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China's Space Program, News & Views

This is a discussion on China's Space Program, News & Views within the Strategic Defense forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; This is a very interesting read: International Assessment and Strategy Center > Research > Chinas Manned Military Space Ambitions by ...

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    Thumbs up China's Space Program, News & Views

    This is a very interesting read:

    International Assessment and Strategy Center > Research > Chinas Manned Military Space Ambitions
    by Richard Fisher, Jr.
    Published on October 10th, 2005

    China pursues a robust military space effort, to include manned and unmanned military space programs, while it accuses the United States of militarizing outer space and seeks via diplomacy to limit U.S. military space programs. The imminent launch of China's second manned space mission, called Shenzhou-6, perhaps as early as October 12, 2005, should draw attention to China's manned military space ambitions. The People's Republic of China (PRC) uses its manned space program to serve scientific goals, like
    experimentation and eventual Moon exploration, and political purposes, such
    as advancing nationalist pride and impressing the world with China's
    "peaceful rise." China would also like to leverage its manned space program
    to achieve greater access to European and multi-national space programs like
    the U.S.-led International Space Station.[1]

    However, all five of the previous Shenzhou missions since November 1999, including four unmanned test missions and the first October 2003 manned mission, were used to perform military missions. Early 2005 Chinese television images of Shenzhou-6 under construction indicate that it will also serve military surveillance missions. This evidence suggests that China’s manned space program has been designed to serve military needs as well as others. This is at odds with Beijing’s campaign against the “militarization of outer space,” and contrasts in certain respects with the American pattern, but appears to follow the former Soviet Union’s attempts to develop manned military space platforms. China also makes unmanned military satellites and has ambitions plans in this area.[2]

    Indeed, in March 2005, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force based issued an unclassified report that noted:

    “Chinese and Russian manned space programs have heavy military involvement….China’s manned space program is run by the People’s Liberation Army and includes research on military sensors for space reconnaissance, as well as experiments to understand the space environment. China wants to establish a space station of its own, probably one similar to the early Russian Salyut military space station missions.”[3]

    China’s military designs for its manned space program creates dilemmas for countries considering greater “civil” space cooperation with China. First, if China has decided that manned and unmanned military space combat capabilities are in its national security interests, then can “civil” space cooperation with China truly serve to curb greater military competition with China in space? Furthermore, could such cooperation serve to increase China’s ability to develop more sophisticated manned or unmanned military space capabilities which could threaten countries like Japan, Taiwan, or even the United States? And third, now that China is pursuing programs to put vehicles on the Moon, is it possible that China could even expand military competition to that realm?

    Firm Military Control of China’s Manned Space Program

    China regularly criticizes American plans to “militarize” outer space. In June 2005 China joined Russia in the United Nations Conference on Disarmament to revive a Committee To Prevent the Arms Race In Outer Space, discontinued in 1994.[4] But in China, both manned and unmanned space programs are run by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), or more specifically, the General Armaments Department (GAD) under the PLA’s Central Military Commission. In his April 2002 message following the landing of the Shenzhou-3 capsule, former PRC President Jiang Zemin congratulated then GAD Director, now Defense Minister General Cao Gangchuan, as the “chief director of the national manned spacecraft program.”[5] In November 2002 General Li Jinai was elevated to GAD Director, and the following July, Hong Kong press reports noted he had been appointed “commander-in-chief” of the manned space program, and had taken reports from Huang Junping, director of the Long March CZ-2F manned space-launch rocket program, and Yuan Jiajun, director of the Shenzhou spaceship program.[6] And during a telephone call from space with China’s leaders, China’s first astronaut, Air Force Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, repeatedly addressed Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan as “chief.”[7] In November 2004 General Chen Bingde was elevated to the CMC and to the post of Director of the General Armaments Department, and is assumed to be the current director of the manned space program.


    China’s First Two Space Chiefs: Former manned space program director and General Armaments Department Director General Li Jinai, and his predecessor, current Defense Minister General Cao Gangchuan, inspect a Yuan-class submarine model.

