Foreign Affairs

According to a report, China plans to launch ‘megaconstellation’ of 13,000 satellites

megaconstellationCredit: Pragativadi

The idea has reignited fears of eavesdropping among Western nations. China, on the other hand, claims that these satellites are intended to fill communication gaps on the ground and boost the 5G network.

China is poised to embark on a mission that has reignited fears about spying. According to a story in the Daily Mail, it aims to launch up to 13,000 satellites into space, forming a ‘megaconstellation’ that will encircle the Earth in a lower orbit.

The mission’s major purpose, according to the company in charge of the project, is to establish superiority in lower Earth orbit, according to the article.

China’s goal is to improve its 5G network

According to the Daily Mail, China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) has advocated for the orderly development of small satellites. The collection of satellites will be able to provide surveillance over most of the Earth as well as boost internet facilities, according to the report. The goal is to remedy gaps in terrestrial connectivity, especially in rural areas, to boost its 5G network services, according to the article, despite the lack of data about what the network will cover and how it will work.

According to China’s plan, the 12,992 spacecraft will form a ‘megaconstellation’ in low earth orbit, similar to the SpaceX-Starlink satellites. Their altitude will range from 498.89 to 1144.24 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

According to the Daily Mail, certain companies have been awarded contracts to commence development work in Chongqing. A’megaconstellation’ is a network of thousands of satellites that deliver internet services throughout the Earth’s surface. With approximately 2,000 satellites in operation, SpaceX Starlink is now the most developed. The Chinese government considers the satellite internet constellation to be a major priority. 

What are the issues at hand?

The strategy isn’t new. China requested spectrum allocation for two low-Earth orbit satellite constellations from the International Telecommunication Union in 2020. However, the western nations are concerned now that it has been reported that China has already awarded the deal.

The US and its allies believe this is part of a Chinese Communist government plot to spy on them. China’s saber-rattling on Taiwan and its suspected cover-up of the onset of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak have strained relations between the two countries. This isn’t the first time China has used space to track every movement on the planet. It has already launched two Gaofen Earth monitoring satellites for this purpose. These satellites, according to China, are used to monitor marine disasters, the maritime environment, and water conservation.

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By TIS Staffer
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