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Long March
2003-Jun-13, 02:44 PM
Can somebody help?
I'm translating an article on China's plans to go to the moon, and the things they could do once they get there. I've been trying read around the subject, but for some reason it seems very hard to find any information.
I would like very much to know:

Where can I find out more about China's space program?

What difference will it make when China has a capacity for manned space missions?

How much will China realistically be able to do?

This started as a university project, but my interest now goes a long way beyond that. Any advice/comments would be wonderful!

gethen
2003-Jun-13, 03:05 PM
Ni hao a?
I just tried google (china space program moon) and got several hits. I don't know if that's what you're looking for or not. Good luck.

TheGalaxyTrio
2003-Jun-13, 03:12 PM
I heard they still have problems with nose cones flying apart in the upper atmosphere despite the, um, freelance work that Loral did for them so, given their enormous manpower resources, they will just build about a gazillion (I think I translated that right) rockets and hope one gets there. If not, they can stack up the empties end to end and just climb to the Moon.

Hmm. I think I'll have orange chicken for lunch. 8)

Long March
2003-Jun-13, 03:48 PM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Ni ye hui jiang zhongwen a! (Gabbles excitedly in Chinese for half an hour) Plainly, the people who post here are more talented than I could have imagined...
Yes, there are just one or two hits on the subject in Google when using those keywords, aren't there? Plainly, my googling skills leave much to be desired. Excuse bumbling and shy new person.
Thank you for telling me about the nose cone, Galaxy Trio. Enjoy your lunch!

glen chapman
2003-Jun-13, 04:24 PM
Go to this link - It has some excellent material on China as well as the Soviet space program

http://www.astronautix.com/

StarTalker
2003-Jun-16, 11:35 AM
Hi,Long March!

I am Chinese and write for Space Exploration magazine,which is published by Chinese Society of Astronautics.

Your questions are not easy to answer.There have been lots of materials about Chinese space programs,but they are written in Chinese and printed on newspapers and magazines(not online).

However,anything I can help,just tell me.

If you can read Chinese,you may download a QQ(similar to ICQ),so we can chat online.

http://soft.shangdu.com/query/down1.asp?softnumber=8237&dtype=1&path=/qq2000c1230b.exe

My QQ number is 15981150.

BigJim
2003-Jun-16, 08:15 PM
We talked about the Chinese space program here. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4621) There are a lot of good links on that thread,

Russ
2003-Jun-16, 11:55 PM
I can't answer all of your questions but will answer the ones I can.



What difference will it make when China has a capacity for manned space missions?

It will give the same differences in rocketry as the US had from its' manned space program. It will give them VERy HIGH reliability rockets. This reliability will enclude launch surety, guidence surety and re-entry survival surety. It is my understanding that their guidence systems are copies supplied by our ex-president Bill Clinton and his fellow treasonists.


How much will China realistically be able to do?

They will be able to do any of the things that the US was able to do after the Apollo program. This would include, but no be limited to, lifting very high capacities of nuclear weapons per launch vehicle, sending said weapons anywhere on Earth, and have these weapons survive re-entry & reach their target with high accuracy.


I do not know if these are the results the Chinese intend but it is what they will have none-the-less. :roll: :( If it is what they intend, the world will be a lesser place for their efforts. If it is not their intent, then I wish them the best of luck on Luna.

Rue
2003-Jun-17, 05:01 AM
JimO did a good article here. (http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/publicfeature/dec01/space.html) and you have probably seen these. (http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1921/shenzhou.htm)

Long March
2003-Jun-20, 09:13 AM
Thank you to the people who took the time to reply - this information is going to be really useful - not to mention interesting!

Pinemarten
2003-Jun-20, 10:16 AM
There may be ulterior motives.
Claim the moon on the basis of 1st colony?
The moon will have a colony far before space stations/mars/other.
Western nations are short term thinkers, China is not.
The 1st colony will have first rights to democratically declare independence from Earth.
Stock that satellite with friendly votes. It may be already too late for Antarctica!

Emspak
2003-Jun-23, 08:48 PM
Well, the Chinese could try to claim the moon. But I doubt they will have much success in the long run. If the people on the Moon really wanted independence, there is little that nations on Earth could do, because enforcing authority over an unwilling populace becomes expensive.

Antarctica is covered by several treaties that say various nations will give up territorial claims -- at one point the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina were all saying they had claims to territory. In 2001 the US and Russia reserved the right to make claims and not recognize others claims. The CIA world fact book lists the following: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK.

The Moon could be administered in a similar way, at least initially.

