Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space The Military

China's New Military Space Stations Coming Soon 345

Posted by timothy
from the aloha-up-there dept.
WindBourne writes "China will be launching 2 new space stations this next year. One is for their civil program (as run by the military), while the second is openly for the military. It appears that there will be multiples of the military version to be launched in 2010, and that they are developing the same US Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) that was canceled in 1969. In addition, it appears that China is accelerating their timelines on a number of the earlier space announcements."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China's New Military Space Stations Coming Soon

Comments Filter:
  • by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:27AM (#27135201) Homepage

    China's military is tightly interwoven into the country's economy. Apparently you won't find a company that doesn't have a general behind it somewhere. So military or civilian, it's all the same in the end.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:31AM (#27135275) Journal
    To what degree is this a novel phenomenon? TFA didn't mention any weapons systems, or anything besides probable surveillance gear and being under the administrative control of the military. That seems pretty much identical to everybody else's use of military satellites. It is interesting that they'd see some value in building two manned stations; but the purpose seems to be pretty similar to what satellites have been used for for decades now.
  • by Rynor (1277690) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:35AM (#27135337)
    I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords.
  • And we did this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:37AM (#27135395) Homepage Journal

    Our trade-deficit has largely funded them (and killed our industrial base as a side-effect). If they turn into a large menace, we largely have ourselves to thank/blame. Blowback Theory is live and well. The belief that doing business with a country creates a democracy has proven to be horsewash. It seems the US creates most of its own monsters.
         

  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:41AM (#27135491) Journal

    That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. When our currency tanked it was an economic nut-punch to China. When our economy tanked it was like a fricking sledgehammer.

    China is in a seriously bad situation right now. Their crazy growth has been a calculated attempt to try and build up their economy before their demographics catch up to them: their "all families get 1 kid" bump makes the baby boomers look like a population contraction. They must build up a cushion before those people get too old to work.

    This happening right now is about the worst thing imaginable for them. Manufacturing economies are critically reliant on other countries buying their goods, and China cannot afford an economic contraction at this point in their development.

  • by huckamania (533052) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:43AM (#27135519) Journal

    "minus some of the things that we (supposedly) have that makes us better than them"

    The big difference between the west and other areas is that the west has a large middle class. Having a large middle class encourages upward mobility both from poor to middle class and middle class to rich.

    China is a contender for sure, but so are India, Brazil, Russia, etc.

    "china is the worlds largest military threat"

    I'm not sure the world agrees. The Chinese are actually good people. Their leaders have made some bad decisions but whose hasn't.

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by solios (53048) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:45AM (#27135577) Homepage

    NOTHING will kick NASA (and Roscosmos) in the ass like some actual competition.

    We beat the Soviets to the moon... now, can we get back there before the Chinese?

  • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:47AM (#27135599)
    and this time they are not going to have a bunch of expat Germans with paper-clips on their files to bail them out. I think what is more worrying is that Iran & North Korea may well have manned space flight programs up and running before the USA does. What needs to happen is more Funding for NASA and they need someone with a lot of Political Savy running it (Like James Web in the 60's)
  • by eln (21727) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:53AM (#27135731) Homepage

    The biggest problem is that China has a virtually unlimited pool of cheap labor, and we don't. China doesn't have to spend the money on robotics or worker benefits or anything like that to get work done. If something big needs to be done, they keep throwing people at it until it's done.

    I suppose we could adopt a new plan sort of like China's "1 child per family" policy, except more like "at least 10 children per family". Of course, 90% of the population would have to get used to living like a Chinese peasant, which could be a difficult adjustment for people who have become accustomed to luxuries like electricity and running water. We'd probably also need to annex Canada to make room for all the extra people.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:54AM (#27135747) Journal

    It will be a nice change to have the Chinese strong enough to rein in the Allies of Evil...

    Yeah, because we all know what a peaceful nation China is.

  • Red Scare Bollocks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by krou (1027572) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:57AM (#27135805)

    I don't ever see stories on /. talking about NASA that make a point of mentioning their obvious military ties when they undertake civilian space programs.

    So far, the single dissenter against efforts to prevent militarisation of space at the UN has been the US, not China.

    What this "acceleration of timelines" indicates is that the Chinese are taking the US stance very seriously.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:58AM (#27135835) Journal

    I'm actually much more intrigued by the statement at the end of the article in Space.com about the nuclear powered rover they intend to land on the moon.

    Interesting (if true) that they didn't just put on solar panels (will the rover be used during the lunar night?).

