U.S. accuses China of developing space warfare

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Chinese Space Agency transporting a rocket assemblage in 2007.

The United States Pentagon submitted a report to Congress on Monday, detailing the Chinese Space Agency's focus on developing means for "space warfare".


The Pentagon claims that China has been "exploring" laser, microwave, particle beam and electromagnetic pulse weapons, and suggests that China has been "developing the ability to attack an adversary's space assets," and would be able to disable or destroy enemy satellites. Such an offensive could be used to "blind and deafen the enemy" prior to an attack, according to the study.

The Pentagon analysis was released the same day that Yang Baohua, head of the Academy of Space Technology, announced that testing of a new EVA spacesuit and airlock had been successfully completed. The two units are being developed for China's first intended spacewalk as part of Shenzhou 7, one of ten Chinese spacecraft being launched this year.

The move has caused aerospace analyst Jeff Foust to declare that "a full-fledged space race" has been gearing up between China and the United States.

In September, NASA administrator Mike Griffin caused waves when he suggested that China is more likely to put the next man on the moon than the United States, suggesting that "Americans will not like it," but that nothing could be done about it.