On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order calling on the Department of Defense to draft legislation on a potential U.S. military presence in space. Proposals for a so-called space force have been around for a while but gained momentum when Trump picked up on the idea in early 2018.
Now, a group of scientists has called on the president to reconsider his plans and warm up to the idea of space as a place where different nations coexist peacefully. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy group with an extensive satellite database, pointed out that military activity was only a minor part of all things happening in space. Instead, the group claimed that space was in fact a place where people worked together beyond national interests.
Data from the group’s database backs up this claim. Out of the 1,957 satellites listed as active, only 302 have military uses. While the U.S. is the country with most satellites in space (830), multinational cooperations come in fourth place.