    Future “PLA Space Force”?

    Evidence suggests that the PLA understands the necessity of using and securing outer space as a military objective to serve terrestrial military objectives. The National Air and Space Intelligence Center quoted Liying Zhan, of the Langfang Army Missile Academy saying, “In future space wars, the main operations will consist of destructive satellite attacks and counterattacks, as well as jamming and antijamming operations.”[8] According to a PLA officer interviewed in late 2004, who asked not to be identified in print, for a number of years a debate has proceeded within the PLA over which service should control the range of military-space missions. This officer noted that the debate has been between the Second Artillery, which controls nuclear and non-nuclear missiles, and the PLA Air Force.[9]

    The PLA officer may be correct. In July the Hong Kong journal Chien Shao published an article, claiming to be based on PLA literature and sources, asserting that China has been secretly preparing a “space war experimental team” that could lead to the formation of a new service, a “Space Force” to be assembled from elements of the General Armament Department, the Space Agency and the Second Artillery Corp. The Space Force might have 90,000 personnel and would be directly subordinate the Central Military Commission.[10] The article makes clear the PLA did not yet have such a Space Force, but was actively studying the possibility, and that China’s leaders “…will accelerate the pace of space build-up and actively develop ‘killer’ weapons, including laser weapons, particle beam weapons, microwave pulse weapons, electromagnetic guided missiles, and anti-radiation missiles.”[11]

    Shenzhou’s Military Record

    The original Shanghai Astronautics Bureau Project 921-1 manned space capsule was revamped in 1994 following Jaing Zemin’s visit to Russia, which led to a 1995 agreement to transfer Russian manned space technology. China purchased a Russian Soyuz space capsule, life support and docking technology, space suits, and astronaut training.[12] While the PRC has boasted that it was responsible for the design and production of its subsequent space craft, it is clear that Russian technology has made possible the PRC’s first manned space program. With its November 20, 1999 test flight, the 921-1 craft gained the name “Shenzhou” or “Divine Vessel” from Jiang Zemin, and was revealed to be scaled-up Soyuz, featuring the same three-part design: orbital module; command/crew module; and a service or propulsion module. Shenzhou, however, at a weight of 7800kg, and a length of 7.79m is about 550 kg heavier and over a meter longer than the Soyuz. Unlike Soyuz, the 921-1 has a cylindrical orbital module that has its own solar energy panels, thrusters to enable minor maneuvers, and a digital data transmission system, making it capable of independent operations. All Shenzhou flights have entailed extended orbital module missions following the return of the command module.

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms02a.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms02b.jpg
    Russian Soyuz and China’s Shenzhou Compared: Russia’s Soyuz is primarily a space shuttle, though there were many unrealized Soviet-era proposals for military applications. China’s Shenzhou is a slightly larger Soyuz-based design that incorporated military functions from the beginning. Source: Internet and RD Fisher

    The first flight of Shenzhou in November 1999 lasted only 21 hours. The second unmanned test flight on January 9, 2001 lasted six days, and featured an extended flight for the orbital module that carried experiments, a feature of all subsequent Shenzhou missions. This mission also reportedly encountered an unexpected hard landing for the descent module, likely due to a parachute malfunction, with the implication that any occupants would have died.[13] A third mission from March 25-April 1, 2002 saw the testing of a fully man-rated capsule that carried two dummy “Yuhangyuan ” or astronauts that simulated most human functions, plus upgraded video an voice communication systems. A fourth test mission took place from December 31, 2002 to January 5, 2003, carrying dummies and science experiments. The fifth mission took place on October 15, 2003, in which the first Chinese astronaut, Lt. Col Yang Liwei, circled the Earth for 21 hours and 23 minutes.[14]

    It is now known that all of the unmanned and even the first manned Shenzhou flight performed military missions. Military systems are part of the Shenzhou’s orbital module. Shenzhou-1 and 2 very likely performed electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions.[15] This was indicated by the orbital module’s carrying external Yagi-type antennae mounted on three extendable poles, construction that is consistent with ELINT missions. A Chinese space flight official indicated in early 2003 that Shenzhou-4 conducted ELINT missions, perhaps indicating that Shenzhou’s-2 and 3 did so too. This same official also noted that Shenzhou 4 carried a “microwave” sensing device, very likely a prototype radar satellite.[16] In addition, the orbital modules for Shenzhou’s 3 to 5 all had external box structures that resemble cameras.

