Author Topic: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)  (Read 35248 times)

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Congress looking into US taking out the space trash
« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2021, 01:39:41 AM »
Lawmakers want U.S. to collect space trash

Positioning nation at front of industry keeps rivals from writing policy

BY RYAN LOVELACE THE WASHINGTON TIMES

America took on the mantle of the world’s police officer in the 20th century, and Congress is now poised to make the U.S. the galaxy’s garbage collector in the 21st century.

Legislation moving through Congress would fund the development of capabilities to track space trash and establish a federal office to monitor trash and other objects in space.

Advocates for a more aggressive U.S. effort on that front cite the mounting dangers of space trash. A boom in the commercial space industry and increased space exploration by other countries is cluttering the road to the final frontier with piles of space junk and traffic jams.

Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Commerce, Science and Transportation space and science subcommittee, said she is comfortable being identified as the “space junk lady” because she wants the U.S. to take a lead role in developing space situational awareness, space traffic management and space policy for Earthlings. An estimated 4,000 satellites are orbiting Earth. About 1,200 of those were launched last year, and more than 1,200 have already launched this year, Ms. Lummis said. Another 46,000 satellites are expected to flood space in the coming years.

The Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network sensors are working to track 27,000 pieces of space junk, NASA said.

“This junk poses huge risks to our assets in space,” Ms. Lummis said at a Senate hearing last

week. “Even the smallest pieces of orbital debris, I’ve learned that even paint flecks, can cause serious damage. Each collision creates even more debris, so this is a problem that compounds on itself.”

Sen. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Democrat and chairman of the space and science subcommittee, said a 2007 Chinese weapons demonstration left 3,000 pieces of debris hurtling through space at high speeds and a 2009 U.S. satellite collision with a Russian satellite created 1,800 pieces of debris.

Mr. Hickenlooper said the U.S. cannot afford to wait for the next collision while more public and private objects rush into space.

“On highway traffic, and I realize this is a very loose analogy, but traffic increases up to a certain point and then there is a point where things stop, accidents increase, traffic rate slows dramatically, the system begins to fall apart,” Mr. Hickenlooper said. “And I think in that loose sense this is an analogy that we are rapidly approaching that point, where the dramatic increases in traffic are going to wreak havoc if we don’t address them now.”

Mr. Hickenlooper wants the government to fully implement a space policy directive for traffic management and enact the Space Act. The legislation recently passed the Senate as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which focused on fostering research and development to counter China.

The Space Act would allocate $20 million to create “centers of excellence for space situational awareness,” where the government develops capabilities to track space trash, and would authorize $15 million for the Commerce Department’s director of space commerce to develop a situational awareness program.

If the U.S. does not write the rules for space, Mr. Hickenlooper said, the European Union, Russia and China will overrule American interests in space traffic management.

Another force shaping space rules will be the billionaires devoting time and money to the space tourism industry and space colonization efforts. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson rocketed to the edge of space this month, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos this week joined the first crewed ride by his Blue Origin space company’s rocket to the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. Upon return, Mr. Bezos said he intended to help “build a road to space.”

Whether Mr. Bezos’ road gets built likely will depend on governments’ willingness to entrust the risk of exploring space to Mr. Bezos and other commercial space entrepreneurs. The model for such a public-private relationship might be found in the defense sector.

“It’s very exciting. Who would have imagined that the private sector would be leading in space? Certainly, when I worked on these issues in Congress 20 years [ago], nobody could have imagined it,” former Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on CNBC. “But it’s the same kind of transition the defense industry went through years ago where the government was leading it and then the private sector took over.”

To clean up space, the government likely will count on the private sector for assistance, Paul Graziani, CEO of the Commercial Space Operations Center, told the Senate panel.

He warned that if the growing problem of space trash is not resolved soon, then low-Earth orbit soon will become “really unusable.”


CLEANING UP: A ship that resupplied the International Space Station was filled with trash and set loose to burn up in the atmosphere. With the advent of space tourism and plans to send tens of thousands of satellites into orbit in the coming years, the “road” Earthlings envision is becoming more crowded and dangerous. ASSOCIATED PRESS


Assets that the U.S. sends into orbit are at risk of damage from space junk. A Defense Department program is tracking 27,000 pieces, which multiply with each collision. ASSOCIATED PRESS


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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2021, 03:18:45 AM »
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/10/military-preparing-space-superhighway-complete-pit-stops/186260/

==================

Note well the last line:

Space Force leader keeps eye on China

Beijing’s buildup of technology poses growing threat to U.S.

BY JOSEPH CLARK THE WASHINGTON TIMES

China is threatening to overtake the U.S. military as the most dominant force in space, says the second in command of the now 3-year-old U.S. Space Force, who warns that Washington must dramatically accelerate its rollout of critical new technologies if it wants to retain superiority over the futuristic war-fighting domain.

The good news, said Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson, is that the Pentagon’s newest branch is showing promise in speeding up the deployment of key assets to counter China’s rapidly advancing capacities, including its growing capability to attack U.S. satellites.

Gen. Thompson offered the assessment in a wide-ranging exclusive interview this week with The Washington Times. He downplayed political division in Congress over the Space Force, which President Trump created in 2019.

The newly minted service is generally backed by Republicans but continues to face sharp criticism from Democrats. With some on the left accusing the former administration of using the force to promote the “militarization” of space, Gen. Thompson brushed aside the heated politics surrounding the first branch added to the U.S. armed services since the Air Force more than 70 years ago.

“In the current environment we’re in, the current politically charged environment we’re in,” the general told The Times, “I don’t think there’s any topic that you’re not going to find differing opinions, strongly held beliefs and polarization.”

Some Democrats are calling for the abolishment of the Space Force.

Gen. Thompson said he and others heading the service are laser-focused not on politics, but the mission at hand. He emphasized that the coming decade will be critical as China and other adversaries field increasingly effective space

EXCLUSIVE

capabilities.

“Since about 2007, potential adversaries, specifically the Chinese and Russians, have noticed how effectively we use space in military operations, and they have begun to develop and build weapons systems that take those capabilities away from us,” Gen. Thompson said.

The coming years, he said, will determine whether the U.S. holds on to the dominance it built before China’s surge in capability.

“History is going to judge what we’re doing right now,” Gen. Thompson said. Although “that’s always the case,” it is particularly true in this “moment in time, given the magnitude of what we have been tasked to do by our nation and its leaders.”

“We’re talking about the decade of the ’20s here. That is the period of concern” to make major strides in space, he said.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is building and deploying an array of space warfare tools, including antisatellite missiles and cyberweapons, designed to achieve domination on Earth by controlling space, according to a recent U.S. Air Force report.

The report by the China Aerospace Studies Institute — a part of Air University, the professional military education university system of the U.S. Air Force — also blamed China for spreading a huge amount of space debris, mainly from a 2007 anti-satellite missile test. The test destroyed a weather satellite and left more than 3,400 pieces of floating space junk that will threaten satellites and manned spacecraft for years, the report said.

“China’s military has designated outer space as a warfighting domain — described as a ‘new commanding height of war’ — that China must fight for and seize if it is to win future wars,” it stated. “People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers and analysts assert that space is the ultimate high ground, and that whoever controls space controls the Earth.”

Others in the national security community have circulated similar warnings, asserting that China has made rapid advancements in space that are quickly coming to rival U.S. capabilities. Beijing’s program has grown in scope and sophistication in recent years.

The most recent Defense Intelligence Agency report on Chinese military power warned that “the PLA’s Strategic Support Force (SSF), established in December 2015, has an important role in the management of China’s aero-space warfare capabilities.”

“Consolidating the PLA’s space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities into the SSF enables cross-domain synergy in ‘strategic frontiers,’” the 2019 report said. “The SSF may also be responsible for research, development, testing, and fielding of certain ‘new concept’ weapons, such as directed energy and kinetic energy weapons.”

Gen. Thompson told The Times that China’s space operations increasingly mimic those of the United States. “They watch what we do in space, and they’re replicating it,” he said.

The number of satellites controlled by the PLA is growing from a tight concentration generally hovering over the Western Pacific.

“So much of what’s going on out there in the Western Pacific, that constellation is expanding, so that they can do [operations], eventually, globally,” said Gen. Thompson.

He said China has already developed a “tremendous and exquisite capability to look from space to see, hear, track and defend.”

Most important, the general said, is that China’s acquisition timeline for developing and fielding new space capabilities is shortening. In essence, Beijing is approaching the ability to field new space systems in about half the time it takes the U.S. to acquire and deploy its own systems.

“Not only do they have the ability to adopt new technology and updated capabilities much more quickly, if they’re almost as good as we are today — and they are almost as good as we are — they can cycle these things in very quickly [and] they become better than we are,” he said.

