Text Size
Facebook Twitter More...

When you hear the phrase “space war”, it is easy to conjure images that could have come from a Star Wars movie: dogfights in space, motherships blasting into warp speed, planet-killing lasers and astronauts with ray guns. And just as easy to then dismiss the whole thing as nonsense. It’s why last month’s call by President Trump for an American “space force”, which he helpfully explained was similar to the air force but for errspace, was met with a tired eye-roll from most. But there is truth behind his words. While the Star Wars-esque scenario for what a space war would look like is indeed far-fetched, there is one thing all the experts agree on.

“It is absolutely inevitable that we will see conflict move into space,” says Michael Schmitt, professor of public international law and a space war expert at
University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

Space has been eyed up as a military asset almost since the beginning of the space race. During the cold war, Russia and America imagined many kinds of space weapon. One in particular was called the Rods from God or the kinetic bombardment weapon. It was a kind of unmanned space bomber that carried tungsten rods to drop on unsuspecting enemies. As they fell from orbit, the rods gathered so much speed that they delivered the explosive power of a nuclear bomb, but without the radioactive fallout. However, such systems are hideously expensive, probably outlawed by international treaties and the satellites that carry them are easy targets to shoot down.

To read more, click here

Category: Science