Theresa Hitchens

Articles by Theresa Hitchens

26 June 2008

COPUOS wades into the next great space debate

Theresa Hitchens

It is a well-worn cliché that the gears of international diplomacy grind at a glacial pace. Breakthroughs often are preceded by years of background work during which progress barely crawls forward. So, it is not surprising that this year's annual session of the Vienna-based U.N. Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) ended on June 20 without any decisions on the key question now bedeviling the global space community: How to ensure the long-term security of space operations in a more crowded, and more militarized, environment?

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Instead of being deterred by the new U.S. policy, enemies may respond by acquiring their own nuclear weapons.