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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Launch Site Security in the PRC

page 5

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites

Loral-Mabuhay (1995):

Report of DTSA Defense Department Monitor Major P. Smith


1.Meeting with PRC in a conference room with drawings for the TEMPO program still on the white board.

2.Discussed issue with Nick Yen, who promised that the conference room will be "clean" for future meetings.

Loral-Intelsat 708 (1996):

Reports of Defense Department Monitor Captain S. Prichard


1.Security Plan, Debris Recovery Plan, and a document detailing the responsibilities of the contractor security, escort, badging, logging, and detex procedures were not available for immediate reference prior to satellite arrival. When received, they were not signed, nor contained sufficient detail.


1.International Traffic in Arms Regulations-sensitive equipment not locked or sealed on aircraft when it arrived.

2.Security cordon around aircraft not established.

3.Container opened on ground to obtain tie-downs and chains.

4.Ground security was unaware that sensitive material was aboard flight.

5.Sensitive documentation packed in cardboard boxes on regular pallets wrapped in plastic film.

6.Monitor was only physical security deterring PRC entry for entire afternoon.


1.Inadequate locks and seals.

2.Medical doctor is a PRC national and allowed to spend considerable amount of time in processing building.


1.Open box containing International Traffic in Arms Regulations documents arriving on board aircraft.

2.International Traffic in Arms Regulations classified documents contained within a notebook discovered in the corner of the Satellite

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

Processing Building 2 airlock, an area used by PRC workers.


1.Unescorted PRC technician in telephone wiring room. A technician escorting him finally returned after two minutes.


1.23 PRC nationals in satellite area without escorts. Security was understaffed, and technicians were supposed to be escorts but were busy doing other tasks.

2.Unsecured windows.

3.Badges not returned. Security has no idea who is in the building.

4."A serious attitude and a significant increase in security knowledge is needed."

2-4-961.Broken door seals.

2-6-961.Crash doors left open, security unaware.

2.Incidents reported to security are only logged, and not investigated.

3.Events are not always logged because only one page is filled.


1."Security is ninth on my list of priorities." (Emphasis added)


1.Following destruction of LM-3B [Long March 3B], upper management [of Loral] completely took over the operation of satellite recovery without coordinating appropriately with monitor.

Loral-Apstar 2R (1997):

Reports by Defense Department Monitor Captain S. Davis


1.Discussed Asia Pacific Telecommunications (APT) access to satellite with E. Acosta (Palo Alto). Acosta stated that APT observed [satellite] testing in Palo Alto. Monitor stated that his interpretation of the country to country Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) precluded that. Air Force Space Command concurred with monitor.


1.Found a laptop computer with digital pictures of the satellite left improperly controlled in the small hotel [in PRC].

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)


1.Satellite Processing Building 3 Officer Gallagher (Pinkerton) notified monitor that a PRC representative was covertly drawing pictures of the satellite.

Discussed with Nick Yen [Loral], explained that drawings of the satellite were considered controlled technical data that required prior approval.

[Defense Department] Monitor asked Nick Yen to remind Director Lee that individuals seeking technical data not specifically authorized is a violation of the country to country agreement.

The artist was identified as Wong Zwei Chan of CALT.

Chan provided a sketch to the monitor. Upon review, Officer Gallagher was not convinced that it was the same drawing. The provided drawing did not contain sufficient detail to represent a technology transfer.

2.The security camera of the satellite container on the pad was initially provided by a single closed circuit TV camera. Monitor deemed this inadequate as the top of the container could be removed undetected.

Instructed Loral either to establish closed circuit TV coverage of the top of the container, or to seal the container with security tape. Loral chose security tape.


1.Nick Yen released technical data prior to U.S. Government review. The documents released contained test data from the umbilical check and updated ICD [interface control documentation] information.


1.Nick Yen told PRC that when they accessed the fairing doors, Loral required a report the next day on what actions took place. Monitor stated that U.S. monitor needed to be present too. Monitor had discussion with K. Patterson [Loral] re: policies for fairing access to satellite.