Nanoda
2003-Jun-24, 01:02 AM
Man, this is getting ridiculous! I was going to post last week my opinion that Russ was being overly negative, but it is a fact that almost everyone with a rocket program (and certainly those who are manned-lunar capable) developed them with military showing-off in mind. So I concede some apprehension might be reasonable.

OTOH, declaring "independance" on the moon is just plain silly - what are you going to do? "Hey! We're declaring ourselves a new country! Nya!..... say, wouldja mind sending up some burgers? Algae's getting boring. And some oranges if you've got them. Some aspirin wouldn't hurt either..."
Not gonna happen. ;)

Emspak
2003-Jun-24, 03:48 PM
Nanoda--

Well, I was thinking that once a colony is self-sufficient, insofar as that is possible, they could in theory declare independence from the mother country and go to someone else for supplies -- historically that is what Americans did when we had trouble trading with the Brits. Of course, some British companies continued to do so, for all kinds of reasons. But trade routes with France ad Spain were opened up after the Revolution, and that served the United States well until fences could be mended with Britain. (This is a terrible over-simplification, by the way).

The moon has a lot of stuff on it. The biggest resource crunches would be in heavier metals and water, methinks, unless it turns out there is more than we thought, no?

TheGalaxyTrio
2003-Jun-30, 05:01 PM
It is my understanding that their guidence systems are copies supplied by our ex-president Bill Clinton and his fellow treasonists.


Actually, it was Loral, Hughes and Boeing who made the unfortunate transfers of tech, and they were brought to task by the Justice Department for it. Last I heard Loral had ponied up $20 million in fines.

What I heard through my own aerospace sources, and I never saw reported in the media, was that China was having nosecone issues- issues in the form of their nosecones flying apart into tiny little pieces when they hit the upper atmosphere. I have never been able to reliably confirm this.

Personally, I allowing China *ANY* presence, much less any sort of control, at the Panama Canal was a bigger strategic blunder than anything to do with rockets.

Kaptain K
2003-Jun-30, 08:42 PM
For a very believable treatment of the topic of the Moon declaring independenca, read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. 8)

Emspak
2003-Jun-30, 10:22 PM
To TheGalaxyTrio and Russ--

Before we start bandying about words like treason, a few words are in order about technolgy in general. When I studied physics in college, there were a whole lot of Chinese students, and Indian ones, and in fact people from all over the world. While any country is well within its rights to try to prevent transfers of technology where they think it appropriate, I would submit that the whole exercise is not very effective. After all, Chinese people can read. They can subscribe to the aerospace trade pubs. They go to conferences and share ideas with all their colleagues, insofar as they are allowed to.

Anything they got from Loral might save them time and development money, but little else. And I would further submit that since the actual technology of getting a capsule into space is old (40 years now) and well-understood, and a part of some aerospace engineering course curricula at every university that has it, it would be almost inconcievable to me that the Chinese -- or anybody else with the money (a key point) -- wouldn't develop space vehicles eventually if they wanted to.

I am not going to get into whether the Chinese are a threat or not, or how to respond or not, that's a whole other issue. I'm just saying that every time any product goes abroad, or even to people within the U.S., somebody has probably reverse engineered it. I mean, you can't tell me that Apple and Microsoft don't do this to each other to figure out what makes the other company's technology good -- or bad, as the case may be -- and how to do it better, even if they don't "steal" from each other.

So whatever the motivation, and I have no idea what it is beyond the obvious prestige issues -- the Chinese are planning to be a space-faring nation in some fashion or other, and there is little any other nation could do to stop it. I'd be interested to see how they go about it, and what methodologies for getting to the moon (if that is what they are after) they decide on.

By the way, a bit OT, but given the poor state of science education in the US, and the dearth of students who choose those careers, is it any wonder that other countries might start developing technologies in these areas, and investing in it, while we sit back and do little, and far less than we are capable of? I have had the opportunity (if you can call it that) of speaking to many policy makers at the local and state levels. Like the public they represent, they have, often, only the vaguest understanding of science and how it works. That might explain why funding is given in the haphazard way it is, and why the idea that requiring every high school student to have a full four-year science curricula, same for math, and a foreign language (and I mean competent foreign language) is so alien to many Americans, who see often science and philosophy as a frill when they are core subjects in the rest of the world. And it might explain why the Chinese are going to space with the kind of enthusiasm we haven't seen here for thirty years.