    If they are willing to use nuclear power (probably just RTGs) for such a relatively modest application (except for an experiment or two the Apollo astronauts left on the moon I don't think any nuclear power was ever used there) will they be using nukes for more applications in their space program?

    Nuclear power (first as RTGs, then as full fledged reactors) will REALLY give their spacecraft an order of magnitude more capability than solar powered ones. The Russian radar satellites used to locate American carrier groups used nukes (and one crashed in Canada!). If the Chinese are willing to take the risk (our collective risk?) for using nukes in space what kind of benefits will they obtain?

    Certainly, for some military applications a small, compact nuclear power plant might be a better power source than large vulnerable solar cells. (though the reactor would likely need radiator fins).

  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:02PM (#27135893) Journal

    Let China put up a dozen "military" stations. The Manned Orbiting Laboratory (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/mol.htm ) was canceled for good reasons. Primarily that all the functions could be automated and/or ground controlled, without the extra mass, complexity and vulnerability of a manned station. It will provide them with many individual opportunities to practice maintaining manned stations, docking, crew and supply transfers, etc. We already have the experience and know which works best. But let them make their own mistakes. They many even pull off their entire program through lunar landing in their own fashion, but their particular path isn't the most efficient or effective. Perhaps the hard way will be the best way to learn. OTOH, they may develop technology and techniques we didn't because we didn't need to.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:07PM (#27135991) Homepage Journal
    They must build up a cushion before those people get too old to work.
    ...
    China cannot afford an economic contraction at this point in their development.

    Which is a perfect reason NOT to buy products made in China. Yeah, yeah, all those electronic gizmos people buy are made in China (most anyway), but you don't have to buy that spatula, plates, dog toy, sneakers or anything else made in their country.

    I've done it and while at times it can get frustrating, it can be done with minimal to no effect on ones lifestyle. The only things so far I can't find that aren't made in China are gloves and sunglasses. Yes, I can go out and buy sunglasses made in Italy for $100, but I'm not that desperate.

    Between their overall human rights abuses combined with their continued occupation and suppression of Tibet, now is the best time to wean yourself from the Chinese teat.

  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:19PM (#27136195)

    In a few years you will see China overtake the 'West' in the utilization of 'space' and the West will never be able to regain their prominence in that area. This is because the West does not have the one thing that is needed in order to maintain long tern projects of this magnitude. The West does not have continuous governments.

    In China with one party rule they have the ability to put forward really long term plans. This is not so in the West where governments only have a life of about four years. No sooner does a Western government come to power than they start to campaign for the next election instead of moving their societies forward and usually in the process discontinue the grand plans of the previous governments so that they don't get credit for their success should their be any.

  • by geckipede (1261408) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:34PM (#27136401)
    So in order to show your disapproval of the Chinese government's abuse of their people, you want to oppose and actively resist their attempt to do something to raise quality of life for those same people?
  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:35PM (#27136411)
    Continuous, unchanging government also means that if they proceed down the wrong path, they'll just keep going, over the cliff. Having to be re-elected every so often keeps politicians on there toes, even if they do get re-elected 90% of the time.
  • Garbage (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:42PM (#27136509)

    The OP has serious comprehension problems. China has two space station programs, one for now and one for about ten years in the future. Not multiple space stations in 2010. There will be multiple missions to one space station over a few years.

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:52PM (#27136683)
    Because they planned to turn the 100 widgets into 150 yuan so after the .03 point deflation, they are still making .47 yuan per unit, and to replace the raw materials will now only cost 0.97 yuan because of the deflation.

    The reason the previous poster called you a 'brainwashed sheep' is because you clearly believe that deflation and taking a loss on every every unit sold are synonymous. This is simply false. The 'same fundamental observations of economics' always seem to not notice the benefits of deflation like lower raw material costs for equal quality materials as well lower wages for an equal quality of life for their employees. In fact, if the factory continues to pay their employees the same amount, it will have the real effect of having given their employees a raise.

    Every time that deflation comes up, someone does what you did. They make up a very specifically crafted scenario that would be bad in a deflation economy, and then call it a 'fundamental observation of economics. They completely ignore the fact that inflation is exactly what has cause our current financial problems. An inflation economy encourage people not to save a safety net because in an inflation economy, every dollar you save is money lost.

