Command and conquer: Developing C2 capabilities for space

Recent threats to commercial and military activities in space have prompted the United States and its allies to found new military command structures to provide enhanced command and control (C2) in the space domain, as tensions with Russia and China increase.

Anyone who doubted that space is being established as a military domain as well as a commercial one would have had cause to think again on November 15, 2021, as the Russian Federation launched a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile against one of its own Cosmos 1408 satellites.

US Space Command
A SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink L-24 rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida in April 2021. It was the ninth Starlink launch of 2021, which sent the 25th batch of Starlink satellites to join the Star-link satellite network. US Space Force

The interception took place 530 miles above the earth in the band called low Earth orbit (LEO). The successful destruction and disintegration of the satellite generated more than 1,500 trackable pieces of debris, with thousands more much-smaller pieces now hurtling around Earth’s orbit with the potential to damage any satellite the debris encounters.

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