"AT AN upcoming summit in early December, NATO is expected to declare space as a “warfighting domain”, partly in response to new developments in technology.
If it does declare space a war zone, NATO could start using space weapons that can destroy satellites or incoming enemy missiles.
But what is this technology and how could it enable a war?
In a recent first for space technology, Russia has launched a commercial satellite specifically designed to rendezvous with other satellites.
The purpose of this vehicle is peaceful: it will perform maintenance tasks on other satellites in orbit.
The fact that commercial companies have this capability probably means that it already exists for global military powers.
…But what would a space war look like from Earth? While sci-fi films have conditioned us to believe that space lasers would use visible light, shorter wavelengths actually produce more power.
Any observers on the surface would be unlikely to directly see any effects from space warfare, unless a kinetic kill actually breaks a spacecraft up – with debris lighting up as it re-enters the atmosphere.
That said, attacks could still affect our lives on Earth, disturbing GPS, television services and even cash withdrawals."
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