Space debris already causes major problems in space elevator design and space operations and the situation just got worse.
Aviation Week & Space Technology reporter Craig Covault says the January 22 issue will carry an article detailing reports of a "a major new Chinese military capability" in the form of an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapon.
Covault's report explains as-yet unconfirmed intelligence agency reports indicate China performed a successful ASAT weapons test at more than 500 mi. altitude destroying an aging Chinese weather satellite target with a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile.the attack is believed to have occurred at about 5:28 p.m. EST Jan. 11.
"Details emerging from space sources indicate that the Chinese Feng Yun 1C (FY-1C) polar orbit weather satellite launched in 1999 was attacked by an ASAT system launched from or near the Xichang Space Center ...as the weather satellite flew at 530 mi. altitude 4 deg. west of Xichang located in Sichuan province ... a major Chinese space launch center.
The test, if it occurred as envisioned by intelligence source, could also have left considerable space debris in an orbit used by many different satellites."