Archer17
2003-Jun-30, 11:26 PM
Emspak, you touched on something that's been bugging me for some time and that's the fact that our manned missions haven't got out of orbit since Apollo. I know we were motivated to beat the Soviets to the moon but I never expected the loss of interest after our '69 triumph that I've seen. I can't damn the Chinese for showing some initiative. I just wish we could recapture some public interest in initiatives of our own, whether it takes a modification in the educational process or increased funding. Unfortunately, I think most people are too caught up in more earthly matters to look skyward. :(

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jul-01, 01:20 AM
The only good thing about a Chinese space program is it may spur NASA and the military back into a space race Cold War style.

Other than that, a large Chinese presence in space may be a threat to the United States, regardless of what the kumbaya crowd says.

Emspak
2003-Jul-01, 06:22 AM
Epsilon--

You just hit on a major problem. If the only motivation to go into space (or anything else) is to "beat" whoever else is at it, then such programs will peter out in short order.

Let me put it this way: when Columbus went west, he did so to gain immediate and personal posession of wealth. It was also to find an alternate route so that Spain could avoid having to cut in every petty king between China and Istanbul on the silk and spice trade (talk about tolls!). Beating the Italians, Portuguese or Dutch was less of an issue. Not even technology was an issue -- the technology needed existed already. Nobody cared about crossing the ocean for its own sake.

Once we beat the Russians to the Moon, there was no reason to do it again and no reason to stay interested. And where will we "beat" the Chinese to? Mars? Beyond that, so what?

The military of any country also has a decidedly poor record for creating self-sustaining colonies in remote places on Earth. Think of the Caribbean -- all those forts are gone. People that live there are doing something else like growing sugar or some other commodity -- as well as tourism (remember the latter is a relatively recent phenomenon). Basically, there was some other reason to be there besides the fort (which might have been put there to protect that very commodity).

You need a more compelling reason, one that is there whether or not the Chinese, or Japanese, or even the Albanians have a space program. I can think of some that are right now politically hard sells because of the way people in the US tend to think of resources and project horizons. But such a reinvigoration of purpose can be done. After all, Cathedrals -- big, expensive public projects --got built for centuries, and there was some pretty cutting edge technology at the time. And you know what? They all became the centers of towns, many if not most of which are still around.

Stephen Baxter, in Time also describes a pretty good way of getting the exploitation of space resources underway, as a private venture. Maybe that's one way to go.

Point is, you need a reason, and the will. After that, the rest will foillow.

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jul-01, 07:44 AM
I'm not saying that we need to rely on the military to construct and oversee space colonies or the like. I believe scientific research in space is very important, as is colonization. But from a strategic point of view space is the ultimate high ground, and will likely be a battlefield for the next millennia. The United Nation’s Outer Space Treaty declaring that no country will own ‘land’ on other planets will be repealed eventually. Weapons will be (if they haven’t already been) introduced into space, eventually en masse. Wherever the colonists go the military will eventually follow, and wars will inevitably erupt. But the country that develops the capability to deny space access to another country with a space program in the early 2000s will be in a much better position then one that is held under the specter of having its satellites and space-based infrastructure wiped out if it decides to do anything foolish.

I believe China represents the country most capable of achieving a broad reaching space (scientific and military) program that is not forced to rely on American, Russian, or European launches. And since we are friends with most of Europe, and relatively close to the Russians, the Chinese pose the greatest threat. Their space program clearly has military implications. They are in the process of trying to modernize and update the antiquated technology and tactics employed by the People’s Liberation Army/Navy/Air Force. Part of that goal is to study recent conflicts like Operation Iraqi Freedom, where space-based infrastructure was used extensively for troop and weapon guidance and intelligence gathering.

So there is a reason for the military to go into space and maybe even take the lead: to establish a formidable space based infrastructure to defend interests in space and on the ground, while countering moves from other countries that have the same desires in mind.

TheGalaxyTrio
2003-Jul-01, 02:53 PM
To TheGalaxyTrio and Russ--

Before we start bandying about words like treason, a few words are in order about technolgy in general. When I studied physics in college, there were a whole lot of Chinese students, and Indian ones, and in fact people from all over the world.

Um, I did NOT use the word treason. Loral and the others DID violate laws (hence the multimillion dollar settlements). That's all I said. In fact, you can read my post as opposing Russ' claims of treason. I wouldn't even say that about Clinton, who I feel is a reasonably intelligent man who allows himself to be distracted by selfish trivialities and blinkered ideologies. In other words, he's just like everyone else. :cry:

As for the Chinese students you met, good for you. I went to college, too, and got to know Chinese students (especially in engineering). I still remember a tense week when a guy in our study group was awaiting word of a family member who was near Tiananmen Square when that whole mess went down (it turned out OK- just general communications breakdown).


