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Russia’s nuclear space weapon a risk for all, says German Space Command chief – POLITICO

The worst-case scenario of an indiscriminate nuclear blast in space radiating out a satellite-frying electromagnetic pulse across low earth orbit would be devastating for everyone, Traut said.

“If somebody dares to explode a nuclear weapon in high atmosphere or even space, this would be more or less the end of the usability of that global commons [of orbit],” said Traut.

The consequences of an attack would be to turn thousands of blinking satellites now buzzing through orbit into junk while creating dense debris fields.

“Nobody would survive an action like that — no satellite, either Chinese or Russian and American or European,” Traut said. “If somebody calculates rationally, nobody would employ such a weapon in space.”

Deploying a nuclear weapon in space would also be counter to the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty of 1967, Traut said, given that it bans the installation of weapons of mass destruction in orbit.

Should Russia lash out in space and knock out commercial satellites, then expect an economic hit from banking to energy and costing trillions of dollars, said Ludwig Möller, the director of the European Space Policy Institute.

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