The key challenge facing the Space Force, Gen. Thompson said, is the need to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for the U.S. to move new capabilities into operation.

From the outset, the Space Force has emphasized the rapid fielding of new technologies. In 2019, the Pentagon created the Space Rapid Capabilities Office to build never-fielded capabilities on highly condensed timelines.

The goal, said Gen. Thompson, has been to generate two- to three-year turnarounds for advanced space technologies rather than what had become a standard six- to seven-year timeline.

In February, the Space Force commissioned a Space Development Agency to upgrade space-oriented U.S. military systems with a similar emphasis on quicker turnaround times.

“It’s very critical that we accelerate, not just to keep pace, but to stay ahead of the threat of the capabilities the Chinese are provided,” Gen. Thompson said. “We’ve put some processes and organizations in place to do that, and they’re demonstrating early on the ability to do so.”

The Space Force is having success, he said, despite operating with a lean force of roughly 6,400 uniformed members, known as guardians, and about 6,000 civilians. The Space Force is by far the smallest service, following the Marines with close to 185,000 uniformed members.

Despite early successes, Gen. Thompson said, the Space Force still has to show it can deliver.

The service came under fresh scrutiny on Capitol Hill this week after the release of The Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Index of U.S. Military Strength, which asserted that the Space Force does not have the capacity to meet current or future “on-demand, operational, and tactical-live warfighter requirements” put forward by the other services.

The Heritage report gave the Space Force a score of “weak” — the second to lowest ranking on the index — in terms of capacity, capability and readiness.

Democrats, meanwhile, have remained critical for ideological reasons.

Last month, Rep. Jared Huffman of California and three other Democrats introduced the “No Militarization of Space Act,” which would have abolished the Space Force altogether, as an amendment to the House version of the annual defense policy bill.

“The long-standing neutrality of space has fostered a competitive, nonmilitarized age of exploration every nation and generation has valued since the first days of space travel,” Mr. Huffman said upon circulating the amendment.

“Since its creation under the former Trump administration, the Space Force has threatened long-standing peace and flagrantly wasted billions of taxpayer dollars,” the congressman said.

The measure failed, but it signaled ongoing skepticism among lawmakers toward the Space Force.

Gen. Thompson’s comments to The Times suggest that the need to bolster American space capabilities is growing more urgent with rising competition with China.

The general’s remarks coincide with tension between Washington and Beijing over China’s deployment of a record number of provocative sorties into Taiwanese airspace this month, raising fears that direct conflict with China could be closer than imagined.

Given its separate and increasingly rapid development of space capabilities, including offensive capabilities to attack U.S. satellites, China may be preparing for such a conflict to start in space rather than a more conventional realm, Gen. Thompson said.

“We absolutely believe that the Chinese thinking would be if it’s coming to crisis and conflict, they’re going to start this conflict in space,” the general said.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 03:34:24 AM by Crafty_Dog »

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A space treaty to stop the sky from falling
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2021, 03:48:00 PM »
A Space Treaty to Stop the Sky From Falling
Debris in orbit poses dangers to human life and well-being.
By Alexander William Salter
Nov. 16, 2021 12:57 pm ET


Low-Earth orbit is full of junk, and Russia’s antisatellite test Monday made things even worse. According to the U.S. Space Command, it created hundreds of thousands of debris pieces. Moscow’s actions threaten the use of space for all humanity. And Russia isn’t the only country pursuing antisatellite weapons. The U.S. conducted such a test in 1985, China in 2007 and India in 2019.

Orbital debris has been a problem since the dawn of the Space Age. The first piece was the rocket body from Sputnik I in 1957. There are at least half a million pieces the size of a marble, and many millions more too small to track. Because objects in orbit travel at 17,500 miles an hour, even tiny fragments can destroy space assets upon impact.

Space junk poses dangers to human life and well-being. Also on Monday, astronauts aboard the International Space Station had to implement emergency protocols due to close-passing debris—whether from Russia’s test or another source, we can’t be sure. Celestial collisions create a vicious circle: More debris causes more collisions causes more debris. This feedback loop, which space scientists call Kessler syndrome, threatens all orbital activities.

Another major concern is economic damage. Morgan Stanley estimates the space economy, currently valued at about $400 billion a year, could grow to $1 trillion by 2040. Much of that activity, especially satellite internet, relies on low-Earth orbital integrity. The private sector won’t bear the large upfront costs of placing valuable hardware in orbit if celestial trash makes satellite operations too risky.


It’s time for the spacefaring nations to get serious about debris. Before we can discipline hostile actors, we need to wrestle with a subtler foe: bad incentives. The proliferation of debris is a classic tragedy of the commons. Specific orbital slots can be rationed, but orbit itself can’t be owned. Governments bear little of the cost their debris creates for others. The predictable result: too much junk.

While the 1967 Outer Space Treaty prevents governments from extending their jurisdiction into space, they retain authority over objects put into space—including the right to destroy them. International law must change if we want to keep orbit usable.

There’s no way forward but an explicit agreement among spacefaring nations, including America, China and Russia. Striking one is no small task. But the U.S. has a crucial advantage: unquestioned leadership in space capabilities. It should use that position, supplemented by diplomatic and economic pressure, to prevent other nations from making space a junk yard.

A foundational principle of space law is that space “shall be free for exploration and use by all States.” That principle has no force if rogue nations can litter in orbit without consequence. The U.S. should make mitigating space debris a priority. This means leading the charge in curbing tests of antisatellite weapons.

Mr. Salter is an associate professor of economics in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, a research fellow with TTU’s Free Market Institute, and a senior fellow with the Sound Money Project.

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WT: Bezos' greed could cost US the moon
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2021, 05:37:40 AM »
eff Bezos’ greed could cost the U.S. the moon

His lawsuit delayed NASA’s lunar program, leaving it vulnerable to be leapfrogged by China

By Jianli Yang

With its rapid development of advanced space technology, China’s space agency is pressuring NASA in a way not seen since the height of the cold war. Many even believe that China could supersede the United States by the end of the decade. Surprisingly, though, the biggest obstacle to continuing NASA dominance isn’t coming from abroad, but the greed of one of the world’s richest men — Jeff Bezos.

For months, Mr. Bezos, a person who symbolizes the triumphs and failures of capitalism more than most, has attempted to sue his way into industry relevance. NASA denied his private space firm, Blue Origin, a contract in the spring to develop a moon lander for America’s return to the lunar surface, so he decided to launch a lawsuit against his country in response.

Mr. Bezos couldn’t win the NASA contract on merit because he charged millions of dollars more than his competition. His Plan B of having his home-state U.S. senator force NASA to select a second contractor for the mission, which would have cost taxpayers $10 billion, also failed. So, his strategy of getting more money from the public treasury hinged entirely upon this NASA lawsuit.

After months of legal maneuvering and a prolonged pause to NASA’s lunar program, the court ruled against Blue Origin, allowing the development of the lander to continue. But the damage has already been done.

At a recent press conference, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that NASA would have to delay the landing a year because of the lost development time it incurred because of Mr. Bezos’ lawsuit holding up the process for months on end. The delay puts America at risk of being leapfrogged by China’s lunar program, which many experts now believe is highly capable of putting a man on the moon within the next three to four years.

Thank God Mr. Bezos wasn’t ludicrously wealthy in the 1960s. Americans may have watched Alexei Leonov take one small step for man instead of Neil Armstrong at the expense of all mankind.

China has decided that building massive dams and railroads connecting countries under their new silk route idea-One Belt One Road Initiative -- is not enough. They now wish to take over the space in outer space. Last Summer, China unveiled plans to launch a mile-long fleet of solar panels into space to return energy to earth by 2035, and the system could have the same power as a nuclear power plant by 2050. China is hoping to have a massive space station and capture solar energy, tourism, mine asteroids and also have gas stations. They are calling it a megastructure that should be able to do these things. One would say they are in an awful hurry to have space dominated by China. Therefore, China is keen on overtaking NASA and, in turn, the United States and is working hard in their research facilities to corner the market for special parts required for different space expeditions.

For the Chinese, landing on the lunar surface would mark an unmatched triumph, at least until someone reaches mars. With the global community watching the authoritarian government take on America’s influence, stopping this symbolic victory for the communist regime alone is enough to justify the massive expense of stopping it. But of course, the Chinese occupation of the moon would be more than a symbolic victory over the west.

