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The Significance of Space Diplomacy in Ensuring the Peaceful Use of Space

The Significance of Space Diplomacy in Ensuring the Peaceful Use of Space


According to Krepon (2012), the outer space environment is extremely compound, with numerous commercial firm, government consortia, over 80 nation, scientific firm all have access and satellite which are operational for the purposes of educational, scientific, economic and even social purposes. In addition to this Writers (2016) stated that there is a constant threat to the systems in space from debris as well as irresponsible events which further adds into the complexity of the space countries like China and Russia have been a constant threat for the space environment by inventing technologies capable of destroying the satellites installed in the orbit. According to Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell (2003), China has successfully launched a debris attack that destroyed satellite equipment and considering the space is in full constant threat and countries can not totally defend the equipment this is the reason why space diplomacy comes in to ensure there is there is stability in space around the world by preventing conflicting that might be extending to the space.

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Space diplomacy is basically formed by a treaty that bans any form of weapon that is not verifiable or feasible due to the fact that multi-purpose military capabilities are prone to being used to destroy, or disable objects that are in space. It is important to note that these capabilities have been here for a century though they have been reduced and examples are land and sea-based ballistic missiles (Rose, 2016).

Space diplomacy therefore aims at improving the security in the space location by consolidating the sustainability which is long-term, the safety, stability and security in outer space environment through methods which are standardized internationally so as to endorse safe and responsible activities in the space and in addition on strengthening the system in space to be resilient through international cooperation (Writers, 2016).

According to Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell (2003), Space diplomacy has produced agreements that form the basis of an international regime that promotes the peaceful use of space environment. This came as a result of five decades in space diplomacy and the final treaty was finalized in 1967. This treaty states that space is to be solely used for peaceful purposes in addition to this the celestial bodies as well as the space are not and can never be part of sovereign territory, therefore, no nation can claim it, and the treaty further states that its illegal to plant a weapon of mass destruction in the outer space environment (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2017).

According to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (2017), under space diplomacy several vital norms was established among them include protection of satellites which was specifically meant to monitor the compliance of the treaty against interference which might be harmful as well as non-use of weapons which are considered to be of mass destruction in the outer space environment.

Regardless of the treaty there still some evident weakness embedded into it that threatens peace in the outer-space for instance the destructive method used against the satellite and the testing of the same is not prohibited in the treaty considering such tests has potential of producing very large debris in the space that endangers satellites and other objects in the space and threatens the operations in the space (Rose, 2016).

Space though it has complexity, it is actually very significant, in our, every day’s lives and its significance has played a role in enhancing the international diplomatic community interest in the security of the space environment (Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell, 2003). Due to the significance of the outer space environment, the following is the significance of the space environment.


According to Krepon (2012), Space diplomacy is essential in protecting the equipment installed at the space by different factions. This equipment is very significant for national security, economic and also education. For instance, when workers or people are lost they can easily find their way out using GPRS, national disasters like storms can be noticed earlier and the nation will have enough time to prepare for the storm and take required measures to minimize the damage (Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell, 2003). In regards to national security, the dependence on satellite equipment for collection of intelligence and early warning of attacks have been used tremendously by various nation therefore with the help of satellite the warfare casualties are often low. According to Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell (2003), it is through space diplomacy that enables this equipment to be safe as it gives accuracy, reduce civilian casualties during the war as the troops can be easily spotted in the battlefield making the troops have an upper hand during the war.

Considering how the environment we are in is dynamic, space diplomacy helps in addressing the issues of developing guidelines meant for space operations as well as the mitigation of orbital debris together with encouraging a responsible behaviour in the outer space environment through creating norms and voluntary openness as well as confident-building measures (Rose, 2016). Space diplomacy also provides a chance to boost a joint understanding of the challenges together with the goals that are associated with the outer space environment, therefore, developing a support for the nation’s involvement.

