The United States and China have created a space hotline between them. The connection will be used in order to interchange information in case a space crisis happens. The hotline will permit the countries to easily share data about their activities in space.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a hotline is a direct telephone line between the heads of government in different countries. The mentioned will let both nations to efficiently share information between their space and military agencies whether a potential collision or tests of new technologies occur.
Previously, the U.S. had to send notifications to the Chinese via their ministry of foreign affairs which made the process bureaucratic. The information went from the Joint Space Operations Center to the Pentagon and then to the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where a contact had to transfer the information to the Chinese departments.
It is stated by some people that space could be a war zone. In 2007, China tested a new anti-satellite weapon system and, in effect, they blew a satellite into ashes. Since then, countries around the world have been working on new systems to avoid space conflicts. With the new direct link of communication that will provide the hotline, Washington and Beijing could be connected in seconds.
Something similar was done before between the U.S. and the Soviet Union when the Cuban Missile Crisis boiled up during the Cold War. This time the objective is to prevent potential threats to become into wars as influential space agencies like the U.S., the Russian Federation or China, try their technology independently with no information about the other agencies movements. Many of the tests include defense mechanisms, anti-satellite weapons and rocket testing.
As Patricia Lewis, research director at international affairs at Chatham House, stated, “Our societies are becoming more and more dependent on space. A conflict or accidental loss of some of these satellite constellations could be game over for us.”
Years before, China became the third country to land on the sunlit side of the moon. Last year, their first lunar return mission was also achieved. Early 2015, they revealed their project to land on the dark side of the moon. The mission is set up to occur by 2020 when the country will land a Chang’e-4 spacecraft in the uncharted surface. If the mission succeeds the country will be the first to touch the far side of the moon.