China's technology for space debris clean-up could be a cover, Pentagon warns

14 February, 2019, 03:37 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia Bolling in Washington D.C. Credit DIA

The strategy, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said both Russian Federation and China are pursuing "a full range of anti-satellite weapons, which could degrade USA intelligence gathering abilities".

On Monday, the agency released an unclassified report on the security threat to the US's dominance in space.

The report "Challenges to Security in Space" examines the space and counter space programmes that could challenge the U.S. or partner interests in the space domain.

"China and Russian Federation, in particular, are developing a variety of means to exploit perceived United States reliance on space-based systems and challenge the USA position in space", the Defence Intelligence Agency report said on Monday. "These capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide, and with enhanced situational awareness enabling them to monitor, track and target USA and allied forces".

'China has long advocated the peaceful use of outer space and opposes militarisation and an arms race in space, ' Hua said, adding that if the USA was serious about space security, then it should work with China to control arms development. "The report says Russian Federation and China are also developing 'inspection and servicing" satellites that could also be used to conduct attacks on satellites in orbit.

While the European Union, Russia and the US' satellite navigation constellations offer global coverage, Japan and India operate regional systems, it said.

More than a third of all recorded debris is from two events: China's use of a missile in 2007 to destroy a defunct satellite and the accidental collision between a US communications satellite and a defunct Russian one in 2009.

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This capability supports both space operations and counter space systems, it said.

Of that space junk, more than a third is from China's use of a missile in 2007 to destroy a defunct satellite and the accidental collision between a US communications satellite and a defunct Russian one in 2009, Bloomberg reported.

"It is meant to support a deeper public understanding of key space and counterspace issues and inform open dialogue and partner engagement on these challenges", a DIA spokesman told SpaceNews. But not to the Pentagon; the agency's report lays out all the different ways Beijing and Moscow could attack United States satellites in order to win future wars. "As the number of satellites grows, so does the threats posed by space debris", the official said.

'We are aware that the US Defence Intelligence Agency has made reckless comments about China's space development.

DIA forecasts the space industry to continue expanding as more countries gain increased access to space.

The Chinese government has been increasingly stepping up its space program, becoming the first nation to land a probe on the far side of the moon in January. "That makes tracking satellites and discriminating satellites from threats and nonthreats and predicting and preventing collisions more challenging".

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