Interesting thoughts on the anniversary of the Chinese ASAT.
January 11th marks the ninth anniversary of China’s infamous test of a direct-ascent ASAT on its weather satellite FY-1C in polar orbit. It goes without saying the test was an alarming event, the effects of which are still being felt today both in terms of the orbital debris environment the test created, and the wake-up call to the United States in terms of the vulnerability for U.S. space assets.
However, over the past nine years, little if anything has been done from a policy perspective to address the threat of ASATs. In fact, both China and Russia have co-opted the discussion in the international arena and subverted the discussion to the dubious issue of space weapons with the PPWT and the recent UN resolution about “initial placement” of space weapons in December 2015. It is the latter where Russia pulled off a soft-power coup by encouraging 129 countries to vote…
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