Against the backdrop of rising ‘peer’ and regional state rivals, the role of space-based assets for effective missile defence will be critical.
Chinese space ambitions benefit its military
On 29 April, a Chinese Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on Hainan Island, its payload consisting of a module of the nascent Tianhe space station. Ten more launch missions will complete the station by 2022, a facility that is to be used exclusively by China.
Media attention seemed more focused on the possibility of the rocket’s upper stage splashing down in the ocean or hitting a population centre on 9 May, with it eventually landing west of the Maldives.
Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator, complained: ‘Spacefaring nations must minimise the risks to people …
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