Developing Australia’s role in space in vital for national security

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Activities in space matter for national security, not least because of the significance of remote-sensing technologies in gathering intelligence and data. Any weaponisation of space presents obvious national security challenges. Continued safe access to space, and also to launch sites, will be key in securing essential information, such as that used to monitor military activity and climate events, and in delivering humanitarian aid. The use of space also poses unique legal challenges, including when and how domestic laws might apply to space activities—for example, the application of criminal law in space and the challenges posed by the use and misuse of extraterritorial jurisdiction in space generally. The demography of space actors has changed rapidly since the end of the Cold War. There’s now an expanding kaleidoscope of space activity in the Indo-Pacific region. For example, Indonesia has plans to build a (non-military) spaceport in Biak, an island in the northern part of Papua. Notably, Indonesia’s geographical position on the equator makes it an attractive space launch location because the way the earth spins on its axis means equatorial launches can produce additional velocity compared with higher latitude launches.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Strategist
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2022


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