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Space

China Joins EU in Galileo Satellite Venture 376

Posted by michael
from the second-superpower dept.
CHaN_316 writes "Yahoo has posted a story that says China to Participate in Galileo Satellite Program. 'The agreement provides for cooperation in satellite navigation, technology, industrial manufacturing, market development, frequency and certification'. This is definitely a good boost to the satellite program since it injects fresh cash into the project. There are probably strategic reasons for joining this network since it's an alternative to the American controlled GPS system. Here's more information about Galileo." China is also moving quickly toward getting a man in space.
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China Joins EU in Galileo Satellite Venture

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    China says it has high hopes for its Garireo joint-venture.
  • by earthloop (449575) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:29PM (#7005701) Homepage
    Galileo is to plumet into Jupiters atmosphere on Sunday!
  • Galileo on BBC.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by adeyadey (678765) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:30PM (#7005706) Journal

    Story also on BBC NEWS [bbc.co.uk]- China will cough up 259 mega-dollars towards the costs. The Pentagon are not too happy about it, but it does give the EU a way to do important things like landing planes, without worrying that someone else could throw the switch.

    • by mz001b (122709) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:45PM (#7005863)
      China will cough up 259 mega-dollars towards the costs.

      Wait, is that $259 million or $272 million? I smell a lawsuit...

    • by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:48PM (#7005902) Homepage
      The same applies to Galileo. How can anyone be sure that the EU won't "throw the switch"?

      The answer is that this question is obsolete. Next Generation Positioning Systems will be able to get information out from GPS, from Galileo and maybe from LORAN-C or the local GSM-cellphone cell information as a fallback.

      I consider redundancy as a mayor pro argument even in the eyes of American companies and .gov institutions.
      • Re:Galileo on BBC.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by enjo13 (444114) on Friday September 19, 2003 @01:21PM (#7006227) Homepage
        I was actually having a conversation just the other day about this with a military defense contractor (missile guidance) who just happens to be related to me:)

        They are actually VERY excited about Galileo.. as it gives them exactly the redundancy you talk about. As I understand it, a lot of the rhetoric between the EU/U.S. has been very very positive about the project, which is somewhat counter to the sensationalistic viewpoint that most news organizations seem to take.
      • Galileo is multinational operation, and it is not under military direction.

        and are not the us-citizens those who claim the eu doenst do anything without talking for month?
    • How much of a cut will the PRC/PLA get of the fees that the EU will charge for access to the 'good' quality signals?
  • Why must nations always get involved and turn space exploration into an Us vs. Them contest?

    I wish we could all just work together, share ideas (much in the same manner that Linux engineers share programming code), and unite to accomplish one common goal, such as a manned mission to Mars.

    This would lower taxes, make a Mars mission occur much sooner, and encourage a gentle more loving dialogue between the mainstream nations and rogue nations.

    We owe it to science to drop our national flags in the name of p
    • a) the country you currently reside in and b) whether you think your country would work with the United States in a joint space mission and c) (optional) if possible, state your country's current economic spending on space missions.

      1. the United States
      2. No, I don't think the US will work with the US.. seems each department here is out to get the other
      3. not nearly enough
    • I wish we could all just work together, share ideas (much in the same manner that Linux engineers share programming code), and unite to accomplish one common goal, such as a manned mission to Mars. This would lower taxes, make a Mars mission occur much sooner, and encourage a gentle more loving dialogue between the mainstream nations and rogue nations.

      That was the goal of the ISS. It's tens of billions of dollars over budget, other nations have not gotten their modules finished or demanded cash from the

      • other nations have not gotten their modules finished or demanded cash from the US

        generally this is horseshit -- aside from Russia. Basically, the problem is NASA- - they want full control of everything, deciding WHO goes where, and why. This type of control has reduced the manned ISS from 5 units to 3, cutting out many Europeans and Japanese astronauts and scientists.

        So, if I were the EU - I'd stack the cards so shit like that didn't happen anymore. Atleast now, it will be done right, not simply done
    • by amightywind (691887) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:55PM (#7005953) Journal
      Why must nations always get involved and turn space exploration into an Us vs. Them contest?

      Good question. Fear and paranoia drove the US to the greatest technical achievement of the millenium with the moon landings. Since then it has been all hugs and kisses with the Russians in the space station and no progress! I'll take the competition, and progress.

    • Its the USA that creates the feeling of nation vs USA.
      Only a month or zwo ago, a leaked paper told about us plans to shoot down foreign satellites to make space a us-only zone if they are potentially dangerous for the us. or theis paranoia.