    Close up photos of the orbital module for Shenzhou-5 reveal an external box that very likely contained a camera, and an aperture in the orbital module itself, very likely for a second camera. This could mean a hyper-spectral and a close-up camera were included.[17] According to a Hong Kong report a PRC scientist claimed the Shenzhou-5 camera had a resolution of 1.6 meters.[18] The twin camera configuration suggests both high-resolution imaging and hyperspectral cameras, combining imagery from both results in better image definition. Mark Wade, chronicler of the Encyclopedia Astronautica web page, concluded, “…it may be inferred that the main mission of China's first manned spaceflight will be military imaging reconnaissance.”[19] The Shenzhou-5 orbital module reportedly conducted “experiments” for 154 days, or about five months after separation from the command module, which may also correspond with the length of its imaging surveillance mission.[20]

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms03a.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms03b.jpg
    Shenzhou 1 and 5 Orbital Modules: The Shenzhou-1 orbital module shows antenna structures to support a possible ELINT mission. A close up picture of the Shenzhou-5 orbital module from a Chinese magazine shows an external box that very likely contained a camera, and a second opening in the module itself consistent with a camera device. Source: Chinese Internet

    According to numerous reports, the next mission, Shenzhou-6, will feature a two-man crew and a flight that will last about 119 hours, or just short of five days.[21] Chinese officials have noted that there are at least “100” new modifications to Shenzhou-6 to improve its flight performance, control systems, and crew habitability. Unlike Col. Yang Liwei’s first mission, the next crew of two will be allowed to leave the command module and enter the orbital module for experiments and personal functions.

    However, there is evidence that Shenzhou-6 will also perform military surveillance missions. The Shenzhou-6 capsule was completed by at least early March 2005.[22] Late January Chinese television images of the final assembly of the Shenzhou-6 capsule and orbital module show clearly that the latter has the same two-camera assembly as Shenzhou-5. A box structure outside the orbital module is consistent with the camera assembly on Shenzhou-5, as is an aperture in the module itself for an internal camera, also consistent with Shenzhou-5. Given that all of the Shenzhou missions have demonstrated gradual improvements to most systems, it is reasonable to expect that the camera and surveillance systems on Shenzhou-6 will be improved compared to Shenzhou-5. And as with all the previous Shenzhou missions, the unoccupied orbital module for Shenzhou-6 will remain aloft for many more months to perform surveillance missions.

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms04a.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms04b.jpg
    Shenzhou-6 Reconnaissance Features: Chinese television images of Shenzhou-6 in assembly were aired in late January 2005. The video outtake with the orbital module says, “Shenzhou 6 Space Capsule Entering Final Assembly Stage, To Be Launched September to October This Year.” This picture clearly shows that the orbital module will have the same camera-related structures as Shenzhou-5. Source: Chinese Internet/CCTV

    Space Station Ambitions

    While the China’s manned space program may seem slow and deliberate, it may pick up speed around the turn of the decade by initiating a small “Spacelab,” a predecessor to a larger space station. The next three Shenzhou missions, perhaps as early as 2007, to 2008 or 2009, may feature a spacewalk, and then a docking maneuver between a Shenzhou ship and an orbital module left in orbit from another Shenzhou ship launched just before. Such a mission will serve to confirm the operability of space docking systems developed from Russian technology acquired in the early 1990s, as docking is an essential competency to manage larger space platforms. In early 2004, Chinese Internet sources revealed a concept for a “Spacelab,” which consisted of a propulsion module from the Shenzhou, with a permanently attached section slightly larger than the combined sizes of the Shenzhou command and orbital modules. The front of the Spacelab contained a docking port. The validity of this image was later confirmed by its use in multiple space-related video presentations at the November 2004 Zhuhai Airshow.[23]

