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Archive for the ‘treaties’ category

Jul 2, 2018

Why Space Warfare is Inevitable

Posted by in categories: biological, cybercrime/malcode, geopolitics, military, space, treaties

There is increasing chatter among the world’s major military powers about how space is fast becoming the next battleground. China, Russia, and the United States are all taking steps that will ultimately result in the weaponisation of space. Any satellite that can change orbit can be considered a space weapon, but since many of the possible space-based scenarios have yet to occur, cybersecurity experts, military commanders, and policymakers do not fully understand the range of potential consequences that could result.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was interested in paralysing America’s strategic forces, strategic command, and control and communications, so that its military command could not communicate with its forces. They would do so by first causing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to sever communication and operational capabilities, and then launch a mass attack across the North Pole to blow up US Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

In 1967, the US, UK and Soviet Union signed the Outer Space Treaty, which was either ratified by or acceded to 105 countries (including China). It set in place laws regarding the use of outer space and banned any nation from stationing nuclear warheads, chemical or biological weapons in space. However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit, so such weapons as kinetic bombardment (i.e. attacking Earth with a projectile) are not strictly prohibited.

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May 30, 2018

China invites international researchers to do science on its future space station

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, habitats, science, space, treaties

By the end of 2022, China hopes to have its biggest space station yet orbiting around Earth, and the country’s space agency wants other nations to use it. China is inviting all members of the United Nations to submit applications to fly experiments on board the future habitat, dubbed the China Space Station. It’s a major step toward international cooperation for China and its space program, which has mostly relied on domestic hardware and capabilities in the past.

“The China Space Station belongs not only to China, but also to the world,” Shi Zhongjun, China’s ambassador to the UN, said in a statement about the initiative. As a guide for the decision, Zhongjun cited the 50-year-old Outer Space Treaty, which maintains that the exploration of space should be peaceful and benefit all countries.

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May 2, 2018

If Trump Gets His “Space Force,” It Would Likely Be Used to Defend Mining Operations

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, law, military, satellites, treaties

For one thing, it appears to violate international law, according to Congressional testimony by Joanne Gabrynowicz, a space law expert at the University of Mississippi. Before NASA’s moon landing, the United States—along with other United Nations Security Council members and many other countries—signed the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies,” it states, “is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” The 1979 Moon Agreement went further, declaring outer space to be the “common heritage of mankind” and explicitly forbidding any state or organization from annexing (non-Earth) natural resources in the solar system.

Major space-faring nations are not among the 16 countries party to the treaty, but they should arguably come to some equitable agreement, since international competition over natural resources in space may very well transform into conflict. Take platinum-group metals. Mining companies have found about 100,000 metric tons of the stuff in deposits worldwide, mostly in South Africa and Russia, amounting to $10 billion worth of production per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. These supplies should last several decades if demand for them doesn’t rise dramatically. (According to Bloomberg, supply for platinum-group metals is constrained while demand is increasing.)

Palladium, for example, valued for its conductive properties and chemical stability, is used in hundreds of millions of electronic devices sold annually for electrodes and connector platings, but it’s relatively scarce on Earth. A single giant, platinum-rich asteroid could contain as much platinum-group metals as all reserves on Earth, the Google-backed Planetary Resources claims. That’s a massive bounty. As Planetary Resources and other U.S. and foreign companies scramble for control over these valuable space minerals, competing “land grabs” by armed satellites may come next. Platinum-group metals in space may serve the same role as oil has on Earth, threatening to extend geopolitical struggles into astropolitical ones, something Trump is keen on preparing for. Yesterday he said he’s seriously weighing the idea of a “Space Force” military branch.

