Space war ‘imminent’ if arms race develops between China, Russia and US

"Technology advances" and the "absence" of space arms control could mean a war between the world's superpowers above the earth is more "imminent", according to a respected physicist.

And China, Russia and US would be the "main confronting powers" claims Mark Gubrud, an adjunct assistant professor in the Curriculum in Peace, War & Defense at the University of North Carolina.

While battles in space have long been played out in films and fantasy novels they haven't yet come to fruition, but many believe space could be the battle ground of choice for future conflicts.

Gubrub believes that conflict has already begun with countries blocking transmissions from each others satellites and jamming signals, reports Space.com.

Weapon systems that are able to take out satellites orbiting the earth and space weapons that can reach targets with minutes would all pose dangers to peace.

The physicist said: "Here the potential for rapid escalation becomes a severe threat to nuclear stability, as the main confronting powers would almost certainly be the US, Russia and China."

"So really, the path to war in space is a space arms race, one that has long been postponed but that is only made more imminent and potentially explosive as technology advances in the absence of binding commitments to space arms control."

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The launch of the United States Space Force in December 2019 proves just how serious the new frontier is being taken by the US.

Gubrub believes one solution could be a treaty between the superpowers committing to prohibiting conflict in space.

"We should build on the United Nations Outer Space Treaty with a further treaty that bans all forms of harmful interference and weapons for causing interference," he added.

Professor Whitman Cobb however believes that concerns about conflicts in space are misplaced and "economic repercussions" would be enough to deter the world's superpowers battling it out in star wars.

.Cobb said: "It only takes one piece of debris to take down a satellite through which financial transactions and key communications are routed.

"The wrong satellite could have significant economic repercussions that would not be isolated to one country alone.

"Thus there should be both strategic and economic considerations that restrain countries in their use of weapons in space."

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