Wikileaks Hints at U.S. and China Space Weapon Showdown
Documents released today show that anti-satellite tests may have been a show of military strength.
Brittany Sauser 02/03/2011
The Wikileaks website has obtained diplomatic cables, which have been released to the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, that suggest that anti-satellite tests conducted by China in 2007 and by the United States in 2008 were not merely "tests" but showcases of each country's space weapon or military powers. This is not entirely surprising, but the documents put in writing the some of the realpolitik involved with two competing super powers, i.e. my weapons are bigger and better than yours.
The Chinese intentionally shot down an aging weather satellite 530 miles above Earth in January 2007, which resulted in thousands of pieces of debris, exponentially compounding the space debris problem. The strike down garnered criticism from nations around the world, including the United States. Then in February 2008 the United States shot down a malfunctioning American spy satellite, a task it claimed it had to conduct because the satellite was carrying toxic fuel that could pose health concerns.
According to the Telegraph,
One month before the strike, the US criticised Beijing for launching its own ...