Militarisation of space

The legal status of a missile

In this new Space Law article, we will for Space Legal Issues analyse the legal status of a missile. What is a missile? Is it an aircraft? A space object when it is oriented towards outer space? What if a missile passes through outer space, above the Kármán line, like suborbital flights: does it become a space object? Let’s remember that the first rockets were developed as missiles, those space objects, like the V-2, were missiles. That is what we will study.

The French Space Army

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Saturday the creation next September of a command dedicated to space, a potential French Space Army, an area essential to military operations and become a field of confrontation between powers.

The Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space

Launched in May 2016, the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) Project aims to develop a widely-accepted manual clarifying the fundamental rules applicable to the military use of outer space in peacetime.

Article 51 of the UN Charter

Article 51 of the UN Charter provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defence, including collective self-defence, against an armed attack (including cyber-attacks). The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organisation.

Article 48 of the ITU Constitution

Article 48 of the ITU Constitution provides that “Member States retain their entire freedom with regard to military radio installations”, a provision that the International Group of Experts agreed reflects longstanding State practice with respect to the governance of international telecommunications.

The Tallinn Manual and Space Law

The Tallinn Manual (originally entitled the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare) is an academic, non-binding study on how International Law (in particular the jus ad bellum and international humanitarian law) applies to cyber conflicts and cyber warfare. What are its relationships with Space Law?

International Traffic in Arms Regulations

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a United States regulatory regime (dating back to the mid-1970s) to restrict and control the export of defense and military related technologies to safeguard U.S. national security and further U.S. foreign policy objectives. Before 1992, satellite components were classified as munitions, and ITAR export compliance was controlled by the State Department.

The Soviet Almaz military space station

The Almaz, meaning “Diamond” in Russian, was a highly secret Soviet military space station program, begun in the early 1960s. Along with some state-of-the-art spy equipment, such as cameras and radar, Almaz would carry a cannon, a modified version of the Rikhter R-23, in its arsenal. Only after the fall of the U.S.S.R. did Russian sources revealed that the cannon had actually fired in orbit.

Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space

On June 10, 2014, Russia introduced to the Conference on Disarmament an updated draft of its working paper with China, “Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects”.

Brilliant Pebbles

Brilliant Pebbles was a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system proposed in 1987, at the end of the Cold War. Brilliant Pebbles was the idea of Lowell Wood and Edward Teller, “the father of the hydrogen bomb”, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Space weapons, satellites and anti-satellite systems

The only way to prevent Article IV (1967 Outer Space Treaty) from constituting an empty provision is a collective commitment by states aimed at updating international and national laws on outer space and the discipline of space weapons.

The Strategic Defense Initiative and outer space military laws

The U.S.-led Strategic Defense Initiative or SDI, sometimes referred to as “Star Wars”, was a missile defense program launched during the Cold War by Ronald Reagan. It was a satellite network project whose role would have been the detection and destruction of ballistic missiles launched against the USA.

Remote sensing, the dual use of satellites and the impact on the environment

There are several questions arising from remote sensing operations, and these too often represent a threat to state sovereignty and territorial control. Let’s have a look at the dual use of satellites and the impact on the environment.

An interview with Pierre-Henri d’Argenson

An interview with Pierre-Henri d’Argenson, the author of La fin du monde et le dernier dieu – Un nouvel horizon pour l’humanité, about mankind’s future, global warming, Mars, Space Law, spatiopolitics…

Mission Shakti and Space Law

The Indian government announced on March 27, 2019, it successfully fired a ground-based anti-satellite weapon against a satellite in Low Earth Orbit, a test – Mission Shakti – that is likely to heighten concerns about outer space security and orbital debris.

The United States Space Force

The United States Space Force has been much discussed about for the past year. What is a “Space Force”? What do international treaties say about it? Did Donald Trump’s announcement in 2018 affect spatiopolitics? What are the potential dangers?

The United States Astronaut Badge

The United States Astronaut Badge, the least awarded qualification badge of the United States military, is a space-related badge awarded to those having flown at least eighty kilometres above the surface of the Earth.

The Syncom satellites

The Syncom satellites were first developed in the 1960s by NASA. Syncom for “synchronous communication satellite” started as a 1961 NASA program for active geosynchronous communication satellites. Syncom II was the first geosynchronous satellite. Syncom III was the first geostationary satellite.

The Partial Test Ban Treaty

The Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) is the abbreviated name of the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, which prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground.

Starfish Prime or the legality of high-altitude nuclear explosions

High-altitude nuclear explosions are the result of nuclear weapons testing. Starfish Prime was a July 9, 1962 high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States of America. Are those high-altitude nuclear explosions still legal?