China to lose access to strategic space tracking station in Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China will lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the ground station since at least 2011. It is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the United States and its agencies, including NASA. The site is owned by SSC subsidiary, SSC Space Australia. Beijing last year re-established diplomatic ties with the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati, where it has a mothballed ground station in the central Pacific Ocean.

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