Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Satellites Dodging Chinese Missile Debris

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the fakes-left-dodges-right dept.

Space 331

GSGKT writes "Today's Washington Times runs a story about the increasing problem with space junk orbiting the earth. Debris from the anti-satellite missile test by the Chinese military last year threatens the integrity of more than 800 operating satellites, half of them belonging to the US. Two orbiting U.S. spacecraft were forced to change course to avoid being damaged soon after the incident. Air Force Brig. Gen. Ted Kresge, director of air, space and information operations at the Air Force Space Command in Colorado, estimates that "essentially (Chinese anti-satellite tests) increase the amount of space debris orbiting the Earth by about 20 percent", and the debris might threaten spacecraft for up to 100 years."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well (4, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015390)

On the other hand, it looks like the missiles really do work.

Re:Well (2, Informative)

andyfrommk (1021405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015776)

The link in the summary points to page two of the article, here is the whole article [washingtontimes.com]

Re:Well (-1, Troll)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015842)

Perhaps they weren't anti-satellite "tests" at all. By that I mean that they've accomplished at least two goals: made the space over China less habitable to spy satellites and by having to maneuver more often our spy satellites become easier to detect. Move well played, China!

Re:Well (5, Informative)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016154)

made the space over China less habitable to spy satellites

You're not real familiar with how orbits work, are you?

Since that crap is in low orbit, I'm pretty sure it circles the entire planet every couple of hours.

Unless, of course, the Chinese have developed some sort of non-newtonian thruster system that lets their space trash hover in one place.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016208)

If that wasn't the intended effect and was just a fortuitous (for them) side-effect, you can bet they've learned the lesson, and that it *will* be the intended effect next time.

"We didn't attack your satellites, we attacked our own (*cough*and used it to create a floating fragmentation grenade*cough*)"

Huh? (0)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015400)

Why does it say Chinese junk in the title, if half is American?

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015420)

Half of the threatened satellites are American owned, not half of the debris.

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015468)

Aw crap, somebody read the article :).

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015490)

Someone had to :p

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015438)

Because our junk isn't the result of intentionally detonating explosives in space with the aim of developing technologies designed to disrupt communications, which is kinda the point of the story.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015540)

Because it is all plastic Happy Meal toys?

Possible outcome. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015402)

If the Chinese keep up with this sort of behavior, they might just find themselves dodging some new missile debris. All it could take is some serious impact to American communications to tip off a set of rather unpleasant results.

Re:Possible outcome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015782)

Hey, it's not *my* fault your communication system relies on orbital probes having a pristine outer space!

Re:Possible outcome. (3, Insightful)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016078)

Which would risk more debris in the atmosphere as the Chinese target every American spy satellite they find to erase the American technical advantage to one of pure numbers where the Chinese have the advantage.

The US military is completely dependant on their technology and the rest of the world knows it. Do their cruise missiles even work without GPS?

Any war by the US against a significantly developed nation runs the risk of rendering space completely useless for the next century. Think about the collateral damage from such a war taking out weather/TV/communications on top of the GPS which would almost certainly be targeted on purpose. The economic damage from that stupidity would be huge.

Letting the Americans know that was most likely a major reason behind the missile test in the first place and it's also why the Americans won't retaliate.

SanctionThem? (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015424)

I find the tag of sanctionthem rather odd as how, realistically, would one impose these sanctions? Economic sanctions would be met with retaliatory tariffs; Do not forget that economically, North America needs them more than they need us (i'm not sure of the situation for the rest of the world).

What's left, political pressure? Because of how much China listens to political pressure concerning their own policies? Military pressure?

I do not see it.

That's a laugh! (5, Funny)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015498)

North America does not *need* China in any sense of the word. That is a complete fallacy. We could cease all trade with China tomorrow and we would be perfectly fine. In fact, we'd probably be better off. Don't start in about all the "goods" we'd be missing. So what! We'd make 'em here. They'd be more expensive, but, that'd be a good thing. By the way, this WILL happen. As the oil reserves in the world dwindle, all nations will increasingly turn inward. Sorry to say it, but all the "international trade" and talk about "free trade" is economic voodoo! It's about to get UGLY! Real UGLY! Prepare for feudal times! By the way, this means the decline of human civilization and our inevitable extinction from this Galaxy. Free Trad, Schmree Trad. It won't matter one bit!

