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China’s decision in January to blast one of its own aging weather satellites out of orbit using a ballistic missile drew global criticism. The explosion left large amounts of dangerous debris in orbit (Defense News) that could damage any of more than three hundred other satellites in orbit, and raised doubts over China’s claims that it plans a “peaceful rise” (Times of London). But the chief concern was that the blast could lead to a space arms race.
US Senate proposes establishment of National Space Intelligence Center
The new Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2007 includes numerous other significant and interesting provisions including: establishment of a National Space Intelligence Center (section 410).
The United States maintains a very large investment in satellites, and this investment has grown dramatically in recent years. These satellites serve the commercial and national security needs of the nation. As such, a loss of any or all of these assets could do tremendous harm to economy and security.