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms05a.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms05b.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms05c.jpg
    Space Docking and Spacelab: Chinese Internet source images, later used in video presentations viewed at the November 2004 Zhuhai Airshow, show China’s planned use of the Shenzhou to verify space docking technology, and then to use the Shenzhou as the basis for a small “Spacelab” platform. While the Spacelab may only be able to support brief manned visits, this platform has the flexibility to be configured for surveillance or for active anti-satellite missions. Source: Chinese Internet

    While it is to be expected that China will advertise its Spacelab as a larger space platform for scientific and commercial-related research, it could be used for military missions. The Spacelab concept released thus far is a relatively small ship that could only host brief manned visits, perhaps dependent on supplies taken on a Shenzhou. But it also has the advantage of being compatible with the existing CZ-2F space launch vehicle. The Spacelab could be enabled to perform military missions either by outfitting the main cabin or by attaching one or more Shenzhou orbital modules equipped with military systems. Thus equipped, a Chinese “Spacelab” could be variously configured to support surveillance missions, or to deploy micro satellites, or small missiles, to perform anti-satellite missions.

    China could also use the larger cabin of the Spacelab as the base for additional modules that would in turn be connected by smaller modules that would host docking ports or solar power arrays. This concept approaches the former European Space Agency concept for a space station, that was superseded by the International Space Station. At the 2000 Zhuhai show a representative from Europe’s Astrium space technology company noted that the Chinese were very interested in the ESA space station concept.[24] based on multiple linked small modules. Such a concept would allow the Chinese to attach or detach modules with a concentration of military functions depending on need. In addition, there are indications that the Chinese are also investigating significantly larger space stations, and have built at least one mock-up to support this ambition. China has also investigated the purchase of new technology fabric-based inflatable space station modules recently proposed by the U.S. Bigelow Company. “We talked to the Chinese on a confidential basis, and they indicated they are thinking seriously about opening their program to space commercialization,” said founder Robert T. Bigelow to Aviation Week and Space Technology in July 2004.[25] Such technology could also form an potential inexpensive way for the PLA to expand its Spacelab platform to better perform military missions, or to more efficiently enable larger military space stations.

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms06a.jpg

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib...0101_ms06b.jpg
    Larger Space Station Concepts: China has investigated a space station concept influenced by a defunct European proposal, displayed at the 2000 Hannover Exhibition, and may also be working on a mock-up for a much larger space station concept.

    Moon Exploration Ambitions

    In March 2003 China announced its “Chang’e,” Moon exploration program, named after an ancient folk-tale fairy princess who flies to the Moon. The program likely began in the early to mid-1990s and is now planned to have three stages. By 2007 China intends to launch Chang’e-1, a lunar satellite that will provide 3-D Moon images. By 2010 China intends to send a lander to the Moon’s surface that will then deploy a robot exploration vehicle. Work on this vehicle is already well underway. And then by 2020, according to open reports, China will send a lander equipped to a return Moon surface samples to China. There are apparently some in China who question their governments expensive replication of what the U.S. was able to do better with its manned Moon missions.[25] Such efforts might be justified if China also had an active manned Moon program, which has not been announced, but may still be secretly underway. But this effort would also benefit possible PLA ambitions to use the Moon for military missions. These might include setting up an unmanned surveillance facility designed to track U.S. and other deep-space military platforms.

    http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib/20051010_MS07a.JPG
    China’s Chang’e Moon Lander: This image of a future Chinese moon lander and robot vehicle was on display at the November 2004 Zhuhai Airshow. While some Chinese question the expense and redundancy of this effort, from a PLA perspective it might be justified, if it were to lead to Moon-based surveillance capabilities. Source: RD Fisher

