Image: “Space Force” TV Show/ YouTube

What’s New: Space strategy and policy expert Brian Chow’s OpEd in The Space Review.

Why It’s Important: America must start planning and preventing conflicts in space. Especially those that could impact our essential GPS PNT services.

What Else To Know:

  • Brian postulates Chinese proximity operations with Chinese space craft manipulating and damaging U.S. assets.
    • We think jamming and spoofing are less likely to start a shooting war, are easier/cheaper, and could be more effective at disabling U.S. capabilities. See our GPS World article here.
  • We agree with Brian that China attacking Taiwan is the most likely scenario. See our OpEd in SpaceNews here. 
  • A very apt quote from Rep Turner and this piece: “sleepwalking into an international crisis.”


Preventing a “Space Pearl Harbor”: Rep. Turner leads the charge

Accolades are due to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and the White House for a quick and amicable settlement of Russia’s developing space threat. It involved a balancing act between the American public’s need to know and the Biden Administration’s need for secrecy.

If a Chinese spacecraft can dock with a friendly satellite to refuel, repair, or transport it, the same robotic arm can also disable a US satellite’s solar panels and antennas.

On February 14, Turner asked that President Biden “declassify all information” relating to a “serious national security threat.” The very next day, the White House confirmed that Russia is developing an “anti-satellite weapon,” but “there is no immediate threat to anyone’s safety.” On February 20, the public further learned that Russia is developing a “space-based nuclear anti-satellite weapon.” While it is a limited declassification, the administration rightly said that fuller disclosure could reveal to adversaries the sources and methods of how the US collects intelligence.

Let’s hope that, on the heels of his recent success, Turner leads the charge to counter the most urgent national security threat facing the US and the free world: China’s use of a new kind of anti-satellite weapon to generate a “Space Pearl Harbor” as a precursor to seizing Taiwan sometime later this decade. While this scenario is drawing attention in the public, the Defense Department has not openly commented on it.