The Chinese have already agreed to develop a moon base with the Russians. National security experts have raised concerns that occupation of the moon by two of our biggest rivals is likely to have geopolitical consequences in the years ahead, including but not limited to anti-American military operations from above. For years, officials from both political parties have understood it’s in the U.S.’s best interest to reach and occupy the moon before the Chinese. The Trump administration set out an ambitious timeline to culminate with a landing before the end of this decade. Now, President Joe Biden is facing the reality of running a reelection campaign in the shadow of the Chinese planting the red flag in the lunar ground.

The magnitude of Mr. Bezos’ selfishness cannot be understated. The billionaire accomplished many incredible things with his time building Amazon, and many hoped he would use his talents to benefit the space industry. Instead, however, he’s prioritized his selfish desire for more federal contracts over everything else, including the U.S.’s ambitious moon timeline.

Jianli Yang is the founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China and the author of For Us, The Living: A Journey to Shine the Light on Truth.



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George Friedman: From Earth to the Moon
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2021, 03:48:24 AM »
December 3, 2021
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From the Earth to the Moon
Thoughts in and around geopolitics.
By: George Friedman

I spent the past few nights watching the series, “From the Earth to the Moon,” which depicts the American side of the space race. Produced by Tom Hanks, it was subdued and thoughtful, and it reminded me of my teens. Watching the story unfold back then, I very much wanted to be an astronaut, propelled by my obsession with science fiction and a sense of adventure. Even more, I envied the astronauts’ cool collection in the face of death. Hanks’ production brought me back to my longing and reminded me that remaining calm was not a posture but indispensable to survival.

In combat, panic is death. This, I think, is especially true in aerial combat, when disaster suddenly rears itself, when there is no time to prepare and certainly no time to think of dying. An infantryman may receive a moment to consider the abyss opening before him, but not a combat pilot. This is why all of the pre-Apollo astronauts were Air Force and Navy pilots. I don’t think anyone thought that the mechanics of flying an aircraft had anything to do with being on board a Mercury or Apollo craft. The thing that connected them was that there might come a moment, without warning, where things went wrong, and the only hope of life was crystal clear thought and precision action. Experienced combat pilots had all faced that moment and had survived. Courage is a willingness to die. What the astronauts had was the grace that allowed them to live.

The astronauts were not alone in their majestic quiet. In the series, you see over time that the engineers who designed the system, and especially those who manned the stations that monitored the flight, had become almost as precise and reserved as the astronauts were. In one scene in which the data flow from a mission collapsed, the engineers did not seem as inhumanly calm but were nevertheless as precise and decisive as the astronauts were.

There is something deeper here. In Western films of the distant past like "High Noon," the hero is someone who speaks little, appears fearless and is violent if forced. I am thinking of Shakespearean heroes, who are loquacious and indecisive. The American theater shows emotion constantly, as does the British – the audience seeming more composed. I think there is an aspect of American culture that longs to be like astronauts and cowboys. We speak at the top of our lungs, and most of us would run away at the first sight of danger.

We can see the same grammar of action in how the spacecraft were designed, destined and rebuilt as was always necessary. If not restrained by their souls, the engineers were restrained by the nature of their universe. From the first moment of design to the final order of return to Earth, the engineers followed a constrained and self-critical process. The complexity of the project and its novelty demanded that each part of thousands of parts be examined and reexamined. Most of us can talk ourselves through a tough spot. For the engineers, every spot was tough, and endless examination precluded fast talking.

Why did the pilots and the engineers undertake their grueling and dangerous tasks? The reason was glory. The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes talked about humanity as a collection of pain and pleasures, of animals avoiding one and seeking the other. He was trying to free humans from the constraints of religious sentiment and to explain them by the laws of necessity. Then he threw a curveball: He knew that the irreligious life and necessity were insufficient in explaining man or satisfying his true need, which Hobbes called glory. It was the human hunger for something extraordinary, something that would challenge eternity. The extraordinary presence of man on Earth was a glorious sight; for all of the flaws and corruptions of man, he was a glorious piece of work, and that glory reconnected him to God in unexpected ways. Glory was a celebration not of the self but of all of humanity. Men may speak slowly and carefully, but they speak of an extraordinary creation.

When I watch “From the Earth to the Moon,” I slowly realize that behind the banal terseness, the apparent limits of engineering and a pilot’s imagination lay the fundamental hunger of humanity, the hunger for glory. The hunger for an achievement so great it would be of the ages. Most of us cannot aspire to such glory, nor even imagine it. It is a glory that does not breed arrogance but tears of humility, the glory of reuniting with the eternal through one’s own effort.

When I start a series like this, my first response is that I am seeing something I have seen before. It is all so obvious. The Soviets challenged America, America overreacted, and the best and brightest – not those who planned the Vietnam War but those who understood the extraordinarily small steps that carefully executed it – would bring us to the moon.

Landing on the moon over and over was glorious, perhaps beyond the limits of Hobbes’ brilliant mind. It took humanity to another celestial body that was strange and wonderful, and it gave man a sense of the creation of the universe that was beyond the mind of Copernicus. All nations have deep flaws and crimes in their past. But none have the glory of landing on the moon, nor the certainty of future landings. There are many things I regret in America, and so many I admire. But none brings greater glory than the courage and hubris of Apollo 11 and the rest. When the history of Athens is told, the tale is of Plato and Aristotle and the navy that destroyed the Persians, not the oppression and cruelty Athens showed. It is the triumph, the glory of Athens, that is remembered.

We are too close to the Apollo missions to understand them. It seems banal to speak of it. We speak incessantly of the sins of America, but when America is remembered in 2,000 years, it will be not for its failures, which it shares with all nations, but for its glory, in opening the universe to humanity. Hopefully, some will remember the harsh discipline of its pilots and engineers, who suppressed fear to carry out the mission. Their obsession was their duty. We are too close to them to realize their place in history, but those who come after us will grasp what they did and understand the fact that others did not do it. That’s glory.


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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #68 on: December 31, 2021, 05:21:15 AM »
China to est. a moon base by 2027.

no biggie compared to the racism *crises*. in NY schools:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/12/30/new-york-gov-hochul-declares-racism-a-public-health-crisis/

Gotta keep minorities all emotional for '22 and beyond..... and of course racism for the LEFT is always a one way street.

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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2021, 08:32:53 AM »
The idea of a Chinese moon base reminds me or Robert Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" wherein the colony on the moon looks to declare its independence from earth and essentially lobs moon rocks at earth, using the acceleration generated by earth's gravity to generate nuclear bomb level energy upon impact.



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GPF: China and Russia to work together in Space; Chinese killer satellites
« Reply #72 on: January 28, 2022, 02:27:39 PM »
Beijing's plans for space. China released a white paper on its space program, laying out its goals, principles, policies and achievements in space science and technology. According to the paper, Beijing wants to focus on specific areas in the next five years, including space transport, space infrastructure, deep space exploration, manned spaceflight, exploring the moon’s polar regions and new technologies. Relatedly, China and Russia will reportedly sign an agreement to explore the moon together. The two countries aim to build the infrastructure for a lunar station by 2035 and to launch a robotic lunar mission by 2025.

====================

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/44054/a-chinese-satellite-just-grappled-another-and-pulled-it-out-of-orbit
« Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 02:54:01 PM by Crafty_Dog »

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D1: China and the Hypersonic Domain
« Reply #73 on: February 08, 2022, 03:19:10 AM »
China Wants to Own the Hypersonic ‘Domain,’ DOD Official Says
While the United States focuses on highly maneuverable missiles, China aims to control all of “near space.”
Patrick Tucker
BY PATRICK TUCKER
TECHNOLOGY EDITOR
FEBRUARY 7, 2022 10:28 PM ET
MISSILES
MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY
CHINA
China sees the area of hypersonic weapons—those that can maneuver at Mach 5 or faster—not as a missile race but as an entirely new domain of warfare, Gillian Bussey, director of the Defense Department’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office, said Monday. One consequence: the United States will have to rely on a wide range of layered defenses to protect military assets from a potential onslaught.

The Chinese “often use the terms near-space and hypersonics interchangeably,” said Bussey. “Near-space” refers to altitudes between 20 and 100 kilometers: higher than most airliners, lower than the heights achieved by ICBMs. That suggests that they are “approaching hypersonics as a domain, like land and sea.”

While big breakthroughs like last July's hypersonic test garner big headlines, Bussey noted that China has for years experimented with different technology combinations to get at that altitude layer. “You can look at their papers,” she said. “They have lighting scramjet vehicles; they have glide vehicles with scramjets….vehicles with liquid rocket, solid rocket propulsion. There's a whole host of propulsion systems that they are working on.”

It’s easy to lump hypersonic missiles in with nuclear weapons. The key nuclear-armed hypersonic missiles that both countries are developing certainly fall into that category. But Mark Lewis, the executive director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute, has concerns about the smaller weapons as well.

