June 14, 2023

China’s space ambitions could cripple Nebraska farms, Sen. Ricketts warns


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — U.S. Sen. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska is sounding the alarm over the Chinese Communist Party’s space ambitions.

Speaking during a Foreign Relations Committee hearing, he warned that China threatens necessary aspects of daily life, including agriculture.

“From using ATMs to harvesting our food, we all rely on satellite technology,” Ricketts said. “In my home state of Nebraska, for example, we rely heavily on satellite technology to run our harvesting machines, tractors and so forth. In fact, one farmer told one of my staff members that if it wasn’t for satellite technology, he was worried that his equipment would be useless.”

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Defense, “China has already fielded ground-based counterspace weapons and it continues to seek new methods to hold U.S. satellites at risk. China is building a space architecture that enables its military to execute long-range precision strikes.”

The report includes a quote from Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John F. Plumb, who said “space is essential” for the U.S. military.

“It provides us with a missile warning and missile tracking critical to defending our homeland,” he said. “It provides position navigation and timing to strike targets with precision.”


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