I am not going to get into whether the Chinese are a threat or not, or how to respond or not, that's a whole other issue.

Then you are ignoring what the pundits and policy wonks gleefully call The Big Picture. Loral ignored it, too, and paid a record $20 million fine. I don't think they were treasonous. I think they were naive and more than a little stupid.

As much as I wish it were, this is not a game or a science fiction novel (unless James P. Hogan wrote it :wink:) or movie with Bad Astronomy. This is a harsh reality with Bad Ideology. I would love to see a world where we all are cooperating, abandoning the fairy tales and hereditary hatreds of the past, and, say, terraforming the Moon or building space elevators something. But that's not the world, and it's not going to be the world for a very long time, if ever.

One thing to never forget is that their government is, shall we say, not quite as representative as others. I know our seems that way at times, but, well, that's silly even in the current climate. High ranking Chinese officials are on record as stating that "war the US is inevitable". This is their attitude while their counterparts in the West bend over backwards to talk of trade and friendly relations. This cannot be brushed off or ignored. They are a giant, powerful anachronism that the best and most educated minds of the West, at think tanks devoted to this kind of antiquated balderdash, are frequently unsure how to properly handle.

OK, maybe they'd develop all the tech on their own anyway. Fine. That's no excuse to sit back let people just hand it over to them. It's not the trivial textbook thing you claim. The basics are in a book, but the reality is a lot trickier (like exploding nosecones). A lot of it requires results derived from a huge amount of hard won empirical data - never forget that our vaunted physical laws are mostly approximations based on observational results. Let them do their own work. Maybe they'll gain more wisdom that way and really decide to use it for purely peaceful purposes.

But, hey, I still think open trade and normalized relations is the best thing. It might even be good if we went for some sort of cooperative effort.

That way we can build the secret autodestruct commands right into their systems should the need ever arise. :D

calliarcale
2003-Jul-01, 03:16 PM
It's also worth pointing out that their are right ways and wrong ways to export technology. Loral picked the wrong way. There are export laws for a reason, and they're not there just because we don't trust China completely.

Frankly, Loral/Boeing/et al could have faced similar penalties for giving such technology to, say, France without getting the proper approval. You see, when you give technology to another country, you aren't just giving it to that country. You're also giving it to whomever that country may choose to give it. In effect, once you export technology, you lose a certain degree of control over it. And losing control risks hastening the inevitable day when hostile powers figure out how to build the kind of cool stuff our military is already using. The technology gap gives us a profound military advantage, and we'd be fools to just hand it away.

I agree; they're not traitors. But what they did was pretty stupid, because they're big defense contractors and certainly ought to know better. It probably happened because they weren't enforcing internal security processes properly, and somebody decided to take a shortcut when making the decision to help the Chinese out and get that rocket launched quicker.

Russ
2003-Jul-02, 12:43 AM
It is my understanding that their guidence systems are copies supplied by our ex-president Bill Clinton and his fellow treasonists.


Actually, it was Loral, Hughes and Boeing who made the unfortunate transfers of tech, and they were brought to task by the Justice Department for it. Last I heard Loral had ponied up $20 million in fines.

If you dig into this a little (sorry, I can't seem to find my link) L,H & B got the nod from people in the Clinton admin who, knowing what a control freek Slick Willy is, would have had to get permission from the boss. When said people got cought with their hand in the cookie jar, somebody had to pay the piper and you know it wouldn't be the Whitehouse sluggs. :-?


What I heard through my own aerospace sources, and I never saw reported in the media, was that China was having nosecone issues- issues in the form of their nosecones flying apart into tiny little pieces when they hit the upper atmosphere. I have never been able to reliably confirm this.
Yes. I'd heard that the nose cone designs are what spilled the beans for L, H & B and the Clintonians.


Personally, I allowing China *ANY* presence, much less any sort of control, at the Panama Canal was a bigger strategic blunder than anything to do with rockets.

You have my absolute agreement that having any Chines control at Panama is a REALLY BAD IDEA. Whether it's worse than the missle guidence thing......???????? Who knows?

