Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mysterious actions of Chinese satellites have experts guessing

A set of three mysterious satellites has experts guessing about the Chinese space program's intentions. No one really knows what the Chinese are up to, and everything is speculation.

That appears to be the consensus of space experts tracking a set of Chinese spacecraft. Some have speculated that the Chinese are testing possible anti-satellite technology, while others have described the satellites as prosaic probes meant to sharpen the country's overall space skills.

Under debate are the orbital antics of several newcomers to space — the Chinese satellites Shiyan-7, Chuangxin-3 and Shijian-15 — which all launched into orbit together on July 20. Experts are also discussing the actions of China's elder spacecraft Shijian-7, which launched more than eight years ago.

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