Just another post, this one from Geekquinox on Yahoo! News, about small satellites. There is a seemingly simultaneous up-swell of inexpensive satellites becoming available to the masses. These satellites aren’t very big (about the size of a cell phone) and won’t last very long. But a theoretical $300 will buy a person that space-nerd cred they’ve so longingly wanted.
So here’s the thing about commercial space, inexpensive satellites and launchers: the majority of the time, they’ll be used by people to figure things out and make things better. But, there are also those who will look at these inexpensive assets as yet another tool they might be able to use to hurt people and break their things. Some localized jamming, perhaps?
What I’m saying is, those “ill-intentioned” people will try to do bad things in space regardless of treaties. Forget China, Iran, and Russia. This will just be another aspect of asymmetrical warfare conducted by small groups of people. All spacefaring countries need to consider the possible ramifications of commercialized, inexpensive space. Obviously there’s great good coming from that. And the “possible” negatives don’t mean shutting space startups down–that never really works with determined people. But it does mean doing the hard work of thinking, and, God forbid, cooperating with other nations.
Space will become more interesting than perhaps many “experts” will have anticipated.