Russ
2003-Jul-02, 01:19 AM
To TheGalaxyTrio and Russ--

Before we start bandying about words like treason, a few words are in order about technolgy in general. When I studied physics in college, there were a whole lot of Chinese students, and Indian ones, and in fact people from all over the world. While any country is well within its rights to try to prevent transfers of technology where they think it appropriate, I would submit that the whole exercise is not very effective. After all, Chinese people can read. They can subscribe to the aerospace trade pubs. They go to conferences and share ideas with all their colleagues, insofar as they are allowed to.
Being an engineer, I've worked with many Chines on both standardized and developmental technology. My personal experience is that they excell at copying things, they are really lousy at developing something new. Given the 30 odd years this stuff has been in the public domain, (as you point out) and they still don't have their own version of it, should tell you something. I'll also assure your that what they got from Loral, Hughes and Boing was NOT in the public domain. If it had been there would not have been such a stink about the whole mess.


Anything they got from Loral might save them time and development money, but little else. And I would further submit that since the actual technology of getting a capsule into space is old (40 years now) and well-understood, and a part of some aerospace engineering course curricula at every university that has it, it would be almost inconcievable to me that the Chinese -- or anybody else with the money (a key point) -- wouldn't develop space vehicles eventually if they wanted to.
See above response.


I am not going to get into whether the Chinese are a threat or not, or how to respond or not, that's a whole other issue. I'm just saying that every time any product goes abroad, or even to people within the U.S., somebody has probably reverse engineered it. I mean, you can't tell me that Apple and Microsoft don't do this to each other to figure out what makes the other company's technology good -- or bad, as the case may be -- and how to do it better, even if they don't "steal" from each other.
:roll: The real truoble with naivete is that it cannot recognize its' own existance. Apple and Microsoft getting into each others nickers is a WHOLE, WAY, WAY WAY DIFFERENT ISSUE than the Chinese having our missle guidence technology.


So whatever the motivation, and I have no idea what it is beyond the obvious prestige issues -- the Chinese are planning to be a space-faring nation in some fashion or other, and there is little any other nation could do to stop it. I'd be interested to see how they go about it, and what methodologies for getting to the moon (if that is what they are after) they decide on.


I can't tell you how much I hope you are right about the inocent motivations of the Chinese. I also can't tell you how much I fear you are wrong. They went to WAY to much trouble to get this technology by neferious means. One would think that if their real intent was a lunar landing that they'd have showed up at the front door.

Emspak
2003-Jul-02, 03:02 AM
Guys--

Some things to say first off.

1. I do not think the Chinese are a wonderful democracy.

2. I understand the PLA runs the show with their space program. It will therefore be of military character from the word go.

I submit, however, the Russians operated the same way, and they never put a stash of nuclear weapons on the moon, or suchlike. It was not because they were nice people. It is because it is darned expensive to do that, and there are cheaper and easier ways to do similar things. An ICBM, for instance, takes less time than a satellite to deliver a bomb, and you can launch them from land or sea without waiting for the right orbital positioning.

That said, I doubt the CHinese -- or anyone else -- are able to deny access to space to others or take it as the ultimate "high ground." Why not? Same reason as you can't deny access to the ocean (remember "he who controls the oceans controls the world?") -- it's too big. (Yes I know blockades happen, but imagine trying to do that to all of North America. Remember the Germans couldn't stop every ship from getting to England, and that is an island).

Assuming you could shoot every rocket launched, someone else would do that in short order to you (or bomb your launch facility). Back to square one. Besides, the US was in a position to put up military space stations bristling with weapons all over the place (so were the Russians, pre 1991) no matter what other countries said -- both were superpowers, after all -- and it never happened. There are political reasons, but I think there is the real possibility that in a technical sense it was possible, but not worth doing, just as stationing battleships every ten miles off the entire Asian coastline isn't.

What I am getting at is that the actual transfer of technology in and of itself may not be as big a deal as we think. The internal politics of China and US, and how that relates to the rest of the world is a big deal. There are plenty of potential areas of conflict with China-- but I think space is pretty far down the list of immediate concerns. I'd put border issues with India and Vietnam (remember China had wars with both in the last 30 years), Taiwan's pseudo-independence, Spratlys Islands, trade rules, access to water (all the major rivers in Southeast Asia start in Tibet), democracy in both China and our own allies, et cetera. The US and China are doing a fine job of keeping each other's plates full. Again I stress, I do not think the Chinese are all good Bhuddists. I do think there are a lot of constraints on what they can and cannot do, even without the US being there.

Russ, as an engineer, tell me if I am way out of whack here: is it possible the Chinese have not used radical new designs because it is just easier not to? Not to be flip, but were I running a space program in India or China, or even Japan, I would not spend time and loads of money on trying the fanciest new idea. I would make use of 100 years of accumulated experience on the part of Russia and the US.

