Speaking to Newsweek, he expressed serious concerns about the consequences of such a conflict, noting that it could change the course and course of our lives for centuries to come.
Saltzman emphasized that war in space has the potential to be much more destructive than traditional conflicts on Earth.
Projectiles launched into space can not only cause damage to enemy objects, but also create a new, invisible threat – space debris, which will remain in orbit for many years and pose a serious danger to many spacecraft and satellites.
“If, in time of war, you were to shoot down an aircraft, it falls out of the domain. If you sink a ship, it falls out of the sea lane,” General Chance Saltzman, chief of the U.S. Space Force, told Newsweek.
“If you shoot down a satellite, it stays on orbit for hundreds of years, and that debris could cause problems and is likely to cause problems, especially as it grows over the course of a war, for all of the orbits.”
“So, warfare in space could literally foul that global commons for generations,” he added.
This is not the first time there have been warnings about the possibility of military action in space.
Satellites, which play an important role in today’s technological infrastructure, are becoming of unprecedented importance to military strategies, and their destruction or disruption could have global consequences.
General Saltzman noted that one of the strategic goals of the United States in the event of a military conflict in space would be to deprive the enemy of the ability to shoot and target American satellites. However, as noted, such actions are part of traditional warfare and may not be able to prevent the creation of space debris and its long-term consequences.
According to many experts, war in space seems to be an increasingly real threat, especially now that russia is waging war in Ukraine and threatening the whole world.