France conducted its first military exercise in space today, as part of its plan to become the world’s third largest space power.

Michel Friedling, Head of France’s recently formed Space Command has described this move as a “stress test of our systems,” adding that they “were a first for the French army and even a first in Europe.”

The drills have been codenamed ‘AsterX’, honoring France’s first satellitie of the same name.

“A series of events appear and create crisis situations or threats against our space infrastructure, but not only this,” said Friedling.

Earlier, France’s Defence Minister Florence Parly said that in order to match Russia, China and the United States, France would develop new surveillance capabilities and anti-satellite laser weapons.


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