Space warfare is combat that takes place in outer space, i.e. outside the atmosphere. Space warfare therefore includes ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from the Earth, as well as space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites.
It does not include the use of satellites for espionage, surveillance, or military communications, however useful those activities might be. It does not technically include space-to-ground warfare, where orbital objects attack ground, sea or air targets directly, but the public and media frequently use the term to include any conflict which includes space as a theater of operations, regardless of the intended target. For example, a rapid delivery system in which troops are deployed from orbit might be described as "space warfare," even though the military uses the term as described above.
A film was produced by the U.S. Military in the early 1960s called Space and National Security which depicted space warfare. From 1985 to 2002 there was a United States Space Command, which in 2002 merged with the United States Strategic Command. There is a Russian Space Force, which was established on August 10, 1992, and which became an independent section of the Russian military on June 1, 2001.
Only a few incidents of space warfare have occurred in world history, and all were training missions, as opposed to actions against real opposing forces. In the mid-1980s a USAF pilot in an F-15 successfully shot down the P78-1, a communications satellite in a 345 mile (555 km) orbit.
In 2007 the People's Republic of China used a missile system to destroy one of its obsolete satellites (see 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test), and in 2008 the United States similarly destroyed its malfunctioning satellite USA 193. To date, there have been no human casualties resulting from conflict in space, nor has any ground target been successfully neutralized from orbit.
International treaties governing space limit or regulate conflicts in space and limit the installation of weapon systems, especially nuclear weapons.
Other articles related to "space warfare, space, warfare":
... the fact that early shows were often live productions, meant that space action sequences were usually short and simple ... effects to be used, and increased the ability of producers to show action sequences such as space warfare ... the original Star Trek series was not one of open warfare, the machinery of war was ever present, and was used in many episodes ...
... More recent depictions of space warfare departed from the jingoism of the pulp science fiction of the 1930s and 1940s ... Heinlein's Starship Troopers, wherein space warfare involved the effects of time dilation and resulted in the alienation of the protagonists from the human ... from the end of World War II onwards have examined the morality and consequences of space warfare ...
... Space warfare is a topic often touched upon in science fiction, with a wide range of realism and plausibility, from stories based on anticipated ... Some portray a space-borne military will be similar to an Air Force, whereas others depict a more naval analog ... forces engaged in interplanetary and interstellar warfare but with most of the actual conflict occurring in terrestrial environments ...
... Space warfare has served as a central theme within the science fiction genre ... often an interstellar or intergalactic war is a staple plot device in space operas ... Space warfare has a predominant role in science fiction writing, but is not believed to be a realistic possibility because of the distances involved ...
Famous quotes containing the words warfare and/or space:
“The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene.”
—Hannah Arendt (19061975)
“But alas! I never could keep a promise. I do not blame myself for this weakness, because the fault must lie in my physical organization. It is likely that such a very liberal amount of space was given to the organ which enables me to make promises, that the organ which should enable me to keep them was crowded out. But I grieve not. I like no half-way things. I had rather have one faculty nobly developed than two faculties of mere ordinary capacity.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)