Re:That's a laugh! (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015532)

What in the hell are you talking about? Theres more to prosperity than oil.

Remember who bought up all the steel reserves and is now slowly selling it back to the US? Have you ever been inside ANY manufacturing plant...at all..ever?

US industry would SHUT DOWN ENTIRELY if china pulled the plugs, or be cripplingly disadvantaged compared to the rest of the world if they decided to place punitive tarrifs. And if you think this is limited to crappy dvd players and laser pointers, do not forget that factory farms that are responsible for your daily food run off harvesters and harvester parts made primarily from components from china.

Do you have any idea how the world around you works at all?

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Incognit0 (982557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015636)

lmfao, obviously you do not have a clue on world economy, dont knock others when you yourself dont have a inkling

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015654)

okay then. By what reasoning?

You do have reasons to believe what you believe right?

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015686)

Keeping in mind i've turned and welded chinese steel as well as pressed chinese seals and bearings for harvester rollers and sprockets. The only "Made in the USA" component WE made use of was our poly mix and the diphenylmethane diisocyanate terminating agent. We were adversely impacted by the steel issue alone i terms of bottom line, so if you think China has no influence over american industry then i'd REALLY like to know why.

Yes, (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016296)

and here in Ohio all the Steel plants sit idle because it's too expensive to produce the Steel here because of cheap imports. I call BULLSHIT!

Re:That's a laugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015716)

As well as that, we're in hock to the Chinks for many billions. If we started to fight an economic war, all they would have to do is ask for their money back to bust us. And we have royally pissed off the rest of the world - so much that they would be happy to see us go down...

If things went the way our redneck friend wants, we would be cut off from the world economy and forced to feed ourselves. That would require a socialist controlled economy, and even then there would be famines and food riots. Given that we are the most violent society on the face of the planet, I suspect we would end up like Mad Max quite quickly.

Re:That's a laugh! (3, Interesting)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015988)

Given that we are the most violent society on the face of the planet,
The US the most violent? You gotta be kidding. Iraq has political/religious terrorist murders almost every day, that's far more violent than the US.

Of course that's Iraq under the US military, but still...

Looking elsewhere, Darfur is much more violent than the US. Colombia too. Etc.

However I'm pretty sure the US is the most violent in the modern Western developed world. It may perhaps also qualify, among all countries, as the country with the most aggressively violence-prone foreign policy.

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016132)

Given that we are the most violent society
For all the fun of being canadian bashing america, I wouldn't say that one bit.

Might be a up there on the belligerence scale, but i'd put it neck and neck at best for whether china or the US has the most political arrogance.

Re:That's a laugh! (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015864)

Yes and no. Your right China could/would hurt us dramactically. but remember this. All that steel, copper, aluminum that we import is because American's couldn't produce those same materials for that price. pennsylvania is filled with steel even though all the steel forges have shut down.

I don't know if it was by accident or on purpose but we are using up china's steel. While keeping our own stockpiled natures way. Our companies can't compete on price, and closed down, but if price was no longer the issue then we have all sorts of resources available to us. Sure it would take a while to get going again. Lots' of little experience has been lost but If it came right down to it the USA is one of the few countries who could survive such an economic collapse.

Other than Oil and rubber the USA could be self sufficient. We have more than enough old tires floating around that rubber would last until we could get back up on our feet.

While It would hurt the long term repercussions wouldn't be any worse than the great depression. indeed another massive depression could very well be the spark that sets it off.

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016066)

I don't know if it was by accident or on purpose but we are using up china's steel.

I think it is mostly on purpose. Why use up your own non-renewable natural resources when you can let another country deplete it's stockpile first? In short, many first world nations use second and third world nations as their garbage cans and sources of non-renewable resources because they want to protect their own environment.

Re:That's a laugh! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016168)

Thats a fine long term strategy, but consider the fact that you can't simply put that production capacity back online overnight. If china ever made a QUICK change, it wouldnt shut things down forever, but it would certainly have years of impact.

