Friday, October 17, 2003

Chinese Eyes with 1.6m Resolution

Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times report on a new spy in the sky:

"China's first manned spacecraft did more than simply showcase Beijing's efforts for civilian space flight. The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel 5, spacecraft also conducted intelligence-gathering work for China's military.

Included on the top of the Long March 2F rocket, which boosted Shenzhou into orbit Tuesday, was a new Chinese military intelligence-gathering satellite. The satellite was placed in orbit successfully shortly after the Shenzhou began its 14-orbit mission. No mention of the satellite launch was made in the state-run Chinese press.

Additionally, defense officials said the single-astronaut spacecraft carried an infrared camera that conducted photographic spying. The camera was mounted outside the craft and has a resolution of 1.6 meters, meaning something as small as 5 feet wide can be distinguished."

  • Inside the Ring
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