New ‘Vision’ Document Combines Space Activities of US Military, 6 Countries

The U.S. and six other countries have published a new “vision” to guide them in combining their military space activities, citing “the increasingly comprehensive and aggressive counter space programs of other nations” in a statement by the Defense Department.

Together with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.K., the U.S. published a three-page document titled “Combined Space Operations Vision 2031” on Feb. 22. 

Identifying “Combined Space Operations” as an “initiative,” the document “outlines the initiative’s overarching purpose and highlights its guiding principles, including: freedom of use of space, responsible and sustainable use of space, partnering while recognizing sovereignty, and upholding international law,” according to the statement.

The Pentagon also cites “threats presented by technological advances” as another reason for the initiative. 

Russia’s test of a ground-launched anti-satellite weapon in November 2021 demonstrated a risk to satellites—not just from the weapon itself but also the more than 1,500 pieces of debris added to low-Earth orbit and forming so-called “squalls” of conjunctions, or close approaches, with satellites.

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