Skip to content

Declassification of a 2022 Event Reveals China’s Advances in Satellite Observation

In 2022, observers noted a giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth on a path that could end in disaster. The object, known as 1994PC1 is as big as the Golden Gate Bridge, but 2 million km away, five times the distance from Earth to the Moon. In that situation, China reoriented a Jilin-1 satellite which is located in near-Earth orbit and observes the Earth. In order to view the asteroid, it flipped over and aimed at the object and began taking photos each second. They not only captured the image, but they also helped scientists reduce the orbit positioning error of the asteroid to just 33 km, improving the ground-based telescopes’ accuracy by two orders of magnitude.

Astronomers can now definitively see that the asteroid is not on a collision course with Earth, but will pass it by. That event took place in January 2022, but has only now been revealed after being declassified by the Chinese government, indicating the unknown prowess of China in this field.

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In