    Since there is not stable economy (as in no inflation or deflation) every economy is either in a state of inflation or deflation, and dealing with the problems caused by the change. Inflation economies hurt the individual while deflation economies hurt the business. If a billion dollars is lost, it sounds worse if it is from a business (a single entity) than if it is from 100 million individuals. It isn't worse. It just sounds that way because it makes a better sound bite.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:08PM (#27136891) Journal

    Well, if you compare China to US then it seems to be quite a peaceful nation (if you talk about international issues).

    Tell that to the Tibetans. Of course, China, like an imperialist state, used some old, and even at the time, dubious claim to seize a sovereign state. So, if you redefine annexations of other territories purely an internal issue, maybe you have a point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:16PM (#27137023)

    tell the same to vietnam, granada, panama, iraq, afghanistan...

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:23PM (#27137147) Homepage Journal

    Sure, why not? The people get restless over not having jobs and take out their frustrations on the government. It's already happening in some places in China where the local people are fed up with the corruption of the local administrators and have both attacked government offices and demanded the people be put on trial for corruption. Which they were.

    If China truly wanted raise the quality of life of its people, they'd concentrate on cleaning up that noxious cloud hanging over Beijing, building more waste treatment plants and having more strict environmental controls for manufacturers. Oh yeah, and that whole, "You'll work for twelve hours a day, with one break" needs to be worked on as well.

    But don't think for a moment I'm some environmental wacko who wants unions to come to China. Hardly. I'm merely expressing my displeasure with Chinese policy by not buying their products. I do the same for a few other countries as well.

    If we're going to gripe about North Korean policies towards its people, we can certainly do the same towards China.

  • Re:And we did this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:24PM (#27137169) Homepage Journal
    Rest assured, once they get some money, they will demand their share of political power. The only way to prevent that is to keep the bulk of the population ignorant and isolated, and that only works for so long.

    ---

    Bzzzt! Nice try, but wrong. As long as you keep the majority of the populace in a lifestyle that they will accept, you can have any form of government you like. China is doing it EXACTLY right, by giving the population a middle-class lifestyle, stuff to buy, TV programs, etc.

    Look at the USA... How many in this country actually demand their share of political power? Very, very few. How many Americans actually vote? How many Americans vote for someone outside of the "two choices" they are offered by the system? How many Americans realize that the two choices they are offered is really no choice, because for the most part, the two options are pretty much the same?

    Let's face reality. As long as you have shopping malls, nice cars and dancing with the stars, most Americans are satisfied. Same with China. And the government that's providing the lifestyle doesn't matter, as long as you have the lifestyle.

    And with China, most people there think the government is doing a good job. After all, their lifestyle is improving. Therefore, things are going well. Who's going to rock the boat if life is improving?
  • by nothing2seehere (1496253) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:24PM (#27137173)
    Wow. Just.. wow. Your post is rife with inconsistencies and evasions. Let's look at just a few:

    Because they planned to turn the 100 widgets into 150 yuan so after the .03 point deflation, they are still making .47 yuan per unit, and to replace the raw materials will now only cost 0.97 yuan because of the deflation.

    The instantaneous cost of the commodity isn't what's at hand here, only the price obtained for the finished good relative to the commodity when it was purchased. The raw materials only cost 0.97 now? That's fantastic, until you realize that deflation still exists. Deflation is a trap for the producer that cuts into earnings. Also, I doubt many Chinese manufacturers are making a 47% margin.

    The reason the previous poster called you a 'brainwashed sheep' is because you clearly believe that deflation and taking a loss on every every unit sold are synonymous.

    I never said they were synonymous. In China's current manufacturing climate, though, deflation will erase any profits from many manufacturing concerns.

    The 'same fundamental observations of economics' always seem to not notice the benefits of deflation like lower raw material costs for equal quality materials as well lower wages for an equal quality of life for their employees.

    Again, you're focusing on the instantaneous cost of the raw materials, which is, well, immaterial. Lower material costs are good for producers only if they are lower relative to the price of the finished goods. Why is that so hard to understand?

    In fact, if the factory continues to pay their employees the same amount, it will have the real effect of having given their employees a raise.

    ... and increasing the manufacturer's labor costs, reinforcing my point.

    Every time that deflation comes up, someone does what you did. They make up a very specifically crafted scenario that would be bad in a deflation economy, and then call it a 'fundamental observation of economics.'

    ... which you countered with very specifically crafted and rather unrealistic scenario. I remain unconvinced.

    They completely ignore the fact that inflation is exactly what has cause our current financial problems.

