Outer Space: Terrorism Hub Or Security Haven?

Outer Space: Terrorism Hub Or Security Haven?
Unlike the Earth, space is ever-changing. What we see during the day or on any given day changes rapidly, but what’s the exact significance when this happens?

For any country, this can be a potential threat. For instance, the US has been on a panic mode ever since the 9/11 terrorist attack. And when the space shuttle Columbia was reduced to cinders, it gave the US heebie-jeebies as a new term came into being – space terrorism, to be precise.

Although terrorism in space is ruled out for now, it still throbs somewhere in people’s mind, with the potential to explode in their faces some day. Cost is probably the only factor that poses some limitation on organisations that are bent upon carrying out destructive activities against any country – let’s say developed countries in particular.
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So in more ways than one, inflicting damage to space machines or space shuttles need not be perceived as an act that happens somewhere in the orbit or to a satellite/machine in motion. Heard of control room, anyone? It can happen right here on earth, much closer home than anywhere else.

Tampering with ground segment and mission control centres can do more harm than self-launching into the orbit and shattering a satellite. The outcome is the same and this move is more destructive than the other in outer space. Although it is highly impossible to tinker with satellites in the orbit simply through the controls, it cannot be ruled out completely!

But there is another facet. The military operations of most countries now depend less on surveillance and more on the Global Positioning System (GPS). Even for a country like America, it would throw up a huge challenge if a terrorist outfit creates an effective jamming circuit for GPS, thus compromising its security forces.

Jamming the GPS will yield one certain result. If a country is to fight another via air route, a faulty GPS can show a highly compromised target, which in reality need not be the one that’s aimed for.

In fact, one of the most developed nations decided to destroy the orbiting satellites of its ‘enemy’ nation, which had managed to successfully toss a highly efficient satellite into the orbit. Several proposals were drawn up to clear off the orbiting satellite. But even before any such plan could be executed, an outer space treaty signed between a few nations, thwarted such a situation from arising, keeping the ‘space’ away from any act of hostility.

On the other hand, space technology and satellites were put to excellent use with the tracing of Osama Bin Laden and his eventual killing by the American forces in a high precision planning and execution.

We still wonder how space would be utilised in the near future – as a security heaven or a new terrorism hub. But one thing is certain. It won’t be long before space would find its space way too crowded with activities ranging from entertainment, science, security and more. After all, space is open for all.