anti-satellite

space-debris-aerosapce-corps-1326921318

UPDATED: Heritage’s Dean Cheng Says US May Gain Insight Into PRC Space Organizations WASHINGTON: China has taken the unprecedented step of asking Air Force Space Command to share information about possible satellite and satellite debris collisions. The United States had been sharing so-called conjunction warnings with China through the State Department, but no one knew… Keep reading →

Gen. William Shelton, commander of US Air Force Space Command.

WASHINGTON: Watch the skies. While they’re far from falling, the head of Air Force Space Command said today, the heavens aren’t the “peaceful sanctuary” they once were, either. Nothing short of a nuclear missile could pull the plug on a satellite constellation as robust as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Gen. William Shelton said, semi-reassuringly.… Keep reading →

space-debris-aerosapce-corps-1326921318

Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security at the Naval War College and a member of our Board of Contributors, is one of the world’s experts on international space cooperation. ┬áDecoding this stuff can get very complicated since many of those involved in international space issues toss around terms like COPUOS, IADC, apogee, LEO, GEO… Keep reading →

At 1:03 pm today, the US Air Force launched a robotic space plane that can stay in orbit for over a year. That’s good news for the nation’s troubled space program. The X-37B, as it’s called, is pretty cool — and highly classified. But beyond the veil of secrecy, what’s it really good for? The answer is intriguing but hardly obvious.

First of all, despite some overheated speculation, the Boeing-built X-37B is probably not a space fighter, a space bomber or some kind of satellite-killer to take on the burgeoning Chinese space program. For long-range strikes on ground targets, the Air Force has a much more modest — and affordable — program for a Next-Generation Bomber, basically a souped-up B-2 that won’t even break the speed of sound, let alone reach orbit. And the military has had working anti-satellite weapons since the 1980s: The current satellite-killer is the Standard Missile SM-3, which launches off the Navy’s Aegis ships. You don’t need a robot space plane to do either job. Keep reading →