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Old 01-19-2007, 06:44 AM   #1
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China kicking some satellite butt!

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/0...ile/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- China last week successfully used a missile to destroy an orbiting satellite, U.S. government officials told CNN on Thursday, in a test that could undermine relations with the West and pose a threat to satellites important to the U.S. military.

According to a spokesman for the National Security Council, the ground-based, medium-range ballistic missile knocked an old Chinese weather satellite from its orbit about 537 miles above Earth. The missile carried a "kill vehicle" and destroyed the satellite by ramming it.

The test took place on January 11. (Watch why the U.S. has protested the missile strike )

Aviation Week and Space Technology first reported the test: "Details emerging from space sources indicate that the Chinese Feng Yun 1C (FY-1C) polar orbit weather satellite launched in 1999 was attacked by an asat (anti-satellite) system launched from or near the Xichang Space Center."

A U.S. official, who would not agree to be identified, said the event was the first successful test of the missile after three failures.

The official said that U.S. "space tracking sensors" confirmed that the satellite is no longer in orbit and that the collision produced "hundreds of pieces of debris," that also are being tracked.

The United States logged a formal diplomatic protest.

"We are aware of it and we are concerned, and we made it known," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Several U.S. allies, including Canada and Australia, have also registered protests, and the Japanese government said it was worrisome.

"Naturally, we are concerned about it from the viewpoint of security as well as peaceful use of space," said Yashuhisa Shiozaki, chief cabinet secretary. He said Japan has asked the Chinese government for an explanation.

The United States has been able to bring down satellites with missiles since the mid-1980s, according to a history of ASAT programs posted on the Union of Concerned Scientists Web site. In its own test, the U.S. military knocked a satellite out of orbit in 1985.

Under a space policy authorized by President Bush in August, the United States asserts a right to "freedom of action in space" and says it will "deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so."

The policy includes the right to "deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

Low Earth-orbit satellites have become indispensable for U.S. military communications, GPS navigation for smart bombs and troops, and for real-time surveillance. The Chinese test highlights the satellites' vulnerability.

"If we, for instance, got into a conflict over Taiwan, one of the first things they'd probably do would be to shoot down all of our lower Earth-orbit spy satellites, putting out our eyes," said John Pike of globalsecurity.org, a Web site that compiles information on worldwide security issues.

"The thing that is surprising and disturbing is that [the Chinese] have chosen this moment to demonstrate a military capability that can only be aimed at the United States," he said.

--------------------------

The Canadian coins got nothin' on China!
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:28 AM   #2
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good for one, but not for others? Why does the US have the right to EVERYTHING and are completely paranoid and suspicious of everyone else. So pathetic and arrogant.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:20 AM   #3
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Hmm...

Maybe we should just pass them everything that we invent/develop, just to keep things fair?

Kind of like how companies share all of their technological secrets? At least we'd all get along eh?
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Old 01-20-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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China's going to blow up the fucking moon.
We're all dead.
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Old 01-20-2007, 11:52 AM   #5
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
good for one, but not for others? Why does the US have the right to EVERYTHING and are completely paranoid and suspicious of everyone else. So pathetic and arrogant.
Well, one reason that China should not have this ability is because of it's atrocious human rights record.
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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united states has a shining human rights record too.

gitmo

ha

isn't it all relative anyway? NOONE should be able to do this shit, but they will anyway. it will all escalate, nothing can be done to stop it.
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:57 PM   #7
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Originally posted by Zoomerang96
it will all escalate, nothing can be done to stop it.
Actually, the aliens will stop it

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Old 01-20-2007, 03:59 PM   #8
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nothing can be done to stop it.
Right, except build a defense against the latest offense. It's just like hacking/virus' etc.. It's a never ending escalation of technology to exploit weakness, while those trying to defend try to stay one step ahead.

At the end of the day, everyone must protect their own interests, on all scales.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomerang96
united states has a shining human rights record too.

gitmo

ha
There is no comparison between Gitmo and what China has done for these last 100 or so years.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:20 AM   #10
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ugh,...
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:31 AM   #11
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in this matter what does it matter if they have a shitty human rights record? No country in this world is perfect, and therefore no country has the right to threaten another country over something.

