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