|Phillip Swarts reports that The U.S. must be prepared for any Chinese aggression in space, said Gen. John Hyten, leader of U.S. Strategic Command. China tested the ability to destroy a satellite in low-Earth orbit in 2007, and they continue to test that capability today ... at multiple orbital regimes, Hyten said during a Jan. 24 speech at Stanford University.|
In the not-too-distant future, they will be able to use that capability to threaten every spacecraft we have in space, Hyten said, according to a press release from the Defense Department. We have to prevent that, and the best way to prevent war is to be prepared for war. So the U.S. is going to do that, and we are going to make sure that everybody knows we are prepared for war.
Defending and protecting the space environment is one of his two jobs as leader of STRATCOM, Hyten said, the other being defending the American people against any threats. The general is no stranger to space, serving as the leader of Air Force Space Command from 2014 to 2016, the vice commander of AFSC from 2012 to 2014, and holding various other space-related posts throughout his 36 year military career.
Deterring aggression in space is now more important than ever, given the number of critical systems like GPS, missile warning, and communications that the U.S. relies on, Hyten said. If a hotile government wants to threaten that and if they do something to their geosynchronous orbit because of where that orbit is, the debris that is created will be there forever, he said. That means we have to figure out, with the 184,000 people who work under Strategic Command, how we defend the nation against that kind of threat and how we deter that conflict from ever happening.
Hyten touted the Air Force Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), a constellation of four satellites that survey the Earth, are to detect and track any threat that might be launched from the ground to orbit, low or high.
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