Space Warfare and Defense

A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide

by Bert Chapman


Star wars. Global positioning satellites. Space-based laser weapons. Once the realm of science fiction, space weapons and warfare are coming closer to reality. Ninety percent of U.S. military communications depend on space assets, marking an increasing reliance on space for national security initiatives, military operations, and e-commerce enabled by satellite technology. What does the future hold for this new arena of military conflict?

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Cover image for Space Warfare and Defense

March 2008


Pages 403
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Military History/Military Technology and Weapons

This timely resource provides a history of the development of space weapons and warfare strategies and a comprehensive reference guide to the growing literature on the subject.

Space Warfare and Defense: A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide provides comprehensive coverage of the development of space as a possible arena for warfare, exploring the military uses of space—past, present, and future—and specific details of actual space weapons systems.

The encyclopedia spans the breadth of U.S. military space policy; comparable programs in the Soviet Union, China, and the European Union; and the full array of international agreements designed to regulate the military uses of space. In addition, the encyclopedia includes an extensive reference guide (nearly 40 percent of the book) directing readers to the essential literature on space weapons and defense systems produced by the United States, other governments, research institutions, and additional sources. At a time when space is becoming an increasingly important place of military competition and potential conflict, Space Warfare and Defense dispels the myths and examines the realities of what may become humanity's ultimate battlefield.


  • Over 375 alphabetically organized entries covering all aspects of military space initiatives, such as New World Vistas, the Air Force Counterspace Operations Doctrine, Project Corona, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, space-based infrared systems, and much more
  • An exhaustive reference guide to current and historical literature on U.S., Russian, Chinese, and European military space policy and programs—an unprecedented resource for further study
  • A detailed chronology of key events in the military development of space, from Eisenhower's approval of the "U.S. Policy on Outer Space" to China's recent launch of a military photoreconnaissance satellite
  • A full glossary of terms and acronyms essential to the understanding of military space policies and technologies


  • Separates the misconceptions from the realities to give readers an authoritative look at the military development of space
  • Compares U.S. efforts to militarize space with those of China, Russia, and the European Union
  • Helps the public become better informed on space issues that are becoming a larger part of the dialog on national security
  • Makes accessible a wide variety of information resources on this subject from government, military, scholarly, and trade industry literature
Author Info

Bert Chapman is government information and political science librarian and associate professor of library science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. His published works include Researching National Security and Intelligence Policy.



"It is recommended for academic and large public libraries as well as interested special collections."ARBA

"Highly recommended."Choice

"Those who read this encyclopedia will be left in no doubt that its subject matter, though technical in nature, has an importance which goes far beyond its more obviously military aspects, for as the author rightly points out, banks and stock markets, and thus the world economy itself, could be crippled by interference with satellites. It would therefore be a useful addition, not only to libraries with military or technical interests, but also to those concerned with international affairs in general."Reference Reviews

"Asst. Prof. Bert Chapman, a government information librarian at Purdue University, deserves commendation for authoring this impressive work, which fills a gap in space-warfare scholarship. This significant and comprehensive treatise provides layman and expert alike a voluminous amount of data, both historical and contemporary, on space weapons and their development. ... The book will serve as a valuable primary resource for researchers, space enthusiasts, policy makers, employees of space agencies, officers either currently on staff with space commands or NASA or awaiting assignment, and individuals seeking information about the relationship of space to national security."Air & Space Power Journal

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