Monitor offered Nick Yen two solutions:

(1) ensure that PRC notify U.S. Government prior to access and wait for [Defense Department] oversight prior to opening fairing;

(2) Monitor offered to inspect fairing access doors and if [PRC] visual/physical access is not possible, closed circuit TV would suffice as U.S. monitoring.

Loral opted for inspection. Inspection concluded PRC access was possible, and that very little time would be needed.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

2.At 1615 hrs, monitor observed PRC accessing fairing doors. Monitor notified Nick Yen, who immediately called the PRC.

3.Nick Yen explained [to PRC] that fairing access required U.S. Government oversight.


1.PRC again accessed payload fairing without prior coordination. Monitor again briefed Nick Yen who again called the PRC.

2.Nick Yen called for a U.S.-only caucus, and indicated that he would not allow his personnel to support the monitoring as it presented a safety hazard.

3.B. Campbell [Loral] concurred that, based on previous experience at this launch facility, the pad is hazardous even when the launch vehicle is not fueled because the PRC pressurize their launch vehicle tanks with unpurged fuel and oxidizer.

4.Monitor advised Nick Yen that he did not have the authority to waive the requirement, and would consult Major Smith (DTSA).

5.Major Smith allowed for a safety override of U.S. monitoring requirements.

6.Monitor advised Nick Yen that the following requirements applied to PRC access to payload fairing:

(1) PRC will call the security desk prior to accessing the payload fairing and provide reason for access and expected duration;

(2) maximum of two PRC nationals may work in the area of the open payload fairing door;

(3) no photographic equipment allowed;

(4) PRC may only physically enter the fairing door to the shoulder level (if further access is required U.S. Government monitor must be present);

(5) if the PRC violates any of these rules the security officer will call U.S. Government monitor, Nick Yen, and K. Patterson immediately; and

(6) security officer will log all fairing access.

7.Monitor discovered a Loral subcontractor stored a computer with digital pictures of the satellite in an unsecured room in Launch Complex 2.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

8.APT representative and Yang Hua Wang of China Launch and Tracking Control General took unauthorized photographs of [satellite].

Hughes-Aussat B-1 (1992):

Reports of Defense Department Monitor A. D. Coates


1.Confusion begins because Hughes is unprepared for launch causing them to arrange multiple technical meetings [with PRC] unnecessarily and without prior notification to monitor.


1.Containers holding security equipment with only combination locks, no seals.

2.Security videos do not provide coverage of access fairing doors.


1.Four items scheduled to be shipped without containers and uncovered.

2.Building not secure one week prior to satellite arrival.

3.Advance sea shipment inventory incorrect and containers not locked and sealed as requested.

4.No joint operational plans, or intent to create one.


1.No Hughes management to direct PRC nationals. [Hughes management] who are at Big Hotel one hour away appear to divorce themselves of responsibility of launch site when there. Security staff assumes ad hoc role to cover for them.

2.Continued ad hoc decisions by Hughes without review by monitor.

3.Lack of written procedures.


1.Items on 747 arrived unlocked. Had to board plane and lock before unloading.

2.Badging not addressed until day of 747 arrival.


1.Documents removed from file cabinet in high bay without controls.

2.Satellite test data filing cabinet not sealed.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

3.On board 747, data sheets attached to safe-and-arm pyro box, satellite test data filing cabinet not sealed / located on open pallet, containers listed as ground support equipment attached to forklift.


1.Test documentation not listed on inventory.

2.No access list of PRC nationals provided to monitor for Hughes-controlled area.

3.Hughes inventory of toxic vapor detectors reveals two keep [remain] missing.

4.No list of documents Hughes exchanged with PRC.

5.No trash disposal procedure.


1.Inventory sheet visible on container.


1.Hughes may have given "milspec numbers" to PRC.


1.Inventory sheets on containers visible.


1.Filing cabinet left open.

2.Notes kept un-erased on blackboard.

3.Controlled documents cannot be located.


1.Inventory sheets visible on containers.

2.Aussat satellite test equipment status papers on top of equipment.


1.Satellite diagram left out in Satellite Processing Building 2.

2.Misuse of telephone.

