The so-called “militarization of space,” an absolute inevitability as its exploration, commercialization and eventual settlement proceed, continues apace. But it’s not just about defense, or for that matter war. Combined with the foresight provided by developments such as the B612 Sentinel Mission, we could be well underway towards protecting Earth from events such as the 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid that injured over a thousand people, or the Tunguska Event, which — had it struck over a major city instead of the middle of Siberia — would have had the effect of a large nuclear explosion. It is well past time we took such matters more seriously.
Japan to Launch Military Force to Monitor Space, the ‘Fourth Battlefield’
by Christopher Hooten
August 5, 2014
The term brings to mind dystopian visions of fighters patrolling near space, but will actually revolve around protecting satellites from space debris orbiting the Earth.
The force will initially just use telescopes and radars to monitor the debris, Kyodo news agency reports, providing the US military with all the information it obtains in the hope of strengthening bilateral cooperation in space, the so-called “fourth battlefield”.
The unit will use personnel from the Air Self-Defence Force and be run jointly with the science ministry and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Thousands of pieces of debris, including disused satellites and rockets’ launch gear, currently orbit the earth, with a craft full of sexually active geckos nearly joining them last week.
Russia briefly lost contact with its Foton-M4 experimental satellite, which was being used to study the effects of zero gravity on sex.