Category Archives: Space

Russia-China Rapprochement Over Space Technology Threatens US National Security | Ramen IR

In the 2015 near-future novel Ghost Fleet, Russo-Chinese forces annihilate the U.S. constellation of satellites from orbit in a sudden surprise attack, leaving the superpower suddenly massively exposed in its own prized sphere of “information dominance.” Without access to the GPS, intelligence sharing, and force coordination systems so critical to 21st century warfare, US forces suddenly find themselves outmaneuvered and outgunned, forced to rely on the aging, non-networked hulls of the mothballed “ghost fleet” to respond to Chinese incursions across the Pacific. It’s a chilling portrait of future warfare that has taken the Washington defense establishment by storm, and which illustrates the degree to which the United States must focus on its space systems as a critical pillar of national security.

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Russia-China Rapprochement Over Space Technology Threatens US National Security | Ramen IR

A fight to protect ‘the most valuable real estate in space’ – The Washington Post

Now, as Russia, China and others develop technology that could take out the national security infrastructure the United States has built in space, Pentagon officials fear its satellites could be sitting ducks. Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said recently that North Korea has successfully jammed GPS satellites, that Iran was busy building a space program and that “violent extremist organizations” were able to access space-based technologies to help them encrypt communications, among other things.

A fight to protect ‘the most valuable real estate in space’ – The Washington Post

The End of U.S. Space Supremacy | The Cipher Brief

However, the dominance that the U.S. has enjoyed in space since the end of the Cold War appears to be ending. James Lewis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says adversaries “are investing tens of millions of dollars in a range of technologies intended to degrade or destroy satellites and space capabilities.”

China in particular has become very active in this area. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Chinese satellite launches increased dramatically between 2003 and 2012. These new satellites have served a number of different purposes, from enhancing communications to the creation of China’s own regional GPS constellation.

The most worrying aspect of the Chinese space program has been their anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons demonstrations. The first of these occurred in 2007, when China shot down one of its own satellites. There have been reports of other ASAT tests in 2010 and2013, although the Chinese government disputes these reports. Bruce MacDonald, a former Special Advisor of the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Project with the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, expects these trends to continue. He says that China wants to pursue capabilities that include “its own complete GPS-like satellite constellation, more satellites for both military and civilian long distance communications, more advanced intelligence satellites, and more advanced ASAT systems.”

The End of U.S. Space Supremacy | The Cipher Brief

Get Ready, America: Russia and China Have Space Weapons | The National Interest Blog

Russia and China are increasingly pursuing the ability to attack America’s space-based assets, but is there anything the Pentagon can do to thwart Beijing and Moscow’s ambitions?

While it is sometimes treated as an afterthought here on earth, space-based capabilities like GPS, communications and reconnaissance satellites are the sinews that hold the U.S. military together, allowing American forces to operate across the globe. That’s a fact, however, that has not gone unnoticed in Beijing or Moscow.

Get Ready, America: Russia and China Have Space Weapons | The National Interest Blog

The strange behavior of three Russian satellites is another sign we have an arms race in space – Quartz

The world’s major powers follow an unwritten rule when it comes to space exploration: no weapons in orbit. But lately the three leading space nations—the US, China, and Russia—have been accused of ignoring this gentlemen’s agreement. Russia, especially.

The accusations involve a trio of Russian satellites that may be “suicide” weapons, devices that can smash into and destroy other satellites. The craft are certainly suspicious. Russia did not announce the satellites prior to lift-off, as launch nations generally do. The craft practically dance around in orbit. One may even have collided with another object. To be fair, the satellites could be agile spy craft or repair drones. But it’s their potential as weapons that’s worrying.

The strange behavior of three Russian satellites is another sign we have an arms race in space – Quartz

Moscow Could Be Prepping for Space War With Aggressive New Satellites – The Daily Beast

The Kremlin says its nimble new satellites are just for communications. But they look—and act—an awful lot like prototype weapons.

On Christmas Day in 2013, a rocket blasted off from the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. The 95-foot-tall, 118-ton Rokot booster—an unarmed version of a Cold War nuclear-tipped missile—lanced into low orbit, shedding spent stages as it climbed.

