Launch of potential Chinese anti-satellite weapon

  1. Space Vehicle
  2. Article
    1. Technology: Shijian-17 Satellite, China
    2. Title: China launches suspected anti-satellite weapon into space
    3. Website: Washington Times
    4. Link:
    5. Summary
      1. China’s state-run China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. launched their most recent Shijian-17 satellite on October 24th which they state is designed to clean up space debris.
      2. The Shijian-17 satellite was created with a robotic arm and is capable of moving close to other space objects and grabbing them.
      3. However, this is of concern to US analysts who say the satellite could be used to grasp and crush other satellites in space-based attacks.
  3. Threat Actor
    1. The most obvious concern here is that nation states (in this case China) are launching these robotic arm satellites in order to be able to destroy commercial or other nation state satellites.
    2. These satellites are relatively small (~22 lbs) so other sophisticated threat actors could possibly launch similar devices for the same destructive reason.
  4. In the case of nation states using a robotic arm like space vehicle to destroy other space vehicles, the most impacted system would be the targeted space vehicles themselves. However, since satellites provide immense commercial and national services, the destruction of targeted space vehicles would bring down critical networks or stop critical data flows that would be nearly impossible to restore in any timely manner.