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The US has denied Thursday's destruction of the disabled spy satellite USA 193 was a response to an anti-satellite test carried out by China last year.
The prospect of hostile operations against satellites already influences how military spacecraft are built and operated.
Satellites such as Skynet 5, operated by the UK Ministry of Defence, carry technologies designed to resist any interference - attempts to disable or take control of the spacecraft - and any efforts to eavesdrop on sensitive communications.
An advanced receive antenna allows the spacecraft to selectively listen to signals and filter out attempts to "jam" it.
But the latest actions are certain to influence how countries plan for protecting their intelligence capability in space.
Applying armour to spacecraft in order to protect them against a missile is a non-starter. No amount of shielding would be any use against a missile hitting the satellite at a closing velocity of 10km/s (22,000mph).