As nations continue to expand their military presence into space, tensions that previously were played out on the ocean, skies and land of the traditional domains are beginning to be mirrored in Earth’s orbit. Timothy Compston looks into the offensive and defensive solutions being adopted in the final frontier

Lift-off of the ULA Atlas V501 rocket in May 2020, which took the X-37B into orbit for its sixth flight 
United Launch Alliance

Military-related space initiatives have taken on a new dynamic over the past few years, with France disclosing a space command, including plans to launch satellites equipped with lasers and machine guns by 2030, and former President Trump founding the US Space Force (USSF) to ramp up the US military's space capabilities. Meanwhile, the UK has announced its own new space targeted command, while countries like China, Russia and India are all enhancing their capabilities, including, most critically, in the anti-satellite field.

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