Talk:Militarisation of space

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Talking Points[edit]

Perhaps it would be a good idea to specify which authors were fantasizing about the militarization of space first? I would do it, but I don't know. That's the first thought that came to my mind when reading it. brianh6630

OK, I've worked on the Cold War section. What do you all think. There is still plenty of room for improvement. I would like to find out the first arms control treaty which used spy satellites as a monitering agent. --Brian 06:58, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Also we should include how the military uses GPS, navigational, and weather satellites since these are the primary uses space militarisation today. --Brian 06:58, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I also added a Sources section so we can start keeping tabs on that. Since this is my first (what I deem) major contribution I'm not sure how to cite the sources. I promise I'll learn eventually. Anyway, here's my two cents and I hope it's helpful. --Brian 06:58, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Placing weapons in space is the weaponization of space; putting purely defensive ones in would I guess be the fortification of space. Militarization is using space for any military purpose whatsoever, which has been happening since the first German V2 rocket was sent up (the first man-made object in space - tells you something about our species right there). Since the 1960's, outer space has been filled with military communications and spy satellites. It didn't all start with Ronald Reagan. --Jpbrenna 03:07, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Good points, Jpbrenna. You should add them to the article. I've tried to continue the article beyond the end of the cold war, and tried to maintain a NPOV by giving both sides of the discussion. Clearly, more work needs to be done. Rick Norwood

Clarification: "and as a result, the Treaty of Versailles forbade solid fuel rocket research in Germany" - I have read the military section of the treaty, and it contains no references to rockets at all. I do not believe that the treaty banned solid rocket research.

NPOV in cold war section[edit]

It's too late right now, tommarrow I might do some of this myself. The conservative ("Regan, Bush, Bush") and Liberal oppinion breakdowns here have a bias. A better aproach might be to introduce figures who defend the idea of an active deterent military force (much closer to any published doctrine the advocating unilateral hegemonic dictatorship). Also, it seems plain incorrect to me to imply that any recent administration has made significant trade or treaty concessions, or significantly reduced military spending (I don't thing anyone's even kept the military budget from increasing). Any possible differences are more likely in the specific advocacy of military space technology, which is also more germain to this artical. I put a NPOV tag on the cold war section, I'd like it to stay there until some of this is addressed (again, I'll work on it a little tommarrow.)Themissinglint 10:26, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

It's also erroneous: Bush Sr. (and his NSA Brent Scowcroft) did not support Star Wars, and quietly dropped the project (much to the consternation of the Reaganites).

As I noted, my attempt to fill this gap was very much a draft. I hope you will add your thoughts to the article and help fix the NPOV problem. I've done a rewrite, also, trying to stick to NPOV, but clearly much more work needs to be done on this colaboration. Rick Norwood

A good resource might be the American Physical Society's report on boost-phase missile defence. The bullet-point breakdown follows, and I quote:
* Defending the 50 states against liquid-propellant ICBMs from North Korea may be feasible, but would push the limits of what is possible physically, technically, and operationally.
* Defending the 50 states against liquid-propellant ICBMs from Iran would be much more challenging.
* Defending the 50 states against solid-propellant ICBMs from North Korea or Iran is unlikely to be practical when all factors are considered.
* Defending only the West Coast against ICBMs from North Korea would be easier than defending all 50 states.
* Defending only part of the US against ICBMs from Iran would not be easier than defending all 50 states.
* A boost-phase defense could contribute to a layered defense, provided the second layer can handle the unpredictable debris generated by the boost-phase layer.
* Effective countermeasures against boost-phase-intercept missile defense are possible, and they should be taken into account.
* Defending against shorter-range missiles launched from hostile ships off US coasts would be feasible with interceptors similar to current Navy missiles, provided that the missile-carrying ships are able to stay within about 40 km of threatening ships.
Quoted from Physics Today, January 2004.
Anville 22:36, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Military as the roots of the non-military space programs[edit]

I know that, at least in the US, the civil space program (NASA) emerged from military research, and before that from German military space research (the scientists of which were brought to the US and started the Redstone space program through project paperclip). Is that within the scope of this artical?Themissinglint 10:26, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Another Military technology which is currently extensively used by both civilians and military forces around the world is GPS technology, which started out as a military program, but is now open to all. Guiding your car to a Hotel, and a Bomb to a bunker using the same piece of technology. This would also be an apropriate topic for militization of space. ~James

Another example is Spy satellite technology. Originally developed for military reconnaissance, Imaging satellite technology is now also available to civilians and scientists in conjunction with aeral photography through TerraServer-USA, Google Earth, and IKONOS satellite. ~James

Those are very good points. Military technology is often passed into the commercial realm in order to recoup the significant investments corporations contribute to their development. Perhaps a section should be added to explain how the military currently exploits GPS, reconnaissance satellites, communication and networking satellites, in today's battlefields? Maybe between Post Cold War and Space Treaties?--Brian 05:38, 26 August 2005 (UTC)


I would argue that pictures of missiles (ground-based interceptor, V2 & Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile) are not suitable pictures for the "Militarisation of space". The ground-based interceptor and kill vehicle are parts of the missile defence programme but not space based. The programme does (or will) have elements based in space - are they not what is needed. As for the V2, I suppose the fact that it was the 1st man-made object into space justifies its presence, but it did little (I would argue) for the militarisation of space other than set the bar for the next object to be thrown out of the atmosphere. Mark83 18:06, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree. We need historical context, after all, and I wouldn't want to restrict the article to pictures of things which don't exist yet. Besides, we have some pretty darn cool pictures of ICBM technology.
Test of the LG-118A Peacekeeper missile, each one of which can carry 10 independently targeted nuclear warheads along trajectories outside of the Earth's atmosphere.


