As delegates gather in London to explore the latest offerings in global defense and security, a debate is growing in the United States over how to maintain its capabilities in space.
Modern warfare depends on communication with satellites, but the US fears its dominance is under threat – and some lawmakers have called for a new military service to protect space.
In June the world's most powerful satellite headed into orbit. The ViaSat 2 is one of three high-capacity satellites set to deliver secure communications, access to classified networks and high definition video across the world.
Neil Fraser, Business Director at ViaSat UK says:
"Demand has changed, technology has changed and the threats have changed. People now talk about space and cyber as domains as equivalent to ships, planes and tanks."
Today’s battlefield, with its reliance on precision guided weapons and the growing use of drones, has deepened its reliance on space.
Western intelligence officials have admitted that the loss of satcoms could disable forces far more effectively that attacks on earth.
The perceived threat to America's dominance has pushed lawmakers to introduce a bill that would require the US Air Force to establish a "Space Corps" by 2019.
There are about 1,400 active satellites in space today and over the next three years another 3,000 are set to be launched by nations large and small.
With tensions between nations growing on earth – the next conflict could well begin with missions in space.