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  • Weaponization of Outer Space and Impact on Peaceful Uses

    Paper number



    Mr. V. Gopala Krishnan, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India


    Mr. K.R. Sridhara Murthi, Antrix Corporation, India


    Dr. M.Y.S. Prasad, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India



    The advent of access to outer space and successful placement and operation of man-made of objects therein resulted in many beneficial applications to the humankind. The extension of cold war rivalry beyond the terrestrial limits to outer space cautioned the then super powers, of the potential security related implications and brought to an understanding on non-militarization of space, which culminated into the inclusion of Article-IV in the Outer Space Treaty. The carefully chosen language of this article gave sufficient scope for interpretation of the term 'peaceful purposes' as 'non-aggressive', thus permitting certain types of military uses of outer space. However, over a period of time, several new dimensions for using space for defence related purposes and for testing certain technologies had emerged, rising concerns on escalating an arms race in outer space. This paper examines the initial phase concerns, approaches and understanding, the transitional phase alterations and the present scenario of the principle of peaceful purposes vis-à-vis weaponization of space.
    	 Under the above backdrop of international development, the paper also attempts to elaborate the trends of Indian Space Programme and its space policy that focuses on developmental applications of space. Potential impacts of any arms race in outer space on the peaceful uses of outer space are analysed and need for additional legal measures beyond Article-IV are discussed. 
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.E8.3.7.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.