By NASA - http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-134/html/s134e010137.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15354368

The rise of cheaper, smaller satellites, and civilian access to space is dramatically increasing the threat of future space terrorism, according to the head of the UK’s new Space Force equivalent – the Space Directorate. Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth spoke at the DSEI 2021 conference in London Sept. 14, just days after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States.

According to C4ISRNET:

The decreasing cost of launch and the increasing capability of relatively cheap, small satellites makes it easier than ever for governments, corporations and academics to access space. This development has been hailed for the possibilities it’s introduced in the commercial and defense spheres, but Smyth argued that it also opens up new challenges.

Referencing the 9/11 terror attacks, Smyth noted:

We all have witnessed what happens, and what particularly happens when the air domain became accessible to all — terrorists turned airliners into weapons. If such a trend holds true for space, when will we have to deal with our first example of space terrorism? And are we prepared for such a dramatic strategic shock?

He added:

The cost of access to space has fallen dramatically throughout this last decade, from $20,000 per kilogram to less than $2,000 today, with an aspiration to get below ten with an end point of $2 per kilogram. Pretty much anyone can now access space, and with this accessibility can come potential threat.

Following the U.S. creation of the Space Force under President Trump, the UK has reorganized its military space efforts over the past 18 months. As part of this effort, it established the Space Directorate, led by Smyth, to coordinate all government space activities.

It also created UK Space Command this year to oversee space-related defense programs and forces.

Smyth concluded:

We have a much more ambitious and new broad ranging defense space program, way beyond where we were 20 months ago — which was effectively centered on Skynet alone — with an approved and new funding profile which focuses on space domain awareness, globally secure SATCOM in the form of next generation Skynet, digitally networked architectures, multi-spectral [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] constellations and specific protect and defend capabilities, alongside a federated space education and training program. ADN

 

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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charles A wilkins
charles A wilkins
1 month ago

We believe you but we need a new leader, Time to put a man back in the White House, not sure what we have now, but he is no President, current resident lacks coherent policies both domestic foreign, lacks any leadership attributes, does not have any principal, lacks honesty for sure, definitely lacks truthfilness, most of all lacks ability to fully comprehend most situtation, refuses to accept counsel , suffers Inabilty to communicate on world diplomacy, worst national security matters. Joe must go. This issue to govern is only going to get worse, where is the medical sign off this person is fit to serve mentally? The executive branch is in crisis getting worse each day it’s allowed to continue.

Lisa
Lisa
1 month ago

No Experience Needed, No Boss Over iil Your Shoulder… Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open… 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐉𝐨𝐛𝐬𝟒𝟕.𝐓𝐊

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
1 month ago

Ron DeSantis / Candace Owens 2024
Vote for action and competence, not naivety and idiot tweets!

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago

I’ll stick with the original theory: They’re going to get rid of Numb Nuts, either by some ‘medical’ (Including death) means, or imposing the 25th Amendment, so Kamaltoes will be our first female president.

Pawn
Pawn
1 month ago

sounds like the terminator movies…just sayin

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
1 month ago

Both Communist China and the USA have each blown up a satellite of their own to demonstrate the capability. They littered the near earth obits with tens of thousands of very fast shards that can damage satellites of all nations.

No pack yet to clean up the mess.