According to Rose, (2016), space diplomacy is also essential in raising the international understanding of the worldwide repercussions of conflict in the outer space environment. Krepon (2012) in the same point of view stated that every country often prefer prevention of the conflict or determent of the likelihood of conflict, this is due to the fact that the subsequent impact of the conflict would not be a benefit to the country and the militaries which are involved in the conflict it would only extend to everyone on the planet hence conflict should be avoided as much as possible.

Another vital aspect of space diplomacy is that prevents the terrestrial conflict from escalating into the space environment. This is in addition to the agreed-upon rules of accommodative behaviour, if not keenly looked into its easy for the conflict to escalate in a way that it would expose the outer space environment and this would have a massive impact worldwide (Krepon, 2012). Space diplomacy plays an integral role in ensuring there is an effort which is strategically targeting to prevent the conflicts from escalating as well as provide stability and space sustainability.

Space diplomacy also enhances the deed of multilateral efforts and encourages the different nation to pool up resources in order to achieve a broader goal. Such collaboration which is facilitated by the diplomacy provides an opportunity to nurture scientist under different guises of science diplomacy which is key in invention and innovation in the field of science (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2007).

India is one of the countries which have fully embarked on space diplomacy. Through a special Rs, 450 crores from South Asians Indian has flexed its space technology prowess by focusing unparalleled and unfamiliar stratospheric diplomacy. Through its satellite, the south Asia Satellite India has offered access to the satellite to the neighbours in order to boost the relationship beyond the stratosphere (Times of India, 2017).

The Launch of a various satellite in India in collaboration with other countries like France was aimed at inspiring the nation as it facilitated the scientific field which is essential in driving away the superstition which is common in India culture, poverty and illiteracy. Under space diplomacy, India was able to bring the neighbours into a collaborative agreement by using the satellite SAARC in order to boost economic and governance in the entire region (Avuthu, 2014).

The dilemma that faces the space environment is the fact that it is vulnerable and at the same time valuable. It’s easier to destroy the space objects than to defend it. For instance the fact that satellites often orbit the earth in a path which is foreseeable, it’s prone to potential enemies who are likely to find them and destroy them. In addition to this, there are missiles specified for the destruction of satellites by how they are designed making it even more dangerous. Furthermore, there are countries which have developed space tracking equipment which is effective in tracing the satellites and harm them. Beside this, countries with the nuclear weapon also stand as a threat to the space environment because they don’t have to target a particular satellite, they can indiscriminately destroy all of them just by detonating the weapon in the upper atmosphere targeting the space (Braunschvig, Garwin and Marwell, 2003).


In conclusion, space diplomacy faces more challenges which are specifically based on the trust between nation and the weak treaties which are not binding but somehow how some underlying threats to a nation which tries to defy it. The treaties point the fact that when harming another nation’s satellite or space equipment it doesn’t make the other equipment safe, in fact, it makes it more vulnerable and prone to the attack. There is supposed to be a broader understanding between the nations and a deeper mutual respect for the sake of the many benefits that space provide. This will enhance the relationship, collaboration and a better world.


KREPON, M. (2012, June 21). Space Diplomacy and an International Code of Conduct. Retrieved from https://www.e-ir.info/2012/06/21/space-diplomacy-and-an-international-code-of-conduct/

P. (2017, April 30). Modi’s space diplomacy puts India into a new orbit – Times of India. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58442281.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Writers, S. (2016, July 09). Role of Diplomacy In Keeping Outer Space Safe, Secure and Sustainable. Retrieved from http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/space-on-earth/space-policy/role-diplomacy-keeping-outer-space-safe-secure-sustainable/

Braunschvig, D., Garwin, R. L., & Marwell, J. C. (January 01, 2003). Space diplomacy. Foreign Affairs, 82, 4, 156-164.

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. (2007). Celebrating the space age: 50 years of space technology, 40 years of the outer space treaty: conference report, 2-3 April 2007. New York: United Nations.

Rose, F. A. (2016, April 14). The Role of Diplomacy in Keeping Outer Space Safe, Secure, and Sustainable. Retrieved from https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/avc/rls/255834.htm

Avuthu, V. S. (2014, July 25). India’s Space Diplomacy. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2014/07/indias-space-diplomacy/

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