I Hope this is the right section to post this articleSpace security policy is the need of the hour, stresses reporthttp://news.rediff.com/report/2009/sep/ ... e-hour.htm
'India needs to formulate a comprehensive space security policy for defence and development,' the point was suggested by a group constituted by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.
In its report drafted in collaboration with the Indian Pugwash Society, the group has projected at least nine scenarios of emergencies and threats to India's space security that cannot be tackled without a well-defined policy.
It warns that India will be left behind unless it braces up to explore possibilities in space, particularly when the developed countries are spending large amounts of money on the development of dual-use space technologies.
The report sees the biggest threat to India coming from China that sent a signal of entering an arms race in space by launching an Anti- Satellite Missile test in January 2007 to destroy its own weather satellite by a kinetic kill vehicle that left 2,317 pieces of golf ball-sized and bigger debris.
Quoting space scientists, the report says these debris will remain in orbit for many years and may even interfere with future space activities. The report says Pakistan also has a well-developed nuclear and missile programme which is entirely India-centric and its nexus with China in trying to contain India will lead to their collaboration in space too.
The report says the space security policy should take care of the security needs of the country, and India should make timely investments in space technologies and carry out domestic legal reforms to promote space security.
It also stressed that India should pursue an international negotiating strategy, which is proactive, and flexible, particularly since the progress towards arms control in space is slow.
The Outer Space Treaty, ratified by 98 countries including China, bans weapons of mass destruction in orbit and outer space, but not the conventional weaponry in orbit.
The report says while India should support initiation of space arms control negotiations while not overly active. It should oppose weaponisation of space but not the use of outer space for legitimate national security needs. It should rather help evolve global norms for limits to military use of space capabilities.
The group goes on to suggest that India should consider international cooperation with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and other developing countries and offer them the benefits of space to help improve its image and mitigate some of the security concerns in the region. It says this will match China's current efforts to build cooperation with developing countries for soft power in space.
The hypothetical scenarios of threats to India's space security projected in the report include:
Attack on an Indian satellite: A possibility from China that has hot up claim on Arunachal Pradesh and resorted to increased border incursions. It can kill India's low earth orbit for intelligence gathering using the same kind of kinetic kill vehicle that it used to destroy its own satellite in 2007.
Jamming of Indian satellite: One of the satellites is already intermittently jammed. Will India be able to pinpoint the culprit. If it is Pakistan, will India jam its satellite? Does it have the technology?
Debris hit Indian satellite: Coming from China's ASAT test in 2007. Will India claim compensation?
Terrorists attack and destroy India's ground satellite tracking station to disrupt services.
Indian satellite debris damage European satellite if the satellite becomes dysfunctional and is repeatedly spiraling down.
India blamed by China causing damage to its satellite using ground-based laser.
India conducts an ASAT test for its own security needs and evoke global criticism.
The US for its own reasons shuts down the GPS affecting India's civil aviation and shipping services.