US in space
US is developing advanced weapons for space war. [Representative Image] In Picture: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin salutes the American flag on the Moon during the Apollo 11 space mission.Reuters

In a far cry from Ronald Reagan era's Star Wars, the US military is looking to counter Russian and Chinese advancement in space technology as they reportedly develop self-destructing kamikaze-type satellites and destructive lasers.

This could mean a sequence of events which could start with a massive cyberattack that might eventually lead to disruption of the numerous US communication satellites that would render the existing communication networks useless.

But is US prepared to respond to such threats? This is the theme of new CNN documentary, "War in Space: The Next Battlefield," which will be screen on Tuesday. But why is this important?

Russia scientists have something called as the "Kosmos 2499," dubbed as kamikaze satellites, which can approach US satellites and destroy them if needed. It is not that only Russia possesses such capability, China too has something similar, the mysterious "Shiyan" satellites, which reportedly have a grappling arm, which can pluck satellite from its orbit, thus rendering the targeted satellite ineffective, according to the New York Post.

So, what is the 38,000-strong US Space Command doing about it? Gen John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told CNN that based on US' "very good surveillance and intelligence capabilities," they can "see the threats that are being built." So, they are "developing capabilities to defend ourselves."

He warned the nation that "technology is among a new generation of weaponry" that the enemies of US could use to disrupt or destroy US satellites and in all orbital regimes.

The US was not prepared to deal with any such an eventuality, even after a warning from deputy defence secretary Robert Work in April 2015.

But despite its late entry, the US seeks to find solutions to any complex issue that it faces and hence is quietly developing advanced weapons with both offensive and defensive capability in space.

However, analysts and former head of US Space Command paint a grim picture on the outcome of such a weapon.

"Could we provide active defence of our own satellites? The answer's no," said Gen William Shelton, former head of US Space Command to CNN.

NASA, the civilian space agency has distanced itself from such war-mongering by mainstream media by stating that is dedicated to the "peaceful exploration" of space.

US President-elect Donald Trump has, during his campaign, spoken about enhancing the "combat lethality" of the military space programme, enabling US to wage war from space, the Sun reported. This will bode well with US Space Command's programmes to develop lethal weapons to counter any disruptive act by Russia or China in frontier space.

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