In opening new pathways for outer space cooperation with the US and Quad partners—Australia and Japan. India has engaged itself more productively with a rapidly evolving domain that is seeing more commerce and contestation. India’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on a recognition of two important trends.
One is the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the 21stcentury global order. The other is about the urgency of writing new rules for the road to peace and stability in outer space.
Geostrategy of Outer Space
- The US has traditionally dominated outer space in the commercial domain. Its military competition with Russia set the norms in the security field. China’s emergence as a major space power — in both civilian and military — is reshaping astropolitics.
- The dramatic expansion of Chinese space capabilities and China’s ambition to dominate outer space have lent a new urgency for democratic powers to come together to secure their national interests as well as promote sustainable order in the skies above.
Implications for India
- Space is emerging as a potential fourth arm of the country’s defence setup.
- With the US, Russia and China already in pursuit of becoming a Space power, India will need to equip itself appropriately to meet emerging security challenges.
- Space power has the ability to use space while denying reliable use to any foe. India already has a significant ability to use space. But it’s ability to deny space use to an adversary is, understandably, negligible.
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