MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin has warned that the U.S. might attempt to install nuclear weapons in space under the pretext of terraforming Mars.
One of the Mars-colonization concepts, terraforming is the hypothetical process of changing the conditions on a planet to make it habitable for life that exists on Earth, including humans.
“Nuclear weapons can be launched into space not under the pretext of attacking a hostile adversary, but under some favorable pretext like, for example, terraforming Mars, or within the framework of safeguarding our planet from an asteroid attack”, Rogozin said in an interview with Gazeta.ru.
The Russian space chief weighed in on the dangers of the militarization of space. He underscored that he was not referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) designed for nuclear weapons delivery (which Russia, the United States, China, France, India, the United Kingdom, and North Korea have), which are in actual space for just minutes. It was the actual permanent deployment of space-based weapons that Russia is categorically against.
The dominant treaty governing space law is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) that bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space.
Rogozin emphasized that he considers the possible permanent deployment of nuclear weapons in space a crime.
“I believe that it would be a crime. That is why (and some have criticized me for this) I objected to Elon Musk when he proposed terraforming Mars using nuclear weapons”, said the head of the state space corporation.
Musk first espoused the theory in 2015, suggesting detonating nuclear bombs at Mars’ poles to terraform the red planet, making it livable for humans by heating it with greenhouse gases.
Currently, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, designed for flights to the Moon and Mars, can be used in the interests of the Pentagon for intercontinental transfer of special forces, speculated Dmitry Rogozin.
“The new developments that Musk is implementing are all related to the Pentagon”, he insisted.
Super Heavy is the first stage of Starship, a fully reusable, two-stage transportation system that SpaceX is developing to carry people and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and other distant destinations. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently selected Starship as the crewed lander for its Artemis Program, seeking to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by the end of the 2020s.