- China’s main satellite launch center found a jammer near its base just before launch. in the local media.
- The device, which has a maximum range of about 32 feet and can be purchased online, was found in a car.
- A scientist at the SCMP Center said the jammer could disrupt the signal from a satellite.
Researchers at a space center in China said they found a jamming device in front of their base just weeks before a planned rocket launch, according to local news outlets.
The package was found in a car that was driving near the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province about two weeks ago. The Yangtze River Evening News reported on Sunday.
The space center did not say if the incident was an act of sabotage, but noted that the jamming device could disable navigation systems and derail a missile.
China will send three astronauts over the country to its Tiangong space station aboard a Shenzhou-14 rocket on Sunday. Among the crew members is Liu Yang, who became the first Chinese woman to be sent into space in 2012.
According to Yangtze Evening News, scientists at the Jiuquan Space Center began detecting the “anomalous” interference signals earlier this month and spent several days tracking them down.
The device observed was a small frequency transmitter with a typical maximum range of 32 feet, according to the South China Morning Post. The outlet stated that such devices can be purchased from e-commerce sites such as “Taobao” – the powerful Chinese version of Amazon.
Despite its size, the device could be used to jam a satellite signal, which is already weak because it radiates from altitudes of more than 12,000 feet above Earth, a scientist at the center told SCMP.
As of Tuesday morning Beijing time, the Shenzhou-14 launch was still going as planned, with “good condition” facilities and equipment of the Jiuquan Space Center. Xinhua News Agency reported.
If the manned mission is successful, it will begin the final stage of construction of the Tiangong space station – China’s response to the International Space Station (ISS). Chinese astronauts have been denied entry to the International Space Station since 2011 due to US security concerns.
Tiangong, which means “heavenly palace”, consists of three modules that are installed one after the other. The first craft has been in orbit since April 2021.
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