Tuesday, February 23, 2021

[Column]A powerful country moving to space development and occupation … The principle of “peaceful sharing” has collapsed (1) | Joongang Ilbo | JoongAng Ilbo


Ⓒ JoongAng Ilbo / JoongAng Ilbo Japanese version2021.02.22 13:27

“The United Nations Treaty on the Exosphere is wrong and the United States must revise it or consider withdrawal.”

This is the content of a lecture by a well-known space law scholar at the George Washington Center for Space Policy Research in Washington, DC, in August 2019. It was a big shock to the author who considered the exosphere treaty centered on the principle of freedom of space activity, the principle of peaceful use of space, and the principle of prohibition of exclusive use of outer space as a bible.

The content of the lecture immediately became a reality. At that time, US President Donald Trump declared the establishment of the Space Force and the commercial utilization of space resources as US space policy through administrative orders and space policy guidelines. The cosmic reality of the world has changed drastically. The universe I saw in the United States was that “the space race that started in the 1950s is still in progress.” Beyond the quest for the unknown, space is a treasure trove of future resources, the core of national security and self-defense, as well as a place for new market competition by private companies. Newspace did not just mean private-sector-led space exploration. The world was undergoing major changes around the universe.

◆ Suddenly changing global space race

World space exploration is undergoing a new paradigm change. It is extremely important to diagnose the present and future of Korean space development in the rapidly changing global space race. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was taught artificial satellite development technology by the Korean private space company Setrec Eye, has been in the orbit of Mars 480 million kilometers away from the earth in just 10 years. ) ”Was entered and sent an image of Mars. After the United States, Russia, Europe and India, it became the fifth country in the world to enter Mars orbit. The UAE has announced the success of the Mars exploration vessel this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country independently of the United Kingdom, and the far-reaching goal of building a human settlement village on Mars in 2071, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the country.

◆ UAE, a small country in the Middle East, also joins the space corps

UAE space officials have said they want to lead the post-oil era in the Middle East, draw the scientific interest of youth, and show the future through challenging goals. While we didn’t even think about space exploration, which seemed to be possible only for huge powers such as the United States, Russia, and China, a small country in the Middle East that received technology from us joined the space exploration nation.

The next day, China also put the Mars landing ship “Tianwen-1” in orbit on Mars, and the United States also landed the fifth Mars exploration ship “Perseverance” on Mars on the 19th, raising the possibility of human beings living on Mars. We will investigate, take a sample of Mars and return. In addition, US private company SpaceX founder Elon Musk claims to send one million people to Mars within the next 100 years. Following “Hayabusa” in 2005, neighboring Japan also achieved the feat of collecting topsoil from the asteroid “Ryugu”, which is 300 million kilometers away from the earth, and returning to the earth through “Hayabusa2” on December 6, last year. .. Japan became the first human race to bring back samples from asteroids.

What is the significance of active space exploration in the world’s major countries? Space exploration gives young people interest and hope in science and technology, and also improves the nation’s science and technology capabilities in the process of achieving difficult goals. More notably, the commercial use of space resources is imminent. During that time, the international community, including the United Nations, shared the principle that space resources are a common heritage of humankind and cannot be owned or occupied by a specific country, but these principles are no longer valid.

In 2018, US Vice President Mike Pence declared that “space is a war-fighting territory, just like land, sea, and air.” A few years ago, at a meeting with the US State Department, the United States announced that it would obtain more than 70% of its critical military intelligence through space assets. In addition to position information from the satellite navigation system (GPS), optical and all-weather radar images through various reconnaissance satellites, communication interception using communication satellites, real-time weather information for wartime operations in every corner of the world, etc. , Already the universe occupies the core position of national defense.

China’s satellite interception test in 2007 and India’s satellite interception test in 2019 acted as important factors threatening the defense force of the United States, which has relied on space assets. In addition, China and Russia were reported to be developing and testing space weapons to intercept and inoperate artificial satellites directly in space, not just from the ground, and the United States officially declared the creation of the Space Force. ..

Neighboring Japan, in step with this, has broken out of the spirit of the traditional peace constitution, including space security in the Basic Space Law in 2008, and last year established the “Space Operations Squadron” within the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. It is also promoting the reorganization of the Air Self-Defense Force into the “Aerospace Self-Defense Force” within this year. Japan is strengthening its space defense capabilities at a fast pace.

Another big change is the arrival of the new space era. It means that commercialization by the private sector will expand in the space field called New Space. Meanwhile, space exploration has been monopolized by the government. However, SpaceX, which has developed a reusable Falcon rocket and is leading the commercialization of private space, has dramatically reduced the launch cost, which was a major obstacle to space development, to one tenth. These cost cuts have significantly lowered the barriers to entry for private companies in the space business and are accelerating the commercialization of space such as private space travel and satellite internet businesses. Elon Musk has launched 12,000 artificial satellites in low earth orbit and is promoting a project to popularize the ultra-high-speed Internet without a blind spot on the Internet, and private space development participation is increasing day by day. Still, the government’s investment in space exploration will not decrease. NASA’s space development budget still exceeds $ 23 billion annually, which is comparable to the Korean government’s science and technology R & D budget.[Column]A powerful country moving to space development and occupation … The principle of “peaceful sharing” has collapsed (2)



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