Re:SanctionThem? (0, Flamebait)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015684)

Well, it would be my fault (i think i was the first to tag it as such)

My first reaction was "Those fucking idiots!" and that they need to be punished for further fouling up orbit.

My reaction to watching someone dump crap in a lake would be to break their face, so I am just that way.

Re:SanctionThem? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015700)

I hear ya, its just that when the person also has a shotgun and a decidedly unpleasant expression it makes it a bit more of a judgement call =).

Re:SanctionThem? (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015736)

how, realistically, would one impose these sanctions? [...] What's left, political pressure?
What's needed is of course persuasion, give-and-take, meeting halfway, international treatises, etc. Of course the current US administration would never think of such solutions, always preferring the bullying approach.

"Spreading democracy" my ass.

I yearn for change. The US can be wonderful.

Re:SanctionThem? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016138)

What's needed is of course persuasion, give-and-take, meeting halfway, international treatises, etc. Of course the current US administration would never think of such solutions, always preferring the bullying approach.
Yeah! Just look at how they're bullying North Korea! Poor Kim runs home crying every day.

The problem here isn't that the US is unwilling to negotiate. The problem is that you seem to be unable to understand that "persuasion", "give-and-take", and "meeting half-way" are not the solution to EVERY situation. And if you really think the US is about to start "bullying" China because of some space-junk, you're out of your friggin' mind.

Re:SanctionThem? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015876)

I find the tag of sanctionthem rather odd as how, realistically, would one impose these sanctions?

Nuke'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Re:SanctionThem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22016294)

but....but...i LIKE raman =(

Re:SanctionThem? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016022)

Do you realistically think our leadership doesn't have a contingency for open war with China, even just a trade war? The current administration notwithstanding, you're accusing our top military strategists, economists, financiers, and industrialists of outright incompetence. Somehow I doubt you're qualified to make that assessment.

We "need" China only in the way an illegal immigrant needs a DVD player from Wal-Mart.

Re:SanctionThem? (4, Insightful)

Flavio (12072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016084)

I think the SanctionThem was meant to be sarcastic.

With the US economy decelerating and the loss of confidence in the US dollar, the US can't afford to stop trading with China. This move would essentially crash the global economy, and the US has the most to lose due to its massive foreign debt.

Most people don't realise just how rotten the American economic policy is. Back in 71, Nixon realised that the US could no longer finance the Vietnam war without printing money like mad. But the gold standard prevented the Fed from doing that, so he unilaterally cancelled the Bretton Woods system that made the US dollar convertible to gold. This was a total surprise, because he neglected to consult international bankers, and became known as the Nixon Shock. So from that moment on, the US effectively started printing gold. Of course this move didn't fool the bankers around the world, so the Fed had to raise interest rates to 21%/year to convince them to carry on using dollars. Over many years, the markets sort of returned to normal, despite the fact that the US debt had risen to unprecedented levels.

In 2006, the Fed was printing so much money that it stopped publishing the M3 money supply data in order to hide this fact. So now no one really knows how much money the Fed prints. We just estimate that the US foreign debt grows at the rate of $3 billion per day, mostly due to overseas military spending and interest on the already existing debt. This is despite the fact that the US is creating money out of thin air to partially cover this debt. A consequence is that the dollar has fallen in value about 15% in the last year against the Euro.

It bothers me a lot when the Fed governors propose what they call "financial incentive packages". These are usually composed of tax rebates and the central banks injecting money into the markets. Again, it's more money that was created out of thin air, and the tax rebates reduce the government's capacity to cover that money or to cover the debt. It's a temporary fix to the longstanding lack of financial discipline.

The general population typically doesn't care, and this includes Slashdot readers. They think that economics is awfully boring and complicated, and that the government is capable of taking care of policy. But the opposite is happening, and the US debt is getting out of control. This spending obviously makes politicians and contractors a lot of money, so they'll keep doing it until the economy crashes.

Well? What would you expect from Xeonphobes? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015426)

It's just their way of building the Great Spacewall of China.

