China’s quiet space warfare launch poses threat to military satellites

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

Is China militarising space? Experts say new junk collector could be used as anti-satellite weapon

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

China’s successful new rocket launch signals breakthroughs in nation’s space weaponry: military experts

https://i1.wp.com/cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980x551/public/images/methode/2016/06/29/3e0bfbd4-3d11-11e6-8294-3afaa7dcda6c_1280x720.JPG

A Long March 7 rocket, China’s new model carrier rocket, blasts off in Hainan province on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

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