Edited by Derek L. Braddon and Keith Hartley
Chapter 9: Conflict in Space
Vasilis Zervos 9.1 INTRODUCTION Outer space has fascinated the human mind for thousands of years. It is not until recently that the physical characteristics of Earth orbits and outer space beyond this begun to be exploited in a controlled manner for the purposes of objectives pursued here on Earth. Astronomy is an ancient science and its applications in ancient times were many and significant. The phases of the Moon and the Sun were predicted and utilized, while social exploitation of relevant knowledge via religious and superstitious usages of astronomical knowledge were a centrepiece of ancient civilizations. Efforts to explain what is ‘out there’ seem a natural step for mankind, and at the beginning observations from Earth were used to try and decompose the myths and imaginations surrounding the world beyond. Despite the romanticism and scientific connotations associated with space, its exploration is a true child of war. Conflict initiated the exploration and fuels much of the patterns of space policies and development. The aim of this chapter is to provide an insight to the dimensions of conflict in space. These dimensions relate not only to conflict between nations, but also to conflict between industries, and commercial versus non-commercial usage of space, but also conflict between different national priorities and objectives. The classification of outer space as a ‘global commons’ not only underpins the key market failure applied to outer space on a global context, but also points at a major source of conflict, underlying ‘common resources’. The political dimension is...
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