Russia and China signed a space alliance this week to protect their interstellar interests as the Roscosmos space agency threatened to publicly disclose the location of U.S. military satellites.
Russia desperately wants to partner with NASA and prevent the militarization of space, but Russia has been rebuffed by the American space agency, so in retribution they've threatened to publicize the location of U.S. military satellites, reports SpaceDaily.
"The US wants to preserve its monopoly in regulating space traffic. Moreover, the US military doesn't want make data on its objects public."The upcoming Russian catalog of near-Earth objects would include a number of asteroids and space debris, but also the location of secret U.S. military satellites. The Pentagon published the location of Russian military satellites a long time ago, but it keeps information on its own space-going vessels and those of its allies a secret.
This political stance helped push China and Russia into a space alliance designed to protect their interstellar rights, promote cooperation in peaceful space exploration, and further the development of interstellar vehicles, according to Sputnik News.
"The Russian and Chinese governments have signed an agreement on measures to protect technologies in connection to cooperation on peaceful space exploration and usage as well as creation and exploitation of launch vehicles and land-based space infrastructure."Russia is attempting to expand its influence with the international community in space affairs and originally intended its catalog of near-Earth objects to be part of a UN database.
The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates there are some 1,380 satellites and 500,000 pieces of space junk orbiting Earth, and Russia insists its comprehensive catalogue would increase safety, according to the DailyMail.
"The Russian Federation proceeds to establish a national information service, whose function shall be to provide open access to the results of monitoring objects and events in outer space."Retired U.S. Defense Department analyst Franklin Spinney said America should welcome cooperation with Russia in space affairs, according to Sputnik News.
"My gut reaction is that the Russian move should (but probably will not) be viewed as a constructive move."Russia's intention to publicize the location of U.S. military satellites is also in line with the Open Skies Treaty signed in 1992 that includes 34 other countries and was designed to regulate unarmed aerial surveillance flights. It would be similar to the list maintained by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
China, Russia and many other countries already know the location of U.S. military satellites so the only people left in the dark are everyday citizens of the Earth who may be unaware of the extent of America's surveillance capability, reports Sputnik News.
"The real threat…would be that the American people should be amazed by the shear scope of our presence, compared to that of the Russians and Chinese."One thing is sure, the space race is heating up as countries around the world compete to see who will be the first to colonize the moon, mine nearby asteroids, and establish a Mars colony. Russia is developing a space taxi it intends to park at the International Space Station to help ferry astronauts to the lunar surface in preparation for a moon colony.
Meanwhile, China is continuing with plans to launch its own space station, build a Hubble Telescope, establish a lunar colony, and send a robotic mission to Mars.
Both countries lag far behind the U.S., which intends to launch a NASA-organized mission to Mars in 2030. In addition private American space transport companies have made huge strides in developing space faring vehicles.
It is, in fact, these private developments that has helped fuel Russian anger. The country is outraged the U.S. has allowed private companies to do whatever they want in space.
What do you think? Do you welcome Russia's publication of U.S. military satellite locations?
[Photo by NASA via Getty Images.]