Is it naïve to the want to prevent the militarisation of space? A new report from Friends of Europe – “Running out of Space: European security in space,” authored by Paul Taylor – argues that the war in Ukraine has demonstrated multiple uses of space in combat, from the privatisation of satellite intelligence and military connectivity to the impact of cyber-attacks on space systems.

The report, written during Russia’s war on Ukraine, is part of Friends of Europe’s Making Space Matter initiative and was launched at their Space Summit event organised in partnership with the European Space Agency on 20 June. It catalogues the spread of space weapons and urges the EU to stop being naïve about the militarisation of space and collaborate to protect its own space assets, including with defensive counter-space capabilities.

It urges the EU and NATO to expand their cooperation to the space domain, where Europe has assets that could be valuable to the alliance in Earth observation and improving its space situational awareness and tracking.

Want to learn more about the weaponisation of space? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

What do our readers think? We had comments sent in by Nelly during a citizens’ panel on our Debating Africa sister website, as well as by George in the comments section.

To get a reaction, we took these comments to:

💬 Mathieu Bataille, Resident Fellow, European Space Policy Institute (ESPI)

💬 Nayef Al-Rodhan, Prof. Nayef Al-Rodhan, Head of Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

💬 Gaspard Schnitzler, Research Fellow, French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS)

You can see their responses in the video at the top of this post.

How can the world prevent the weaponisation of space? What should be Europe’s approach to a military conflict spreading to orbit? Should EU countries focus on achieving greater strategic autonomy over space capabilities? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock – (c) 3DSculptor
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

33 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    JT HK

    In order to become NATO members, the US, Sweden and Finland appeared to have betrayed the Kurds in order to satisfy Turkey’s demands. This would facilitate Erdoğan’s exterminate of the Kurds in Syria where the US troops have not been withdrawn. US puppet Selensky has clearly diverting attention to Syria. This expansion of combatting ground to Syria would be leading to a new round of refugees influx to Europe. Question: what are the nationality of these EU leaders? Are there not enough death in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and currently Ukraine, are EU citizens not suffering enough for the “America Great Again”?

  2. avatar

    Thr EU have lost .Find a way back to peace.

  3. avatar

    No matter what new toys you have in the future you have still lost the war with Russia. MAKE PEACE

  4. avatar

    There is no way it can be prevented.

  5. avatar

    By imprisonening the financial elite that controls the US empire.

  6. avatar

    How prevent CGI 😆😆😂😂😂😂🤡🤡🤡

  7. avatar

    Does the West have a technological advantage in space? Wow! Because it seemed to me that Russian and Chinese rockets had recently shot down satellites in orbit, and not American or English ones.🙄

  8. avatar

    Ahhh hmmm ,,,,, no worries whatsoever ! A decision like that would 1st require leadership ! And with absolutely nothing to choose from either recent past or present ??? Best of luck to the people of Ukraine 🇺🇦 !

  9. avatar

    You’re talking nonsense, space is already weaponized! But if you didn’t know, not only USA have military satellites, but also Russia, China, India, some Arab countries, asosf! So, you think that until now shouldn’t have been used if they wanted to? Slow down, cowboy!

    • avatar

      USA and Russia got project Thor.

    • avatar

      but Russia still owns the most fierce weapon on earth, ICBM Sarmat, impossible to intercept and with an apocalyptic power of destruction!

    • avatar

      SA 24 and SA 28

    • avatar

      laughs better the one who laughs in the end! If you didn’t got it, the one who lives will laugh! MoFo’s!

  10. avatar

    Ako treba neki satelit preventivno da se razbije pitajte Ruse da vam pomognu

  11. avatar

    Ce que j ‘en pense et bien c”est Star wars ?

  12. avatar

    J ‘AI aussi mon missile ils en vendeny au marché

  13. avatar

    too late, using satelite for spying is already a kind of weapon!

    • avatar

      And frankly speaking! its so easy to hide weapons on a satelite for both sides lol

  14. avatar

    Have WHO state satellites have covid and quarantine them

  15. avatar
    Repulsive Matter

    Are we talking about the satelisable US spy plane Aurora, flying since the early 90′ (russian version: Ajax), or the new space section of US army, or the hypersonic Russian missile that has not a ballistic fly so is lately detectable by radars so that requires to send detection means in space, or the Russian killer satellite and its recent test? I am not going to talk about the suspected tests of antimatter weapons on Jupiter by the USA, which obviously is rather questionable.I would prefer to talk about the NEED TO AVOID WARS AND INSTEAD JOIN TOGETHER AGAINST THE MAJOR CRISIS ALREADY HERE, biodiversity, population, mass extinction of species, ecological systems, climate change, and all theirs consequences on agriculture, so food, and health, so on society, politics, way of life, sustainability, and so on, all that threatens our lives in the decades to come.These are the major matters and topics to question and deal with right now!

  16. avatar
    JT HK

    The US has already established a space army since the Trump administration. Why EU has not uttered a single word till now. If the US SpaceX has been supporting the Russia and Ukraine military conflict, it is the US which has weaponized the space. In view of this, the SpaceX is not a civilian project thus unavoidably subject to retaliation.

  17. avatar
    JT HK

    The Chinese Tiangong Space Station has now fully established and would be receiving the first batch of astronauts on international joint venture, one of whom should probably be from Europe. As the LNG tubes have been destroyed, which means Europe is already under military attack from “unknown” source. Europe cannot turn a blind eye to such national level of terrorist attack from all possible source.

  18. avatar
    JT HK

    The cheap SpaceX satellites sudden approached the China’s Tiangong Space Station has clearly shown that the hundred thousands of SpaceX cheap and controllable satellites can be used to destroy spacecrafts of all countries. This is already the weaponisation of space. As the US space lab is too old and ought to have been destroyed in 2023, although it has life has been deliberately prolonged 10 years longer, space scientists have now turned to the Chinese Tiangong for newer equipment and safer lab. To protect life of European space scientists or astronauts, EU must not turn a blind eye to the possible weaponization of the SpaceX>>

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