    American and Russian Manned Military Space Record

    The United States created the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 as a separate government agency, apart from the Department of Defense (DoD), to manage space activities, especially manned space exploration. There is of course, great cooperation between NASA and DoD, but NASA remains firmly in civilian control. For example, the U.S. Strategic Command, which controls U.S. military space and deterrent capabilities, provided extensive support to enable NASA’s return mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery in July 2005.[27] In the late 1950s the U.S. began to develop what in 1963 became the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL) that envisioned combining scientific and military applications, such a space surveillance and space combat.[28] However, this program was cancelled in 1969 and the U.S. has never since build dedicated manned military space vehicles.

    While the former Soviet Union was accused of pursuing manned military space programs during the Cold War, the extent of its programs for manned military surveillance and combat were not revealed until after the end of the Cold War. An early review of post-Soviet sources by Steven Zaloga served to detail the extent of these programs, to include the use of missile-firing satellites and space combat planes.[29] More recently, the Russian company NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPO Mash) issued a history of its programs to mark its 6th anniversary.[30] The programs described, along with anecdotes provided by NPO Mash employees at the 2005 Moscow Airshow, make clear that the Soviets had a robust manned and unmanned military space program. In the 1950s NPO Mash founder V.N. Chelomei developed an early space plane whose missions included “interception of artificial earth satellites.”[31] 1961 the Soviets launched a small test version of a manned space interceptor vehicle. And this concept was developed into what became a predecessor of the larger Buran space shuttle, a smaller space shuttle like space plane that could be armed with missiles and other space weapons.[32] A NPO Mash Official went so far as to say weapons were also planned for the Buran space shuttle, to include the deployment of individual armed space-walking Cosmonauts[33]—a vision from the James Bond movie Moonraker.

    American and Russian Manned Military Space Record


    Soviet and Chinese small space plane concepts: Russia intended to arm their small space planes for orbital combat. Might China be planning the same? The Chinese space plane comes from a single-stage-to-orbit concept developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Company. Source: NPO Machinostroyenia via RD Fisher, Chinese Internet

    NPO Mashinostroyenia was also responsible for the development of the Salyut manned space station series, or by its military designation, “Almaz.” Three such military-configured space stations flew: Salyut 2 (1972); Salyut 3 (1974 -75) and Salyut-5 (1976-83).[34] Its main military mission was servicing of film-based reconnaissance cameras and the dropping of small re-entry capsules containing film and other electronic recording media. The Almaz was also the first manned space platform to carry a weapon: a single 23mm cannon configured for space use. It required the reorientation of the whole station in order to aim at an incoming target. Former combat-trained Cosmonauts, who later went to work for NPO Mash, related that the Salyut was designed to withstand combat damage, in the vacuum of space, and still allow them to escape to their re-entry capsule.[35] When asked about the possibility and likelihood that China would follow the example of Soviet example of manned military space capabilities, a NPO official responded “Of course, why not?” The “nature of this regime” makes such a direction possible he said.[36]


    Soviet Salyut (Almaz) Military Manned Space Station: Equipped with a 23mm cannon and designed to withstand combat damage in the vacuum of space. Source: NPO Mashinostroyenia via RD Fisher
    Last edited by bd popeye; 01-31-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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    MIGleader's Avatar
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    why would anyone wnt to fight in outer space? many fighters already have a sattelite killing ability. unless oil was discoverd on mars...

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    hm, please don't fault me for wild speculation here, but I believe that one of the best asat weapons would be an BIG EMP bomb that shuts them down... permanently.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMP

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Hell! wont it be just beautiful to bomb some country with a nuetron bomb from outer space?

    Deploying WMD's from such positions where most countries cannot counter is one big advantage. Further if there was a space sniper cannon (lets say one with 105mm cannon) taking out high prioprity targets would be much easier than sending bombers to dodge enemy radar and A.A. to bomb targets like weapons factories or enemy V.I.P.'s

    If its possible man will build it... enough said.

