Chinese Satellites Bump During Secret Maneuvers!

Discussion in 'China' started by bhramos, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    A Chinese satellite may have intentionally nudged another spacecraft during secretive space maneuvers in near-Earth orbit, according to analysts.
    Such close encounters could allow China to practice rendezvous procedures between its future space station and other spacecraft, as well as learn about satellite formation flying, said Brian Weeden, a former U.S. Air Force orbital analyst and now technical adviser for the Secure World Foundation.
    The satellite rendezvous tests could also permit close-up inspection of another satellite, not unlike demonstrations performed by the United States and other countries in the past.
    According to Weeden, China's SJ-12 satellite made at least six sets of maneuvers between June 20 and Aug. 16. During those maneuvers, the satellite made passes near SJ-06F, an older Chinese satellite that launched in October 2008.
    The satellite's behavior does not fit the profile for an anti-satellite test, Weeden wrote in an analysis for Space Review. But he added that the mysterious nature of the test could have an effect on perceptions of trust and safety in space activities.
    "There's no evidence there was any damage to the satellite or debris, so I wouldn't characterize it as a collision," Weeden told SPACE.com. "More like a bump."
    How it happened
    SJ-12 launched on June 15 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. That launch center has also served as the starting point for China's manned spaceflights on Shenzhou spacecraft in 2005 and 2008.


    Weeden said the SJ-12 satellite's first moves allowed its orbital plane to eventually match that of SJ-06F over the course of 50 days. The latter mission consists of a pair of satellites, including a smaller maneuvering satellite and a larger satellite.
    One of the closest passes between SJ-12 and SJ-06F created a change in SJ-06F's orbit on the night of Aug. 18, according to public data from the U.S. Air Force. SJ-12 also made many close approaches with less than 984 feet (300 meters) between the satellites.
    "As far as we can tell, SJ-12 is still doing a bunch of little maneuvers close to SJ-06F," Weeden explained.
    NASA previously experienced its own satellite bump when it launched the Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology mission on April 15, 2005. That DART mission was supposed to demonstrate automated rendezvous with a defunct U.S. Navy MUBLCOM communications satellite.
    A navigation error led to DART and MUBLCOM bumping at a speed of 4.9 feet per second (1.5 meters per second) — fast enough to cause a major change in the MUBLCOM satellite's orbit.
    The orbital change for the MUBLCOM satellite was about 100 times greater than the change in SJ-06F's orbit, Weeden points out. That suggests the Chinese satellites most likely did not suffer any damage during their presumed bump, if that happened.
    Concerns about the unknown
    The SJ (Shi Jian, or "practice" in Mandarin Chinese) satellites typically conduct what the Chinese government has termed "scientific missions."
    But some outside observers believe the satellites actually receive electronic signals for the Chinese military. They point out that no scientific research based on the work of the satellites has ever appeared.

    Chinese satellites bump during secret maneuvers - Technology & science - Space - Space.com - msnbc.com
     
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  3. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    China’s Secret Satellite Rendezvous ‘Suggestive of a Military Program’


    Earlier this month, two Chinese satellites met up in orbit. Depending on who you believe, it’s either a sign of China’s increasingly-sophisticated space program — or a sign of its increasingly-sophisticated space warfare program.

    A well-regarded Russian space watcher was the first to note that the two satellites, newly-launched SJ-12 and two-year-old SJ-06F, had performed maneuvers indicating a cutting edge procedure called non-cooperative robotic rendezvous. A loose network of amateur space spectators and astronomers soon congregated online, and confirmed that the sats had, indeed, converged.

    This kind of rendezvous can have extremely useful, and benign, applications: removing space debris, refueling satellites or repairing craft in orbit. But the military apps are massive, and include up-close inspection of foreign satellites, espionage — and the infliction of some serious damage to adversarial space infrastructure. In other words, orbital warfare that, given just how reliant we are on satellite technology, would have widespread consequences on the ground.

    “These kinds of rendezvous have been done plenty of times with ground control, but robotically controlled satellites, rendezvousing at higher altitudes, is really quite new,” says Brian Weeden, who offers an in-depth rundown of the incident at The Space Review. “The perception of how this technology is being developed, and what it is being used for, is extremely important.”


    The United States is the only other country known to have performed a similar feat. In 2005, NASA researchers launched DART (Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology) in an effort to rendezvous with a Navy satellite. Navigational errors led to the two satellites bumping, but the initiative did offer proof-of-concept that American scientists were making major headway towards satellites that can autonomously meet up in space. Since then, the Darpa-funded Orbital Express program has demonstrated the capacity for satellites to rendezvous for refueling and module swapping.

    So, in a sense, it was really only a matter of time before China followed suit. In recent years, they’ve fast-tracked a handful of space exploration and development projects, culminating in a satellite-killing weapons program and 90-pound mini-sat that some speculated was designed with nefarious intent.

    “The Chinese would be absolutely incompetent to not be trying to reduce U.S advantage in space,” James Oberg, a former NASA space engineer specializing in orbital rendezvous, tells Danger Room. “No potential adversary in their right mind would give us permanent advantage in space operations.”

