ASATs and Ballistic Missile Technology

The Space Review has a couple of stories about the military uses of space:

How should we secure our space-based assets as a nation?
The White House has proposed negotiating a ban on space weapons, even though there is uncertainty about exactly what would be considered such a device. Christopher Stone argues that other measures can be taken to better protect the safety and security of space assets.

North Korea proves the point: ICBMs are proliferating
This weekend’s launch of a North Korean rocket was supposedly intended to put a satellite into orbit, but many observers considered it a test of a long-range missile. Taylor Dinerman opines on the implications of this launch.

Space Junk Becoming a Big Problem; No Easy Solutions in Sight

When an out-of-control Russian satellite crashed into an Iridium spacecraft last week, it did much more than just create a massive debris cloud in low Earth orbit. It also set off an international debate about what to do about a growing collection of dangerous junk that humanity has deposited around the planet. It promises to be a costly problem with few easy answers.

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Dispatches from Colorado: Politics, Shuttles and ASATs

Aviation Week’s Frank Morring, Jr. is providing blog updates from the ongoing U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Morring’s blog posts:

  • review the evolving space policies of the three major U.S. presidential candidates;
  • report on a proposal by former shuttle commander turned Boeing executive Brewster Shaw to keep the space shuttle flying beyond its planned retirement date in 2010; and,
  • reveal that the U.S. Air Force had been assisting the Chinese human spaceflight program with avoiding orbital debris, at least until the Chinese made the problem much worse last year by blowing up a spacecraft with an anti-satellite missile.