On Sunday, Xi Jinping’s nation launched their new craft, the Shijian 21 satellite, into orbit. Even though Chinese authorities said the object was blasted to “test technologies in order to neutralise space debris”, Washington has raised concerns it could be a satellite-crushing weapon.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp confirmed the launch of their long March 3B, which took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, was a “success”.
It is believed the satellite orbited the Earth at high speed before coming down on a target which analysts said: “It missed by some 24 miles.”
Specialists have warned the craft appeared to be similar to a “Cold War-era Soviet nuclear system called FOBS”.
It was developed, according to experts, to bypass nuclear defences.
Ren Quanbin, president of AASPT told CCTV, China’s state-owned broadcaster: “Testing is very successful.
“We have tested all the parameters including the 500-ton thrust that worked 115 seconds.
“We are at the international advanced level in the field of large solid rocket engines.
“Next, we will develop a 1,000-ton solid rocket engine to provide stronger thrust for China’s carrier rockets in the future.”
They also said China should make an “all-out push to accelerate modernisation”.
According to Space News, “no details of the satellite or its capabilities were made available”.
The outlet said it was coupled with the fact that “space debris mitigation technologies are ‘dual-use’, having both civilian and military applications”.
China has been racing ahead in the development of rockets in recent years as the space race intensifies, but some may not be used to get to distant planets.
It comes as military tension heats up in the space arena, prompting fears of a full-blown war in the cosmos.
This week, it was revealed that a team of Chinese scientists reportedly created a device that uses explosives to stealthily destroy enemy satellites undetected.
In response to China’s space race, NASA officials called on the US government to fund nuclear-powered rockets to ramp up defences against China.
China’s boost to its space weaponry also comes as military tensions with Taiwan soar in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month China sent at least 38 planes across the Taiwan Strait which serves as a de facto border between Taiwan and the mainland as China looks set to attack the Island.
US President Joe Biden has said he will step in to help Taiwan, should Beijing launch an attack.