The First Space War Is Here: Find Out How the Next One May Play Out

Illustration: Satellites in orbit
An artist's conception shows satellites that are part of the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program. (Space Force Illustration)

Wars in space are no longer just science fiction. In fact, Space War I has been raging for more than two years, with no quick end in sight. This isn’t the kind of conflict that involves X-wing fighters or Space Marines. Instead, it’s a battle over how satellites are being used to collect imageryidentify military targets and facilitate communications in the war between Ukraine and Russia.

“As I looked at Ukraine in the early months, it was obvious to me: This is the first space war,” says David Ignatius, a journalist who lives a double life as a foreign-affairs columnist for The Washington Post and a spy-thriller novelist.

In the latest episode of the Fiction Science podcast, Ignatius delves into the potential national-security threats posed by satellite-based warfare — and how he wove those threats into the plot threads of a new novel titled “Phantom Orbit.” The tale lays out a scenario in which Space War I tips toward a potentially catastrophic Space War II.

Continue reading “The First Space War Is Here: Find Out How the Next One May Play Out”