An attack on China from the Moon? The United States fears it


The conquest of space is not just a succession of rocket takeoffs and satellites putting into orbit. For decades, the question of the exploitation of space, both commercial and military, has been part of international concerns. The treaty prohibiting, among other things, the militarization of the Moon dates from 1967, for example. It was signed that year by Russia (the Soviet Union at the time), the United States and the United Kingdom. America is now worried about one of the late signatories: China. The country is experiencing rapid development of its space program and the American military fears that this will ultimately create a threat from the Moon.

“From a military perspective, I’m curious if there are any attack vectors that we haven’t considered or need to consider, whether they’re [in Earth orbits] , cislunar or others,” explains Brigadier General Anthony Mastalir, responsible for commanding the Space Force in the Indo-Pacific zone, to Defense One media. Today, it is mainly the orbits around the Earth that could harbor threats. But as the years pass, cislunar space, that is to say the area between the Moon and the Blue Planet, risks becoming a central point of interest.

When the United States talks about attack, don’t imagine a huge laser cannon on the Moon aimed at Earth. The threat would come from the putting into orbit of satellites capable of attacking those of the Americans or other countries. Fortunately, this is a long-term possibility, decades from now. China must already succeed in sending its own astronauts to the Moon, which will not happen before 2030.

Anthony Mastalir is also well aware that in the immediate future, we must keep our feet on Earth: “we hope to be able to prevent terrestrial conflicts and we also do not want, even if it is more and more likely, that ‘they extend in space or even begin in space […]. Someday in the future this may change, but for now I would be more concerned about what these new orbits and the presence of the moon mean for potential attack vectors in our traditional operational orbits.”

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