China Accelerates Military Space Program [SpaceRef]
China more than doubled its launch rate of military satellites in 2010 and poses a growing threat to U.S. Navy operations in the Pacific Ocean, according to an Aerospace America article excerpted on SpaceRef.com.
“This is a really big deal. These military spacecraft are being launched at a very rapid pace,” said Andrew S. Erickson, a Naval War College expert on China’s naval and space forces. China launched 12 military satellites in 2010 compared with three to five missions each year from 2006 to 2009.
U.S. analysts say at least three different military satellite systems are being networked to support China’s DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile program, designed to force large U.S. and allied warships to operate hundreds of miles farther away from China or North Korea.