China has shown how its satellite was captured by another satellite and placed in a “graveyard orbit”, a new leap in technology.
Now a dead device will not interfere with active satellites. The SJ-21 was designed to test and verify space debris reduction technologies, Beijing said.
However, the possibility of moving satellites is a terrible opportunity for orbital manipulation of them in view of the space race of the USA, China and the Russian Federation.
The maneuver by the satellite is part of the on-orbit maintenance, assembly and manufacturing capabilities that even European countries are seeking.
The US plans to launch a “service” satellite in 2025, but China’s demonstration could force the space command to step up development.