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    here's an article I came across at space.com based on Western analysis of the Chinese space program.

    China's Space Aims Strong Despite Lunar Challenges, Expert Says
    By Tariq Malik
    Staff Writer
    posted: 17 November 2005
    06:56 am ET

    LEAGUE CITY, TX – China’s space program is about three decades from landing astronauts on the Moon, but will make significant strides during that time, according to one expert following the nation’s human spaceflight efforts.

    “They’re probably as close to the Moon as we are to Mars,” space policy expert James Lewis said of China Wednesday during the annual meeting here of the American Astronautics Society (AAS). “They say that they’re goal is a lunar base…[but] it’s not a near-term possibility.”

    Lewis, a senior fellow and director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said China’s lack of a sufficient heavy-lift launch vehicle will require the nation to wait until the development of its Long March 6 rocket – which will follow the yet-to-be completed Long March 5 booster – before a manned lunar flight can take place.

    At least three more missions are expected to follow China’s successful Shenzhou 6 spaceflight – the country’s second flight to carry astronauts and its first to launch a two-person crew – which flew in October. Shenzhou 7 is slated to launch three astronauts in 2007, with two more to flights expected before the country’s Shenzhou 10 mission delivers astronauts to a pair of linked orbital modules from Shenzhou 8 and 9 by 2012, Lewis said.

    “These capsules, if they do link up, will form a space lab,” Lewis said. “[China’s] goal is to build a permanent space station.”

    China’s Shenzhou spacecraft are based on the Russian Soyuz vehicle and consist of a propulsion module, a crew compartment and an orbital module. But the Shenzhou version is larger and can leave its orbital module – which carries its own solar arrays and maneuvering jets – in space for extended periods.

    The fact that China selected a Soyuz model – which Russia routinely uses to ferry new crews to the International Space Station (ISS) –for its Shenzhou spacecraft could indicate some foresight of future international cooperation, though near-term partnerships with the U.S. would be difficult due to current political climate, Lewis said.

    “China is interested in its independent program and not in being a junior partner,” Lewis said, adding that there are also security concerns due to the military component of China’s space program.

    Shenzhou spacecraft launch atop a Long March 2F rocket, though China space officials have said that future Long March 5 boosters could launch up to 28 tons into orbit with a lifting power comparable to Europe’s Ariane 5 vehicle, he added.

    But China’s manned expeditions are only part of its spaceflight ambitions to win national prestige and demonstrate technological prowess.

    The China National Space Administration plans to launch its first Moon probe - dubbed Chang’e 1 – in 2006, with landers and sample return spacecraft to follow by 2020. The initial Chang’e lunar orbiter will fly on a modified version of a Chinese commercial communications satellite, indicating a smooth flow of technology between commercial and research space industry, Lewis added.

    While Chinese space officials have said the Shenzhou 6 mission cost about $110 million – relatively cheap when compared to other national space programs – Lewis said it’s possible the flight cost up to three times that based on past understatements of the nation’s spaceflight costs.

    However, China does spend about one-half of 1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on its space program, and since the nation’s GDP has risen 30 percent since 2002 due to a booming economy, more funding is expected

    “They will have a lot more money and are willing to spend it,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be a well-funded program.”
    Nothing really new here, but I hadn't heard much about successors to the Long March 2F launcher yet. Also, the analyst doesn't seem to think Chinese will be on the moon by 2020 or even 2025, as many have claimed so far--he seems to think 2035 is more realistic.
    Last edited by walter; 11-17-2005 at 10:59 AM.

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    how long was it between america's first space flight and landing? less than 15 years. so china should have a man on the moon by 2020. but it would be a monumentaly difficult task, seeing how amrica has been the only nation to land so far...not even russia has made it.

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by stonewind
    Hell! wont it be just beautiful to bomb some country with a nuetron bomb from outer space?

