Today Russia promised an arms race with the US and China if they keep launching military hardware into orbit. "We need to have strong rules about space, to avoid its militarization," General Vladimir Popovkin said. Reuters reports that his barb was aimed at Washington for its "Star Wars" program and Beijing for recent anti-satellite missile tests.
But Russia is also ramping up space ops, once among the Soviets' high-tech marvels. Now they have 60 satellites, some military, for intelligence and communications. And Popovkin promises a new generation of satellites to launch in 2009. "Already, Russia can detect any ballistic missile being launched from earth towards Russia," he said. (Read more space race stories.)