National Security Implications of Inexpensive Space Access,
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST
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There has been a great deal of recent discussion in the space policy community about the technical challenges of gaining economical and routine access to space. Despite this, there has been little written about the opportunities which exist for the development of new missions for US military space forces. Neither has there been much discussion of the security challenges that any resultant proliferation of access to space may present to the United States and to the established international order. Even the most forward looking space advocates in the Department of Defense assume that access to space will continue to be prohibitively expensive and difficult for the foreseeable future, that an American decision not to take advantage of the military potential of space is deterministic for the rest of the world, and that navigation, communications, and surveillance activities will likely remain the limits of space-based capabilities for all countries. Part of this failure to consider the possibilities of a world radically changed by inexpensive access to space is a reaction to the expectations gap set up by the gulf between mankinds collective dreams about its future in space and the realities of its achievements so far. The collective public and political mind has been shaped by powerful and convincing fictional images of space activities that we are not likely to see for a hundred years.
- Space Warfare