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[deleted] t1_iyeoxrf wrote



Corbulo2526 t1_iyeqzo1 wrote

You say that like it's a bad thing?


vibrunazo t1_iyev8kv wrote

I don't care either way, I'm just curious. Even tho posting the contents of an article that isn't paywalled isn't exactly useful to me in particular.


NarroNow t1_iyf4o28 wrote

It's not human!!!!

Seriously. it's not.


Sattalyte t1_iyf09k2 wrote

Popcorn moment!

The faster China progress, the more funding NASA and SpaceX will get to keep the US ahead.

I've always cheered for the Chinese space agency for this reason, and I always will.


Seeker_00860 t1_iyewb7m wrote

I like this. This is a healthy competition. So long as these do not turn into wars, it is good for the world.


Soupjoe5 OP t1_iye8v7q wrote



China has successfully sent a new team of astronauts to its Tiangong space station, a significant achievement that not only marks the country’s first in-orbit crew handover but possibly also the beginning of continuous occupancy at the station.

The rendezvous in space marks a milestone for China’s rapidly advancing space program as Beijing aims to catch up with and eventually surpass the United States as the dominant power in space.

The three-man crew arrived at the space station Wednesday aboard a Shenzhou-15 spacecraft to take over from three colleagues who had arrived in June and are set to return next week.

The new team will stay for six months and focus on installing equipment around the newly completed, three-module station, which will host a variety of experiments in near-zero gravity and become only the second permanently inhabited space outpost after the NASA-led International Space Station.

The Tiangong station is set to operate for about a decade in low-Earth orbit, while the ISS is expected to conclude operations by 2030.

While Wednesday’ success has given the Chinese nation reason to celebrate as it grapples with COVID-19 lockdowns and protests, there are concerns in the United States and elsewhere about the security implications of China’s ambitious space program.

“Beijing is working to match or exceed U.S. capabilities in space to gain the military, economic, and prestige benefits that Washington has accrued from space leadership,” the U.S. intelligence community said in this year’s threat assessment report.

But just how advanced is China’s space program?

The Chinese program started in the late 1950s and the country launched its first satellite in 1970 using the Long March-1 rocket. The program has long been tied to the military, with the Long March rocket series being closely linked to Beijing’s efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China is no exception in allowing a role for the military in space, but unlike the United States and its partners, the China National Space Administration, the country’s main civilian space agency, is heavily influenced by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

To speed up program development, China also relied on technologies made in other countries, particularly Russia, in the field of human spaceflight, said Pablo de Leon, chair of the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota. De Leon pointed to similarities between Russian and Chinese space suits and re-entry vehicles, among other things.


Soupjoe5 OP t1_iye8wfb wrote


“The Chinese improved in some areas but they saved a lot of time and money using Russian technology,” he said.

In recent decades, the Chinese program has developed at an incredibly fast pace, with Beijing investing heavily to turn the country into a comprehensive space power behind only the U.S. in terms of accomplishments and capabilities.

The overarching aim is to transform China into an “all-round world-leading country in space equipment and technology” by 2045, according to Chinese state media.

“China's space program has been growing by leaps and bounds,” said Brown University professor James Head, pointing to the country’s achievements in human and robotic exploration and a string of successes on the moon and Mars.

Andrew Jones, a Finland-based journalist who covers China's space program, has a similar view.

“China's long-term vision for and investment in space has paid dividends in recent years, with notable achievements, including the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, a successful rover landing on Mars and the development of space infrastructure for communications, Earth observation and navigation and positioning.”

China, which built its own space station in less than two years, now has an independent navigation system (Beidou) and the ability to support humans in low-Earth orbit. It also launched more satellites last year than any other nation.

In the coming months Beijing plans to launch the Xuntian space telescope, which is reported to have a field of view 300 to 350 times that of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

“The Chinese have been able to achieve what they said they would do in pretty short order,” said professor Quentin Parker, director of the Laboratory for Space Research at the University of Hong Kong.

“They plan well, they execute well. They learn carefully, and they are doing an exemplary job in demonstrating how to emerge as a major spacefaring nation,” Parker said.

An ambitious agenda

But as experts point out, this might be just the beginning.

“China’s space ambitions come directly from the very top as part of President Xi Jinping's space dream,” said Kari Bingen, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).


Soupjoe5 OP t1_iye8z7f wrote


Earlier this year, Beijing released a White Paper outlining its plans for space science, exploration, technology and propulsion over the coming five years, while stating that the country’s space industry “serves the overall national strategy.”

The paper lays out a broad array of priorities for spaceflight, including upgrading and expanding launch vehicles, building out satellite constellations, operating the Tiangong space station and planning crewed lunar landings, as well as exploring the moon, Mars and beyond.

