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Space The Military

China's New Military Space Stations Coming Soon 345

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."
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China's New Military Space Stations Coming Soon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:47AM (#27135607)

    manned space missions since 2000.

    china has lost 0 on 2 attempts.
    russia has lost 0 on 28 attempts.
    usa has lost 1 on 28 attempts.

    I think we need to pick up our game before talking trash about the new guy.

  • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:48AM (#27135637) Homepage

    Of possible interest, the Soviet Union had a number of military space stations. The Almaz project culminated in a Salyut analogue that actually had a 20mm cannon that was test fired in orbit.

    In the 1980s, they built the Polyus Space Battlestation ( which was to be equipped with nuclear mines, a boron field generator, frickin' laser beams, cannons, etc. As part of a last gasp effort to regain relevancy by showing command of the sky, a test battlestation was launched on one of the two Energia boosters that flew. A funny thing happened on the way to orbit, though...

    Because of CG issues, the battlestation (about as big as a US space shuttle) was mounted upside down on the booster. Once it separated from the Energia, it was designed to fire a thruster that would turn it 180 degrees, stop rotation, then the final stage would boost this Cyrillic emblazoned death star into orbit.

    The Energia booster completed it's cycle, the explosive bolts detonated, and the Polyus slowly pulled away. A thruster at the bottom fired, and the ponderous bulk began to rotate. With steady precision, it rotated 90 degrees, 135 degrees, then finally 180 degrees.... ....and kept rotating. As it completed a _complete_ rotation, the rocket fired again and smartly placed it back in the exact same angle it had been when it started.

    The rocket fired as scheduled, but unfortunately for this military menace, the effect was the opposite intended. With typical maniacal mechanical thoroughness, the rocket ran, slowing the station and neatly dropping it into the Indian ocean.

    I've heard rumors (for what that's worth) that one of the US Nuclear subs equipped for deep sea salvage just happened to be in the area at the time. If true, that's the goddamndest thing...

    Nonetheless, it's interesting to speculate about what might have happened in the end-stages of the Cold War if the Soviets had gained control of the high ground in this fashion.

    An aside, a great site for learning more about the military efforts in space during the 60s and 70s is Cold Orbits: []

  • by nothing2seehere ( 1496253 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:10PM (#27136045)
    Let's say you're a Chinese manufacturer. You buy 100 yuan of raw materials, and you plan to turn them into 100 widgets and sell them in a month for 110 yuan. In the meanwhile, deflation is gripping your country, so while you're running your assembly line, the market price for widgets drops from 1.1 yuan to 0.98 yuan. So now, you have to take a loss on your manufacturing operation. Why would a company even bother in that kind of environment? Answer: they wouldn't - they shut down instead.

    This is a pretty fundamental observation of economics, but if you can refute it with something besides "you're a brainwashed sheep," I'd be interested to hear your argument.
  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:11PM (#27136051) Journal
    The Manned Orbiting Laboratory ( ) 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.

    And what happens when a) you get hacked or b) someone from the manned station next door comes over for a visit and unplugs a few things.
  • by grodzix ( 1235802 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:15PM (#27136117)
    Well, if you compare China to US then it seems to be quite a peaceful nation (if you talk about international issues).
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:14PM (#27137001) Journal

    Try outdoor places such as Cabella's or Bass Pro Shop. No guarantees. Another option might be to try outlets. I know the one down the road from me (two actually, located a mile apart), have places which sell boots.

    When you find a place which has boots you like, buy multiple pairs. I've had to resort to that when I find something I really like. I buy two shirts, two pairs of shoes, etc because I know since I like it, it won't be around for more than a few months, never to be seen again.

  • by RockoTDF ( 1042780 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @01:53PM (#27137679) Homepage
    Actually, Alaska and most of the continental US was purchased from various nations. Having said this, pretty much all of North and South America was taken from native peoples.
  • by infaustus ( 936456 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @02:07PM (#27137969)
    In the same time period, China has also conquered and displaced the natives of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. The parts of Southern China formerly occupied by the Miao were conquered and settled by Han Chinese a bit earlier.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @02:46PM (#27138609) Homepage

    Besides, it had a well-known small thermal exhaust port

    It was only well-known because many Bothans died to bring us that information.

  • by LostInTaiwan ( 837924 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @04:44PM (#27140535)
    That's the Big Brother mentality. Why don't China give Tibetans autonomy and fault them on human rights grounds if the Tibetan government abuses it own people. Kind of like how China likes its arrangement with the rest of the world. What the Chinese are doing to the Tibetans is in essence cultural genocide. Given China a few more decades and there won't be a Tibet left. Just a mass of people living under the rules of Han Chinese for the sake of the greater Han Chinese society without their own cultural or religious roots. We can speculate all we want on the future of Tibetan self rule but to deny Tibetan their right to self determination because we deem them to be "backward" or "regressive" is hypocrisy and highlights our own regression for basic human rights.

The absent ones are always at fault.