“It's really the tactical systems that I worry about the most,” Lewis said during Monday’s event Imagine a hypersonic missile swarm that can sink an aircraft carrier; that's really quite a capability. And that leads to us asking the question: are we willing to risk an aircraft carrier say in a potential scenario?”

Various U.S. military services are pursuing hypersonic missiles; the Pentagon requested a total of about $3.8 billion for the work in fiscal 2022. The budget request for hypersonic defense technology was far lower: around $248 million through the Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, plus around $7 million for a three-year-old DARPA program called Glide Breaker. On top of that, the Space Development Agency is launching a constellation of satellites to track highly maneuverable hypersonic missiles. These would work to “cue the MDA’s hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor…to provide more precise target-quality data so that you could actually develop a fire solution that would allow you to intercept that weapon,” said Kelley Sayler, an analyst for Advanced Technology and Global Security at the Congressional Research Service.


Said Bussey, “Despite the obvious threat, as a department, we've chosen to focus on offense, first, because a good offense is the best defense—and offense is a lot easier.”

But a CSIS report released at Monday’s event highlights the need to have layered defenses. The most important element is probably anti-hypersonic interceptor missiles, which will be far harder to create than offensive missiles intended to hit stationary or relatively slow-moving targets.

Bussey said her office has been looking at new forms of infrared sensing technology and new radio frequency antennae to outfit such interceptors. But those will require big scientific breakthroughs to develop materials that allow the particular spectral energy loads to reach sensors inside the seeker while still protecting that seeker from the high temperatures generated by flying through the air at five times the speed of sound.

You also need to “understand sources of optical distortion for [infrared sensors] sensors such as ablation or erosion on [infrared] windows and what the hypersonic airfoil looks like over that window” she said.

The United States is also looking at directed energy, such as lasers or microwave beams, to destroy hypersonic missiles. But the same tracking and guidance challenges would affect those as well. The Defense Department doesn’t expect those to come online until the 2030s—with a good chance they will arrive “much later than that,” noted Sayler.

The CSIS report also highlights the importance of “passive” defenses like decoys and “other forms of deception to confound hypersonic weapons’ terminal guidance systems.”

Commanders need to start now to conceal key command nodes or valuable assets from hypersonic missiles.

“​​Critical air and missile defense nodes could also be concealed in mobile and containerized platforms, along with decoys, to complicate targeting,” the report said. “Operational procedures can also improve survivability. Additional investments in training for damage control and runway repair, coupled with the unpredictable rotation of forces between bases, could mitigate the destruction or disruption of forward-deployed forces.”

Lewis said the Defense Department needs to appreciate that hypersonic weapons won’t just be an aspect of the future battlefield but its defining feature. “This can't be a few years' effort [where] we deploy a couple of systems, and then we move on. Because this is the future of warfare and we need to be in this race,” he said.

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"Space Force no longer a joke"
« Reply #74 on: February 20, 2022, 05:02:41 PM »
I file Business Insider under the heading of "Dishonestly Named Prog outlet" and cannot see this article, but I note the headline

https://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-space-force-real-one-no-longer-a-joke-2022-2?fbclid=IwAR17Uvoq3nv2TqkQyY-hMoIpP-A8fTRG0A_ZzG4C8_HsFVffbDltSJF_9zA

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Re: "Space Force no longer a joke"
« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2022, 07:04:04 AM »
I file Business Insider under the heading of "Dishonestly Named Prog outlet" and cannot see this article, but I note the headline

https://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-space-force-real-one-no-longer-a-joke-2022-2?fbclid=IwAR17Uvoq3nv2TqkQyY-hMoIpP-A8fTRG0A_ZzG4C8_HsFVffbDltSJF_9zA

"Space Force... Now it's seen as Donald Trump's best idea."

Strange, backhanded compliment issued by an opponent. His best idea was probably build a wall, voter I'd, stop rocket man, drill baby drill, stand up to Xi, or cut business tax rates from highest in the world, and then build space force. They likely don't mention those.

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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #76 on: February 24, 2022, 03:34:17 AM »
America sleeps while China plans to conquer space

U.S. reliving the worst aspects of the Cold War with Russia

By Brandon J. Weichert

At a time when the West appears to be in relative decline compared to its rivals, the People’s Republic of China is proceeding with its plans for dominating the world. That is not an overstatement. A recent white paper outlining China’s next five-year plan for its country’s space development plans is proof-positive of just how far along Beijing is in its plans to dominate the strategic high ground of space (and whoever controls the strategic high ground rules the “lower” ground on Earth).

China’s rulers have conceptualized space in explicitly geopolitical and geoeconomics terms. Meanwhile, the Americans who decisively won both the Space Race and the overall Cold War to become the hegemonic power in space for decades, think about space in the impractical and airy notions of globalism.

Recently, NASA, once the world’s premier space exploration organization, announced that it was yet again pushing back its timetable to return Americans to the lunar surface. At the same time, China announced that it would have its taikonauts on the moon several years before NASA would. And the one aspect of America’s space capabilities that truly challenge China’s new space dream — private space start-up companies, like SpaceX — is being threatened constantly with onerous government regulations and political chicanery.

Sensing an advantage over their flailing American competitors, the Chinese have now pressed ahead. Following on from Ye Peijian’s stark claim that China views the “universe as an ocean and the moon as the South China Sea,” Beijing has rapidly deployed an advanced suite of space technologies meant to challenge the Yanks in the strategic high ground. In 2020, China launched its heavy-lift rocket that can place personnel and equipment in every orbit around the Earth and beyond. China then began construction in orbit of their modular space station that is meant to rival the aging International Space Station (set to be decommissioned by the end of this decade).

What’s more, China has built tiny, reusable spacecraft that many believe are for military purposes. The rising power is building advanced satellites meant to give China considerable advantages both militarily and commercially, and it has constructed a robust arsenal of anti-satellite weapons that could render American military forces or the U.S. economy deaf, dumb and blind.

The Americans, of course, should not be surprised by any of this. After all, China’s autocratic president for life, Xi Jinping, told audiences many years ago that dominating space was a vital component of his “China 2049” vision. This is Mr. Xi’s dream of ensuring that China, not the U.S., is the global hegemonic power by the hundredth-year anniversary of Mao Zedong’s creation of the People’s Republic of China — the moment that his Chinese Communist Party defeated Chiang Kai-Shek and his Chinese Nationalist forces during China’s brutal civil war.

Building off the positive momentum that China’s space program (civilian and military alike) has enjoyed, Beijing is now implementing a far more intensive program over the next half-decade. If the universe is an ocean and the moon is the South China Sea, then China will need actual capabilities to fulfill its strategic goals in that domain as much as it will need a greater naval capacity to achieve its objectives in the Indo-Pacific on Earth. The new five-year plan has a heavy focus on enhancing China’s space launch and satellite capabilities. These two things form the bedrock of a national space program. Further, greater launch and satellite capabilities mean more money flowing into Beijing’s coffers (which, in turn, will fund the next round of advancements for China) as China hopes to get other countries and companies from around the world to use its systems.

The white paper that China released outlining its five-year plan for space development explicitly called for the creation of an orbital “defense system.” Ostensibly aimed at deflecting potential lifeending asteroids that are zinging around our area of space, such a system could easily be deployed against terrestrial targets — such as sensitive installations belonging to the U.S. military or other enemies of China on Earth or even against critical satellites orbiting Earth, which Americans and their allies rely on. And this would not be the first time that China has attempted to weaponize space through dual-use means. Recently, China stunned Western observers when its Shijian-21 satellite reached out with menacing-looking grappling arms and moved debris that was floating in geosynchronous orbit — the highest orbit around Earth and where some of America’s most sensitive military satellites operate. Observers in the West understood the implications of the Shijian-21 test. Yes, in peacetime this system could help to mitigate the threat that man-made debris in space posed to the safe operation of satellites, spaceships and even the space station alike. In wartime, however, that same system could be used to sabotage and destroy those critical American satellites orbiting nearby. So, China is moving ahead with major advances for its space program that will fundamentally alter the balance of power on Earth. This is not your father’s space race. It is no longer simply about having the prestige of planting your country’s flag on the surface of an alien world or placing the first humans on a distant planet. Instead, this is about dominating Earth from above while capturing major new industries in space — from the launch services sector to satellites to space mining — and the Chinese are implementing a robust plan to beat the Americans in this endeavor. As China looks to conquer the stars, America attempts to relive the worst aspects of the Cold War with Russia, this time over the future of Ukraine. Now is a critical time for the development of space and the future of humanity. Will the world fall under the sway of the terrible, technologically advanced tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party or will some semblance of freedom remain under the American-led world? Whoever controls space will be the one to answer that. Sadly, it is increasingly looking like China will be the victor in this long competition unless Washington starts making radical changes to the way it views space policy and the new space race.

Brandon J. Weichert is the author of “Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower” (Republic Book Publishers). He manages The Weichert Report: World News Done Right and can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrando

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ET: China developing arsenal of Space and Counterspace capabilities
« Reply #78 on: April 03, 2022, 07:27:39 PM »
China Developing Comprehensive Arsenal of ‘Space and Counterspace Capabilities’: Expert
By Andrew Thornebrooke and David Zhang April 2, 2022 Updated: April 2, 2022biggersmaller Print
Western nations are responding to the growing threat of space-based warfare from China and Russia, according to one expert, but much work remains to be done to mitigate risks to vital infrastructure.

“We recognize that space is a critical domain for military operations, it’s an operational environment,” said Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, during a recent interview with EpochTV’s “China Insider.”

“It’s not some sort of peaceful sanctuary that sits serene and untouched, above geopolitical rivalries on Earth below.”

Davis said that space was a contested domain, where authoritarian nations were vying for control of terrestrial systems through extraterrestrial means.

“It’s contested in the sense that you are seeing countries like China and Russia and others developing counterspace capabilities to attack and interfere with Western satellites and to deny us space support.”

Numerous systems that are required for the daily operation of modern society are space-based. These include everything from GPS and telecommunications relays to military equipment like early warning systems designed to defend against missile attacks.

In each case, if key satellites were to be targeted, the system itself could fail.

Davis said that China in particular was developing its capabilities with the aim of better attacking Western space infrastructure, which many believe would be the first step in a war with the United States and its allies.

General David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force’s second-in-command, said in November that China and Russia were launching reversible cyberattacks on U.S. satellites “every single day.”

“China is developing a range of comprehensive space and counter-space capabilities, including both hard kill and soft kill systems,” Davis said. “Soft kill being systems that are designed to disable or deny rather than physically destroy a target in space.”

“Space is a critical domain in future war, both for ourselves and for the Chinese. So, there will be competition on that, in that domain by both sides, in terms of deploying and sustaining space support forces, and also deploying and use of utilizing counterspace capabilities.”

Davis said that Western nations were working to counter this threat by creating more resilient systems, such as distributed space architecture, wherein satellite systems are decentralized through many satellite clusters, rather than built out of only a few major satellites.

“What we have to do is build resilient space capabilities whereby… we can augment existing space systems in a crisis to increase our ability in space to be able to have greater numbers of satellites to support terrestrial military operations.”

“We can disaggregate space support across a greater number of platforms, satellites, so that we’re not having so much essential capability concentrated on just a few very large, very complex satellites that are more easy to kill.”

Likewise, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in January that Western nations would need to develop offensive space-based capabilities to adequately deter emerging threats, whether those new capabilities be electronic platforms or kinetic weapons or both.

Davis said that closer collaboration and joint efforts between allied nations would also unlock the potential of future warfighting capabilities and help to render space a more peaceful domain to prepare for the proliferation of humanity beyond planet Earth.

“The future is wide open in terms of what’s possible,” Davis said. “There are huge opportunities out there if we can work together and if we can get past some of this international tension.”

“The possibility of humanity going back to the moon, learning how to develop a multi-planet species, [inter-]planetary civilization, how we utilize space resources, to go on to Mars and beyond. All of that is in front of us.”


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Memorandums of worriedness to ensue
« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2022, 05:27:58 PM »



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China and Russia's Space War: Where is the US?
« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2022, 08:04:02 AM »
China and Russia's 'Space War': Where Is The US?
by Judith Bergman  •  April 28, 2022 at 5:00 am

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"Evidence of both nations' intent to undercut the United States and allied leadership in the space domain can be seen in the growth of combined in-orbit assets of China and Russia, which grew approximately 70% in just two years." — Kevin Ryder, senior analyst at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for space and counterspace, Air Force Magazine April 12, 2022.

Space has already become the scene of an ongoing "shadow war" in which China and Russia conduct attacks against U.S. satellites with lasers, radiofrequency jammers, and cyber-attacks every day, according to General David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force's first vice chief of space operations.

"The threats are really growing and expanding every single day.... We're really at a point now where there's a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.... Hostile action toward our space-based assets is not a question of 'if,' but instead, 'when.'" — General David Thompson, Washington Post, November 30, 2021.

"Fifteen years after China's ASAT strike, we still lack the ability to defeat an attack on our space systems or launch an offensive strike if circumstances warrant." — US Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command, The Hill, April 12, 2022.

"The PLA [People's Liberation Army] will continue to integrate space services... to erode the U.S. military's information advantage." — Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, February 2022.

"If deterrence were to fail, we would face an adversary that has integrated space into all aspects of their military operations.... Space provides the foundation of everything we do as a joint force, from delivering humanitarian assistance to combat on the ground, in the air, and at sea.... We cannot afford to lose space; without it we will fail." — General John W. Raymond, U.S. Chief of Space Operations, Space Force News, April 5, 2022.

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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #84 on: April 28, 2022, 08:47:43 AM »

"Fifteen years after China's ASAT strike, we still lack the ability to defeat an attack on our space systems or launch an offensive strike if circumstances warrant." — US Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command, The Hill, April 12, 2022.

just looked this up as did not remember :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Chinese_anti-satellite_missile_test

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D1: Pentagon begins to admit we are fuct
« Reply #85 on: April 28, 2022, 02:48:45 PM »
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2022/04/satellite-images-reshape-conflict-worries-mount-about-keeping-them-safe/366265/

As Satellite Images Reshape Conflict, Worries Mount About Keeping Them Safe
Radio data collected from space is the next frontier.
Patrick Tucker
BY PATRICK TUCKER
TECHNOLOGY EDITOR
APRIL 28, 2022 03:04 PM ET
INFOWAR
SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
NGA
UKRAINE
RUSSIA
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
DENVER – If Russia is defeated in its war against Ukraine, it will be thanks in no small part to publicly available satellite images. Pictures of Russian military movements and actions have helped mount defenses, expose Russian falsehoods and war crimes, and galvanize Ukrainian allies. But precisely because the recent explosion in space-generated intelligence is proving so valuable, industry and military officials are concerned about potential adversaries’ growing abilities to target satellites.

In the leadup to the invasion, images bolstered leaders’ credibility as they issued increasingly dire warnings. After it happened, the photos helped policy makers in Washington, Brussels, and elsewhere marshal support for sanctions on Russia.

“You're in the middle of a war where a new piece of technology changes the calculus of decision,” Planet co-founder and CSO Robbie Schingler told Defense One. “It wasn't just ‘Trust us, this is happening.’ Everyone could see it. You're on a common operating picture” that enabled leaders around the world to “come up with their own decision making processes internally in their countries and then be able to act in unison when it matters.”

The images even helped force many large corporations to act.

“The thing I think that was really quite unique out of this is that companies—unilaterally, without laws—are choosing to pull out of doing business in Russia,” Schingler said  “That was like an unintended consequence.”

Unlike military satellites that produce largely classified imagery, private-sector providers have much more freedom to release anything they like.

“The shareability of commercial imagery has always been one of the key features,” Tony Frazier, Maxar’s executive vice president and general manager of public sector earth intelligence, said at the GEOINT conference here this week.

The availability of satellite imagery they could share and talk about made it easier for the Biden administration to rapidly declassify their analysis of Russia’s intentions and actions, said Robert Moultrie, the defense undersecretary for intelligence. “That decision was made by the commander in chief: a gutsy decision to say we're going to disclose some of the most sensitive sense intelligence that we have… It has worked. I think it has helped turn the tide.”


The U.S. intelligence community is entering a new era in which publicly available intelligence is given more weight and in which the U.S. government is more transparent about what it sees, particularly about Russia and China. Moultrie called the U.S. effort to warn the public about the impending invasion “a case study for us. And it really is one that's going to really pave the way for the future.”

Some military leaders want to move even faster. Gen. Richard Clark, who leads U.S. Special Operations Command, said too much information remains classified, in part because it’s too easy for the national-security community to reflexively mark it as secret.

“I think we will learn from things like the current conflict in Ukraine that we have to be more effective. We have to open things earlier and yet every situation is going to be different. There are things that, as a nation, as a government, we have to protect and we should protect,” Clark said. “But I think we really have to put more emphasis on that declassification or…opening up to knowledge.”

But declassification and the wide availability of satellite imagery also present a new challenge: how do you gain an edge if everyone has the same picture? That’s where officials hope that artificial intelligence and new forms of space-collected intelligence, such as radio-frequency data, will create new advantages.