"For most of human history, regions outside Earth's atmosphere were not considered useful for military operations because they were inaccessible."

I'm not certain regions outside Earth's atmosphere were considered at all before the 20th century. I can't see Sun Tzu looking skyward and thinking "If I had some kind of enormous cannon orbiting the Earth in space, I could rain fire down on my enemies! Too bad I lack a suitable rocket booster." --Sum0 16:33, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

I dunno. Early myths (like Sodom and Gemorrah) indicate people thought of it. They just didn't have any way of doing anything about it. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 19:53, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

I rewrote the history intro. Better?--Brian 06:33, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Ah, nicely done. Good job. --Sum0 00:43, 27 August 2005 (UTC)


This article seems a bit lop-sided. Granted, a discussion of militarization of space is going to be naturally limited to a few nations, but how come the actually-built offensive weapons FOBS and the Polyus spacecraft are in the "see also" section, while a large chunk of text is dedicated to Star Wars (which isn't an offensive weapons system and hasn't ever been built?) And on a side topic, what about military communications satellites? Isomorphic 05:39, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

your right please feel free to add those sections on Russian systems.--Brian 06:32, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Yea, it looks US-centric right now. Probably because the contributers have been primarily American. Just gotta wait until other POVs weigh in. Recommend making whatever changes/additions you want without eliminating info. - Rollo44 21:27, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


Shouln't there be a "z" instead of an "s" in the title? --Brian 06:32, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Only in American spelling. Apparently the article was started by someone using British spelling, and Wikipedia policy is use the form of whoever starts the article unless it's like United States where the choice of spelling should depend on topic. There's something on it in the Manual of style.Isomorphic 11:55, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
You can use -ize in British English as well, but -ise is more common. I suppose that more than 95% of British Wikipedians use -ise. SpNeo 22:37, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks --Brian 00:01, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

This is a bit jarring .... maybe change it later? maybe not ... J. D. Redding 17:15, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Found the thing you mentioned though ... Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English ... J. D. Redding 17:32, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

The conservative position[edit]

Someone added some text into the following passage of the "Conservative Position" section. (Added text is in bold; struckthru text was removed.)

The conservative view, energetically put into action by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Bush, is that war is attacks against the United States by rogue nations or terrorist organizations are inevitable, and that it is foolish not to use the current American hegemony to place the United States in an unassailable position to counter such attacks and win future wars.

I think this is inaccurate. Non-state terrorist actors cannot launch ICBMs. No one, that I know of, claims that a missile defense system will prevent terrorism. (If I'm wrong about this, please provide a reference.) I therefore think the change should be reverted. Comments? – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 17:54, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

The whole post-cold war "conservative vs. liberal" position section needs to go. It's factually incorrect (Bush Sr. did not support Star Wars or weaponization of space), totally unsupported (no presidential speeches have advanced either of these positions), and substantively tangential to the actual topic as currently written. thames 18:34, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree with your opinion that "terrorist organizations" should be removed from the paragrph. While I don't necessarily think that the whole section should go, I do think using terms such as conservative, energetically, liberal, mildly, etc. convey (or seem to convey) bias. Perhaps using something like "one point of view", or something similar is better. The references to Bush Sr should be removed and other parts rewritten to remove phrases (unless there is supporting evidence) such "the most important way to do this...". If no one else takes a stab at it, I'll try a little later today. sgb 19:35, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
Looks challenging. Good luck! – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 19:43, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

The whole section should be scratched and the article should focus on current application. Missile Defense System is being researched and built. GPS, reconnaissance satellites, navigation (both aerial and nautical), networking, and communication satellites are in practical use today. Who cares what liberal and conservative thought? That section of the article should focus on the application of the technology along with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Or that’s my vote for what it counts.--Brian 23:57, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Satellite navigation[edit]

Just a heads up, satellite navigation was a cold war (not post-cold war) development, and began with Transit and Parus / Tsikada (not GPS and GLONASS). Granted, its a dual-use technology which has become popular since the end of the cold war but that doesn't change its origin. - Davandron | Talk 19:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I had no idea satellite navigation began with a titmouse. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. ~ Rollo44 23:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencing and appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. With proper citations and references, this article would easily qualify as B class or higher. --dashiellx (talk) 20:04, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Tag and Assess[edit]

Even with proper citations and references, this article would still need work. It should discuss the various kinds of weapons available for use in space (including EMP); it should include the full range of Chinese intelligence gathering satellites in its list of spay satellites; and it should refer to both the Chinese and US ASAT tests. It needs to discuss Soviet plans to arm Soyuz and Salyut space vehicles with 23mm cannons. PorkchopLarue (talk) 00:35, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Improvement of Spy satellites section[edit]

The aforementioned section is currently a list of spy satellites. If possible, could someone write a textual introduction to such satellites? The list does not really belong in this article. MopSeeker (talk) 04:42, 30 January 2015 (UTC)