General David Thompson, the US Space Force's first vice chief of space operations, warned that China's space capability could even surpass the US's within a decade

General David Thompson, the US Space Force’s first vice chief of space operations, warned that China’s space capability could even surpass the US’s within a decade

American satellites located far from Earth orbit face a constant barrage of Russian and Chinese threats, and the situation is only worsening, warns a senior Space Force officer.  

In recent years, the space arms race between China and Russia has steadily heated up despite Washington’s warnings that it is risky. 

“The threats continue to grow and expand every day,” General David Thompson told the Washington Post. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time,’ General David Thompson told the Washington Post in a piece published on Tuesday. 

Thompson, who has been with the US Space Force for more than 30 years, is now the first Vice Chief of Space Operations. 

He warned, ‘We’re really at a point now where there’s a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.’

Thompson explained that some of the most common attacks on the US are lasers, radio frequency interference, and cyberattacks. 

He revealed, as well, that a Russian satellite had conducted a weapon test in 2019 and it was so close to an American satellite, that the military fear a possible attack. 

General assurance that, when it comes out to space technology, “We are still among the best in this world in terms of capability.”

But he stated that China was “catching up rapidly”, adding, “We should be concerned at the end of this decade for failing to adapt.” 

China is reportedly working on a satellite that could grab another one with a 'robotic arm' (pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Russia fired a weapons test three years ago that the US military initially feared was an attack (pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin)

Thompson charged Russia and China with a nearly constant barrage non-kinetic strikes against the US space program

Thompson stated that China sends up satellites twice as quickly as the US and is developing a global system to monitor any area of the globe.

“They’re fielding operations systems at an amazing rate,” he stated. 

China is believed to have been developing a satellite capable of physically attacking another object with its robotic arms or grappling hook for years. 

The theory is that it can disrupt, or even disable US satellites. This information could reveal details about China’s nuclear operations as well as the existence Uyghur Muslim Concentration Camps.

Thompson stated that the Chinese were actually ahead of their Russian counterparts. 

Russia’s anti-satellite weapon testing was conducted earlier in the month. This alarmingly shocked the scientific community around the world.

Russia’s antisatellite or ASAT launched on November 15 and deliberately destroyed the 4,410-pound Cosmos 1408 satellite that was launched in 1982. It had become obsolete.

The debris field created by the Russian anti-satellite test against Cosmos 1408 in LEO (low Earth orbit) causing alarm to the ISS crew, satellite operators, and spacefaring nations.

The Russian anti-satellite testing against Cosmos 1408 (lower Earth orbit) created a debris field that alarms the ISS crew and satellite operators as well as spacefaring countries.

Russia blew up one of its own satellites on Monday, November 15, using a missile. Cosmos 1408, a defunct spy satellite launched in 1982, was the destroyed target, which resulted in a field of 1,500 pieces of debris endangering the crew of the ISS

Russia destroyed one of its satellites with a missile on Monday, Nov. 15. Cosmos 1408, a failed spy satellite, was hit by a missile and destroyed. This resulted in 1,500 pieces of debris that were threatening the crew on the ISS.

According to experts, the space debris from last week’s collision over the Atlantic Ocean – which included ‘some 1,500 pieces of trackable size’ – will cause havoc for spacecraft for years, if not decades. 

The impact caused astronauts aboard the International Space Station to be instructed to take shelter for at least two hours in order to allow the debris to pass.

Russia’s actions were condemned by one firm in space, calling them a’reckless act that damages all spacefaring countries’.

Thompson mentioned a particular instance in which Russia had come dangerously close of attacking the United States.

A small Russian satellite was placed so close to an American ‘national security satellite,’ in 2019, that the US government wasn’t sure if the attack was real.

Thompson stated that the vehicle maneuvered very close to Thompson’s car, and it was dangerously maneuvering. 

However, the Russian satellite pulled away and released a small target. The weapon test was successful. 

Thompson said that the Russians clearly were sending a message to Thompson. 

According to the Space Force General, Russia and China did not cause any damage or permanent effects on US satellite equipment. This was explained by explaining that classified information would only be available. 

China is sending satellites into space at double the speed of the United States, Thompson said

Thompson claimed that China sent satellites into space at twice the speed as the United States.


There are an estimated 170 million pieces of so-called ‘space junk’ – left behind after missions that can be as big as spent rocket stages or as small as paint flakes – in orbit alongside some US$700 billion (£555bn) of space infrastructure.

However, only 27,000 of these fragments have been tracked and can travel at speeds exceeding 16,777 mph (277,000 kmh), so even the smallest pieces may be able to seriously damage satellites.

Traditional gripping techniques don’t work well in spaces, since suction cups are not designed to operate in vacuums and the temperatures for glue and tape are too low.

Magnet-based grippers don’t work because much of the orbital debris around Earth isn’t magnetized.

Around 500,000 pieces (artist’s impression), of human-made junk, currently orbit the Earth. It is made up disused satellites and bits of spacecraft as well as spent rockets.

Many of the solutions suggested, such as debris harpoons and other debris-related devices, require forceful interactions with the debris. These objects could be pushed in unpredictable, unintended directions.

Two events have been identified by scientists as having contributed to the space junk problem.

In February 2009, an Iridium satellite for telecoms and a Kosmos-2251 satellite for military communications collided.

Second, in January 2007, China tried an antisatellite weapon against an Fengyun old weather satellite.

Experts also pointed out that two websites have become too chaotic.

Low Earth orbit is the one used for navigation satellites and China’s manned missions.

Another is found in geostationary orbit. It is used for communication, weather, and surveillance satellites, which must keep a fixed location relative to Earth.