3.Sensitive documents left out.


1.Inventory sheet face up pushed under a typewriter to get it out of the way.

2.No seal between fueling rooms. (Second violation)

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

3.X-ray position diagram found.

4.Inventory sheet exposed.

5.Hughes employee personal notebook found under briefcase containing controlled material not inventoried and hand-carried. Worst case so far. Requested inventory after.


1.Hughes employee asked to write a response, and Hughes [employee] disputes he is required to do so. Hughes management unwilling to review security plan for requirements.

2.Hughes holds discussions with PRC without notifying monitor of contacts beforehand.

3.International Traffic in Arms Regulation-controlled material found in building even after monitor told none there.

4.No seals on two doors.

5.Hughes does not notify monitor of shipment, but notifies PRC.

6.Inventory lists left exposed.


1.Hughes asks monitor to show them their own security plans. No one at Hughes reads their own requirements.

2.Hughes indicates during security briefing that monitorís requirements are his own whims.


1.Schematic of satellite bus equipment module and related documents left out.


1.Three inventory sheets left visible.


1.Invoice sheet left exposed.

2.Satellite Processing Building 3 large doors had security seal ripped off, seal partially removed from emergency exit door.


1.Test valve document left on satellite stand.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)


1.Camera 4 goes down. Security not aware [that they are supposed] to man tower when camera goes down.

Hughes-Aussat B-2 (1993):

Reports by Defense Department Monitors Captain R.J. Byrd,

J. Kuriazisl, and S. Long


1.Hughes security guards had expired visas.


1.In the case where U.S. Government representatives might be seriously injured while in Xichang, Hughes made arrangements to quickly fly injured personnel to Hong Kong; alternately [alternatively], a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft could be flown in to transport U.S. Government personnel. It is noted that an injured person would not receive treatment for at least 24 hours from HAC [Hughes] or U.S. Marine Corps aircraft evacuation.


1.Flip-Rite cart not covered on satellite while aboard a chartered FedEx Boeing 747 flying from Los Angeles, CA, to Xichang, China.

2.Hughes security agreed to cover the Flip Rite prior to removal from the Boeing 747.

Hughes-Optus B3 (1994):

Report of Defense Department Monitors Kline and Villhard


1.Window left open for an undetermined period of time. May have been as long as 21 days.


1.Trucks left unattended by U.S. citizens. Third time equipment was discovered left unattended during this campaign.


1.Non-essential PRC [personnel] allowed in controlled area because, by making them stand not three feet from technicians, the technicians felt they had to wait outside.

2.Sea containers stored outside Satellite Processing Building 2 were locked but not sealed because the security supervisor did not want to seal containers they needed continuous access to.


1.Found Apstar controlled document file cabinet left open. Did not see documents logged out.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)


1.PRC working in building and not logging out.


1.Controlled documents not signed back in. Person it was signed out to said he could not find it. (Simon Peng)

Lockheed Martin-Chinastar (1998):

Reports of Defense Department Monitors Captain H. N. Rollins and J. Chandler


1.Satellite in Antonov aircraft overnight without U.S. security guards. Russian plane, Russian guards, Russian seal while plane stops in Russia for overnight rest.


1.Concerned over relationship between Lockheed Martin, China Orient, and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) because China Orient has lived and worked with Lockheed Martin in East Windsor, NJ for a year and monitor believes [there has been] a transfer of a significant amount to training technical support / data, hardware, software, etc., in contradiction to DTSA handbook.


1.Security found discarded equipment in trash, which is controlled.


to 4-17-98

1."Lockheed Martin obtained the export license for this satellite contract through the [Commerce Department], not the [Department of State]. I believe this gave them too much discretion in sharing satellite technology with the PRC. For example, PRC engineers were present in the satellite factory in East Windsor, NJ, for the two years prior to shipment. They were present as customer representative for China Orient Telecommunications. They witnessed all phases of assembly and test. Beyond how the Chinastar satellite was built and performed, they had the opportunity to learn why it was built this way and the opportunity to infer any inherent weakness or vulnerability in its design." (Emphasis added)


1.Emergency exhaust fan in fueling room inoperable.