The united states doesn't own the friggin universe, and therefore doesn't have the right to tell other countries what they can and can't produce or do in space. So what if China has the technology, so does the united states, and they seem pretty trigger happy doing things so shouldn't China and other countries be worried the us is going to blow the shit out of their satelites?

The technology is out there, we can't get rid of the knowledge now, saw with firepower, so we just have to use diplomatic measures in hope people don't go invading countries and fucking things up....oops the usa have just done that? And THEY are the metre stick. BAH.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:31 AM   #12
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


There is no comparison between Gitmo and what China has done for these last 100 or so years.
you and your facts.

but it's so much cooler to slag the US than China.

plus, when you shit on the US, you get to say/write "gitmo."
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
At the end of the day, everyone must protect their own interests, on all scales.

Yeah, screw globalisation! It's a dog eat dogfood world, eh?

Precisely the kind of attitude which prevents international and global organisations from achieving anything worthwhile. It's always going to conflict with someone's interests.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:26 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Rono
ugh,...
Ugh - My sentiments exactly. For once we agree.

Ugh to the oppressive Chinese government that will jail you if they don't like the religion you practice.

Ugh to the oppressive Chinese government that continuously incarcerates Tibetans for their peaceful protests.

Ugh to the oppressive Chinese government that turns a blind eye to local authorities enforcing "one child per couple" population control.

Ugh to the oppressive Chinese government for its restrictions on free speech.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
U.S. Tries to Interpret China’s Silence Over Test

By DAVID E. SANGER and JOSEPH KAHN
The New York Times, January 22


WASHINGTON — Bush administration officials said that they had been unable to get even the most basic diplomatic response from China after their detection of a successful test to destroy a satellite 10 days ago, and that they were uncertain whether China’s top leaders, including President Hu Jintao, were fully aware of the test or the reaction it would engender...protests filed by the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia, among others, were met with silence — and quizzical looks from officials in The Chinese Foreign Ministry, who seemed to be caught unaware...

The American officials presume that Mr. Hu was generally aware of the missile testing program, but speculate that he may not have known the timing of the test. China’s continuing silence would appear to suggest, at a minimum, that Mr. Hu did not anticipate a strong international reaction, either because he had not fully prepared for the possibility that the test would succeed, or because he did not foresee that American intelligence on it would be shared with allies, or leaked.
.............................................................
The threat to United States interests is clear: the test demonstrated that China could destroy American spy satellites in low-earth orbit (the very satellites that picked up the destruction of the Chinese weather satellite). Chinese military officials have extensively studied how the United States has used satellite imagery in the Persian Gulf war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in tracking North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — an area in which there has been some limited intelligence-sharing between Chinese and American officials. Several senior administration officials said such studies had included extensive analysis of how satellite surveillance could be used by the United States in case of a crisis over Taiwan.
................................................................
As a result, officials said, the Chinese test is likely to prompt an urgent new effort inside the Bush administration to find ways to counter China’s antisatellite technology. Among the options are efforts to “harden” vulnerable satellites, improve their maneuverability so that they can evade crude kinetic weapons like the one that destroyed the Chinese satellite and develop a backup system of replacement satellites that could be launched immediately if one in orbit is destroyed. American officials noted that the United States and Russia had not conducted such tests for two decades, and that the international norm had changed, in part because so many private satellites had been launched by many nations. “The Chinese seem out of step on this one, and we don’t know why,” one official said.
....................................................................
In this case, the communication blackout raised the possibility that top Chinese officials were either trying to anger the United States or that the test was conducted without the full involvement of the one official who has authority to coordinate the military and civilian bureaucracies: President Hu. American officials said they believed that the Foreign Ministry — the one department that deals daily with the rest of the world — was left in the dark. “What we heard, in essence, was, ‘We’ll get back to you,’ ” said a senior American diplomat. “It was unclear they even knew what was going on.”