    You are the very first person I've ever heard attribute the current financial crisis to monetary inflation. At best, you could ascribe it to asset inflation, i.e. the housing crisis, but even that is a proximate cause. Inflation has been quite low over the past decade. A more immediate problem is the insane leveraging of financial institutions coupled with a serious lack of regulation.

  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:28PM (#27137267) Homepage

    The Chinese are actually good people. Their leaders have made some bad decisions but whose hasn't.

    The Chinese people don't have their finger on the button, their leaders do, making their leaders (and therefore all of China) a very large potential military threat to the rest of the world.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:34PM (#27137361) Homepage Journal
    Very few people base their decisions off the "place of origin" of the item.

    I agree. With the exception of China and a few other countries, I don't really care where a product is made. As your second paragraph relates, I look for the best quality at the best price.

    However, unlike most people, when I buy something, I buy the best I can so it lasts as long as possible. For example, I have finally replaced my original cookware with a much more sturdy, and expensive, set but I don't have to worry for the remainder of my life that the pans will warp or go bad. Lifetime warranties are a good thing. The fact that the items happen to be made in the U.S. is just a bonus.

    And yes, the whole "Buy American" thing is overdone. Those who continually harp about "Buy American" or "Buy Union" fail to mention they're the same ones who go to Wal-Mart and buy the cheapest, Chinese-made piece of crap they can find. If they were truly pro-union, they wouldn't step foot in a Wal-Mart. Besides, it's getting harder and harder to find things made in the U.S. thanks to the companies sending those jobs to China.

    However, like everything else, one person does something and someone else picks it up and does the same thing. This is then passed on to someone else and so on. Eventually, you have a movement. If nothing else, the current recession/depression is a great thing because it has forced people to realize how much money they were throwing away on essentially worthless junk and how little one really needs to live a comfortable life. I mean really, do you need a flat screen tv in every room of the house?

  • by drsquare (530038) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:46PM (#27137557)

    China has conquered Tibet. The US has conquered Hawaii, Alaska, as well as the whole mainland United States from various nations. And that's just historically. Since then, the US has waged war on well over a dozen nations, whilst China hasn't touched anyone.

  • by orzetto (545509) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:51PM (#27137661)

    Why, I would have said "tell the same to the Sioux, the Apache, the Comanche, the Pawnee, the Alaska natives," and so on.

    It has always puzzled me how some Americans can double-think on such a grand scale when talking about Tibet: almost the entire area of the US was taken by outright theft, swindle or larceny.

    At the same time, while China is the evil empire persecuting Tibetans, Israel is "just defending itself". Would be interesting to see how the US public opinion would react if China bombed Tibet the way Israel bombed Gaza, and whether it would be considered that Tibetans actually killed more Chinese of other ethnic groups last year (see Lhasa riots) than Palestinians killed Israelis.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:55PM (#27137727) Journal

    Um, you're right about Hawaii, but Alaska was purchased from the Russians.

    At any rate, I wasn't defending the US, but merely pointing out that anyone who thinks that China is such a wonderful country needs to be reminded that it too, in its turn, has played the imperialist game, and with the same cheap, shoddy justifications as everyone else.

    BTW, I'm not American, so anyone hear who is trying to evade the debate by saying "Just another damned Yank" can stick it up their asses, particularly those of you who I'm reasonably sure are simply Chinese feeling all nationalistic and jingoistic.

    At least I'm allowed to say publicly and as frequently as I want "My government sucks" and list off all the leaders and bureaucrats and state why precisely I think they suck, without fear of any kind of incarceration.

  • by orzetto (545509) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @02:29PM (#27138355)

    And it could be argued that if my grandma had had balls, she would have been my grandpa.

    South Vietnam was not an ally, it was a puppet regime. The North may have been a puppet of the Soviet Union, but that's beside the point. The North won also because the South regime, that represented the Christian urban minority, was never accepted by the Buddhist rural majority. That's what pushed the population to support the Viet Cong, and that's why all major US operations were in South Vietnam, not in the North.

  • Firefly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaronfaby (741318) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @02:55PM (#27138773)
    Joss Whedon was on to something when he gave the Firefly characters chinese phrases throughout the show...
  • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @11:43AM (#27151383)

    I would argue that North Korea is the world's largest military threat. They have what, the fourth largest standing army in the world, and a crazy, unpredictable dictator giving commands. The only somewhat ally North Korea has is China, and describing that relationship as an alliance is a bit of a stretch.

    China isn't looking to start a war. Its interested in stability. North Korea, on the other hand, may very well be looking for the right excuse to internally justify war.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

Working...