Space Matters #5

The Great Game for Space:

The UK is setting up a Space Command but not at the cost of its conventional defence capabilities
According to a report by Janes, the UK is setting up a new Space Command as a joint command structure with all branches of the UK’s Military and the wider Ministry of Defence resources and personnel involved. The announcement comes around the same time as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a much-needed boost to the defence budget. The two announcements reflect a commitment to both new and existing capabilities. The announcements comes within weeks of the exit of former advisor to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings. who was viewed as a proponent of cutting conventional capabilities in favour of focusing increasingly on space, cyber and other high tech domains.

An Indian and Russian Satellite barely avoided collision according to reports
Kanopus-V owned by Russian Federation’s state controlled Roscosmos and ISRO’s CARTOSAT 2F reportedly came in very close proximity and barely avoided collision by 224m according to Roscosmos and by 420m according to ISRO.

Launches, New Gear and Plans:

Japan has launched satellites capable of laser-based communications
According to reports, Japan has launched experimental laser communications capable satellites in orbit. According to JAXA the Japanese Space Agency’s mission page ,the system is called LUCAS and will provide transmission speeds of 1.8 Gigabytes per second after it successfully reaches Geo Stationary Orbit. This is orders of magnitudes faster than currently prevalent solutions based on Radio Waves.

China has launched a 23 day mission to retrieve samples drilled from the surface of the Moon
According to reports the mission will be the first since the 1970s and will be returning with two kilograms of drilled and scooped samples. The mission is also being seen as a precursor to a future Chinese manned lunar mission; key tech for which will also be used in this sample retrieval mission.

Germany is buying US-origin, Military Code(M-Code) Encrypted and hardened against Electronic Warfare, GPS Equipment
According to reports Germany will be the first to receive M-Code GPS equipment under Foreign Military Sales Program of the US Department of Defence.

Interesting Publications and Resources:

  • An interesting article about space based power stations in orbit and where they may lead.
  • A new publication exploring the impact of space travel on the human body especially long duration missions that may enable humanity to explore deep space.
  • A new article about Chinese space programme’s success and its implications by ORF’s Kartik Bommakanti.

    The views expressed above are the author’s own and do not represent Takshashila Institution’s recommendations.