Space Matters #3

The Great Game for Space:

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) between US and India has been signed.

The newly signed agreement will grant India access to US DoD and US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA’s) “geospatial information bank”. This will have a direct impact on India’s long range missiles, providing essential corrections to inertial navigation systems that help guide these missiles. This could improve the accuracy of the missiles, which according to some analysts will be accurate within 100 meters.

In some of the reports covering the 2+2 dialogue, one comment by the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stood out:

“working to establish new cyber and space dialogues to increase cooperation in domains where both our countries face emerging threats.”

The comment indicates there was at least some sort of discussion about India’s part in the US’s vision for international cooperation in their space programme and possibly the Artemis Accords.

China has again bolstered its Satellite facilitated Ocean Surveillance Capability. 

With  three new launches of Yaogan-30 Sats. China’s Chuangxin-5 Constellation of Ocean Surveillance SIGINT Sats. sees expansion.

In a cursory survey of the literature on the matter it appears that these satellites in the Yaogan family are suspected to be the ones collecting SIGINT and IMINT on China’s adversaries and the movement of their naval forces. The US has a rough counterpart in the Naval Ocean Surveillance System(NOSS).

Like all strategic pursuits China’s “Going at it Alone” for its Human Spaceflight programme.

According to a recently published report, in September this year, during a conference, China’s manned space flight programme had an elaborate presentation outlying plans for:

  • A new launch vehicle
  • A new-generation spacecraft
  • A lunar-lander
  • A potential lunar orbit module
  • A manned roving vehicle

The report also speaks of an important comment made by Zhou Yanfei(Deputy Chief Designer for China’s manned space flight programme) that reaffirms China’s strategy of “going at it alone”, in the pursuit of technological supremacy including the space domain. Unlike the US which has roped in other countries with the recently signed Artemis Accords.

Launches, New Gear and Plans:

Taiwan may soon establish a National Space Organisation:
It’s reported that a recent draft bill in Taiwan’s legislature open to the public for comments has confirmed that the country is aiming to establish a National Space Organisation.

X-37B now under US Space Force’s Space Delat-9
The Drive recently reported that US Space Force’s Space Delta-9 unit which is charged with Orbital Warfare has now taken control of the US’s secretive and obscure experimental mini space plane designated X-37B. Space Delta-9 has been officially charged with keeping a watch for adversarial threats in space and if needed take action.

A Canadian company has taken the lead in bolstering space situational awareness

It was recently reported that NorthStar Earth and Space has ordered three satellites out of a planned twelve to build a constellation that will be able to track other satellites with its onboard optical surveillance gear and will seek contracts from both governments and private players.

Interesting Publications and Resources: