Formation Space Flying or Co-Orbital ASATs?

Posted: August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Swedish satellites Tango and Mango are up in space doing their thing.  Their thing is formation “flying” and rejoins. Collectively, the mission is known as Prisma.

The formations will be as close as a meter.  Hmm.  Co-orbital satellites, eh?

The intent of Prisma is to demonstrate precision autonomous formation-orbiting, something that doesn’t get too much discussion from the space community except as it might regard anti-space weapons.

For example, how about this from a recent article (which was on addressed in this post):

(A co-orbiting vehicle) “could be used to sneak up on and probe—or even capture or destroy—satellites belonging to other countries. This ‘inspection’ capability, more than any potential weaponization, worries nations such as India, China and Russia.”

Oh, except in the case of the above quote, the U.S. X-37 was being discussed.  If the X-37 might do such things, it’s nasty, dangerous, and worst of all, destabilizing.  When a Swedish led consortium actually has such capabilities…crickets.

Since Prisma uses a Swedish sourced autonomous rendezvous technology, a German sourced GPS system, a French radio frequency instrument, and a Danish visual navigation sensor it’s doubtful anyone will make much noise even though such capabilities are purported to be capable of starting a space war.

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