China’s Kuaizhou-1 satellite launch was reported by the US website NASA Space Flight just two hours after it was launched on Sept. 25 because of its potential to be operated by the People’s Liberation Army as a weapon.
Rui Barbosa, an editor of the space news website, said the Kuaizhou-1, also known as KZ-1, was designed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation based in Beijing and was launched at 04:37 UTC on Wednesday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia, with no advance announcement to the media. Barbosa said the satellite was built at Harbin Institute of Technology.
Chinese sources said the satellite is intended to supply information to aid response in the even of a natural disaster, but Barbosa said there may be more to it than that.
|China’s Kuaizhou-1 Satellite|
A Chinese analyst told the People’s Daily’s Global Times newspaper that the “quick response satellite system” is a concept introduced by the United States under which a small tactical satellite is launched immediately a regional conflict begins.
These satellites are intended for temporary military operations and are small, perhaps the size of a dishwasher, and relatively inexpensive. As no official photos or video footage of the KZ-1 satellite have been released, it is possible the KZ-1 may be used by PLA as a test platform for such “quick response” satellites, Barbosa said.