Development of Anti Satellite (ASAT) on Modern Day: Urgency of Global ASAT Regulation
The recent development and testing of an ASAT system by the Indian government has been condemned widely by international communities. The condemnation is based on the fact that ASAT system tests in outer space can cause a variety of issues, ranging from creating thousands of satellite fragments which can harm other functional satellites, to posing a serious threat to global security. Generally, testing of ASAT systems is not explicitly prohibited (non-liquet) in the Article IX of The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (hereinafter OST) which only mentions ”…to avoid harmful contamination…” This article can be interpreted loosely since there is no comprehensive definition of the word “harmful”, regardless of the significance of ASAT tests and development. Currently, there is no specific agreement yet to limit ASAT development and tests in outer space. This paper will look into the Indian ASAT testing case in 2019 and examine the case through international space law instruments, namely the OST, Moon Agreement of 1979, ENMOD Convention, PTB of 1963, LOAC, PAROS. Further question will arise do ASAT test should be restricted and what is possibly negative impact could be rise if there’s no restricted regulation on ASAT? Ultimately, this paper pursues the creation of a new international agreement to regulate ASAT development and test, considering that the test and usage of ASAT systems pose a dangerous impact upon all countries, especially countries with active satellites. This paper also encourages the establishment of global cooperation for world peace as instructed by the OST.