China tests satellite-grabbing spacecraft

China took a significant step forward in its space warfare program last week, according to Pentagon officials, with an exercise in which one satellite was maneuvered to capture another in space. The test involved one of three small satellites fitted with a mechanical arm that were launched July 20 as part of a covert anti-satellite weapons development program, said US officials. One described the satellite-grabbing spacecraft as a “mobile satellite launch vehicle.”

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