      GPS is a service provides by the US MILITARY. They can flip a switch and it is off.
    • a) USA; b) and c) not applicable.

      How naive. Are you saying that we should have also handed over our nuclear technology willy-nilly in the 40's and 50's to the Soviets? How about landing our EP-3 Aries on Hainan Island after the Chinese cowboy in the Mig crashed into it without sanitizing it, in the interest of scientific progress? How about providing the Chinese will more sophisticated electronic listening devices, to help them track down "illegal" activist happenings in Taiwan?

      Space is a big deal. Th
  • good to hear (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bongobongo (608275) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:31PM (#7005715)
    i like reading news where china is collaborating with the west, rather than taking pains to block it out (eg great firewall of china)

    granted, this is a pretty high level program but the idea of it is good.

    or maybe china is gearing up for a space coup to take over the world and we're all doomed. i'll need to think about the significance of this one :)
  • Good or bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Docrates (148350) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:34PM (#7005746) Homepage
    I can't make up my mind. On one hand, it's just stupid for humanity as a race to have two competing satellite based positioning systems, when one can be shared and the resources used for the other could be used for, say, more research or a new launch system.

    Oh the other hand, it's this competition that usually drives progress. So far, the one for all and all for one model (soviets) seems to have failed while the super-capitalistic model (america) seems to be winning, but looking back 1000 years from now, is this the model that will perpetuate our presence in the universe?
  • US vs. Them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rde (17364) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:35PM (#7005755)
    Any time I've seen Galileo mentioned in the US media, it's been treated as some sort of anti-US measure; it isn't.

    Well, it isn't totally an anti-US measure. We just don't like the idea of a system on which our lives increasingly depend being under the control of a foreign military. Doesn't really matter who that military is; any system where you can find yourself suddenly lost at the whim of some general half a world away is a system to be avoided. And as the Iraq war is showing, the US is increasingly cagey (cagy? How do you spell that damn word?) about others using its system in time of war. And that time of war looks like it's going to extend indefinitely.

    <anti-US bit>
    Of course, the advent of Chinese involvement is, I hope a sign of things to come. Kyoto and others have shown that disaster doesn't necessarily follow when the US says 'no', and that the best attitude the world can have may well be "fuck 'em, and carry on regardless".

    I'd love to see one big happy world, but in its absence I'm reasonably satisfied with one big, happy world-except-America.
    </anti-US>

    let the flames begin...
    • Do you think the new system will not be similarly at the mercy of some general's fiat? Only that the general will perhaps be Chinese (regardless of how tasty his chicken may be)?

      The question is, who would you rather be at the mercy of? The US or China? Think hard.
    • Re:US vs. Them (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RobotRunAmok (595286) *
      I'd love to see one big happy world

      So did the Tibetans.
    • Of course, the advent of Chinese involvement is, I hope a sign of things to come. Kyoto and others have shown that disaster doesn't necessarily follow when the US says 'no', and that the best attitude the world can have may well be "fuck 'em, and carry on regardless".

      As a USAian who lives, works and studies overseas, I am someone who knows that 1. "furriners" are actually reflective caring people and 2. esp. Europeans, they are sick of war and, gosh almighty, have learned from mistakes. I can tell you tha
    • Re:US vs. Them (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Wyatt Earp (1029)
      Everytime you fly or travel by ship to another country, you are controlled by a "system on which our lives increasingly depend being under the control of a foreign military."

      LORAN, ATC radar, Radio Beacons, Air Defence is all capable of being turned off by a local government. Remeber what happened over Georgia when that SAM took it down, which is much more likely to happen than Space Command turning off GPS.

      Since GPS got into the hands of civilians and commercial users, there have been major NATO/US wars
    • The Pentagon's insane. No one else should launch any satellites without their approval? When did they become the Kings of space? We should be happy that control over space seems to be an alliance (even if an uneasy alliance) of nations. No one group has overwhelming power in space.
  • by 1337_h4x0r (643377) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:37PM (#7005776)

    That they'll be able to use this in Wartime? If the US Govt is willing to alter GPS to their whims, whats to stop the air force from lofting a few ASAT missiles to accomplish the same goal? Taking away the enemies ability to navigate would be priceless.

    • Hrm, maybe because it'd be seen as an act of war, and at least three of the contributing countries have enough operational nuclear warheads to turn America into a small and insignificant pile of radioactive dust?

      Oh what, you thought you were the only ones with nuclear capability? Ooops!
      • by Chris Y Taylor (455585) on Friday September 19, 2003 @01:22PM (#7006245) Homepage
        As I recall, France's nuclear deterrence was only sized to "rip a limb off" of an opponent, not destroy an entire country. The ChiComs probably don't have more than two dozen nukes that could reach us.

