Satellite Spotting & Operations Handbook
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Regarding the militarization of earth orbit, this so far has been avoided. Satellite killing methods from the ground or instruments deployed below 100 km are allowed but strongly discouraged. Weapon tests have already resulted in tremendous debris fields caused by the destruction of satellites that will litter space for years and endanger other satellites.
Nuclear warheads in orbit are strictly banned for all nations. This was the greatest fear at the start of the space age as Russia had the capability of launching such weapons while the USA didn’t… for a few months. As satellite launch capabilities and nuclear weapons become more widespread, the risk of the abuse of spaceflight is increasing in direct proportion. Earth orbiting objects need to be monitored for the prevention of this very scene from happening.
December 2015; China has conducted a sixth flight test of its DF-ZF (previously known as WU-14) hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) designed to defeat US missile defences.
The DF-ZF is an ultra-high-speed missile allegedly capable of penetrating US air defense systems based on interceptor missiles," Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon wrote. The DF-ZF HGV was launched at the Wuzhai missile test centre in central China's Shanxi Province. It was transported by a ballistic missile near the edge of the atmosphere, where it separated from its launcher and then glided to an impact range a few thousand km away in western China on target.
The DF-ZF flight was tracked by US intelligence agencies and flew at speeds beyond Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The warhead is carried to the boundary between space and Earth's atmosphere, roughly 100 km above the ground, by a ballistic missile booster.
Once it reaches that height, it begins to glide in a relatively flat trajectory by executing a pull-up motion. The DF-ZF can allegedly reach speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or 6,173 km (3,836 miles) per hour and 12,359 km (7,680 miles) per hour. Whether it will be armed with nuclear or conventional warheads remains unclear.