Without fanfare and the usual media hype, China on June 29 quietly launched a sophisticated military spy satellite into outer space, marking a significant step in Beijing’s anti-satellite development.
Dubbed “Experiment 02,” the satellite is China’s second anti-satellite weapon in the near earth orbit zone where most of the world’s military satellites are. Continue reading
Craft could be used to attack satellites, according to some researchers
A small spacecraft sent into orbit by the Long March 7 rocket launched from Hainan in southern China on Saturday is tasked with cleaning up space junk, according to the government, but some analysts claim it may serve a military purpose.
The Aolong-1, or Roaming Dragon, is equipped with a robotic arm to remove large debris such as old satellites.
Tang Yagang, a senior satellite scientist with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said the Aolong-1 was the first in a series of craft that would be tasked with collecting man-made debris in space. Continue reading
It was just one launch, but the successful maiden flight of a new-generation carrier rocket on Saturday pointed to a multitude of breakthroughs in Chinese space weaponry, according to military experts.
The Long March-7 lifted off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the mainland’s southern-most Hainan province, carrying 13.5 tonnes of cargo – 90 per cent of which was taken up by the rocket’s special non-toxic fuel designed for multiple launch vehicles, plus wind-resistance devices, a re-entry capsule, a number of small satellites and other equipment.
For Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong, there were telling details in the Xinhua photos taken of the bullet-shaped re-entry module soon after it landed in the Badain Jaran Desert, in Inner Mongolia.
“The so-called re-entry capsule looks similar to China’s hypersonic glide vehicle DF-ZF,” Wong said. Continue reading