A team from France Télévisions was exceptionally received at COSMOS, the operational center for military surveillance of space objects. Operators there scan the sky seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to analyze the activity of thousands of satellites. All belong to different countries. “If you want to use vehicles, you will have to pay more attention to this type of satellite, if you want to use boats, to this type of satellite”explains in particular Staff Sergeant Laurent, operator at COSMOS.
Prevent the risk of attacks from the ground
Recently, space has been the scene of more hostile maneuvers. In 2017, a Russian satellite came dangerously close to a French satellite. The former Minister of the Armies had qualified the event “(d)‘act of espionage’.
For the time being, denunciation is one of the only possible levers of action, even if certain countries, such as China, show themselves capable of much more. “We also observe satellites which develop capacities to hook onto other satellites. Often, it is for the purpose of depolluting space, therefore rather noble. But if I am able to hook onto a satellite to expel him, I can also do it for much less noble purposes, and much more military”notes Lieutenant-Colonel Clément, commander of COSMOS.
The command center decides on French military operations in space. The challenge is also to prevent the risk of attacks from land.