If the United States has Starlink with more and more satellites orbiting the planet, and the European Union prepares its own constellation called IRIS2, China does not want to be less. the asian giant, according to SCMPis working on a project with which he intends to vastly outperform his rivals.
It is an ambitious orbital swarm made up of 12,992 satellites controlled by the newly established China Satellite Network Group Co. These devices will work together to enable a wide variety of functions, from telecommunications to intelligence tasks.
China, new leader in space?
The ambitious plan for the country led by Xi Jinping has several axes. First, according to the Asian newspaper, lies the need to ensure that China will have its own resources in low earth orbit (LEO) before SpaceX ends up controlling them almost entirely.
Elon Musk’s company has some 3,500 satellites in LEO orbit, but seeks to increase that number to 12,000 before 2027. After that date, SpaceX believes that it could expand its constellation to 42,000 operational units, a huge number of devices orbiting the Land.
For China, the magnitude of the Western project is alarming. And not just because of the growing number of SpaceX satellites, but because of its alleged military component. These satellites, it is believed in Beijing, are equipped with sensors to monitor their environment and are connected to the Pentagon.
The partnership between SpaceX and Washington is not entirely secret. It is known that its satellites They are used by the Air Force. and even recently Starshield was presented, a version specifically designed to “support the efforts of the national security” of the United States.
In any case, SpaceX’s advances pose a risk to other countries’ space assets. In this regard, China is doing its best to rush release of its own project satellites called GW by 2027, before SpaceX’s initial constellation is ready.
It is believed that each of these devices in orbit, in addition to offering Internet access via satellite, will be equipped with the necessary technology to spy on rival networks. One of the objectives, they indicate, is to obtain details of each of Musk’s company’s satellites in orbit and, if they represent a threat, destroy them.
For now, Beijing has not made any announcements in this regard, so we have to wait to see if any of this comes true. Of course, China has publicly stated that it is working to have a “world class” military force by the middle of this decade. A leading role in space along with the modernization of its military may help the Asian giant fulfill its promise.
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