Frazier highlighted work that Maxar has been doing with the Army’s 82nd Airborne, as part of their Scarlet Dragon events, which occur every 90 to 100 days. Over the past 18 months, he said, they learned how to move images to troops on the battlefield in one-tenth of the time.

The company is also putting up more satellites, which “is going to allow us to continue to collect imagery at very high resolution, so 30 to 50-centimeter resolution, but then also be able to dramatically increase revisit over areas of the world that matter.” Over the mid-latitudes, the region between the tropics and the polar circles that includes much of Asia, “We'll have the ability to collect up to 15 times a day and then also be able to interweave that with other sources to just get persistence.”

In the years ahead, expect an explosion in other kinds of satellite-gathered data—for example,  unencrypted radio chatter from military units that are broadcasting their location via global positioning. At the conference, Annie Glassie, a mission analyst with HawkEye 360, a satellite company that specializes in gathering radio signals, showed how her firm could identify ships that had turned off their AIS receiver— in effect, trying to go dark.

Kari A. Bingen, HawkEye 360’s chief strategy officer, said, “What we are able to detect is effectively.. those electronic warfare, those indicators, emitters, jamming GPS radars, other things that are a leading indicator of, frankly, where Russia forces are and where they're moving.”

Artificial intelligence is also adding value by combining satellite imagery with new forms of data, including in U.S. European Command’s activities near the Ukrainian border, said one senior executive with a satellite imagery company.

“The feedback we've received is that the capabilities both for the role of commercial imagery, the ability to apply AI machine learning against that data, and the things you can do with 3-D are playing a big role in supporting current missions,” he said. He declined to be named out of sensitivity to current operations.

But some officials and representatives from industry are increasingly worried that commercial intelligence satellites will soon become key targets for adversaries who want to return to the days when the world couldn’t easily track their military formations.

“Both Chinese and Russian military doctrine now capture their view of space as critical to modern warfare. And they consider the use of space and counter space capabilities as a means of reducing U.S. military effectiveness and for winning future wars,” said Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, the chief operations officer for the U.S. Space Force. “We've seen destructive debris generated by anti-satellite missile tests, [radio-frequency] interference, cyber attacks on terrestrial space nodes and provocative on-orbit anti-satellite demonstrations, such as firing projectiles.”

They have also developed advanced ways to target U.S. government and commercial satellites, Saltzman said.

Just discerning whether a satellite has been attacked or merely stopped working is challenging. Saltzman said. That’s one reason why attribution of space-based attacks should be its own mission set, with clearly defined tactics, operations, and budget, he said. 

During a directed-energy attack on a satellite, for instance, “You better be looking at exactly the right space because it's only on for a sec. Attribution can be a little harder for activities on orbit, in close proximity, a little harder to assess in real time. And then you have to do a lot of forensics…because there's not an eyewitness to it...It's hard for me to say, ‘Hey, that came from this country. And here's the effect.’”

The industry executive said the government is beginning to have better discussions with satellite companies about protecting private assets.

“This crisis has highlighted how important we are in the architecture for both imagery comms and different types of services,” the executive said. “And so what that's helped us do is—really, I'd say as an industry—is start to highlight what the risks are to the architecture and as a result, what are the things we need to do to mitigate that risk?”

Government officials have even started talking about ways to rapidly replace private satellites damaged in a conflict, the executivel said. But the outcome of those discussions is a long ways off.






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ET: Star Wars cat and mouse games
« Reply #91 on: July 02, 2022, 06:12:25 AM »
Beijing Angry Over US News Report on Close Encounter Between US and Chinese Satellites
By Nicole Hao July 1, 2022 Updated: July 1, 2022biggersmaller Print
News Analysis

A U.S. news publication revealed an “in-orbit game of cat and mouse” between a U.S. surveillance satellite and two new Chinese satellites in geostationary orbit, angering Beijing. In response, China’s state-run media published a commentary on June 30 that slandered the United States, accusing it of “threatening [the] Chinese satellites’ safety.”

SpaceNews reported on June 16 that China launched two satellites, Shiyan-12-01 and Shiyan-12-02, to geostationary orbit (GEO) early this year. The U.S. surveillance satellite USA 270 reportedly moved toward the Chinese satellites “to get a closer look.”

When the USA 270 closed in on Shiyan-12-01 and Shiyan-12-02, the Chinese satellites “took off in opposite directions.” But the Shiyan-12-02 moved into a position that can “get a sunlit view of the U.S. surveillance satellite,” according to SpaceNews.

“It’s pretty clear that as USA 270 gets close, these guys are getting out of Dodge,” Space News quoted Dan Oltrogge, research director at COMSPOC. “It also demonstrates that countries are doing what we call counterspace. They’re taking action to avoid disclosure of their capabilities or their activities.”

COMSPOC Corp. is an American space situational awareness (SSA) company based in Pennsylvania.


Beijing Fires Back
The Chinese regime doesn’t allow private companies or individuals to work on space research or develop related technologies. Moreover, Beijing treats the progress of China’s space development as a guarded state secret.

After SpaceNews reported on the close encounter between the U.S. satellite and two Chinese satellites, Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times published a commentary on June 30, claiming that the action of the U.S. satellite was “threatening [the] Chinese satellites’ safety.”

The article claimed the USA 270 approached the Chinese satellites, Shiyan-12-01 and Shiyan-12-02, with the intention of “monitoring secretly.”

Global Times warned that “China has the ability to track and maneuver satellites with extreme precision. … Space is a new field for the benefit of mankind, and is also a new battlefield that is moving towards militarization and weaponization.”

Global Times is published by People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Thus, articles published by Global Times and People’s Daily represent the CCP’s stance.

Epoch Times Photo
A piece of a Long March 3B rocket that fell in a field in Suichuan County in China’s central Jiangxi Province is seen on Dec. 11, 2016. The rocket sent an FY-4 meteorological satellite to geostationary orbit on the day. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Conflicts in GEO
The GEO is an essential and fragile orbital shell. Its orbital period is the same as the Earth’s rotation period, which means a satellite can remain motionless on the vertical equator at a fixed position relative to any point on the surface of the Earth. This can allow the satellites in GEO to telecommunicate, broadcast television, observe, and forecast weather that covers a fixed region on the ground.

At the same time, “one collision or explosion could spread very quickly throughout the GEO belt,” Oltrogge said. “It requires careful allocation and assignment of spacecraft for both conjunction-assessment purposes and to make sure you don’t have RF [radio frequency] interference.”

The GEO has become more and more crowded in recent years. According to the latest information from UCS Satellite Database, 574 operational satellites were in geostationary orbit, up from 449 in January 2018. In detail, the United States owned 179 satellites in January, while China had 80 and Russia operated 33, the UCS Satellite Database showed.

Moreover, some satellites allegedly attempted to damage other countries’ interests in GEO in recent years. For example, a Russian satellite in GEO was found intercepting military-related communications between two European satellites in 2018.

Experts claim that Chinese satellites in GEO can pose a threat, such as carrying out surveillance activities, based on the current technologies that China recently unveiled.

“When you say, ‘that satellite moves next to mine to spy on me,’ that may be true. Or maybe that was the only free space they could find to park for a while,” SpaceNews quoted Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and spaceflight analyst, to describe the situation in GEO.

To enable space flight safety, such as satellite collision avoidance, the U.S. military launched the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites in 2014, which monitors the resident space objects (RSOs) and performs rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO). RPO means two or more satellites matching in space and then performing maneuvers to affect their relative operations, including positions, information exchanges, and mechanism exchanges.

The GSSAP works well “without the interruption of weather or the atmospheric distortion that can limit ground-based systems,” the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) posted on its official website in September 2019.

US-China Space Race
China launched the Shijian-21 space debris mitigation satellite into GEO on Oct. 24, 2021. In late December, the satellite approached a defunct Beidou-2 G2 navigation satellite in orbit, rendezvoused with it, and then docked with it. On Jan. 22, the Shijian-21 hauled the Beidou-2 to a graveyard orbit about 200 miles above the GEO belt.

COMSPOC recreated the process by using video animation.


With the successful operation of Shijian-21, China became the second country in the world to possess the capability of removing a satellite.

The United States acknowledged that China is developing advanced space technology.

U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, USSPACECOM commander, testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees on March 8: “In 2021, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] increased on-orbit assets by 27 percent. … In January, the recently launched SJ-21 ‘space debris mitigation’ satellite docked with a defunct PRC satellite and moved it to an entirely different orbit. This activity demonstrated potential dual-use capability in SJ-21 interaction with other satellites.”

