rush’: After the discovery of water and ‘Peaks of Eternal Light’ on the Moon, ‘Moon Rush’ targeted at the South Pole of the Moon has become a new phenomenon. for example:

Recently, China’s Chang’e 4 made a soft landing in the Von Karman crater in the dark part of the south polar region.

The goal of America’s Lunar Program is to once again send humans to the Moon in the next decade.

NASA is also focusing mainly on the South Pole and if this mission is successful, it will be the first manned crew to reach the South Pole.

Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon company) has unveiled the ‘Blue Moon Project‘, under which the goal is to send women and men to the moon in the next few years.

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) involves monitoring the motion of all objects – natural (meteorite) and man-made (satellites) and tracking space weather.

At present, space has become an integral part of our lives and any disruption in space-based communication and earth observation can have serious consequences.

‘Space Situational Awareness (SSA)

Thousands of objects exist in Earth’s orbit, posing a potential threat to satellites and launches.

‘Space Situational Awareness (SSA) means monitoring objects in Earth’s orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time.

India’s Outer Space Opportunities

India is actively engaged in the space sector, which has developed remarkable space capabilities over the decades.

The US, on the other hand, acknowledges that it does not unilaterally define the space system and is therefore looking for new partners.

The India-US joint statement issued in Washington highlights plans to finalize a ‘Space Situational Awareness Memorandum of Understanding‘ by the end of this year, which will provide data and services to ensure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. Sharing would help.

International cooperation on ‘Space Situational Awareness‘ is similar to the agreements on Maritime Area Awareness, which facilitate information sharing on various ocean metrics.

The new space working group set up by the ‘Quad‘ will identify new opportunities for cooperation and develop satellites for peaceful purposes such as climate change monitoring, disaster response and preparedness, sustainable use of ocean and marine resources, and responding to challenges in common areas. Will ensure sharing of data.

The Quad leaders have committed to “consult on rules, norms, guidelines, and principles to ensure the sustainable use of outer space”.

Way ahead for geopolitics of outer space

Mutual cooperation of public and private institutions: India needs to structurally separate the regulatory, commercial, and scientific research elements of its space program.

Funding for space research and development should be increased and ISRO and private research institutions should be encouraged to work together.

Simultaneously, there is a need to set up an independent regulator that can control ISRO and new space operators giving them a level playing field.

Need for a strong regulatory framework: India should also build a strong regulatory framework to promote its space activities and protect international interests.

India should also keep a close eye on emerging challenges to the current space system and review its earlier political perceptions about the nature of the outer space sector, as well as contribute to the development of new global benchmarks, which are established by the Outer Space Treaty. Outer Space Treaty.

In order to effectively protect its space assets, India must have the precise ability to track all celestial bodies, from debris and spacecraft to celestial bodies.

Since precise tracking is the basis of almost all necessary activities in space, this critical capability should be developed indigenously.

For the effectiveness of space defense, India needs to achieve a minimum and reliable capability in terms of various types of space weapons (physical, electronic, and cyber).

Conclusion of geopolitics of outer space

Given the sheer scale of challenges and opportunities of the outer space sector, there is a need for immediate and comprehensive reforms.

This need can be met only from the highest political level.

The Prime Minister’s speech on the Indian Ocean in 2015 focused national attention on maritime affairs.

India needs a similar intervention in the matter of outer space.

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