Tonight’s planned space launch from Newquay ‘spaceport’ is the latest step in a new era of expansion into space by the military with the UK wholeheartedly joining a space arms race which will inevitably lead to greater risk of instability and conflict.
Space is rapidly becoming a key domain for military operations as modern wars rely heavily on space-based assets for command and control, surveillance, intelligence gathering, missile warning and supporting forces deployed overseas. Satellites also enable communications links for military and security forces, including communications needed to remotely fly armed drones.
Over the past two years we have seen the setting up of UK Space Command, the publication of a Defence Space Strategy outlining how the MoD will “protect the UK’s national interests in space” and the announcement of a portfolio of new military programmes to develop space assets and infrastructure. MoD ministers have openly stated that they now determine space to be a war fighting domain.
As well as today’s planned launch – which will see at least two pairs of military satellites placed in space – ground has been broken on a new spaceport in the Shetland Isles.