COLUMBIA — In October 1967, the United States and other members of the United Nations negotiated and signed an outer space treaty that affirmed “the common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes” and provided a basic framework of international space law to ensure the realization of that goal. A major provision of the treaty prohibited the deployment of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction into orbit, on celestial bodies, or in any other station in outer space. However, there was no explicit prohibition on the use of satellites for military intelligence or orbital observation of the Earth for research and other peaceful purposes.
Outer space: the new battleground
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