Then there is money. There may be lots of cool new stuff on the drawing board in Beijing, but if it costs too much then it won't get funded. If it needs tons of some material that is unavailable except from hostile countries, then it probably won't get funded either. Satellite launch costs tend to be pretty constant -- take a look at Globalstar's annual reports or the ones from Iridium before they went under. So develpoing the empirical knowledge base would be just as expensive for anyone else as it was for the US and Russia, if done from scratch, no?

Anyway, trell me if I am nuts. But I think that rather than naive, I am someone who thinks that different countries have conflicts and interests that often play out in ways nobody expects.



[/b]

Russ
2003-Jul-02, 03:38 AM
Guys--

Russ, as an engineer, tell me if I am way out of whack here: is it possible the Chinese have not used radical new designs because it is just easier not to? Not to be flip, but were I running a space program in India or China, or even Japan, I would not spend time and loads of money on trying the fanciest new idea. I would make use of 100 years of accumulated experience on the part of Russia and the US.
All things being equal, yes, it is much easier to use a technology that is already up and running. That assumes of course that the posessor of said technology is willing to give/sell you that technology. Upstanding type people, unable to get/buy said technology, would then develop their own. This is expensive and time consuming but the proper thing to do.

In the case of China, when we wouldn't give/sell the guidence systems they........appropriated them. Bad Chinese, bad, bad! :roll:


Then there is money. There may be lots of cool new stuff on the drawing board in Beijing, but if it costs too much then it won't get funded. If it needs tons of some material that is unavailable except from hostile countries, then it probably won't get funded either. Satellite launch costs tend to be pretty constant -- take a look at Globalstar's annual reports or the ones from Iridium before they went under. So develpoing the empirical knowledge base would be just as expensive for anyone else as it was for the US and Russia, if done from scratch, no?

Anyway, trell me if I am nuts. But I think that rather than naive, I am someone who thinks that different countries have conflicts and interests that often play out in ways nobody expects.



[/b]
You have a point but....let's say I think you are over simplifying the situation. Yes. The ideas you offer were/are possibilities. Yes, they were probably scrapped for cost/political reasons. I'll guarantee you, however, that there were other, more....practical, reasons. Take it from an old mud puppy (Army officer) anything you have suggested here (and more) was thoroughly studied, evaluated and analyzed-to-death before any action/inaction was adopted.

Are you nuts/naive? Who am I to say? Let me just say.....On the level of a nation, on the scale of USA, USSR, China, defending itself, there is little that is left to chance or "good will". Think about what you could accomplish with the $5 trillion that is spent annually on defence in the USA alone. You can assume similar numbers in the other major powers. Believe me. There are people, in or associated with the military, who's sole purpose in life is figuring out all of the permutations of every possibility. You can also believe me, they have thought of things you haven't dreamed about. :( :-? :o

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jul-02, 05:56 AM
$5 trillion on defense in the United States? That's more then the entire Federal budget I think. It's more like $360 billion for defense. As for companies that trade illegally, I think they should lose government contracts and pay a steep price for selling out (literally) their mother country.

TheGalaxyTrio
2003-Jul-02, 07:30 PM
1. I do not think the Chinese are a wonderful democracy.

Good food, though. :D


2. I understand the PLA runs the show with their space program. It will therefore be of military character from the word go.

Oh, yeah. Count on that one. :o

The moon is not the worry, nor is merely holding the high ground (so to speak). Near Earth orbital access is the worry. The US military just announced the development of orbital weapons platforms, and the Chinese leaders read the newspapers...

I'm not concerned with China trying to deny access. I'm worried about what China, having stated clearly and without ambiguity that they consider war with the US to be "inevitable", is going to park up there. It's not something I lie awake about, but it's something to watch, and it's something that US companies have no business enabling. Personally, I would have gone beyond fines and prosecuted the individual executives who gave the go ahead for the tech transfers.


What I am getting at is that the actual transfer of technology in and of itself may not be as big a deal as we think. The internal politics of China and US, and how that relates to the rest of the world is a big deal. There are plenty of potential areas of conflict with China-- but I think space is pretty far down the list of immediate concerns.

Earth orbit is the ultimate strategic location. Simple kinetic energy weapons become practical, for example.


Then there is money. There may be lots of cool new stuff on the drawing board in Beijing, but if it costs too much then it won't get funded. If it needs tons of some material that is unavailable except from hostile countries, then it probably won't get funded either. Satellite launch costs tend to be pretty constant -- take a look at Globalstar's annual reports or the ones from Iridium before they went under.

