State Actors threats to America’s Space Domain

A new report authored by the Defense Intelligence Agency pointed to increases in danger posed to the U.S. space sector. The dangers posed were from state actors, mainly China and Russia. The report pointed to an expected increase in orbital debris and the possibility of collisions. With both Russia, China and the U.S. adding to the growing number of renegade fragments in LEO. It is to be noted this is mostly from normal launch events but increasing impacts and spacecraft related events are adding to this. Plus, the increase (slight) in anti-satellite weapons testing have added to this.

Debris aside, the U.S. is looking at the challenge imposed but a stronger and more capable China, with eyes on Russia as well. Both nations (China and Russia) are gearing towards a more capable homegrown space sector. They both see the need to control or disrupt the space sector as a requisite of any upcoming war. This is seen in the marked increase in orbital assets in the last couple years. 70% since 2020 and 200% from 2015 to 2018 in combined spacecraft related assets.

China, for its part has seen development of landers on the moon and rover missions to Mars. Also, they have seen development in missile technology capable of hitting satellites and jamming tech for use against spacecraft as well. The Russians have also developed anti-satellite technology in terms of hard kills and capable jammers as well. The Russians have been well known for their electrical warfare competence.

The future will vary well see Russia and China challenging the U.S. and allies in space. Civilian endeavors, such as exploring Mars and the Moon could lead to future missions of mining resources on the Moon and beyond.