Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/12/space_wars/

Politicians schedule 'space wars' meeting

United Federation in waiting?

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Science, 12th September 2005 11:25 GMT

Politicians from ten countries are set to meet in Washington DC this Wednesday, to discuss the future possibility of deploying weapons in space.

Sci-fi as it may sound, the question of space weaponry is one that is being considered quite seriously by the US air force, which argues that weapons are needed to protect satellites.

However, opponents warn that space weapons could spark a new arms race, and point out that orbiting weapons could be used offensively as easily as they could be used to defend orbiting communications equipment, for example.

The US Air Force has hinted heavily that it reserves the right disable any satellites in the planned Galileo constellation if it believed they were being used by enemies of America in a time of war.

The parliamentary hearing will consider other aspects of the future of outer space, the organisers say. The plan is that this will be the first of many similar meetings to take a more global approach to global political issues.

Delegates from the parliaments of Australia, Brazil, Britain, Denmark, European Parliament, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Norway are set to attend.

The meeting is also due to be webcast. More details here. ®