The avantage of an authoritarian system: you don't have to worry about profits. There's no General Accounting Office looking over your shoulder. There's no federal employee unions making sure the pay scales are proper and vacation time is adequate.

There no voters to stop you from wasting all that money on the The Glorious People's Science (wink wink) Research Station in lurking about in MEO. The flat-black stealth coatings and IR radiance supression are just for thermal regulation, honest. 8)


So develpoing the empirical knowledge base would be just as expensive for anyone else as it was for the US and Russia, if done from scratch, no?

It's hard to compare cost structure, really. The Russians accomplished some amazing things on limited budgets because, as with China, they could point people at something and order them to do it and maybe they'd avoid extended holiday in Siberia (or Laogai camps in the case of China).

And, actually, this is a fine argument against tech transfers. Why make it easier?


Anyway, trell me if I am nuts. But I think that rather than naive, I am someone who thinks that different countries have conflicts and interests that often play out in ways nobody expects.

Nah, you're OK. Just more optimistic than I can ever be. We're just shooting the astro-breeze here.

Launch window
2005-Aug-09, 03:47 PM
Despite its gaps with some western countries that enjoy more advanced space and satellite technologies, China still wants to become a competitor in the space field by means of carrying out more major projects.

"China's space technology still lags behind the advanced nations and is increasingly not adapted to the rapidly growing demand of the country's modernization process," said Yuan Jiajun, president of the Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology.

Compared with other space powers, one of the key outstanding problems that China suffers is the lack of innovation capability, which, as a rule, would impact a player's overall competitiveness in the end.

"Innovation will undoubtedly play a core role in the development process of China's space industry, " said Sun Laiyan, president of the China National Space Administration. "We must take the improvement of innovation capability as the top task to achieve."

http://www.spacedaily.com/

"We'll develop more satellites so as to form a joint earth observation system and a new-generation regional satellite navigating and positioning system," said Yuan.

The research and development of communications and science experimental and exploration satellites will also be the key parts so as to form a science experimental satellite series.

According to Yuan, China's now pressing on with the first phaseof its moon exploration project so as to realize China's first ever circumlunar flight by 2006.

publiusr
2005-Aug-10, 08:00 PM
I just wish they would build something like the R-56

Launch window
2005-Oct-06, 08:35 AM
manned space flight on October 13
http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=13957326
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1475604.htm
astronauts in Shenzhou VI will conduct experiments

ToSeek
2005-Oct-11, 04:52 PM
Satellite Spots China’s Manned Rocket (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/051011_shenzhou_launchcenter.html)


A commercial remote sensing spacecraft has caught Chinese space workers readying their second piloted space mission.



The Ikonos satellite, operated by Space Imaging of Thornton, Colorado, took images of China’s human spaceflight launch complex on October 3 and October 9, with a shadow covering much of the rocket between two structures. The very tip of the rocket can be seen emerging from the shadow.

publiusr
2005-Oct-12, 07:02 PM
The media barely reported the Chinese two-man launch today...

www.astronautix.com has more.
http://www.spacedaily.com/2005/0510...3.utlcsi5p.html
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/shenzhou.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/cz2f.htm
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/051011_china_shenzhou6_lnch.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/china-05zzzzzzzzp.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/china-05zzzzzzzzl.html

More at www.nasawatch.com

Down from hits!
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1921/

So don't feel bad about lack of coverage. MSNBC reported--as a top story--some old creek that flooded out a bit in New Hampshire. Oh, to be sure, Tucker Carlson or Jon Stewart will be smirking out a cutie pie story on the recent launch--bouncing their insipid voices off comsats launched by better men.

***********************************************

Misc.From The web:

"You can watch a few pictures of the first zero-G fight of Kliper at
http://spacemodels.nuxit.net/Kliper/zerog/index.htm. This is a 1/50
model built by Serge Gracieux which flew last month in the Novespace
Zero-G Airbus 300."

