China’s Shijian-21 spacecraft towed a dead satellite high above graveyard orbit

01/27/2022 | Andrew Jones - Space News | External Article

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HELSINKI — China’s Shijian-21 space debris mitigation satellite has docked with a defunct Chinese satellite to drastically alter its geostationary orbit, demonstrating capabilities only previously exhibited by the United States.

Data and tracking from space monitoring firms show that Shijian-21 has been conducting sophisticated rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) with other objects in and around the geostationary orbit belt since its launch in October last year.

This activity culminated in Shijian-21 docking with the defunct Beidou-2 G2 navigation satellite and towing it above the crowded belt of geostationary orbit some 36,000 kilometers above the equator. 


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