The Washington Post recently published a story, “China’s military aims to launch 13,000 satellites to rival Elon Musk’s Starlink,” that can only terrify astronomers here on Earth trying to view the stars. The title says it all – the space race continues to clutter the skies with more and more low-Earth satellites broadcasting back to the surface. It is a dippy Dyson Sphere that contains scientists rather than energy.
Starlink’s success in Ukraine really bothers the Chinese, who see the network as a lifeline for Taiwan as well. The article quotes Chinese military researchers, who state:
Once the Starshield is completed, it will be tantamount to installing networked surveillance cameras all over the world. At that time, military operations including the launch of ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles and fighter jets will hardly escape the monitoring of the United States.
I would prefer the space race between the US and China focused on the Moon or Mars rather than local invasions, but that is the state of the world at the moment. Not that the race to the Moon was a completely tame affair. For instance, the US contemplated exploding a nuclear bomb on the surface of the Moon to impress the Russians and everyone else. Fortunately, Project A119 never happened.