Re:Well? What would you expect from Xeonphobes? (2, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015538)

They're afraid of Intel microprocessors [wikipedia.org] ? Damn, that's odd...

And they must be... (1)

justkeeper (1139245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016258)

Opetronphiles!!!

Weapons (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015428)

Kind of makes US reliance on space based technological dominance in the theater of war into a bit of a joke, doesn't it. If some dumb nation were to weaponize space, this is how easily they and their efforts could be shut down. Kind of makes the whole idea seem really stupid.

Re:Weapons (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015520)

Their efforts could be shut down by nations capable of launching anti-satellite attacks, which is a rather uncommon and impressive feat. Most nations aren't anywhere near this sort of sophistication, and would be powerless to prevent space-based communications technologies from supporting a broad scale war on their country. Kinda makes the whole idea seem really smart.

Re:Weapons (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015594)

Are you unable to comprehend that this has nothing to do with anti-satellite attacks? All you need to do is ship up some junk and spread it around, and that's the end of it, indefinitely. Space access relies on everyone agreeing not to do this. If space access becomes a threat to any nation, space access can be removed from every nation.

Re:Weapons (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015640)

Are you unable to comprehend how large the immediate orbital region surrounding out planet is? Or for that matter, exactly how difficult it would be to target only specific satellites, instead of risking wiping out your own with some shotgun approach? I assure you, space access will not be removed from every nation, although nations who make aggressive moves in that direction will meet with some rather nasty consequences.

Re:Weapons (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015808)

Are you unable to comprehend how large the immediate orbital region surrounding out planet is? Or for that matter, exactly how difficult it would be to target only specific satellites, instead of risking wiping out your own with some shotgun approach?

Exactly my point. Shotgun approach, easy, no more raining death from the sky, problem solved. You think people under threat of death care about the future of their communication satellites? It only takes one person to piss in the pool.

Re:Weapons (2, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016178)

It only takes one person pissing in the pool with a small nuclear biological warfare device or in a major city, and that hasn't happened yet. It would arguably be much harder, and much more cost prohibitive, to launch a rocket capable of inserting significant debris into Earth orbit. Make a list of nations capable of launching rockets into space, then narrow it down to nations who might have an interest in destroying satellites on a wide scale, then narrow that down to nations who wouldn't mind losing their own (newly found, perhaps) ability to utilize their own satellites for their national benefit. Not to mention the fact that any such attack would be easily tracked to the source; it's virtually impossible to launch a rocket into space without lots of people noticing simultaneously. Listen, I understand the theory behind your point, but it's just not plausible in any sort of real world scenario. The consequences would be far too dire for any nation attempting such action.

Re:Weapons (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015964)

Um, small point of order in this discussion... Most countries don't have the means to ship ANYTHING to space. You know, at all. In fact, most countries can't even launch a ballistic missile into neighboring territory. I'm looking at you "The Middle East". I mean, your solution of "All you need to do is ship up some junk [into space]" is quite far off for, you know, MOST OF THE WORLD.

Re:Weapons (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016122)

Cluttering the space above your country to disable a space based military capability is the new "salting the earth?" If you do this as a countermeasure, you are also denying that space to any private venture as well. That includes private companies based in your adversary, your own country and every other country in the world. It is a decidedly short sited and unintelligent thing to do.

Actually it was good strategy (3, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015434)

They don't have so many satellites in orbit but could be worried about all the spy satellites the USA has. So they blast one of their junkers into lots of little ballistic missiles that damage all satellites.

It doesn't hurt them so much but it definitely harms other countries.

China sucks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015450)

Kill all of the Chinese. They just ruin everything.

Re:China sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015664)

We would, but unlike internet trolls they actually know kung-fu.

Re:China sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015820)

good luck killing off at least 1/4 of the world's populations :)

Give it time... (4, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015462)

...with all the debris already up there and the continual adding to it by the Chinese, we'll eventually find ourselves planet-locked with nowhere to go without having to run the gauntlet of bolt-sized particles travelling at 17000mph+. Someone's gonna have to go up there and sweep up while at the same time avoiding adding to the mess that's already there. Can you say Planetes [wikipedia.org] ?

