The Downlink [ Oct. 22, 2021] China’s Hypersonic Mystery


On the week’s DownLink–What the heck did China send up into orbit? The Financial Times says China launched a hypersonic glide vehicle carrying a fractional orbital bombardment system into orbit in the July-August time-frame and shocked the U.S. intelligence community. If true, this development could make it much easier for the peer competitor to threaten the U.S. homeland. Everyone can agree that China launched a rocket, but beyond that, it gets murky, very fast, like faster than five times the speed of sound. Laura Winter interviews space policy, emerging technologies and China military modernization expert Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Todd Harrison, Director of the Center for Security and International Studies Aerospace Security Project.


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