        God forbid anyone ever escalates that far, but it is likely that a nuclear attack on America by anyone other than Russia would not reduce us to an "insignficant pile of radioactive dust". Considering the large area of the country, it might not even reduce us into the bottom quintile of national GNPs. It would, almost certainly, however result in the entirety of the attacking nations (and possibly some other uninvolved countries) sustaining what SAC would have assessed as light to medium damage.
    • Yes, yes. And what is going to stop the rest of the world from taking down gps satellites in that case?
      • It's a somewhat academic question since I think hitting a satellite in geostationary orbit would be pretty tough, those things are pretty high. Perhaps however the EU/China does not have such weapons, or even if they did, the US would probably compensate them for the loss of the satellite.
  • Meanwhile (Score:4, Funny)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward@@@yahoo...com> on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:39PM (#7005795) Journal
    Reuters reports that a huge queue of Chinese wannabe astronauts are forming following rumours that in outer space, nobody can watch you surf.
  • by arashiakari (633150) on Friday September 19, 2003 @12:43PM (#7005837) Homepage
    ...when you're cooperating with the enemy.

    I mean, China's interests are not the world's interests. History folks: read it.

    I don't know how to say this withought sounding paranoid, but just because you have a science co-op doesn't mean everyone is interested in the same thing. China is more than gung ho about this project because EVERY space launch technology is dual-use for military application. I think it is a little cavalier (that's "dangerous" for you folks in high school) to do anything that puts more power in the hands of anti-freedom communists. Look at what they are doing to democratic Taiwan if you want to see what they would do to Europe or the U.S.A. if they had the ability.

    You're talking about a nation that has a reverse-firewall on the entire CONTINENT... to keep people from being "infected" by rogue ideas like ownership, equality, and government existing through the sanction of the governed. You're talking about a nation that controls the news media with an iron fist to keep people from knowing when bad things happen as a result of communism. China is the closest thing to 1984 on the planet right now. Do we really want to share technology with them?
    • Lack of cooperation is what makes other people enemys instead of friendy...

      I really think that a second global civilian navigation satellite system created by a lot of European nation and "anti-freedom communists" is a lot better than a single one that is controlled by the constantly warring military of a single "anti-freedom imperialist" nation.
      • "Lack of cooperation is what makes other people enemys instead of friendy"

        Yeah, that's right. I can think of LOTS of neighboring ethnic groups that have been cooperating forever who live in peace & love:
        Jews/Arabs
        Chinese/Koreans
        Chinese/Vietn a mese
        Bavarians/Austrians
        etc.

        What's the bet that this "insight" on cooperation comes from someone on a continent of people who
        a) pretty much hate each other
        b) speak at least a dozen different languages
        c) can't agree on a single unit of currency
        d) has been the home
    • China is more than gung ho about this project because EVERY space launch technology is dual-use for military application.


      And your point is? Like the same can't be said for any other participating nation, least of all the United States?

    • So US politicians don't try and push for laws that control content onthe internet? The US doesn't use space launch technology for military applications? Look at the power that the US holds in its hands and what it does with it. I'm sure China will be just as bad as the US, but frankly I doubt they would be much worse.
    • by mikelu (120879) on Friday September 19, 2003 @01:42PM (#7006506)
      >>I mean, China's interests are not the world's interests. History folks: read it.

      This statement is equally true: "The USA's interests are not the world's interests."

      As for the rest...
      I suggest you talk to some people who have actually lived in the People's Republic of China (PRC) recently. The Chinese government's lumbering inefficiency isn't limited to industry, it extends into the realms of censorship and informational control as well. The so called "iron fist" is a rusted piece of scrap metal.

      The "Great Firewall" is utterly worthless. The Chinese people can get access to any news article or information on any website they want.

      If you think the media controls implemented by the Chinese government can prevent the people from finding out what's going on, you're sorely mistaken. Everyone in China knows the media is censored. They know the press is unreliable and full of propaganda (unlike in the good old USA, where most people don't realize the amount of self-censorship practiced by the media). News travels by word of mouth, on internet bulletin boards and chatrooms, and via physical bulletin boards at universities and colleges.

      And if you think the PRC is still Communist, you need to go back to school. Last time I checked, Communism didn't include private ownership of land and industry, entrepreneurialism, corporations, or a free market. The last vestiges of nationalized industry in China are being privatized as we post.

      China is changing, but it is changing slowly. The current government survives on ignorance. As more of the population becomes educated, democracy will assert itself. I think most Americans would be surprised by how much the Chinese government is already influenced by the will of the people.
    • Let's start counting how many countries China has invaded since the present government got control in 1949, and then count how many countries the US has invaded since the same year....

