Friday, January 19, 2007

China tests anti-satellite weapon

The first in-space test of an antisatellite weapon in two decades has been accomplished by China, a nation not previously known to have ASATs (suspected, yes, but not known).
The USSR tested numerous ASATs in orbit, but the ASAT capability of Russia has presumably withered away. The US did one test in 1986, then scrapped its own system.
China appears to have used a kinetic kill vehicle separating from a ballistic missile to destroy an old weather satellite in low orbit. The US and Russia have expressed concerns, but the diplomatic fallout is uncertain.

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