A few days ago, I published this article regarding China’s fascination with and possible forays into the world of stealth satellites. And there’s really no reason for satellites to be stealthy other than for military reasons. If you’ll also remember, I repeated the “Want China Times” article‘s description of China’s progression in “quick replenishment” launch systems.
This quick replenishment is something the United States military has been aiming for, too, and is referred to as Operationally Responsive Space (ORS). ORS is so important to the US military, an office to promote and develop it was established in 2007. According to this article posted on 27 Sept 2013 on the Union of Concerned Scientists site, the Chinese have their own ORS program (or launch vehicle), and it’s called Kuaizhou.
Why this interest in ORS? Both countries are concerned about what may happen if someone targets and takes out space assets (satellites). The military and country’s reliance on these space systems make them delectable targets for someone wanting to inflict some damage on forces and capability. And the Chinese are doing this according to their own space warfare doctrine and concerns about US expansion of weapons in space (at least according to this Armscontrol.org post from 2005).
So a way to minimize these effects (and perhaps even discourage an initial attack), is to have a relatively inexpensive and fast capability to launch “replacement” satellites. These satellites wouldn’t be full on replacements, and they probably would de-orbit after a few weeks–but as the saying goes, they’d be “good enough for government work.”
Definitely read the article–it has some interesting links. And I do like the optimistic concluding paragraph. Mutual concerns leads to mutual understanding then agreements, then peace. Hey, I sound a little like Yoda.
If you want a better understanding of the issues with space warfare, please go to this site from my link under “space operations strategy.”
- New Chinese Launch – another three satellites in one. (themadspaceball.wordpress.com)
- China Expands Space Warfare Capabilities (theepochtimes.com)
- Space Warfare (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
- China Launches New Rocket Aimed at Operationally Responsive Space Capabilities (parabolicarc.com)
- Why Is China Testing Satellite-Hijacking Space Weapons? (gizmodo.co.uk)
- China Launches Three ASAT Satellites (glblgeopolitics.wordpress.com)