Nations try to rein in destructive anti-satellite weapons – Axios

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios
Modern communication and navigation depend on sophisticated satellites in space — and world leaders are trying to come up with rules that would prevent each other from blowing up those tools.
Why it matters: Simply testing an anti-satellite weapon can create dangerous debris, even leaving aside the consequences if a potential future conflict played out in space.
Driving the news: A UN working group is meeting in Geneva this week to address how best to establish rules that would reduce the potential for conflicts in orbit.
Background: Destructive anti-satellite tests have left parts of Earth's orbit littered with debris in recent years.
The stakes are highest for the U.S. — and increasingly China — both of which have sophisticated satellites that underpin their military activity.
Yes, but: Not all nations see eye to eye on defining the biggest threats.
Between the lines: There are other, nondestructive means of messing with enemy satellites — from jamming to dazzling — which leave them temporarily disabled and are harder to attribute to a bad actor.
What to watch: Whether nations can find far-reaching common ground around weapons testing remains to be seen.