The 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test was conducted by the People's Republic of China on January 11, 2007. Although the Chinese government has not commented on whether the test occurred, a report in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine stated that a Chinese weather satellite – the FY-1C polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series – was destroyed by a ballistic missile launched from or near Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The report was confirmed on January 18, 2007 by a United States National Security Council (NSC) spokesman.[1]

The test was met with a response from several nations' governments about the serious consequences of any nation seeking to engage in the militarisation of space. However, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said that "China will not participate in any kind of arms race in outer space."

At the time of its destruction, the satellite had been orbiting 865 km from the Earth; it had a mass of 750 kg.[2] Space collisions such as anti-satellite missile tests also lead to the formation of orbital space debris which can remain in orbit for many years and can interfere with future space activity.

International responseEdit

  • Template:Flagicon Australia: Alexander Downer, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated that Australia would disapprove of "some sort of spread, if you like, of an arms race into outer space."[1]
  • Template:Flagicon Canada: A Foreign Affairs Canada spokesperson stated that "Canada has expressed its strong concerns to the Chinese authorities over the reported anti-satellite test and the possible negative effects." [3]
  • Template:Flagicon India: M Natarajan, the scientific advisor to the defence minister, stated that it was a matter of grave concern if such missiles could disable satellites, particularly those with GPS, navigation and military applications. [4]

Related treatiesEdit

The Outer Space Treaty banned weapons of mass destruction in orbit and outer space but does not ban conventional weaponry in orbit. It is ratified by 98 countries, including China, and signed by 27 others.[6]

The Space Preservation Treaty was proposed by the United States Democratic Party to ban space weapons, however as of January 2007 no country has ratified it.



See alsoEdit

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