“AsterX” – France’s First Military Exercise in Space

What is the news?

French Space Command(CDE) launched its first military space exercise called AsterX.

About Exercise AsterX:

  • The exercise has been named AsterX in reference to the first French satellite, which was put into orbit in 1965.
  • Purpose: During the exercise, the French Military aims to monitor a potentially dangerous space object. It will also analyze threats to its own satellite from another foreign power possessing a considerable space force.
  • Participation: The new US Space Force and German space agencies are also taking part in this exercise along with France.
  • Significance of this exercise:
    • The exercise is a part of France’s strategy to become the world’s third-largest space power after the USA and China.
    • These space military exercises are also the first-ever attempt not only for France but also for Europe.

Why is this exercise conducted by France?

  • In 2017, Russian spy-satellite “Olymp-K” tried to intercept the transmissions from a Franco-Italian satellite “Athena-Fidus”. This satellite was in use by both Italian and French armies for secure communications. This act of Russia was called “an act of espionage” by France.
  • Hence, to prevent such attacks in the future, France in 2019 announced its French Space Command and is also conducting this exercise.

Source: Indian Express


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