...so? (5, Funny)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015472)

Send someone up with a really big vacuum cleaner.

Re:...so? (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015550)

Yo, dude. It's already a vacuum.

But at least you spelled vacuum correctly...

Re:...so? (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015624)

That's the joke, duh. Vacuum cleaner. Get it? Like, not a "vacuum cleaner", but someone cleaning the vacu...

Never mind, no joke gets better by explaining it.

Re:...so? (4, Funny)

maltwhiskman (1177809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016204)

This is all about nothing.

Re:...so? (1)

evilklown (1008863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015586)

I think it's time we create a new "career path" for the men and women that can't quite make it through the astronaut training program: space garbage collector.

Re:...so? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015908)

Send someone up with a really big vacuum cleaner.
On a second thought, send up a really big "leaf" blower. Hm... you know, this black matter thing, it may be the accumulation of these blown-over space debris seeping through time from the future... I see Nobel prize in my future.

40 years of spaceflight, and can't send crew... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015990)

It's very saddening that:

1) After all this time we can't send someone up there to clean this up.

2) We can't send the Navy to secure the space-lanes-of-commerce.

Re:40 years of spaceflight, and can't send crew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22016242)

"After all this time..."

You realize that all the smart people that sent the astronauts to the moon in the 1960's have all retired? In fact, one of the problems in the defense industry now is that all of the knowledge that the US supposedly had in that era did not get passed on to the current generation. "After all of this time", the industry has degenerated and not grown. I believe (from seeing the kinds of people in the industry) that, even though Bush promised that the USA is going back to the moon, and Lockheed even won a huge program to do so, we have forgotten so much that instead of lessons learned from the 1960's NASA programs, we will have to re-create so much from scratch (without the old dude's insight) that it is not one of those things that is going to be 100% successful.

I didn't bother to do any searching, but as an example of what I am talking about Boeing/Lockheed have not successfully re-created the launch capacity of the Saturn V rockets. It would take a pretty large payload to be sent into orbit to clean that stuff up, and I'm not so sure that the current generation of engineering would be able to do that.

Re:...so? (3, Funny)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015998)

You mean like Mega Maid?

Re:...so? (1)

delvsional (745684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016158)

it'd be pretty hard to get a vacuum cleaner to do anything in a..... vacuum.

I'll add this (1)

noric (1203882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015474)

to my list of things capable of changing civilization as we know it. Although I'm no astrophysicist, I bet a linear increase in the amount of debris results in a higher-than-linear increase in general collision potential.

I'm really looking forward to being a middle aged person in a world with no oil, no satellites, global warming, foot shortages, energy shortages, and of course our #1 enemy terrorism.

Re:I'll add this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015504)

foot shortages
I'm only a 10 1/2 mens, you insensitive clod!

Re:I'll add this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015568)

Kessler Syndrome [wikipedia.org]

maybe that's what the chinese wanted (1, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015482)

Two orbiting U.S. spacecraft were forced to change course to avoid being damaged soon after the incident.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I will assume this is code for 2 spy satellites.

In that case, since the US has many more spy satellites than the chinese, is this just their way of levelling things out a bit?

Yes, it makes space less accessible, but when you're behind your "competitor" then they have more to lose than you do. Sadly this kind of logic has an attraction to the less responsible elements present in some governments.

Re:maybe that's what the chinese wanted (4, Informative)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015544)

RTFA.

According to the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the commercial communication satellite Orbcomm FM 36 maneuvered to avoid passing within about 123 feet of the debris field on April 6. A NASA Earth observation satellite Terra was moved June 22 to avoid coming within about 90 feet of the debris.

Re:maybe that's what the chinese wanted (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015872)

Yes, it makes space less accessible, but when you're behind your "competitor" then they have more to lose than you do. Sadly this kind of logic has an attraction to the less responsible elements present in some governments.

This is a joke, right? You think people who are custodians of the safety of billions of people have a primary responsibility to preserve space access for the future? It would absolutely be a fulfillment of their responsibility in such circumstances.