Vincent Meens
http://spacemodels.nuxit.net/

"Here's a nifty website regarding the proposed
Soviet Kliper space vehicle:"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kliper

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2005/nas.esas.17.l.jpg

"The Beatles song "Get Back" comes to mind! More on the ESAS here:"

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1069

Cool:
http://www.northstarrocketry.org.uk/junk/Buran1.wmv
http://www.liftport.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2206#post2206


A must!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_Derived_Launch_Vehicle

Launch window
2005-Dec-18, 11:42 PM
China eyes moon mission, space station within 15 years
Aims to Put Man on Moon
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/27/AR2005112700248.html
HONG KONG — Fresh from its second manned space mission, China’s space program is in the position to put a man on the moon and build a space station in 15 years, an official said Sunday.
‘‘I think in about 10 to 15 years, we will have the ability to build our own space station and to carry out a manned moon landing,’’ said Hu Shixiang, deputy commander of China’s manned space flight program.
But that goal is subject to getting enough funds from the government, Hu said, explaining that the space program must fit in the larger scheme of the country’s overall development.
Hu was in Hong Kong with the two astronauts who conducted China’s second successful manned space mission in October. He spoke during a televised question-and-answer session with executives from various television stations and newspapers.

http://www.brandonsun.com/story.php?story_id=11731

This weekend Chinese leader Hu Jintao outlined some of his country`s ambitions for a space program and its applications in building a great nation.

http://science.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1065364.php/China%60s_ambitions_for_space

China in Space: Possibilities and Risks
http://www.voanews.com/english/NewsAnalysis/2005-11-23-voa18.cfm
Richard Fisher, Vice President of the International Assessment Strategy Center, a research group near Washington, D.C., says China's latest mission, which allowed two astronauts to conduct scientific experiments in low earth orbit, is driven by a number of economic and political goals.

Chinese Moon Bases?

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=490

ToSeek
2005-Dec-30, 05:30 PM
Chinese man on the Moon far off (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-12/30/content_3987886.htm)


A one-year lunar fly-by mission may start in April 2007 in China, but a manned flight to the Earth's neighbour may be a long way away, a chief lunar exploration scientist said last night.

"Sending a man to the Moon? It would be a one-way ticket if we do it now, given the thrust of our rockets at present is not strong enough," Luan Enjie, commander-in-chief of the country's lunar exploration programme, said jokingly.

But the country is planning to develop even more powerful rockets in the future, he added.

publiusr
2005-Dec-30, 08:40 PM
That is good news:

A flyby is closer it seems:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?id=4162

I thought they had postponed their new LM5...

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 08:47 PM
I thought they had postponed their new LM5...

Lesson #1 in spacewatching China. Until you see it loft, you assume you know nothing about what they are up to without serious ground zero human intelligence. Beijing has demonstrated its blatant willingness to completely mislead the world when it comes to the release of information about everything else that goes on within their borders. Why would their space program, their military space program, be somehow exempt?

publiusr
2005-Dec-30, 08:59 PM
I know there are secrets--but they are going to be selling rides atop their vehicles, and their capabilities have to be known for such a business to become possible.

We know a bit more about their space program at this stage of the game than we did of the Soviets during the 1960's.

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 09:11 PM
I know there are secrets--but they are going to be selling rides atop their vehicles, and their capabilities have to be known for such a business to become possible.

We know a bit more about their space program at this stage of the game than we did of the Soviets during the 1960's.

Sure, in terms of launch vehicle capabilities, I understand that. I should specify, I wouldn't trust their press releases concerning their own payloads. Pardon the confusion.

publiusr
2005-Dec-30, 09:42 PM
's okay. In some respects a circumlunar flyby is easier to do than the circularization needed for geosynch. Thre are all kinds of LEO paths, but you had better be on top of the ball to put something in geostationary. Having an oil platform to launch from helps.

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 10:29 PM
's okay. In some respects a circumlunar flyby is easier to do than the circularization needed for geosynch. Thre are all kinds of LEO paths, but you had better be on top of the ball to put something in geostationary. Having an oil platform to launch from helps.

I thought the launch windows for LEOs were pretty specific, with only a few every year, and something about a 17 year cycle for optimal transits because of a precession cycle?

Launch window
2006-Feb-20, 12:46 PM
China Might Be Planning Early Space Station Attempt

For many years, analysts have noted the preparation of two launchpads at Jiuquan that seemed earmarked for Shenzhou. They speculated that China may have been planning to launch two Shenzhou spacecraft into orbit at almost the same time. Such plans now seem unlikely, but both pads will be necessary two support a flight rate of three missions in roughly three months. China will also need to ramp up its rocket and spacecraft production to deal with this demanding schedule.
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_Might_Be_Planning_Early_Space_Station_Attemp t.html
But just when it seemed we had enough to tease us, Qi has also noted that there will be "a small, man-tended space station" launched in 2011 or 2012. Is this a second-generation version of the station China intends to launch on Shenzhou 8? Or is this something more ambitious, possibly launched by the long-awaited heavy-lift Long March? Perhaps China's plans will change yet again in the interim. In the meantime, we have plenty to anticipate.