Space battles are at the core of countless science fiction stories—yet recent technological and political developments make the prospect a more likely reality with the rollout of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology, powered by tens of thousands of satellites approved by the FCC and planned to be launched into space without health or environmental oversight.
Despite demands for a 5G moratorium from hundreds of scientists and thousands of medical doctors, the 5G rollout continues undeterred. The media push for 5G has been enormous—with constant advertising by the Telecom industry, and censorship (disguised as “conspiracy theory” management) of those questioning 5G tech on social media platforms.
5G wireless technology is a major factor in the weaponization of space. The Department of Defense (DOD) announced $600 million in awards to advance the DOD’s 5G capabilities, claiming that 5G technology has the “potential to transform military capabilities,” where access to high-speed connectivity and data from video, voice, sensors, targeting, reconnaissance, and even sights on infantry weapons are easy and instantaneous. Experimentation will take place at five US military sites, representing the largest 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world.
“Launches of tens of thousands of 5G satellites will ensure that every person on Earth will have a satellite over their head 24/7,” Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, stated. “Imagine the surveillance and targeting capabilities that would become available. Meanwhile, the US taxpayer is fronting much of the money. The DOD and NASA are awarding hundreds of billions of dollars to Elon Musk of SpaceX and other private launch corporations to hoist the 5G satellites into the heavens,” Gagnon told CounterPunch. Other corporations—including OneWeb, Telesat, Omnispace, Lynk, Facebook, and Amazon—also plan to launch and operate large constellations of satellites in low orbit around the Earth.
“With each launch the resulting toxic rocket fuel is punching a larger hole in our planetary ozone layer which exacerbates the climate crisis. In addition, the orbital parking lots, which are already quite crowded, are quickly filling up which will become a point of conflict in the near future as other nations become agitated that the U.S. is grabbing most of the parking spaces in the increasingly contested orbits,” Gagnon stated.
Other issues include satellite collisions generating space debris, surveillance and data mining, and the use of child labor in the mining of the rare minerals needed to make satellite and 5G infrastructure. Of urgent concern are the health impacts from wireless radiation. Epidemiologist Dr. Devra Davis, founder and president of the Environmental Health Trust, stated that “the transmissions to and from proposed 5G wireless installations are radiofrequency emissions that are environmental pollutants found to cause cancer in both experimental animals and humans, DNA damage, neurological damage and other adverse health and environmental effects, e.g., on birds, bees, and trees, according to [thousands of] internationally recognized authoritative research. The prestigious institutions that have conducted these studies include the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the nation’s premier testing institute.”
Heedless of the dangers, government and the telecommunications industry continue to propagate wireless technologies and infrastructure, helped along by captive regulatory agencies and legislative efforts to silence public debate about health and environmental effects. At the same time, media campaigns and apps designed to addict the public—and especially children—have been effective in generating consumer enthusiasm.
Gagnon also points out, “there is presently no national or international regulation over the use of space. It is up to all of us to speak out and demand that NASA, the Federal Communications Commission, the United Nations and the Pentagon quickly undertake a process of fair regulation of space operations. If not done immediately we will face a cascade of competition, military confrontation, deadly collisions and even war in space.”
5G technology and the militarization of space has not been covered in any depth by corporate media. This limited media coverage fails to mention the major health, safety and environmental concerns.
John Keller, “What 5G Means to the Military,” Military and Aerospace Electronics, December 2, 2020, www.militaryaerospace.com/rf-analog/article/14188341/military-5g-communications.
Karl Grossman, “The Perils of Military 5G,” CounterPunch, March 15, 2021, https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/03/15/the-perils-of-military-5g.
Kit Klarenberg, “Battle for the Galaxy: New Paper Reveals How UK Is Making Extensive Plans for War in Space,” RT, March 25, 2021, https://www.rt.com/op-ed/519151-uk-plan-war-space.
Student Researcher: Amber Yang (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)