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Jan 15, 2018

Simply fix the Moon Treaty

Posted by in categories: economics, geopolitics, space, treaties

My article with Jeff Sommers (see “The emerging field of space economics: theoretical and practical considerations”, The Space Review, December 18, 2017) raised considerable criticism regarding the Moon Treaty, particularly, the inclusion of the Common Heritage of Mankind (CHM) doctrine. Leigh Ratiner, L5 attorney during the 1980 Senate ratification hearings, had identified CHM as the reason for rejecting ratification:

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Nov 20, 2017

Fifty years since the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (1968 — 2018): UNISPACE+50 — United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

Posted by in categories: business, environmental, governance, government, law, policy, science, space, space travel, treaties

“UNISPACE+50 will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It will also be an opportunity for the international community to gather and consider the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind.

From 20 to 21 June 2018 the international community will gather in Vienna for UNISPACE+50, a special segment of the 61 st session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).”

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Nov 4, 2017

Ozone hole over Antarctica shrinks to smallest peak since 1988

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, geopolitics, treaties

Ozone is a colorless combination of three oxygen atoms. High in the atmosphere, about 7 to 25 miles above the Earth, ozone shields Earth from ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

Scientists at the United Nation a few years ago determined that without the 1987 treaty there would have been an extra 2 million skin cancer cases by 2030. They said overall the ozone layer is beginning to recover because of the phase-out of chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans.

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Aug 27, 2017

The great outer space LAND GRAB of the near future: Conflicts over space rock mining rights

Posted by in categories: economics, geopolitics, governance, law, space travel, treaties

(Natural News) Space has become a veritable goldmine of natural resources for many companies, yet can anyone lay claim to them? That’s the question legal experts claim will become relevant in the future as firm turn to the stars for precious metals and minerals, and it’s one that also needs to be answered as soon as possible to avoid hostility between competing firms and countries.

Barry Kellman, law professor of space governance at DePaul University in Chicago, explained: “There is a huge debate on whether companies can simply travel to space and extract its resources. There is no way to answer the question until someone does it.”

According to one international treaty, this need not even be an issue. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, has served as the main standard for sharing space. As per the 1967 treaty, no single country can claim “national appropriation” of celestial bodies “by occupation or by other means”. (Related: MINING just one large asteroid could COLLAPSE the world economy due to surge of new supply for valuable metals.)

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Jan 4, 2017

6 Nobel Laureates: Stop the Nuclear Insanity

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, treaties

The non-nuclear weapons states must resist that pressure, and continue their historic efforts to protect humanity from the grave threat posed by nuclear weapons. And the citizens of nuclear weapons states must hold their governments accountable for their unconscionable refusal to meet their treaty obligations and negotiate the elimination of these weapons, which are the greatest threat to the security of all peoples throughout the world.


The United Nations has the opportunity to take a major step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is an opportunity that must not be lost.

More than four decades ago, the nations with nuclear arsenals and the world’s non-nuclear states entered into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); the nuclear states — the US, Russia, UK, France and China — pledged that if the states that did not have nuclear weapons agreed not to develop them, they would enter into good-faith negotiations toward the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. During the ensuing years, the three nations that did not sign the NPT — namely India, Pakistan, and Israel — developed nuclear weapons. All of the non-nuclear weapons states that signed the treaty except North Korea have kept their pledge.

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Oct 29, 2016

Space, the Final Frontier for Cybersecurity? | Chatham House

Posted by in categories: business, governance, government, policy, space, treaties

2016-09-22-space-cyber

“A radical review of cybersecurity in space is needed to avoid potentially catastrophic attacks.”

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Jul 30, 2016

US surveillance plane makes emergency landing in Russia

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, surveillance, treaties

We always hear how bad Russia is; etc. We never hear about these stories where they helped the US.


A U.S. Air Force surveillance plane making a routine flight over Russia to fulfill a treaty obligation was forced to make an emergency landing in eastern Russia earlier this week after experiencing a problem with its landing gear, a Pentagon spokes person told Fox News.

The unarmed American military plane had Russian officials on board as part of the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, which bounds 34 nations, including Russia and the United States, to allow military inspection flights to ensure compliance to long standing arms-control treaties and to offer greater transparency into each nation’s military capabilities.

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