China’s Shot Heard ’Round the Galaxy

China’s counterspace program—punctuated by the January 2007 successful test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite weapon—poses dangers to human space flight and puts at risk the assets of all space faring nations.

—U.S. Department of Defense

The United States unquestionably holds the strategic high ground of space today. What is very much in question, however, is who will hold that strategic high ground in the many tomorrows that will follow.

Today, both the U.S. economy and military depend heavily on a complex network of more than 400 orbiting satellites that provide everything from reconnaissance and navigation to communication and information. The crown jewel of this network is the world’s only fully functional ...

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