A future space war, the law in space, and the new rogue planet

The scientists postulate an international agreement to prevent or limit a space war that may occur in the future. With the U.S. creating its Space Force last year and more and more countries growing the capabilities of launching satellites, the danger of tensions in the orbit is on the rise. The U.S. officials feel that their country is threatened since more than one-third of the functioning satellites belong to it. The early-missile-warning system relies on only ten satellites and military command and control on six satellites. The officials fear a “space Pearl Harbor” as there aren’t real means of defending them. Until now, countries failed to form a universal, binding set of rules for the way they act in space.

While Elon Musk revealed the plan of creating a self-sustaining city on Mars, his company SpaceX will not abide by international law while there. The terms of use of the Starlink – a set of satellites revolving around Earth to be used for providing the internet on Mars as well – state: “(…)the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities”. It offers to settle disputes in good faith and via “self-governing principles” instead.

Astronomers have spotted a “rogue” planet floating in our galaxy. Having mass roughly between Earth and Mars it is the smallest of such lone planets found to date. Scientists believe that the so-called rogue planets were ejected from their planetary systems through gravitational interactions and they could be a great source of knowledge about the history of planet systems. The new planet was found thanks to “gravitational microlensing” that comes as a result of bending the light of more distant stars. This kind of observation is extremely rare.