A set of three mysterious satellites has experts guessing about the Chinese space program’s intentions. No one really knows what the Chinese are up to, and everything is speculation.
That appears to be the consensus of space experts tracking a set of Chinese spacecraft. Some have speculated that the Chinese are testing possible anti-satellite technology, while others have described the satellites as prosaic probes meant to sharpen the country’s overall space skills.
But both China and the United States are experimenting with close-proximity maneuvers in space, said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Stimson Center and director of its South Asia and Space Security programs. Both nations have demonstrated ASAT capabilities, Krepon told SPACE.com.
Information derived from actual or purported tests for ballistic missile defense, he said, can also be applied for ASAT purposes.
“Beijing and Washington have a choice to make, the same choice that Moscow and Washington faced during the Cold War,” Krepon said.
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