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Space and Security

Ethical Questions

Years from now, the President of the United States announces that the US will be a permanent member of a Security Council of Policing Outer Space (SCPOS) that is in charge of maintaining peace in outer space and protecting international assets, like the International Space Station, from potential threats.

As a permanent member of the SCPOS, the US proposes a system that restrains unauthorized organizations and Axis of Evil nations from developing offensive space projects. To counter the US proposal and to prevent US dominance of outer space, several nations jointly announce that they will start a collaborative space project in order to launch a space ship equipped with defensive and offensive military capabilities, in order to protect their own space assets and access to outer space. These movements could lead to an arms race in outer space.

To cope with this emerging crisis, some members of the US Department of Defense are urgently planning military sanctions to occupy those countries' land-based satellite stations that communicate with satellites in outer space. There is a risk that this could lead to a massive counterattack toward the coalition occupation force of the US and its allies.

1) Imagine that you are a high-ranked official of the US Department of Defense dealing with space development programs. What kind of measures would you propose to deal with the possible war that could jeopardize peace in the universe?

2) Imagine that you are a leader of an international non-governmental organization working for prevention of an arms race in outer space. What kinds of demonstrations or activities would you organize against the US occupation plan?

3) Imagine that you are a senior research fellow of a non-profit research and educational institute. How would you describe this situation to the general public? What kinds of events would you hold to educate younger generations?