Headlines > News > Significant escalation in a possible new armed space race

Significant escalation in a possible new armed space race

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:57 pm
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Somewhere in the second week of january, China shot down an old weather satellite using a medium-range ballistic missile. Triggering the fear among some arms control experts that the United States and China are heading into a new arms race to space. Especially as this is the first significant escalation in the last 20 years.

The United States and the former Soviet Union destroyed targets in space in the eighties, due to the many space debris it created, they both ceased doing so.

Some experts and US officials believe that China is working on a far more sophisticated laser technology and they have been alarmed as well by the failure of last week’s test to announce what it was doing either publicly or privately.

A White House spokesman said the “development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of co-operation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area”.

He said both the US and other countries were concerned.

While the United States has reasons to be concerned, China isn’t alone. The US has also been carrying out research on lasers that could knock out enemy satellites. With the Bush administration repeatingly ruling out the idea of a global treaty banning putting weapons in space.

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