Can space exploration lead to conflict?


Space exploration has potential implications for conflict, particularly in relation to strategic advantages and weaponry in space.

  1. Potential for Conflict: The expansion into space might alter the dynamics of conflict, particularly because traditional deterrents like mutually assured destruction might not apply in space. In space, identifying the source of an attack can be challenging, which could lead to more conflicts since the traditional deterrent of retaliation becomes less credible. This could potentially lead to a preference for first-strike strategies in space conflicts 1.

  2. Weaponization of Space Technology: Technologies like Starship could be used as kinetic weapons. The significant reduction in costs associated with launching into space could make these weapons feasible and possibly more preferable compared to conventional ballistic weapons. This development could alter military strategies and lead to an arms race in space technology, where nations might compete to establish dominance in space-based weapon systems 2.

These insights indicate a complex relationship between space exploration and conflict, involving both potential strategic conflicts and the weaponization of space technologies.

Space Safety Considerations

Dwarkesh and Fin discuss the safety implications of space exploration, including the potential for conflict and the challenges of attribution in space warfare. They also touch on the defensive advantages of space and the uncertainties of the future.

The Lunar Society

Fin Moorhouse - Longtermism, Space, & Entrepreneurship