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PLA On-Orbit Satellite Logistics

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is preparing its satellite operators to perform on-orbit satellite refueling, for peacetime and wartime space logistics.  They are also already integrating lessons learned into corresponding military doctrine and training tools.  To further ready a PLA in-space logistics force, a Chinese defense contractor has indicated, for the last six years, that it has a mission ready satellite refueler for geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO).  With more clarity on the PLA’s requirements for satellite logistics, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has approved new commercial players to enter the field to provide, not only technology, but also frameworks to shape international norms.  These developments have largely gone unnoticed, perhaps because of an overemphasis on a low probability satellite grappling event. 

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