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Fearing hostilities in space, Pentagon fortifies satellites

Airmen working in the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The JSpOC detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit. The Pentagon, fearing hostilities in space, is working to fortify satellites.  Photo: U.S. Air Force.

The first salvo was a missile launch by the Chinese in 2007 that blew up a dead satellite and littered space with thousands of pieces of debris. But it was another Chinese launch three years ago that made the Pentagon really snap to attention, opening up the possibility that outer space would become a new front in modern warfare.

This time, the rocket reached close to a far more distant orbit - one that's more than 22,000 miles away - and just happens to be where the United States parks its most sensitive national security satellites, used for tasks such as guiding precision bombs and spying on adversaries...

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