There’s been immediate fallout — both physical and political — from China’s satellite killer test.
Debris from the orbital collision has already been spotted, the M-T Milcom blog notes. “As of this writing NORAD has officially cataloged 32 objects… that now pollute a vital area of space (sun-synchronous polar orbit).” The picture to the right is of a few of ’em.
“There are over 125 satellites that operate in this portion of space,” the M-T blog observes. Those include reconnaissance satellites, like the Lacrosse and Advanced Keyhole orbiters, as well as weather-monitors, like the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program series. In other words, this test directly effects the American military’s ability look for terrorist hideouts, and survey a potential battlefield. These are not small matters. “Our space assets are the first asset on the scene,” GlobalSecurity.org’s John Pike tells the AP. “They are absolutely central to why we are a superpower – a signature component to America’s style of warfare.”
Even the International Space Station could be at risk.