      Uh, oh, maybe that's why the rest of the world is a bit worried about the US keeping a hegemony in areas such as this.

      And exactly what IS China doing to "democratic Taiwan" (FYI, Taiwan was until few years ago controlled by the military, and still isn't exactly a model of multi party representative democracy, though at lea

  • Great news (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have worked on the Galileo project on a technical level and it really does need some new impetus, and some new capital injection, ESA is being quite slow at coming up with the funding at the correct time (even though its been signed off at a political level). It truely is a project of massive scale, and involves alot of interfacing between European space companies.

    Another benefit of this is there isn't as big a rush to launch the first testbed satellite that was going to block/reserve the frequency block
    • Another benefit of this is there isn't as big a rush to launch the first testbed satellite that was going to block/reserve the frequency blocks that Galileo is going to use for fear the Chinese will get their first. Which is probably why they want to get involved in the first place. What's to stop the Chinese from pulling out of the project in the near future, having delayed the launch of the first satellite, gained knowledge of the technology required, only to launch their own system later with ownership
      • Newsflash, China's space program is way more aggressive than Europe's - if they wanted to get a satellite up just to block the frequencies, they would likely have done so long ago.

        I think China has more to gain from cooperation in this case - joint control with Europe will 1) mean that China actually has a say in whether or not the system gets shut down instead of having to just accept whatever Europe does, 2) means that Europe is a lot less likely to be able to give in to US pressure to shut the system d

  • The Russians, IIRC, were working on a GPS alternative as well, called GLONASS. What's the status of that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I read recently that GLONASS would be incorporated into Galileo, or that what has been built of GLONASS would be made to work with Galileo. It's good to see the Russians returning to their common European home.
      • Nope, GLONASS will not be part of Galileo. GLONASS started to work at 1993, and still up and running, they have 11 satellites total at this time (up to 24 at 2007(?)), and it's military controlled system. Many russian-made receivers can work with both GPS and GLONASS system.
  • by babbage (61057) <cdevers@nosPaM.cis.usouthal.edu> on Friday September 19, 2003 @02:18PM (#7006856) Homepage Journal

    China is getting involved in the Galileo project? What lucky timing: On Sunday, September 21, NASA's Galileo spacecraft will end 14 years of exploration in spectacular fashion: by crashing into Jupiter. [google.com]

    Can we get them to have the check sent by overnight mail, or would a wire transfer be easier at this late stage?

  • by theolein (316044) on Friday September 19, 2003 @07:49PM (#7009456) Journal
    I posted a long time ago (before the Iraq war brought it to a point) that I think that the EU and the US are diverging and drifting further and further from one another. I've read enough political discussion forums to note that the level of animosity between the rest of the world and the US is definitely high, and rising.

    I know that every time when a slashdot article is posted on some European, Chinese or Indian project of technical prowess, that quite a number of highly racist, xenophobic posts will be made, a number of people will pound their fists on the table as to why the USA system is superior and that the US military could take 'em all on and win.

    And make no mistake, the US military could definitely beat any other military on earth in a conventional war. There are no nations with the American ability to project force all around the globe. The US economy is the key to the world's economy as is evidenced that other economies reel when the US economy takes a hit, and the US certainly does its best to strong arm other nations into accepting US economic terms, and is often successful.

    But if there is one big mistake that the USA makes, it is in thinking that the rest of the world is incapable of learning from past failures. The EU wouldn't be there if Europe were incapable of learning from its own past failures. It's inefficient and clumsy but it is the best way for Europe to avoid going to war with itself again, and for European nations to get stronger economically.

    Likewise, many countries are very wary of an America that acts alone and starts large unilateral wars for very dodgy reasons. Many countries are beginning to see that the USA is willing to use combiinations of military force and economic power to achieve its goals. These are the reaons that the EU has finally started to act on the idea of a European defense force. These are the reasons that the Euro is becoming popular tender in international commerce. These are the reasons that the Gallileo system is being built to avoid the loss of the GPS system in times of crisis.These are the reasons that China is slowly but surely edging into space, modernising its army and plowing money into indigenous IT.

    All these things are happening because all those countries are worried about being dominated by the US in times of crisis.

    And all this talk about nuking them (all those horrid countries who would dare to oppose the US) is plain rubbish. The US could certainly "win" a nuclear war, in that it has more missiles than anyone else, but at least some missiles from any opponent would hit the USA, and I don't know about you, but living in a world after a major nuclear war is not something I like to think about.

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