China has recently tested a new missile that is capable of destroying satellites of the United States. The country has been largely working to increase its arsenal of weapons for space warfare.
On October 30th, China tested its Dong Neng-3 exoatmospheric vehicle from the country’s Korla Missile Test Complex. Chinese military officials also tested a missile defense interceptor. Photos of the tests have been posted on the internet.
The DN-3 test represents the eighth time that China conducted a test of an anti-satellite missile since 2005. A Chinese spokesperson has declined to comment on the details of the recent test. Officials from the United States military also refused to comment.
Some people have said that these tests from China are disruptive and that they pose a threat to the long term security and stability of outer space. A particularly disruptive anti-satellite test occurred in January of 2007, when a Chinese missile destroyed a weather satellite. The associated debris continue to pose a danger to both satellites and manned space crafts. China also performed a test in July of last year.
Meanwhile, the United States has had a difficult time cooperating with China in space technology because of the secrecy of the Chinese space program. Working in cooperation with China in space exploration could lead to many innovations, but it is currently not feasible because the Chinese are adamant about using space for military purposes.
According to documents that were disclosed by Wikileaks, the United States and its Asian allies have protested anti-satellite tests conducted by China in the past.
In the near future, a report from the Congressional United States and China Economic Security Review Commission will contain a section that outlines all of China’s military and civilian space capabilities.
Some anti-satellite missiles of China have reportedly been designed to fire as soon as a satellite passes of Chinese territory. Other reports have said that China has disguised its anti-satellite tests to instead resemble missile defense interceptor tests. Many military experts have said that virtually every satellite in orbit is in danger because of China.
Air Force Lieutenant General John “Jay” Raymond said, “We are quickly approaching the point where every satellite in every orbit can be threatened.”
Some experts believe that the Chinese might soon develop weapons that can fire beyond the capabilities of the United States.