Dickinson confirmed the USSPACECOM could protect and defend against such threats but asked Washington for more support to “authorize and fund Space Domain Awareness programs that enable USSPACECOM to monitor, characterize, and attribute behavior as well as provide combat-relevant indications and warning of potential threats to U.S. government, allied, and partner space systems,” according to the USSPACECOM statement.

China’s test of a new hypersonic weapon last year raised red flags. In an April report, the Defense Intelligence Agency warned that China and Russia pose the biggest threat to U.S. national security interests in space.

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Stratfor: The Next Space Race
« Reply #94 on: August 19, 2022, 12:35:38 AM »
The U.S. Resets Its Sights on the Moon, Kicking Off the Next Space Race
11 MIN READAug 18, 2022 | 16:57 GMT





NASA's Artemis I Moon rocket sits on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 15, 2022.
NASA's Artemis I Moon rocket sits on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 15, 2022.

(EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

Through NASA's long-awaited Artemis program, the United States is seeking to secure its lead in the new space race, as a combination of technological advancements and the potential for lucrative natural resources on the moon and other planetary bodies draw more countries to venture beyond Earth's atmosphere — with the United States' top geopolitical rivals, China and Russia, being chief among them. After many delays, the first major mission launch under NASA's Artemis lunar exploration program has been scheduled for Aug. 29, with Sept. 2 and Sept. 5 as the backup launch windows. The unmanned Artemis I mission will test the performance of the U.S. agency's new Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft in the hopes of certifying their use for future crewed missions.

The Artemis program, which was created in 2017, aims to launch a manned lunar mission as early as 2025. NASA's last manned lunar mission was the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The Artemis program builds on the Apollo program by including a space station orbiting the moon that not only would service manned missions to the moon, but potentially to Mars and other destinations.

There are currently five Artemis missions actively being pursued — all of which will be flown using the SLS and Orion spacecraft. Several support missions are also being done more closely in tandem with commercial launch providers, including SpaceX.

The SLS is a super heavy lift expendable launch vehicle that is even more powerful than the Saturn V launch vehicle that was used in the Apollo program and it, as well as more powerful variants, will launch each of the future Artemis missions.

NASA's SLS will be the most powerful vehicle of its kind that has ever been launched into space. But SpaceX's Starship will be more powerful; the company is currently targeting a six-month launch window beginning on Sept. 1 for Starship's first orbital test flight.

The Artemis program comes amid increasing geopolitical competition and interest in the moon by other space agencies. Over the last 15 years, the ambitious Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) has demonstrated significant advancements in China's own capabilities to explore the moon, including with orbiter, lander and sample return missions. Although China remains at least a decade away from a manned mission to the moon, in 2021 it signed a pact with Russia to develop an International Lunar Research Station. Realistically, the moon base, if it is ever completed, would not be operational until the late 2030s at the earliest, but shows China and Russia intent on moving in that direction. Manned missions to the moon (or Mars) take decades to develop and while China has been successful in its lunar missions thus far, Beijing still has to make a number of advancements to successfully carry out a crewed mission to the moon — particularly when it comes to long-term habitation environments and landers.

In addition to its proposed lunar research station with China, Russia is currently slated to launch its Luna-25 in September. The timeline for the launch, however, has been repeatedly delayed and will probably again be postponed due to funding and technological challenges. Nonetheless, the Luna-25 mission aims to revive Russia's lunar program, as the country's last lunar mission was Luna-24 in 1976.

South Korea, the European Union, India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have also all either been involved in lunar missions in recent years or plan to be in the near future.

The commercialization of space and the reduced costs of robotics and other technologies used in spacecraft, landers and orbiters are making once unthinkable projects scientifically feasible and potentially cost-effective — setting the stage for the next space race. Over the last
decade, U.S. spacecraft manufacturer and launch provider SpaceX has repeatedly demonstrated that the first stage of launch vehicles can be repeatedly reused, driving down the costs of launches to Earth's orbit on a per-kilogram basis. SpaceX's demonstration is now leading China and Russia (as well as other countries and private space companies) to develop reusable rockets. Advancements in materials sciences are also making spacecraft lighter. New robotic technologies are making spacecraft cheaper and more advanced as well. This, coupled with the growing importance of technologies based in space for commercial applications on the earth's surface (such as satellite internet services), is creating a much more robust commercial space sector where once-unthinkable projects (like lunar outposts, missions to Mars and the development of natural resources on the moon and the rest of the solar system) will be actively pursued within the coming decades. This makes government-sponsored programs more significant as technologies are developed in coordination with private companies that could be used in those applications. Moreover, it also means that legal structures and government policies around the commercialization of space, particularly beyond Earth's orbit, are more critical.

SpaceX is currently charging around $1,300 per lb of payload for cargo aboard its Falcon 9 rocket to reach earth's orbit. Comparatively, Russia charges about $8,000 per lb for flights aboard its Soyuz rockets, which debuted in the 1960s. NASA's costs to launch the space shuttle were an estimated $30,000 per lb in 2021, though the high costs for the space shuttle were due in part to the need to reach higher
certifications with most flights due to being manned missions. Nevertheless, when SpaceX debuted its Falcon Heavy rocket 2008, it did so at a cost of less than $1,000 per lb.

Over the last few years, a number of startups have emerged trying to develop resources in space. In May 2022 alone, two startups — Lunar Outpost and AstroForge — raised a combined $25 million in seed funding. Lunar Outpost is developing large rovers for use on the moon, while AstroForge is looking to mine platinum and other metals from asteroids.

Although the prospect of mining asteroids to bring natural resources back to earth is tantalizing to many governments and space companies, the establishment of lunar outposts (and in the distant future martian outposts), missions to Mars and the development of privately-owned space stations will eventually create a market for in-place resource consumption, where for example mining an asteroid for water is then used on Mars.

With competition intensifying, the United States is trying to entrench its dominance in the emerging new space race by establishing international guidelines for exploring and developing resources on the moon (and eventually elsewhere). The United States and the national space agencies of 21 other countries have so far signed the Artemis Accords, a legal framework for exploring the moon and developing its resources. Other governments seeking to join NASA's Artemis lunar exploration program — including by participating in the Gateway space station — must first affirm their commitment to the rules outlined in the Artemis Accords by signing their own bilateral agreement with the United States. As the global leader in space exploration and the only country that has sent people to the moon, the United States is hoping that by setting the guidelines for how to behave on lunar soil, the Artemis agreements will help ensure that it (and not China or Russia) shapes the norms and standards of future space exploration and resource development.

Saudi Arabia was the latest country to join the U.S.-led Artemis Accords, which it did in July during U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to the kingdom. In June, France became the 20th country to sign an agreement, which marked a major win for Washington given that France is the largest contributor to the European Space Agency (ESA). Germany, the second largest contributor to ESA, is the next major country the United States is trying to convince to join the Artemis Accords.

The United States has largely been successful in using its dominance in space to convince other nations to join its programs on its terms. In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States reached an agreement with Russia in 1993 to build a space station that would later become the International Space Station.

The Artemis Accords represent a significant development of space law and aim to expand on the principles outlined in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. However, the pact's treatment of space resources and the establishment of ''safety zones'' has proven to be controversial, with some fearing that it could enable the United States and its allies to effectively claim certain areas of the moon. Keeping in line with the typical U.S. position on related issues of governance, the Artemis Accords call for transparency and interoperability of space systems, and pledge that space should only be used for peaceful purposes. The legal framework also explicitly states that the Outer Space Treaty permits space resource development, reiterating a long-standing U.S. interpretation of the 1967 pact that has not been universally accepted. The United States argues that ''safety zones'' are needed on the moon surrounding mission sites, lunar outposts and other areas as a way to de-conflict activities and ensure that one project's mission is not affected by another. The need for deconfliction is high, as lunar regolith, debris and other byproducts of a project can easily be kicked up and cause damage to another project. But critics of the U.S.-led Artemis Accords argue that establishing such safety zones would effectively carve out areas of the lunar surface for certain countries, thereby excluding other actors, which would then violate the Outer Space Treaty's provision that no country can claim the moon or another celestial body as its territory.

During the United States' talks with France on joining the Artemis Accords, questions on whether the treaty permitted the use of space resources arose as something that had to be negotiated.

The space resource strategy outlined in the Artemis Accords has come under scrutiny amid fears that it could effectively trigger a ''gold rush'' between countries seeking to mine the moon's potential lucrative natural resources and minerals, including silica and alumina. To avoid such a ''free-for-all'' competition, Washington's geopolitical rivals (like Russia), as well as some scientists, have argued that the international community needs more time to negotiate a new treaty or U.N. mechanism that regulates extractive activities in space.

The Artemis Accords also do not mention the 1979 moon Agreement, a multilateral supplement to the Outer Space Treaty that confirms the de-militarization of space. The United States has not ratified the agreement, which protects the moon and other celestial bodies as a common heritage of mankind that therefore cannot be appropriated by any government or corporation.