Independent scholar and author Namrata Goswami said that the thrust of China's space program is to accomplish resource utilization, including asteroid mining, lunar resource extraction, nuclear fusion and reusable rockets, while establishing a strategic presence on the Earth Moon Lagrange points, or positions in space where gravity and centrifugal force balance each other.

“China's space program has shifted the narrative of space from Cold War, Western-led concepts like 'space is all about prestige' to demonstrating that space is about the economic benefits it brings,” said Goswami.

Beijing has announced several ambitious plans for the coming years, including collecting near-Earth asteroid samples and conducting two lunar polar exploration missions by 2025. It also plans to launch a Mars sample-return mission, send an unmanned probe to Jupiter and land astronauts on the moon by 2030.

The country also wants to develop reusable carrier rockets by 2035 before establishing an initially robotic — and later intermittently crewed — research base on the moon by 2036 and one on Mars by 2045, the latter of which could benefit from China’s plans to build a nuclear-powered space shuttle by 2040.

“China is building a ‘Silk Road to Space’ and I have no doubt that they are capable of doing this,” said Head at Brown University.

But where does the Tiangong space station fit into these plans?

Although only about 20% the mass of the ISS, experts say the Tiangong will not only be used as a platform for space science experiments but also as a tool for soft power, prestige and potentially a means of attracting partners for space cooperation.

“The completion of the station demonstrates that China is a space power with the technical advancements, operational proficiency and resource commitment to sustain a long-term human presence in space,” said Bingen, adding that the breakthrough comes amid uncertainty about the future of the ISS.

Moreover, the Tiangong will enable China to build an entire low-Earth orbit logistical system, including cargo transfers vital for life support away from Earth.


Soupjoe5 OP t1_iye92ah wrote


“Some of the most critical technologies for a space program involve the ability to dock and rendezvous autonomously, accomplish maneuvers and in-space assembly,” said Goswami, all of which China aims to continue testing and improving.

But perhaps more importantly, permanent occupancy implies that China will build on its strategic goal of dominating the space between Earth and the moon, while training and equipping people to live in space. This will offer strategic insights into space biology, space weather and the long-term effects of long stays on the human body.

Last but not least, a sustained presence in space will also allow Chinese officials to prepare for landing astronauts on the moon and compete with NASA’s Artemis program.

So why the security concerns?

Although Beijing insists that it plans to use space for peaceful purposes and scientific achievements, the emergence of an undemocratic and autocratic China as a space power is seen as a potential security risk to other countries, particularly given the dual-use nature of the space technologies being developed, the PLA’s prominence in the domestic space industry and Beijing’s lack of transparency.

Compounding these concerns, said CSIS’s Bingen, are national intelligence laws that compel civil and commercial enterprises to support intelligence-gathering efforts and China’s ruling Communist Party’s “civil-military” fusion strategy, which blurs any line between military and civilian space programs.

“While Beijing pursues these exploration programs it is also building out a vast array of ground- and space-based anti-satellite weapons, including missiles like the one tested in 2007 that created dangerous orbital debris that will remain in orbit and threaten both our space stations and other satellites for decades to come.”

These concerns were confirmed by the U.S. intelligence community in the latest threat assessment report.

“Counterspace operations will be integral to potential military campaigns by the PLA, and China has counterspace weapons capabilities intended to target U.S. and allied satellites,” it said, warning that the Chinese military is also integrating space services — such as satellite reconnaissance and communications — into its weapons and command-and-control systems to erode the U.S. military’s information advantage.


Dittybopper t1_iyee92h wrote

China has their goals/objectives in space, the US/EU their own. There is no "race."


BlueMonkOne t1_iyeg7u9 wrote

What race? China is the 3rd country to have a space station.


404_Gordon_Not_Found t1_iyegzmr wrote

Just because they started 3rd does not mean they are locked in the 3rd place.


spaetzelspiff t1_iyev538 wrote

This moronic tortoise and hare-ing of China; still believing China is the same China as it was in 1996 is what will cost America its competitiveness in space (and elsewhere).

There is clearly a space race between the east and west, regardless of whether either side acknowledges the other.


TK-741 t1_iyf2vbx wrote

China has a lot of room to keep growing, too.

The US on the other hand is painting itself into a corner. They have normalized a lifestyle that won’t be sustainable for America and Americans to maintain.


BlueMonkOne t1_iyej7tf wrote

They are for space stations above Earth.


404_Gordon_Not_Found t1_iyem7hz wrote

Sure, but counting space power by order of things isn't really indicative of current situations. I wouldn't call Russia the 2nd space power rn even if they sent the MIR into space before China.


[deleted] t1_iyey9kg wrote



windmill-tilting t1_iyf2qe6 wrote

The ISS was launched 20+ years ago. Di the technogical advances even 3xist then? Also "international" means operating g3oups. I guess BRA minus C were not interested?


KiwieeiwiK t1_iyfbh9o wrote

>The ISS was launched 20+ years ago. Di the technogical advances even 3xist then?

