China missile hit highest suborbital level since 1976

Discussion in 'China' started by LTE-TDD, May 16, 2013.

  1. LTE-TDD

    LTE-TDD Regular Member

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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China launched a large missile on Monday that reached 6,200 miles above the earth, its highest suborbital launch since 1976, according to a U.S. scientist at Harvard University.

    Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the rocket was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in western China, and China said the rocket carried a science payload which studied the earth's magnetosphere.
    He said the rocket could possibly be used in the future to carry an anti-satellite payload on a similar trajectory, but there was no evidence to indicate the launch was intended to test such a capability.

    The United States remains concerned about China's development of anti-satellite capabilities after it shot a missile at one of its own defunct satellites in orbit in 2007, creating an enormous amount of debris in space.

    Monday's rocket launch was similar to launches using the Blue Scout Junior rocket that were conducted by the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s for research on the Earth's magnetosphere, McDowell said in an emailed response to questions.

    The launch came less than a week after U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter unveiled what he called a "long overdue" effort to safeguard U.S. national security satellites and develop ways to counter the space capabilities of potential adversaries.

    The Pentagon also released an 83-page report on Chinese military developments that highlighted China's increasing space capabilities and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.

    A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the Chinese rocket launch


    China missile hit highest suborbital level since 1976: scientist - Chicago Tribune
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Why is anti-sat capability such a big deal? Any nation which is capable of launching satellites will also be able to shoot them down with a small modification of the launch vehicle-replacing the satellite with a warhead. :noidea:
     
  4. GromHellscream

    GromHellscream Regular Member

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    Because anti-sat operation is one of the rings of nuclear war.
    If you can't do it in a very short time, the operation itself becomes of little sense.
    Sending a payload into orbit and changing its orbit to meet the target is the way you implied as common capabilities for everyone who can launch space payloads, but it's not the method chosen when military usage is considered.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  5. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    A nuke war is extremely unlikely. Devising countermeasures to disable the enemy's nuke assets will only be counterproductive as the enemy will devise their own response.

    Any war of that scale between China and the US (or indeed, any country and the US) will end in an American victory because of their system of alliances. Hence best not to go there.
     
  6. CCTV

    CCTV Regular Member

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    Any war between China and US will be a nuclear war, just like US said to NK last month.
     

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