Chinese political and military analysts, who would not speak on the record about an issue the Chinese government still regards as secret, said they considered it unlikely that the army’s Second Artillery forces, in charge of its ballistic missiles, would conduct a test of a sophisticated new weapon without approval from the highest levels. But they suggested that the test might have been approved in principle, with little advance preparation for the diplomatic fallout in the event it was successful. That entails not just new military worries; the destruction of the weather satellite left debris in space that could damage satellites from other nations. “It’s the kind of silence that makes you wonder what’s happening inside the country,” said another senior American official who has been monitoring the case. “I’m sure the Chinese leadership knew there were tests under way, in a general sort of way. But they don’t seem to have been prepared for a success, and they clearly had not thought about what they would say to the world.”

The timing is significant. Chinese officials have hinted in recent months that they are prepared to grant an American request to establish a military-to-military hot line that may be used to enhance communication. But China has moved slowly to establish the link, which is based on the cold war hot line to Moscow, and there is little evidence that Chinese military officers would have offered an explanation for the antisatellite test if it had been set up. President Bush and Mr. Hu hold regular phone conversations about continuing issues, including how to manage North Korea’s nuclear program. But Mr. Hu and Mr. Bush never developed the kind of close ties that Mr. Bush’s aides forecast once the pragmatic-sounding Mr. Hu, who is close to Mr. Bush’s age, took office...
Quote:
Opinion: Responding to China's antisatellite test

By Bruce W. MacDonald and Charles D. Ferguson
Christian Science Monitor, January 22


WASHINGTON -- ...For years, Beijing has called for banning space weapons, but the test flies in the face of this rhetoric. Washington and other governments are right to decry the test. However, it may reflect the logic the US used in the early 1980s when it deployed medium-range missiles in Europe to encourage the Soviet Union to negotiate limits on these weapons.

Ironically, had the US conducted this test, it would have been entirely consistent with its newly revised policy that places greater emphasis on offensive space capabilities. For several years, the Bush administration has signaled its interest in attaining antisatellite capabilities and has openly rejected any interest in legal agreements that could restrict countries from acquiring these capabilities. While China, Russia, and the US have demonstrated these capabilities, any country with a ballistic missile program could develop an antisatellite weapon.

"There is no arms race in space and we see no signs of one emerging," said Undersecretary of State Robert Joseph last month. That remark is now probably moot, but America should pause before reacting with a demonstration of its own. Negotiating restrictions on space weapons may be a better path forward.

China's test wasn't exactly a surprise. In Beijing last November, Chinese security experts told one of us that China was worried about US space policy and Washington's apparent unwillingness to consider mutual restrictions on offensive space weapons. They warned that China would respond with countermeasures if the US continued to refuse negotiations on these weapons. At the very least, the US should consider a global ban on precisely the kind of weapon that China has demonstrated. Apart from this technology's military significance, weapons like these produce huge amounts of orbital debris that can damage all satellites and remain in orbit for many years – a dangerous legacy for all spacefaring nations.

The US could maintain many offensive options for space, if desirable, and still seek to ban weapons that create debris, just as the US and former Soviet Union agreed to ban atmospheric nuclear tests for environmental reasons in 1963 while still maintaining their ability to test nuclear weapons. The US response to China should take a mix of military and diplomatic steps:

• Make it clear to China that its ASAT test has damaged US-China relations and that more tests will have important economic and other consequences.
• Accelerate programs to protect its satellites against ASAT weapons of all kinds, including lasers.
• Perform a thorough assessment of possible threats to its space assets, and the best options, military and diplomatic, for countering them.
• Reexamine its unwillingness to discuss limits on space weaponry. Washington loses nothing by talking, and it hardly serves its interests for a technologically advancing China to attain an antisatellite arsenal.
• Recognize that a space-arms competition could have unwanted consequences.

America stands at a critical space-weapons threshold. Whatever steps it takes, it should carefully weigh its options, mindful that once the US and China cross this space Rubicon, they may never be able to cross back.

Bruce W. MacDonald was assistant director for national security in the Science Adviser's office in the Clinton White House. Charles D. Ferguson is a fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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