As space becomes more crowded with new entrants, and as the great power competition with Russia and China heats up, the United States' attempts to impose its own view will collectively fray the international governance of space and spur disputes over what is permitted. The final decades of the 20th century have been defined by cooperation in space. During the second half of the Cold War, even the United States and the Soviet Union maintained a basic level of communication on space-related matters. But that era appears to be coming to an end, with the great power competition on Earth poised to only intensify in tandem with the competition for influence and resources in space. Instead of engaging in multilateral negotiations like they once did, the three most powerful countries in space exploration — Russia, China and the United States — are all pursuing bilateral agreements and/or unilateral strategies. And Washington's attempt to force its Artemis Accords vision on the world is only deepening this trend by sowing further distrust among leaders in Beijing and Moscow. The decreasing level of international cooperation could, in turn, lead to increased militarization and accidents in space by creating an environment ripe for disagreements and misinterpretations. For other countries hoping to someday explore the final frontier, it could also limit access to space resources by forcing them to effectively choose between working with China, the United States or Russia.

Earlier this month, Russia announced plans to end its participation in the International Space Station once its own space station is operational in the 2030s. Since the Ukraine war began, Moscow's space cooperation with the West has come increasingly under strain. In May, the (since-fired) head of Russian space agency Roscosmos made provocative statements regarding the war, which prompted the European Space Agency to suspend certain key projects it was coordinating with Roscosmos.

U.S. law explicitly prohibits NASA from working with China. This makes it highly unlikely that Washington and Beijing will ever be able to reach a level of cooperation in space seen between the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of the 20th century.

Crafty_Dog

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China threatens Musk's Starlink
« Reply #95 on: August 30, 2022, 02:42:36 AM »
China Threatens to Destroy Elon Musk's Starlink
by Judith Bergman  •  August 30, 2022 at 5:00 am


Chinese military researchers are threatening that Musk's Starlink satellites must be destroyed. The problem, however, does not appear so much to be the fear of collision, but rather that China believes that Starlink could be used for military purposes and thereby threaten what China calls its national security.

"[A] combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation's operating system." — Five senior scientists in China's defense industry, led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, under the People Liberation Army's (PLA's) Strategic Support Force, by Stephen Chen, South China Morning Post, May 25,2022

Soft kill methods target software and operating systems of the satellites, whereas hard kill methods physically destroy the satellites....

Unsurprisingly, China has eagerly copied Elon Musk's SpaceX to achieve its own space ambitions: China's Long March 2C rocket, for instance, which China launched in the summer of 2019, had parts that were "virtually identical" to those that are used to steer the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

China's threats against Musk's Starlink is more proof that the country is not ready to let anyone stand in the way of its "fierce space game", as China puts it.

In addition... China is forging ahead with a number of projects that will significantly accelerate the country's space capabilities.

China has reportedly sped up its program to launch a solar power plant in space. The purpose of the plant is to transmit electricity to earth by converting solar energy to microwaves or laser and directing the energy to Earth, according to the South China Morning Post... It is probable that China got the idea from the US; NASA reportedly proposed a similar plan more than two decades ago but never went on to develop it.

China's explicit goal is to become the world's leading space power by 2045. It is important to keep in mind that China's space program – even what might look like harmless, civil aspects of space exploration – is heavily militarized.


Chinese military researchers recently called for the destruction of Elon Musk's Starlink satellites, an extraordinary threat for a state to make against a private foreign enterprise. Pictured: A long exposure photo of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off on May 6, 2022 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying Starlink satellites. (Photo by Red Huber/Getty Images)
Chinese military researchers recently called for the destruction of Elon Musk's Starlink satellites, an extraordinary threat for a state to make against a private foreign enterprise.

In December 2021, China filed a complaint with the United Nations, claiming that two of Musk's Starlink satellites had nearly collided with the Tianhe module of its Tiangong Space Station -- in April and October of 2021-- and that Chinese astronauts had been forced to maneuver the module of the station to avoid the collision. Starlink is part of Elon Musk's SpaceX and the satellites are part of a plan to make internet coverage from the satellites available worldwide, with the goal of launching nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit.

ccp

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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)
« Reply #96 on: August 30, 2022, 06:11:08 AM »
"Unsurprisingly, China has eagerly copied Elon Musk's SpaceX to achieve its own space ambitions: China's Long March 2C rocket, for instance, which China launched in the summer of 2019, had parts that were "virtually identical" to those that are used to steer the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket."

again we spend the billions/trillions and the communists simple rip it off
for a penny on the dollar
and are right behind this

how about 70,000 more white collar and espionage law enforcement agents

life imprisonment or death penalty for spies ; PERIOD!

instead democrats spend a trillion on going after its own citizens who do not curry favor with them and
The shake down party's IRS extortion racket.( only one of their many extortion rackets )


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: How to beat China in the New Space Race
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2022, 03:03:25 PM »
How to Beat China in the New Space Race
It’s about more than money. The U.S. needs a strategy to harness private innovation.
By Arthur Herman
Sept. 11, 2022 4:36 pm ET


It’s been 60 years since President John F. Kennedy declared “we choose to go to the moon.” In a landmark address at Rice University on Sept. 12, 1962, Kennedy affirmed America’s commitment to the space race with the Soviet Union. Seven years later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon—one of the most significant moments in the human history.

Today we are in a new space race, this time with China. And our economic and national security both are at serious risk.

The experts are worried, according to a report from the State of the Space Industrial Base conference, held in June and sponsored by the U.S. Space Force, the Defense Innovation Unit and the Air Force Research Lab. For the first time since the conferences began in 2019, the 350 participants from industry and government were pessimistic about the U.S. space sector. They predicted that China will overtake the U.S. as the dominant space power by 2032.

It isn’t only a question of money. The annual budgets for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ($24 billion) and Space Force ($24.5 billion) dwarf what the Chinese government officially spends on its space programs ($10.29 billion in 2021). It’s a matter of having the right strategy for harnessing the energy and innovation of private industry so America’s space leadership doesn’t get stuck on the launch pad like the current Artemis I mission has.

Xi Jinping was forthright about China’s strategy in the preamble of a January 2022 white paper: “To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is our eternal dream.” Boosting China’s commercial space industry is a critical part of this plan, “which is subject to and serves the overall national strategy.” According to the Chinese data company Qichacha, there are now about 95,000 space-related enterprises in China. The country will complete more than 60 space launches in 2022, surpassing its record-setting 55 successful launch missions in 2021.

If China becomes the dominant space power in the next two decades, that will put in Beijing’s hands the future of global telecommunications, space exploration and human settlement as well as the application of space satellites and technology for strategic and military use.

If NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is correct and China is already laying claim to the moon, it’s clear that to win the space race, the U.S. needs a national strategy for maintaining and promoting America’s leadership in space.

The first step is strengthening our space industrial base. Kennedy’s 1962 speech came at a time when it was clear that the federal money poured into the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs (more than $110 billion when adjusted for inflation) would feed American industry and workers, while the innovative technologies that government developed to reach the moon and space would benefit the nation. Those innovations included computers, semiconductors and fire-resistant polymers.


Today, companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin lead in innovation and productivity. SpaceX alone conducted 37 orbital launches so far this year. America’s dominance of a commercial space sector that reached $469 billion in 2021 globally, according to the Space Foundation, will be an essential support for our national defense and intelligence communities. These companies also are a springboard to a future space sector that includes economic activity on the moon and Mars. U.S. military and intelligence services will depend on the private companies that build the rockets, launch and track the satellites, provide the sensors, optical equipment, and encryption that keeps data and images secure, and provide ground support to missions in the sky.

A World War II-style mobilization model for harnessing this thriving commercial base to support national security is a key to the future of American space leadership.

Space will be the next great commons, a shared global resource like the oceans or cyberspace. History shows that these great commons are inevitably a source of competition and conflict, not voluntary cooperation. Whoever dominates space will determine the future of nations. We have to abandon the globalist fantasy that the U.S., China and Russia will work together to keep space rules-based, free and open.

For a global shared resource domain to benefit all, it needs rules as well as a rule maker and enforcer. In the case of the oceans, for 200 years that was the British navy; in the 20th century it was the U.S. Given what we know of China’s behavior in other circumstances, American leadership in space is essential for the future of humanity.

Kennedy himself struck this note in his Rice University speech. “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won,” he said. “For space science . . . has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war.”

Sixty years later, we face a similar choice when it comes to the space race. How we respond will determine the future of space and the future of freedom in the 21st century.

Mr. Herman is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of “To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World.”