No, not British SkyTV–I mean Skynet, from the “Terminator” movie series. So don’t worry, UK citizens, your TV is safe (not necessarily a good thing) and still over-hyped. But China has made some interesting moves in the past few days.
China has a very aggressive space program. They’ve stated more than a few times how they believe taking out US assets in space would cause the US military no end of problems in battle. Of course, the Chinese are also worried about the Indians, as they’ve gotten along very poorly historically, and the Indians are also exploring space. So there may be more than one motivation for their actions.
Whether the US military is over-reliant on very weakly defended space assets is a discussion for another time. But what the Chinese are doing, especially with this latest batch of satellites (three of them), is quite interesting. Robotic arms with claws have been suggested by this article and this article for these satellites and people are concerned these are part of a Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) program. And this could create all sorts of concerns for ANYONE with space assets.
According to this site, these are low earth orbiting satellites, so they don’t right now pose a threat to satellites in other orbits. Interestingly, they are also in a sun-synchronous inclination, which I will discuss in my next post.
- China Launches Three ASAT Satellites (freebeacon.com)