The United States military utilizes low earth orbit satellites for guiding "smart" bombs, military communication networks and surveillance. The Chinese 2007 demonstration of the capability to destroy satellites in orbit showed that U.S. satellites were now vulnerable to destruction by countries which might be enemies in the future. The U.S. lodged a protest with the Chinese government over the test which destroyed an old Chinese weather satellite. The U.S.
China has been working on anti-satellite weapons systems (ASAT) since 1964. They have been developing three types of ASAT systems including Directed Energy, Micro-satellites and Direct Fire. There was an interruption of progress during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.
Today I am going to talk about recent Chinese satellite launches. In 2007 China launched two navigation satellite, an ocean survey satellite, a Nigerian communication satellite, two remote sensing satellites, two communication satellites, a Brazilian remote sensing satellite and a lunar orbiter.
Today I am going to start a series of posts about Chinese launch facilities. The first facility I am going to cover is the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center(JSLC). The JSLC is located about a thousand miles west of Beijing in the Gobi desert. It is over three thousand feet above sea level. The very dry location which has extended daylight hours.
I mentioned in a previous post that China has been building and launching satellites for other countries. This is not a unique practice since other countries have launched satellites for countries without their own space programs. However, in most cases, these other countries launch services have been aimed at making money. In China's case, there seems to be more to it.