Mar 17, 2016
It wasn't an Earth-shattering kaboom, but it was China using a ballistic missile to take out one of its old satelites in orbit around the planet. The decommissioned weather satellite was orbiting at an altitude of 535 miles above the Earth, and thus made a perfect test target. This was, it is said the first successful knockout of an orbitting satellite in over twenty years. The rest of the world sat up and took notice when the Chinese government confirmed their intelligence reports because satellite constellations are critical to the infrastructure of the twenty-first century, and are involved in everything from GPS-assisted navigation to telecommunications. I don't think that I need to explain why this successful exercise is getting a lot of sideways glances, what with all the geopolitical climate these days.