Re:maybe that's what the chinese wanted (2, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016302)

I'm going out on a limb here, but I will assume this is code for 2 spy satellites.

And I'm going to go out a limb here, and assume you didn't read the article.

According to the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the commercial communication satellite Orbcomm FM 36 maneuvered to avoid passing within about 123 feet of the debris field on April 6. A NASA Earth observation satellite Terra was moved June 22 to avoid coming within about 90 feet of the debris.


Of course, you could be using the Chinese definition of espionage, which is rather broad. Shame on you.

Death to Fox satellites! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015484)

Actually, removing satellites could be a very good thing. Fox's propaganda network depends on satellite comms. Blowing the fuck out of satellites carrying Fox might free significant lumps of the world population from Murdoch's hypnosis.

Was NBC visionary, perhaps? (2, Interesting)

MrM (169109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015488)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

'nuff said...

MrM

Re:Was NBC visionary, perhaps? (1)

RyogaHibiki (969138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015714)

If you want something entertaining for today's audience, check out Planetes [wikipedia.org] , it's an anime about the "debris section" of a corporation with an orbiting spaceport. Even if you're turned off by "cartoons", give this a shot, it isn't meant for kids, it's designed for people in their late teens and young adults, but everyone can enjoy this series.. ^_^

Planetes (5, Interesting)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015526)

Anyone seen the anime Planetes [anidb.net] ? It's all about people working collecting debris in the future, because there is so much up there, that it is a risk to the (now common and commercial) space flights. Interesting that this is becoming a topic of interest as of late.

Right when the Chinese dump junk in space: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015528)

it's bad
When the americans do it: look Britney Spears is shaving her head again!

When the chinese test anti-missile techology: think of the pollution they create, and all these flashes and sonic booms...
When the americans do it: they are defening democracy and freedom(tm)

When the chinese test anti-satelite technology: bad
when the americans do it: we are entering the space era with a guarantee that our nation will remain defended (along with democracy and freedom(tm))...

damn americans why don't you shut up and pay your debt to the chinese? Huh? Shall there be a call to the Chinese Debt Collector Squad? You've seen enough Ninja movies haven't you?

Re:Right when the Chinese dump junk in space: (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015646)

You've seen enough Ninja movies haven't you?

Let them come. According to the RIAA we got way more than enough pirates to handle them. Yarr!

What we need is a space dredge! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015566)

And, of course, to avoid a mineshaft gap.

Where's the news? (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015598)

USA threatened by Chinese junk.

Oh, that it's now also in space? That's the news here, I guess?

they're being smart (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015648)

China is just making sure that they are not able to be threatened by the US military complex without being able to stage a massive retaliation that would be unacceptable to the US.

After all the countries the US has invaded recently when they don't behave according to US wishes, any nation NOT preparing to defend themselves from the USA is being foolish. The US is seen as a bigger threat to world peace than any other nation right now, and it is only prudent to prepare to defend yourself.

Space Invaders (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015676)

Easy, just equip the satellites with lasers [slashdot.org] , and you just made yourself one heck of a space invaders game!!!

Re:Space Invaders (2, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016222)

more like asteroids, and the shooting just leads to more and more smaller bits.

Dr Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015692)

It's not that hard to put junk in orbit if you don't care about it surviving the launch. Just imagine a really big gun. So a good plot for Dr Evil would be to build something capable of launching hunks of metal into orbit and threaten to fill up all the orbits with pieces of yugos unless he's paid 1 trillion dollars.

Space denial? (1)

Vadim Makarov (529622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015760)

Wasn't space denial one of the design objectives for the Energia booster? It would deliver to LEO and dissipate several 100+ ton loads of steel balls, or so I heard, making it impossible for everyone to use ICBMs, not to mention launch longer-living vessels.

