T Nation

China Fires Lasers at US Satellites

Why hasn’t this been on US media?

Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites
By Francis Harris in Washington
(Filed: 26/09/2006)

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by “blinding” their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

How it works

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.

Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon’s annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.

“After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line,” Defense News said.

The document said that China could blind American satellites with a ground-based laser firing a beam of light to prevent spy photography as they pass over China.

According to senior American officials: “China not only has the capability, but has exercised it.” American satellites like the giant Keyhole craft have come under attack “several times” in recent years.

Although the Chinese tests do not aim to destroy American satellites, the laser attacks could make them useless over Chinese territory.

The American military has been so alarmed by the Chinese activity that it has begun test attacks against its own satellites to determine the severity of the threat.

Satellites are especially vulnerable to attack because they have predetermined orbits, allowing an enemy to know where they will appear.

“The Chinese are very strategically minded and are extremely active in this arena. They really believe all the stuff written in the 1980s about the high frontier,” said one senior former Pentagon official.

There has been increasing alarm in parts of the American military establishment over China’s growing military ambitions.

Military experts have already noted that Chinese military expenditure is increasingly designed to challenge American military pre-eminence by investing in weaponry that can attack key systems such as aircraft carriers and satellites.

At the same time, China is engaged in a large-scale espionage effort against American high-tech firms working on projects such as the multibillion-pound DD(X) destroyer programme.

Several spy rings have been cracked and the FBI is increasing the number of counter-intelligence staff tracking the Chinese effort.

I knew this would happen sooner or later.

Lasers are cool.

In other news, Sun believed to be hot, water found to be wet and circle confirmed to be best shape for wheels.

This probably hasn’t been in the media much because they’re is not much to report. The US and China spy on each other and try to prevent the other from doing it. Wooo.

Wake me up when China starts blowing them out of the sky.

'Til then, Zzzzzzz.

I’m glad China is doing it too, it will hide my target practice sessions…

[quote]pookie wrote:
In other news, Sun believed to be hot, water found to be wet and circle confirmed to be best shape for wheels.

This probably hasn’t been in the media much because they’re is not much to report. The US and China spy on each other and try to prevent the other from doing it. Wooo.

Wake me up when China starts blowing them out of the sky.

'Til then, Zzzzzzz.[/quote]

Agreed, let’s just pray the Chinese don’t develop the little known “cave” technology that Bin Laden and Al Quaieeda use to blind our satellites.

just out of interest, we are upset that China is blocking themselves from our peeping eyes?

Isn’t that kinda like being pissed that the hot chick in the apartment across the street has started to shut her blinds so you can’t whack off to her doing step aerobics?

The question is what exactly do they not want us to see, if anything?

Millions of tax dollars spent on sending the shuttle up there to repair the stupid sattelites.

Bush has borrowed billions of dollars from China, in order to subsidize our tax cuts.

That’s who owns our record deficits… China mostly, plus Japan and a few other countries.

I’m more worried about that.

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
Millions of tax dollars spent on sending the shuttle up there to repair the stupid sattelites.

[/quote]
Lasers are still cool.

I’m not sure the lasers are doing anything more than interfering with signals by sending excessive noise in the form of amplified light. Kind of like shooting someone with a pocket pen laser. I don’t think they’re able to shoot a laser that actually carries enough energy to break something – that far.

But who knows? the best case scenario is that it becomes a matter of recalibrating the optics sensors which should be doable from terra firma; the worst case scenario is they now have an excuse to go into orbit again.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
jlesk68 wrote:
Millions of tax dollars spent on sending the shuttle up there to repair the stupid sattelites.

Lasers are still cool.

I’m not sure the lasers are doing anything more than interfering with signals by sending excessive noise in the form of amplified light. Kind of like shooting someone with a pocket pen laser. I don’t think they’re able to shoot a laser that actually carries enough energy to break something – that far.

But who knows? the best case scenario is that it becomes a matter of recalibrating the optics sensors which should be doable from terra firma; the worst case scenario is they now have an excuse to go into orbit again.[/quote]

I thought they were shooting at space aliens, like in that famous NASA footage, where the alien craft gets the locked-on signal, and scoots out of the way.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Bush has borrowed billions of dollars from China, in order to subsidize our tax cuts.

That’s who owns our record deficits… China mostly, plus Japan and a few other countries.

I’m more worried about that.[/quote]

WTF are you talking about? US citizens hold more of the debt than all foreign sources together and even then Japan holds about 3X the amount of our debt than China. The Britain and Germany (not even the entire EU) hold the equivalent value as the Chinese.

Not to say that we could sweat the Chinese, but you’re worrying about less than 4% of the debt. Even less when you consider just what ‘Bush sold them to pay for our tax cuts’.

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
Millions of tax dollars spent on sending the shuttle up there to repair the stupid sattelites.[/quote]

Whatever repairs are done have nothing to do with China. Unless I missed something in the article, the satellites are blinded while the laser tracks them over Chinese territory, but they “recover” once the laser is out of range.

Haven’t you heard? China is the new super power! America has gone liberal, so now no other countries respect the US. They know we don’t like wars that last more than 10 minutes and no longer have the balls to stand up for our beliefs, because we no longer have any.

Time to learn Chinese!

This is an act f war!! China should stop immediately or the liberals will sick the UN on them. Oh wait the UN can’t really do anything anyway except talk unbacked up shit.

[quote]blck1jack wrote:
This is an act of war!![/quote]

Overreact much?

Wonder if I could get them to zap the neighbors dog for me.