    Weeden notes that neither the United States or Chinese governments have been especially forthcoming about their progress on satellite rendezvous capacities, not to mention respective satellite arsenals and specific locations. The dilemma is even more salient because, as this incident illustrates, knowledgeable amateurs with the right equipment can do their own detective work — and then meet online to share the results.

    “There’s a continued assumption among governments that if they don’t publish satellite details and locations, nobody is going to figure it out,” Weeden says. “That’s wrong.”

    In this instance, China’s government has yet to acknowledge the incident, and their apparent choice of location for the actual rendezvous adds to the troubling puzzle. According to Oberg, the satellite meet-up occurred in an orbit almost exclusively devoted to earth observation — spy and weather satellites, for example — where “a potential adversary would be most interested in rendezvousing.”

    “On the other hand, it’s also where a satellite might need refueling,” he adds. “It’s like you could be changing a screwdriver for a hammer, or you could be turning a peaceful ‘bot into a killer one.”

    But China’s been eager to boast about their prior space exploration projects, and have already publicized plans for a major satellite rendezvous trial next year, so silence in this instance seems telling.

    “There’s still a vague possibility that this was a matter of computational bias and coincidence,” Oberg says. “But the silence here is suggestive of a military program.”

    For now, web-based space watchers will keep working. They’re hoping to figure out whether or not the Chinese satellites touched, which would indicate either an error like that of the DART attempt or some kind of military trial run. Regardless, the rendezvous is a stark reminder that the safety of American deep-space systems is by no means guaranteed.

    “For all we know, these could just be mind games. They don’t have to attack U.S space capacities — they just have to make us think they could,” Oberg says. “We’re not playing chess in space, we’re playing Go. This makes chess look like a kindergartner’s pastime.”



    Read More China’s Secret Satellite Rendezvous ‘Suggestive of a Military Program’ | Danger Room | Wired.com
     
  4. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    hehe, CHinese hardly blah " we will .... " "we are to ...." or " we are plan to ..." , before they have done already.

    Instead, We are used to doing it quietly, until someone else blahs...

    and it fullly proves that the only serous rival on China's screen is USA....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2010
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Chinese satellite can't fly straight and it shows their military power and becomes a challenge to USA???
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  6. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    well, the above article just tell us that CHina now can "sorround to watch" or capture any satilliet, including almighty's USA's.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Any tampering with USA satellites is considered an act of war is China ready to return to the stone age?
     
  8. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    Bin Laden tampered New York 9 years ago. but Bin Laden seems to be still watching USA ...hahah

    anyhow, unless you yankees were to want to retun to the stone age too, nuke war would be impossible.......
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    But China will not be so lucky a few satellites will not impact USA but it will change chinese history.
     
  10. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    it seems that you are very confident that you could still surf internent after yankees were to nuke CHina....hahaha..

    if so ,just come on....we are looking forward to your nuke...hahah

    do you know why yankees are hated all over the world? it is just because there are tooo many yankees like you, who always blah "nuke this stone age" "nuke that to the stone age" while you have to buy your underwears with money borrowed from China....
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  11. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Typical Chinese incompetence and shoddy second rate quality. ;)

    They didn't get the pirated technology this time it seems.
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Chinese satellites bump into each other and we are supposed to shake in our boots? Navigation malfunction... lol
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    what good is this technology when it is limited to destroyinng 1 satellite and when there are dozens more?? India has developed other tech (kill vehicle).
     
  14. Minghegy

    Minghegy Regular Member

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    I think it's not for destroying satellites, DF21+KKV are already candidate.
    It's a practice for TianGong-1 and ShenZhen-8 docking next year.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. tony4562

    tony4562 Tihar Jail Banned

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    India has not. All India has done is shoot a israeli missile up into upper atomsphere by the guidance of an israeli radar.

    As matter of fact I am not aware of any india-designed radar, big or small, that currently is in service anywhere.

    In short india does not have an electronics industry.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India Developing 'Kill Vehicle' to Knock Enemy Satellites Out of the Sky

    India working on anti-satellite capabilities: DRDO

    any nation with an IRBM and kill vehicle has a anti satellite weapon. Indian electronic industry was able to communicate and collect data from as well as guide Chandradayaan in the moon mission.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Any nation with a satellite in orbit with maneuvering thrusters has a potential ASAT weapon. Just look at Chinese sats colliding. lol
     
  18. tony4562

    tony4562 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Just like in the case with your ALH, all the components are imported. India has practically zero or near-zero ability to make anything from ground-up.
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    why did chinese moon lander fail and india's chandradayan succeed??
     
  20. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    True. Nor for that matter does China.

    You pilfer the technology, we legally pay for it.
     
  21. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Kindly educate your self for LRTR (Long range Tracking radar) which has larger range then Green Pine radar. Please do some google search before make yourself look like a big fool, not to forget paying disrespect to your own country by making such ignorant statement.
     

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