China calls on Safety for space assets, international coordination mechanisms

China needs to accelerate the construction of the space station and application of commercial space products,” Yang said.

Yang Mengfei,  an academician of China Academy of Space Technology, said that with the establishment of the International Space Station (ISS), the growth of space enterprises, and the opening of the space market, space asset protection has become a pressing issue.

“Space assets are an important part of the national economy and are strategic to political and social security,” Yang said. The protection of space assets is vital to the promotion of the peaceful development of space activities and international cooperation. “To protect our space assets, we need to have a more accurate and timely space environment monitoring system based on space-based space surveillance and tracking,” Yang said.

He added that with the development of space technology, space assets are becoming more diverse, complicated, and vulnerable. Space Assets include not only space stations, spaceports, and satellites, but also ground facilities, launch vehicles, and other movable objects. However, it is difficult to define a space asset, said the official.

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and the associated BeiDou-3 system will also be important to the long-term observation capability of space debris, Yang said.

“I think it’s a bit of a mixed message,” Samson said of China’s space debris environment monitoring system. “It’s important to not be reactive to activities in space, but to be proactive on the space debris front.”

He also suggested boosting debris disposal technology and international cooperation.

Yang said China needs to increase its stockpile of space debris removal technologies and products, “and should make a greater contribution to the international space debris mitigation effort.”

Space debris mitigation is an important part of the development of space activities, said Yang: “With the ever-increasing amount of space equipment in the orbit, space debris will soon become a more serious problem.”

while China has been pushing forward with space debris mitigation and removal projects, a global space debris environment monitoring system is still needed. At the moment, the system only has certain regions covered, and the situation remains unclear when it comes to small debris, yang said.

“The space debris environment monitoring system and space debris removal will be closely related but different,” Yang said.

Yang also called for more international cooperation to help address the problems of space debris, including international coordination and relevant intergovernmental organizations.

The facility, currently under construction, will be used to track the location of micro-satellites and other small objects in orbit, improving our understanding of space-debris risk.

(More on Moon-bound rocket debris here.)

(More on A rogue part of Chinese Rocket hit the moon here.)

China National Space Administration for the first time employed a ground-based radar to detect and monitor space debris and received the first images of space debris. Not only is the number of small objects larger than predicted, but the population of these objects appears to be recirculating Earth’s atmosphere. The objects, which appear to be ‘leftovers’ from the early days of space activity, appear to be venting water vapor and other materials, which could lead to a degradation of Earth’s atmosphere.

In 2016, the European Space Agency performed a study that concluded that there are more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, as well as an additional 100 million particles of dust larger than 1 cm.

Despite a number of active programs aimed at mitigation, the global space environment is still becoming more cluttered.

Since the advent of space exploration, artificial space debris has been accumulating in the near-Earth environment. The orbital debris environment is dominated by space debris from past human activities in space.

The U.S.-based Space Surveillance Network first discovered space debris in 1964 when it observed the artificial satellite Sputnik-1 as it was nearing Earth and preparing to re-enter the atmosphere.

The first known human-made debris to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere as part of Cosmos 954, a Soviet SL-4 rocket that had been launched on Apr 4, 1978.

It was the first time a senior official had publicly admitted that China was behind the movement of the two satellites, which experts believe is part of a broader strategy to create a more secure space environment for Beijing.

Space debris mitigation is launched by China. It’s not just a common obligation we should shoulder, but also a common responsibility we should undertake. “To better predict the orbit and speed of space debris and to enable us to avoid a collision, we launched two space debris tracking satellites,” Yang said. The two space debris tracking satellites will be used to monitor space debris on a global scale and provide global monitoring and early warning system for space debris.

The two space tracking satellites, named Shijian 17 and 18, were launched in November 2016 and were recently relocated to about 500 kilometers above the Earth, according to Yang. The two spacecraft were built by the China Academy of Space Technology, an affiliate of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC). The Chinese Academy of Space Technology will be responsible for determining the orbits of the space debris tracking satellites and for identifying space debris.

Further, the nation’s home-grown BeiDou satellite navigation system has now been successfully deployed across Asia, while the Beidou-3 constellation is scheduled to include more than 30 satellites by the end of this year. While BeiDou is currently confined to the Asia-Pacific, Yang said the country will be able to handle the security issues of a global system.

“Our satellite communications have become more and more connected and we have even begun to consider the possibility of a network of a million satellites,” Yang said, referring to One Web.

“We have no worries about the security of satellite navigation,” he said. “The two systems are completely independent and are not connected, so we do not see communications constellations of hundreds to thousands of satellites.

There are five major types of space debris, including functional spacecraft, abandoned spacecraft, launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragments, and fragments resulting from collisions.

(More on China Future Plans for space here.)

(More on China 5 year Plan for Space here.)

The number of pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm in diameter is expected to exceed 21,000 by 2022, according to a report by the European Space Agency released. Very small pieces of space debris are very large, of which the number is estimated to be much higher.

In an interview with Xinhua, Yang said: “The two space debris monitoring satellites were successfully launched on November 19, 2016. To protect our space assets, we need to have a more accurate and timely space environment monitoring system based on space-based space surveillance and tracking. Space is an open environment, and our space assets are constantly under the threat of collisions with space debris.”

As a major spacecraft contractor, CAST will launch many satellites and will accumulated a huge amount of experience in space manufacturing in year,2022. China is seeking to become a global power in space, and has a stated ambition to send a man to the Moon by 2036, just as the US and Soviet Union did the first half of last century. Beijing’s plans for its space programme were accelerated in 2011 with the creation of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

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