I Smell (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015784)

I smell propaganda BS, How much crap the US put up over the years. It seems to be the "its not wrong when we're doing/did it." argument. Admitidly I believe in more recent history the US is the front runner in trying to prevent the buildup of space junk, But from my understanding it has not been the case for all that long. If memory serves Russa is currently the front runner for space junk (closely followed by the US), and the only reason for that is a accidental design flaw in one of their main satalite programs that leaked coolent of some kind into (MEO?) orbit. Should China have tooken more safegards to prevent debris, sure. Should one of the front running countries for orbital trash be complaining about the actions of one of the countries that had/has the least, No. And of course the whole thing probably has little to do with the debris created and more to do with the fact that china is trying to level the playing field with the overgrown beast which is the US Military.

This might help, its a bit old but probably still generaly relevent
http://www.space.com/spacewatch/space_junk_list.html [space.com]

Is it Possible for Safe Anti-Sat Testing? (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015796)

As more nations develop missile technology, they're going to want/need to test their anti-satellite capability. So is there any possible way to do it safely?

As yes, continued anti-satellite missile testing will happen, since any rational nation will have no desire to be under the thumb of someone else's satellites.

The US is telling lies (1, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015824)

Debris from the anti-satellite missile test by the Chinese military last year threatens the integrity of more than 800 operating satellites, half of them belonging to the US.

One wonders whether the US has taken down all "space junk" it has created since it first launched satellites. Of course not . But here we are blaming the Chinese!

Space junk has been a problem since the sixties. Let's be real. The US is always engaged is an attitude of self righteousness which is wrong.

I urge the Chinese to move forward with their plans and "catch up" with the US if in fields they are behind. The US should understand that space is no-longer its domain alone. There are other players that are catching up fast.

Re:The US is telling lies (1)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015942)

How exactly is the US telling lies? The Chinese have openly stated that they did the test. Sure there is a lot of junk up there from the US and Soviets but we also didn't purposely blow up a satellite thereby in one second increasing the amount of debris by 20%.

Re:The US is telling lies (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016124)

How exactly is the US telling lies?

I should have said the US is telling half truths. I am sure junk from the Chinese blown satellite does not constitute even ½ of 1% of the debris in space, which debris was overwhelmingly produced by the US and the Soviets.

Re:The US is telling lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22016280)

Unless you have sources, you're talking out of your ass.

You're not "sure" of anything

Twenty Percent (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015840)

And who put the other 80 percent up there?

Re:Twenty Percent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015954)

Uh, 20 percent from one incident seems to be pretty significant.

Re:Twenty Percent (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016252)

83 1/3 % It increased by 20%.

And US Junk? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22015852)

"essentially (Chinese anti-satellite tests) increase the amount of space debris orbiting the Earth by about 20 percent"

So what you're saying is that the 70-80% of orbiting space junk that is American or Russian doesn't pose a hazard?

I call bullshit and scaremongering

Re:And US Junk? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016180)

That 20% increase is with ONE TEST.

Kinda puts it to scale for you, doesn't it?

frxist stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22015898)

Conti8ues toChew [goat.cx]

Crap, here comes the space junk (1)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016080)

I wrote about how idiotic this missile test was [cydeweys.com] back when it first happened, and it looks like I was dead on. It's scary how myopic China is being in polluting space for everyone for some military propaganda of dubious value. I wonder how far we are from a run-away Kessler Syndrome (when the amount of space junk in orbit is so bad that the junk keeps hitting other junk in an exponentially growing manner until space is so polluted with tiny pieces of junk that we cannot even get off the Earth).

Re:Crap, here comes the space junk (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016174)

Of course you ignore the fact that the us did anti-sat weapon tests before, and nobody complained.

Re:Crap, here comes the space junk (1)

Ranzear (1082021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016236)

Wouldn't that be the best case scenario in terms of energy dissipation towards eventual clearing of the debris cloud?

Great Weapon (4, Informative)

3DKnight (589972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016114)

This is probably the best "Denial" type weapon developed. In the case of the chinese, if there was ever a major threat to thier sovereignty they could make the whole orbit plane into a huge denial zone, crippling the more advanced nation that relies on that area, while giving themselves the advatage of using an army that hasn't learned to rely on satellites. the whole mentality of "if we can't have it, neither can you" works very well in warfare. Scorched earth... just taken to the next level.

In other words... (1)

mcrh (1050542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22016130)

Chinese anti-satellite missile deployment successful.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?