Space Piracy Will Emerge in 10 Years, Expert Warns
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Low space consists of heights from 160 km to 2000 km above the Earth's surface. A Russian expert explained to Sputnik the reasons to explore this part of space and talked about challenges that the international community might face in this regard within next 10 years.
The growth in space debris associated with the increase in the number of satellites in orbit will not only make the use of near-Earth space problematic in the next decade, but will also contribute to the emergence of space pirates who will steal or damage data transmitted by satellites, Vyacheslav Tyomkin, adviser to the director general of Russia's EKIPO company, told Sputnik.
"Competition in space will increase significantly in 10 years. This will lead to an open conflict of interests not of firms and corporations, but of nations. Space pirates will emerge, controlled by the leadership of those nations. In addition, the volume of space debris will grow faster than it will be disposed of," Tyomkin, an expert of the National Technological Initiative development program's Aeronet working group, said.
Space piracy will involve creating interference, disabling equipment or entire satellites, intercepting data and distorting transmitted information or commands, the expert said. Satellites in the lowest orbits will be the most affected ones, he added. Therefore, to ensure the safety of a satellite system, the satellites responsible for storing data and controlling the entire system should be placed in higher orbits, the expert said.
A low Earth orbit, also known as low space, is a generalized name for a wide range of heights above the Earth's surface, Tyomkin said. These low orbits have not been extensively used, which allows Russia to take a leading position in claiming them, he added. This would be possible with timely support of technological projects, since at low altitudes, monitoring the Earth and organizing communications and Internet access can be done very efficiently, the expert said.
Numerous projects aimed, among other things, at developing low space orbits are currently appearing and being implemented in Russia, Tyomkin said, adding that new technological solutions are also emerging and new and more effective training programs for industry professionals are being developed.
"In my opinion, projects to create new lightweight launch systems and to link satellites revolving in different orbits into a single system controlled by artificial intelligence will be a real breakthrough. Our company, for one, is working on a high potential project of mastering orbits of 150-200 kilometers [93-124 miles]," the expert said.
By connecting satellite groups in low and higher orbits, the company plans to create the world's most advanced, functional and efficient system, capable of quickly reconfiguring to solve new problems, including under the control of artificial intelligence, he added.