2.Emergency shower outside of fueling room inoperable.

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports of

Security Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

Motorola-Iridium (1993):

Report of Defense Department Monitor Lieutenant M.L. Shaffer


to 12-3-93

1."A briefing about thermal issues was given by Motorola in which information concerning a ëthermal maneuverí was presented. This was a perfect example of the Motorola ëit was given to the Russians so it can be given to the PRCí mentality . . . it was not pertinent information and should not have been discussed. Monitors should watch for items that are given to the PRC that reference either U.S. or Russian hardware or services." (Emphasis added)

2.During Technical Interchange Meeting, blueprint of facilities of Vandenberg Air Force Base was pulled out of a briefcase by a Motorola person (in the presence of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), China Great Wall Industry Corporation, and Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center personnel).

Motorola-Iridium (1995):

Report of Defense Department Monitors Lieutenant M.L. Shaffer and

Captain E. McCarty


1.With DTSA approval Dan Letson (Motorola) had been monitoring CALT [China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology] tests for about three weeks without a U.S. Government representative.


to 8-25-95

1."An interesting note: During the last trip to the [PRC] Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (21-25 August) there was a technical thermal conversation going on. The monitor stepped out of the room for a minute and as soon as he did, ëwithout missing a beat,í one of the PRC engineers said to Motorola thermal engineer, Bob Allen, ëI noticed that your solar arrays have no push springs on them for deployment. I was wondering how you deploy them on orbit?í To which Bob replied, ëI donít think Iím allowed to tell you that.í That (I was told) was the end of the conversation, which goes to show that we monitors may be more necessary for dissuading the PRC than the contractors." (Emphasis added)

2.Motorola used the phrase (in a TIM [Technical Interchange Meeting), "We have not been happy with the thermal design from the beginning." Major Smith (monitor) was concerned that the discussion would lead to the Americans redesigning the thermal

Excerpts from Defense Department Monitorsí Reports ofSecurity Breaches at PRC Launches of U.S. Satellites (continued)

control system for CALT [China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology]. (Emphasis added)


1.The launch tower lacks essential safety equipment such as an escape shoot and fire alarms.

Motorola-Iridium (1998):

Report of Defense Department Monitors Major George R. Gunning


1.Pinkerton had not read the Security Plan. They were not aware of what data and hardware was sensitive.

2.Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center [PRC] provided walkie-talkies to Pinkerton guards. The radios lost their charge before the convoy even got started, thereby providing ineffective communications among guards.


1.I observed only one significant problem, Motorola does not have a document control procedure.


1.PRC workers in area where they "had no business." Work supposed to be completed in five minutes, and PRC took 1.5 hours. (Emphasis added)


1.Some Motorola [employees] consider the PRC their "good friends." Team leaders from Motorola develop a sense of trust that could lead to inadvertent transfer of technology.

2.Unannounced access to controlled area.


1.Lack of vigilance on the [part of] Motorola to protect U.S. technology. On several occasions had to remind MSC [Motorola Satellite Communications] to observe security practices such as document control, being aware of what is said and transmitted over communications lines and denying usual access [to] controlled areas.

2.Motorola has been bringing in a PRC national to set up secure and unsecured fax, voice and data transmissions. "In my point of view this is a huge hole in security." "Given Motorolaís lack of security training I would not be surprised to discover that unapproved technical data is being exchanged and intercepted by the PRC." (Emphasis added)

3.PRC requested copies of Motorola procedure documents. I denied the request. "But if I had not been present they would see no problem in handing them over."

Back  |  Footnotes  |  Forward


pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

PRC Acquisition of U.S. Technology
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

PRC Theft of U.S. Nuclear Warhead Design Information
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

High Performance Computers
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

PRC Missile and Space Forces
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Satellite Launches in the PRC: Hughes
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Satellite Launches in the PRC: Loral
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Launch Site Security in the PRC
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 5 | 6

Commercial Space Insurance
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

U.S. Export Policy Toward the PRC
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Manufacturing Processes
pages 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

pages 1 | 2 | 3

pages introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F

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