No, but that's their point. It isn't "China's space station is better because China is better", it's "China's station is better because it's newer"

It's not a criticism of the US or Russia or the ISS project as a whole. Newer things are just better.


HildemarTendler t1_iyf6a6f wrote

But what is the race? What are we racing towards? Is this just a "who can spend the most" race? Are we racing to colonise the moon? Get someone to Mars? What's the end game?


KiwieeiwiK t1_iyfby2z wrote

There was no end game to the first space race, the idea of humans on the moon being the finishing line came much later, and mostly after the US had done it and the USSR had failed to. The space race began in 1955, before anyone had even got anything into space, the idea that "we are going to walk on the moon before you" was some kind of goal of the US is absurd.

The first real target of the space race was to get a satellite into orbit.


horsemagicians t1_iyfbiva wrote

There’s always competition whether you want to admit it or not. US officials have so why don’t you?


Mak_2022 t1_iyf9rh8 wrote

To the West, its always a race; a me against you thing; the Chinese could simply be learning from the west an doing their thing and not necessarily trying to compete


Decronym t1_iyf749w wrote

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

|Fewer Letters|More Letters| |-------|---------|---| |BO|Blue Origin (Bezos Rocketry)| |ICBM|Intercontinental Ballistic Missile| |LEO|Low Earth Orbit (180-2000km)| | |Law Enforcement Officer (most often mentioned during transport operations)| |RCS|Reaction Control System| |Roscosmos|State Corporation for Space Activities, Russia|

|Jargon|Definition| |-------|---------|---| |hydrolox|Portmanteau: liquid hydrogen fuel, liquid oxygen oxidizer| |hypergolic|A set of two substances that ignite when in contact|

^(7 acronyms in this thread; )^(the most compressed thread commented on today)^( has 33 acronyms.)
^([Thread #8368 for this sub, first seen 30th Nov 2022, 23:03]) ^[FAQ] ^([Full list]) ^[Contact] ^([Source code])


horsemagicians t1_iyfcbks wrote

You know what, good. Unlike the salty Americans in this thread, that’s a good thing. Look how much was accomplished with the space race against Russia. Despite what people in this thread apparently think, China has caught up very fast in the past couple decades. It was a country of mules being used to farm when the US first went to space, a cart was the main form of transportation in the 80s still.

Russia has pretty much become pointless, and the more countries in space sending out orbiters, rovers, cameras, doing scientific studies, the better it is for everybody who enjoys space. Competition is always good and the US has been pretty stagnant the past decade or so. If it weren’t for SpaceX then China would currently be ahead of the US.


Yumewomiteru t1_iyf9l05 wrote

Six months in space is a long time, the returning taikonauts should enjoy a long break with lots of outdoor activities.


aimbotdotcom t1_iyfb120 wrote

lol if i were in space for that long, the first thing i'd do when i get back is lay down on the grass and hug the solid ground 😛


horsemagicians t1_iyfbovg wrote

For some reason I’d miss waterfalls the most. Its always the first thing I think of when I think about how I couldn’t go live on Mars permanently.


[deleted] t1_iyf6640 wrote



KiwieeiwiK t1_iyfcss5 wrote

>Does this have relation to China announcing they will build several thousand nuclear warheads in the coming years?

These are numbers from the Pentagon, not from China. They went from 200 warheads to 400 and the Pentagon said "If they keep going at this pace for more than another decade, they will be at 1,500 warheads!!"

It's a nonsense idea.

Think about why the Pentagon might want the American people to be scared of a rising Chinese army. What benefits could they get from pushing the idea of a warhead gap?


Numismatists t1_iyevibv wrote

These findings demonstrate an urgent need to develop environmental regulation to mitigate damage from this rapidly growing industry.

Rocket emissions of black carbon (BC) produce substantial global mean radiative forcing of 8 mW m−2 after just 3 years of routine space tourism launches. This is a much greater contribution to global radiative forcing (6%) than emissions (0.02%) of all other BC sources, as radiative forcing per unit mass emitted is ∼500 times more than surface and aviation sources. The O3 damage and climate effect we estimate should motivate regulation of an industry poised for rapid growth.


vibrunazo t1_iyf0vml wrote

That's speculating a future where space tourism became routine on rockets running either RP1 or hypergolics... Doesn't even mention the one rocket that actually has a shot of making space tourism routine..


404_Gordon_Not_Found t1_iyf52lu wrote

Exactly, the one running the most space tourism flights rn is Blue Origin which uses a hydrolox rocket that emits no carbon exhaust.

SpaceX is using RP1 but moving to cleaner fuel, the article is completely detached from reality.


laterlifephd t1_iyelc3z wrote

Yeah, they are only 50+ years late to the party…


KiwieeiwiK t1_iyfc8xg wrote

And yet their space program is running almost on par with NASA, and is overtaking ROSCOSMOS. Being late doesn't mean being bad!