The United States' critical satellite infrastructure is vulnerable to attack by increasingly capable adversaries, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned this week.
"The development that other countries are making in space weaponry, to take out our communication equipment, is truly chilling," Cruz said during a discussion Tuesday (May 16) at "On the Launchpad: Return to Deep Space," a webcast event in Washington, D.C. organized by The Atlantic magazine.
"I will tell you, some of the classified briefings would take your breath away at the potential threats we face," added Cruz, who serves on the Senate's Armed Services Committee and chairs the Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. [The Most Dangerous Space Weapons Ever]
The United States' national security and economy depend heavily on the country's many advanced satellites, Cruz said, from military reconnaissance and communications spacecraft to the commercial birds that enable ATM withdrawals and credit-card purchases.
"With our satellite infrastructure being vulnerable, the basic steps of commerce and life are threatened profoundly, and I think we need serious investment to address that vulnerability," Cruz told Ross Andersen, a senior editor at The Atlantic, during yesterday's discussion.
The comments by Cruz — who didn't elaborate on the type or extent of the investment required — mirror those made recently by several high-ranking American military officials, who have stressed that the nation needs to prepare for a war that extends into space.