September 24, 2020

It's a Bird, a Plane... nope, a Secret Chinese Spacecraft



It's a Bird, a Plane... nope, a Secret Chinese Spacecraft
Radio signals helped a Russian citizen detect something rather odd from space. Image by Richard Bartz via Wikimedia Commons

It would seem that all you need to detect secret state information is an antenna and a radio receiver. One radio fan in Russia, Dmitry Pashkov, was using his radio when he stumbled upon data that turned out to be from a secret Chinese spacecraft.

Pashkov works as a system administrator, and in his free time, he works on detecting signals on a cosmic scale. Recently, he detected data being transferred from a Chinese secret spacecraft that even the US Aerospace Defense Command did not detect. According to Pashkov, “I wrote about this because many experts were interested in what the PRC brought out there - either a solar battery, or a compartment, but most likely it is a solar battery, because it is logical to test it, as the United States is doing.” It took Pashkov six days to detect the signal and another three days to confirm it.

The spacecraft was launched from China on September 4, but not much else is known about it.  China’s official news agency labeled the spacecraft a “breakthrough,” but its goals and capabilities are unknown.

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