China is studying the possibility of using low-orbit nuclear bombs to form a radioactive cloud large enough to damage, even paralyze or destroy several satellites. Learning the lessons from the Russian-Ukrainian war, China would be considering using these weapons against the Starlink constellation that could help Taiwan during a Chinese invasion.
A few days ago, we learned that the researchers of the Northwestern Institute of Nuclear Technology, led by the People’s Liberation Army (China), it had developed a model to estimate the extent and extent of damage, with unprecedented accuracy and detail, that an anti-satellite nuclear weapon could cause at different altitudes. According to these researchers, a 10-megaton warhead could pose a serious threat to satellites if it exploded at an altitude of only 80 kilometers. A digital simulation validated and confirmed their work and model.
According to these researchers, a nuclear explosion at this altitude would transform air molecules into radioactive particles. The generated cloud could reach an altitude of almost 500 kilometers and extend over an area of over 140,000 square kilometers. The induced residual radiation could cause minor and major malfunctions, or even lead to the loss of satellites passing through it.
Has the war in space already begun?
The constellation of Starlink in the sights of the Chinese army
Such an anti-satellite nuclear weapon would allow China to paralyze or destroy several satellites in a constellation, for example, making them difficult to use. The impact on its operation would be much more significant than the use of anti-satellite missiles that can only neutralize a limited number of targets. In addition to that, the loss of some satellites would not have a major impact on the constellation’s operations. in reversethe debris generated could also hit Chinese satellites or friends.
This technique and these nuclear bombs could be used against SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. Since commissioning of …
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