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US concerned over China's satellite-killing test [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-1-19 09:06:43 |Display all floors
WASHINGTON  - The United States, Australia and Canada have voiced concerns to China over the first known satellite-killing test in space in more than 20 years, the White House said on Thursday.

"The US believes China's development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. "We and other countries have expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese."

Using a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile, the test knocked out an aging Chinese weather satellite about 537 miles above the earth on January 11 through "kinetic impact," or by slamming into it, Johndroe said.

Canada and Australia had joined in voicing concern, he said. Britain, South Korea and Japan were expected to follow suit, an administration official added.

The last US anti-satellite test took place on September 13, 1985. Washington then halted such Cold War-era testing, concerned by debris that could harm civilian and military satellite operations on which the West increasingly relies for everything from pinpoint navigation to Internet access to automated teller machines.

According to David Wright of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists, the satellite pulverized by China could have broken into nearly 40,000 fragments from 1 cm to 10 cms or up to four inches, roughly half of which would stay in orbit for more than a decade.

On the day of the test, a US defense official said the United States was unable to communicate with an experimental spy satellite launched last year by the Pentagon's National Reconnaissance Office. But there was no immediate indication that this was a result of the Chinese test.


Aviation Week & Space Technology, the first to report the test, cited space sources as saying a Chinese Feng Yun 1C polar orbit weather satellite, launched in 1999, was destroyed by an antisatellite system launched from or near China's Xichang Space Center in Sichuan Province.

The capability demonstrated by China was no surprise to the Bush administration, which revised US national space policy in October to assert a right to deny space access to anyone hostile to US interests.

In a major speech about the policy last month, Robert Joseph, the State Department's point man for arms control and international security, said other nations and possibly terrorist groups were "acquiring capabilities to counter, attack and defeat US space systems."

"No nation, no non-state actor, should be under the illusion that the United States will tolerate a denial of our right to the use of space for peaceful purposes," Joseph said on December 13.

The United States has been researching satellite-killers of its own, experimenting with lasers on the ground that could disable, disrupt and destroy spacecraft.

Marco Caceres, a space expert at the Teal Group, an aerospace consulting firm in Fairfax, Virginia, said China's test could bolster a host of costly military space programs, almost all of which are over budget and behind schedule.

"They are going to use this for as much as they can," he said, referring to Pentagon officials. Major corporate beneficiaries could be Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., which build US communications, surveillance and early-warning satellites, Caceres said.

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Post time 2007-1-19 09:09:09 |Display all floors

Assassin's Mace

Can't go head on head so go for weak points.  Seems as if this will play right into some peoples hands.
Further will push further spending on such issues.  Uhmmmm...should be an interesting future.

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Post time 2007-1-19 09:41:36 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-1-19 10:30:08 |Display all floors
Originally posted by mantraman at 19-1-2007 01:09
Can't go head on head so go for weak points.  Seems as if this will play right into some peoples hands.
Further will push further spending on such issues.  Uhmmmm...should be an interesting future.

It's basically going to start another arms race - this time in space.

And if China did ever try to cripple the US' surveillance network before they could respond or had developed a capability, the hawks might decide to "de-fang" China before they could finish and/or disrupt their nuclear deterant. In which case we have World War Three.

I had hoped we could keep space free of weapons/conflict, but thanks to this test I think that another nail has been driven into the coffin.

I think the issue of debris may also be of real concern for all types of satellite use. If this debris starts damaging other countries satellites, will China pay for the repairs? If this is a serious project there will be more and more tests, leading to more and more fragments being produced. When the Americans blew up a satellite in the 1980s, it resulted in hundreds of bits staying in orbit for years - it took 17 years for it all to deorbit.

Does China want to indirectly damage its own satellites (whether commerical or military) or those of friendly countries as a result of testing these weapons?

[ Last edited by mencius at 2007-1-19 02:40 AM ]
"People are the water, the ruler is the boat; water can carry the boat, but it can also capsize it."

-- Li Shimin (2nd Tang Emperor, "Taizong")

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Post time 2007-1-19 10:45:11 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-1-19 22:39:16 |Display all floors
What will the white house comment about this space war tooling?

Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Jan 17, 2007
Northrop Grumman Corporation today opened a specialized facility exclusively for system integration and production of high-energy laser systems for military uses - the first of its kind by private industry in the United States. Located at the Space Technology sector's Space Park campus, the Directed Energy Production Facility is specifically designed for the production of high-energy, solid-state lasers and their integration onto military vehicles.
"Powerful military lasers, with their speed-of-light targeting capabilities and cost-effective operation, have the potential to transform the way we equip our armed forces defending our country abroad and protecting it at home against terrorist threats," said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.

Noted Mike McVey, president of the company's Directed Energy Systems business area, "This new facility shows our commitment to directed energy systems for the military and reinforces our industrial leadership in all of the laser systems we build. This facility is an example of our long-term commitment to being the premier provider of high-energy lasers to the U.S. government, and it demonstrates our vision of how we will achieve that goal."

The first work in the facility will be for Phase 3 of the Joint High-Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, which will build and demonstrate the first 100 kW solid-state laser sufficient for a variety of force protection battlefield and precision strike missions. The facility also will house other laser systems the company is spearheading.

The facility will provide the capability to produce current and future generation technologies of lasers including fiber lasers even more powerful than 100kW. There will also be an integration area where electric lasers are integrated onto various military platforms, such as armored combat vehicles. With class 1,000 clean rooms and integrated laser safety systems, the facility can produce multiple laser systems at the same time.
Working with us, you work with a part of China!

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Post time 2007-1-20 04:39:34 |Display all floors

Nobody Doubts the Ability of America to Outspend China

America already spends $400 Billion a year on the military, and that is NOT counting the war costs in the Middle East and Afghanistan.  

Question is the results wrought.  

Defang?  Does China look like Iraq to you?

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