China Displays Its Mature Anti-satellite CapabilitiesPosted: April 22, 2017
In our space era, satellites are indispensable in war; therefore anti-satellite (ASAT) and anti-ASAT capabilities are vital to China’s national security.
The successful unmanned docking of China’s cargo spacecraft with its orbiting space laboratory Tiangong-2 displays China’s mature ASAT capabilities. It shows that China can send an anti-satellite spaceship accurately to an enemy satellite and neutralize it. The space ship may carry 6 tons of equipment and remain in space for 3 months with 2 tons of fuel. In a war, it will thus be able to keep on neutralizing enemy old and new satellites for at least 3 months.
Reuters says in its report yesterday on China’s cargo spacecraft titled “China’s first cargo spacecraft docks with orbiting space lab”, “Despite the advances in China’s space program for military, commercial and scientific purposes, China still lags behind the United States and Russia.” However, as long as China has caught up with and even surpassed the US in ASAT and anti-ASAT capabilities in its space technology, it has achieved its essential goal in developing space technology for its national security.
With such technology, the US has to think twice before attacking China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:
China’s first cargo spacecraft docks with orbiting space lab
China’s first cargo spacecraft docked successfully with the Tiangong-2 space lab on Saturday, the official Xinhua news agency reported, marking a major step toward Beijing’s goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022.
President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China’s space program to strengthen national security.
The Tianzhou-1 cargo resupply spacecraft made the automated docking process with the orbiting space lab after it had taken off on Thursday evening from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the southern island province of Hainan.
The Tiangong-2 space laboratory, or “Heavenly Palace 2”, was home to two astronauts for a month last October in China’s longest ever manned space mission.
The cargo spacecraft mission provides an “important technological basis” to build a Chinese space station, state media have said. It can reportedly carry 6 tonnes of goods, 2 tonnes of fuel and can fly unmanned for three months.
Despite the advances in China’s space program for military, commercial and scientific purposes, China still lags behind the United States and Russia.
In late 2013, China’s Jade Rabbit rover landed on the Moon to great national fanfare, but ran into severe technical difficulties.
The U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations from using space-based assets in a crisis.
China insists it has only peaceful ambitions in space, but has tested anti-satellite missiles.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)