Lt. Gen. John Shaw, commander of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Operations Command, has said that international issues on the use of space weapons prove that space is a contested domain, GeekWire reported Friday.
Shaw, who also serves as commander of the Combined Force Space Component Command, told attendees at a University of Washington-hosted virtual event that the Department of Defense initially built satellite-based command and control systems “as if we were in a benign domain.”
Brad Townsend, a space strategy and policy adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the same event that adversaries such as Russia and China have begun experiments on satellite defense operations. He noted that international regulations on anti-satellite weaponry must be in place to de-escalate potential catastrophic events.
Wendy Whitman Cobb, an associate professor of strategy and security studies at the U.S. Air Force's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, said she expects related efforts like NASA’s Artemis program to continue even after the U.S. elects a new president.
A Biden administration could lead to “a little bit more emphasis on the commercial capabilities and commercialization of space on the part of NASA,” she noted.