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Near-space command

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: WION

 Context: China has reportedly established the world’s first ‘near-space command,’ forming the People’s Liberation Army’s fifth force alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Rocket Force.

  • Chinese researchers see near-space as the next battleground and assert that it is a crucial zone that could determine the outcome of future battles.
  • The near-space command will utilize modern hypersonic missiles for precise and swift attacks on enemy military assets.
  • Equipped with automated drones and spy balloons, it aims for high-altitude surveillance globally.
  • The space command is expected to have spy balloons, solar-powered drones, and supporting equipment, raising concerns about potential political and military repercussions.

Operating in the ‘near-space’ area, the command relies on hypersonic weapons that can operate at more than five times the speed of sound and outmanoeuvre air defence systems


What is Near Space ?

Near space is the region between 75,000 feet (23 km) and 62.5 miles (100 km). It’s also defined as the area between airspace Flight Level 600 (18 km) and 160 km above sea level. 

Near space is too thin for planes to fly in, so military planes avoid it.