Seventy-five miles above the surface the earth, the Rokot’s nose cracked open and its payload spilled out. The rocket carried Rodnik communications satellites, according to Russian officials.

It’s customary for Rodnik sats to deploy in threes, but in a notification to the United Nations, Moscow listed four spacecraft inside the Christmas Rokot.

The discrepancy was strange…and got stranger.

Moscow Could Be Prepping for Space War With Aggressive New Satellites – The Daily Beast

Military Gears Up for Space Warfare | Washington Free Beacon

Pentagon, military, and intelligence officials outlined plans on Wednesday for warfare in space and warned China not to attack U.S. satellites in any future conflict.

“The threats are real, they’re technologically advanced and they’re a concern,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, in testimony before a House subcommittee. “We are quickly approaching the point where every satellite in every orbit can be threatened.”

Douglas Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said that the threat of attacks on satellites in orbit is no longer a theoretical concern.

“Quite frankly, it’s one thing to anticipate an imaginary threat,” Loverro said. “It’s another thing to see that threat develop, watch it be exercised as with the Chinese on several occasions, recognize what it can do to our capability, and react to that. And that’s what we’re doing right now, is reacting to it and making it very clear we have no desire to have a conflict extend to space.”

Military Gears Up for Space Warfare | Washington Free Beacon

China is using its earnings from China-US trade to point big guns (missiles) at the US and to destroy US satellites. Still think trading with a country that behaves like this is a good idea?

Delusional thinking in the West pushed more and more trade toward China. All those cheap products from China will certainly make life better over in America. Except all those geniuses forgot to factor in the probability of war.

Why would China want to go to war against the US? If you have to ask that question then just go home.You haven’t been paying attention.

The “China Dream” demands that China reaches its past glory. Right now the US and Japan stand in its way. Given the internal instability of China, the current regime is at risk of revolution in some form. Aggressively pushing outward toward its neighbors is one way to redirect people’s attention and achieve the China Dream. However, that aggressiveness could very well lead to war. China is preparing for that war.

 

China Missile Test Highlights Space Weapons Threat | Washington Free Beacon

China’s recent test of a missile designed to shoot down satellites in low-earth orbit highlights a growing threat of space weapons, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Tuesday.

Adm. Cecil D. Haney, head of the Omaha-based nuclear forces command, also voiced worries about the strategic nuclear forces buildup by Russia and China, and said as commander he must assume North Korea is correct in claiming to have miniaturized a nuclear warhead for its missile forces.

Haney also warned about the use of sophisticated cyber attacks by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or ISIL.

China Missile Test Highlights Space Weapons Threat | Washington Free Beacon

New Report Finds China’s Space Plans Threaten U.S. Military Ability – Bloomberg Business

China is developing space technologies aimed at blocking U.S. military communications and destroying its ability to win conflicts, according to a report commissioned by a panel created by the U.S. Congress.

“China’s improving space capabilities have negative-sum consequences for U.S. military security,” the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation said in the report. Its progress requires “the U.S. to prepare to confront an adversary possessing space and counter-space technologies.”

“China’s goal is to become a space power on par with the United States and to foster a space industry that is the equal of those in the United States, Europe, and Russia,” according to the report, which was prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“With improved military capabilities, and the potential for growth in the commercial aerospace industry, China’s development” of space technologies will allow it to “more effectively wield international power,” the commission said in a press release on Monday.

New Report Finds China’s Space Plans Threaten U.S. Military Ability – Bloomberg Business

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare ‘Selenelion’

“The little-used name for this effect is called a “selenelion,” a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.”

Observers of Wednesday morning’s total lunar eclipse might be able to catch sight of an extremely rare cosmic sight.

On Oct. 8, Interested skywatchers should attempt to see the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun simultaneously. The little-used name for this effect is called a “selenelion,” a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.

And indeed, during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky. In a perfect alignment like this (called a “syzygy”), such an observation would seem impossible. But thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon are apparently lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction. This allows people on Earth to see the sun for several extra minutes before it actually has risen and the moon for several extra minutes after it has actually set. [How to See the Total Lunar Eclipse (Visibility Maps)]

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare ‘Selenelion’