Just over fifty years ago, the first satellite was spun into orbit. Space filled us with optimism and awe. But were we in fact just staking out a new war zone? Space weapons feature prominently in science fiction, but how close are we to seeing real weapons systems in space? Today, 1000 active satellites are officially recorded as circling the earth. Most countries use satellite technology. And 45 nations own their own orbiting satellites. By shutting down a few satellites, the infrastructure of an entire country or continent can be paralyzed.
Now, the United States is the Master of Space. It dominates as the owner and user of space systems, both civilian and military. "Full spectrum dominance" - control and dominance of land, sea, air and, more recently, space, is still the goal of some within the U.S. Defense Department. But what are the realities behind these aims? Trying to track down what the Defense Department is spending on space weapons projects is a tricky business.
When Hitler had the first V2 missile launched in 1944, the weapons race in space officially began. Masters of Space is the saga of the emerging competition between the major industrial nations to control space and the fine line between space-faring and space warfare.
With unprecedented access to present and former US military personnel, and insights from anti-weapons activists, as well as military analysts, Masters of Space explores space as a "new arena for war".
Masters of Space is directed by Denis Delestrac for Lowik Media and Coptor Productions.