    Deploying WMD's from such positions where most countries cannot counter is one big advantage. Further if there was a space sniper cannon (lets say one with 105mm cannon) taking out high prioprity targets would be much easier than sending bombers to dodge enemy radar and A.A. to bomb targets like weapons factories or enemy V.I.P.'s

    If its possible man will build it... enough said.
    well there is a possibility that the bomb come back down to the country who delivers it. You know that space is full of uncertainty

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Why do you want weapon in space? Well, ask youself why someone would fight in the sky in the first place.

    Just like the aeroplanes brought the warfare to the third dimension, the space warfare will bring the warfare to a new front. In space you can deploy a lot of spacecraft for surveillance, navigations, and communications. They are not affected by weather conditions, and work 24/7. Also they are out of reach for most land/sea-based air defence system. As you can see in the two Gulf Wars, the U.S.-led coliation forces enjoyed the huge advantages to the Iraqis in this field.

    It is not surprising that warfare will gradually extend to the space. For a country with less advaced space-based sensors, at least it can do is to destroy all sensors in space so that two sides are equally blind and deaf. Image if someone managed to sabotage the U.S. satellite communication and GPS systems, how would U.S. armed forces perform in a war like that?

    The U.S. knows that it will be inevitable, so it continues to develop new system to keep its advantage in this field over other countries. Something I've heard that is currently under development is the next generation aerospace plane bomber. The aircraft can take off like normall aircraft and fly at the edge of atmosphere. The aircraft could travel at a speed of up to Mach 12. It flies so high that no fighter/missile can touch it,a nd it flies so fast that it can reach anywhere in the world within hours, thus no need for overseas bases. A bomber like that will not need to worry about stealth since you cannot do anything even if you detect it.

    So space warfare is that far away after all.

    As to China, I don't believe that the current Project 921/ShenZhou has a clear military target, even though it is operated by the PLA and has some potential for military use. At moment China's biggest challenge is still to make sure that astronauts are sent to space and then return safely, as well as carrying out tasks like space docking and walking. At this stage China is unlikely going to add too many extra tasks to make things complicated. Once China is fully proficient in manned spaceflight and other spacecraft technology, it might then seek more military uses in space. At moment, it is still pretty much a scientific project.
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    there is weapon is space. the Russian ones mounted a 23mm airciaft cannon for the purpose of destorying American satellite and self defence.

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by darth sidious
    there is weapon is space. the Russian ones mounted a 23mm airciaft cannon for the purpose of destorying American satellite and self defence.
    okay, I believe it because darth sidious says so. Seriously though, that would have started an arms race in space, and so far no one seems to think the US has a weapons system in space. If the USSR really had deployed something like that in space I think we would have heard at least rumors. This is the first I have ever heard that--a source would be nice to back it up.

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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Quote Originally Posted by darth sidious
    there is weapon is space. the Russian ones mounted a 23mm airciaft cannon for the purpose of destorying American satellite and self defence.
    Darth Sidious, dude, are you trying to play a Jedi mind trick on us? I know in the universe that you live in there are weapons in space!

    All kidding aside, In reality in this forum it is esential that you post some proof to your claims or the moderators will delete your post. BS is not tolerated.

    I myself have never heard of any weapons in space. Only rumours. If you do indeed have some factual information please post it!

    I'm sure some would consider military sattlites as weapons. But none that I know of have actual weapons attached.
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  12. #12
    darth sidious is offline Banned
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me... 'Master

    THere was weapon in spaceThe weapon ws diasmontaled beacuse the RUssian signed some treaty that do not allow them to do so but before that it destoryed a dummy satellite proveing its effectiveness right now its proboly siting in a Russian junk yard google on that topic and you will find answer that was a long time ago eg in tha 70s
    Last edited by darth sidious; 11-19-2005 at 05:00 PM.

  13. #13
    Dongfeng's Avatar
    Dongfeng is offline Member
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    I will not be surprised to see that Russians or Amercians trying to put some sort of weapon in space during the cold war age. However, would a 23mm cannon work in space? I very much doubt it. There are many conspiracy theory out there such as moon landing hoax and you cannot say it is true simply because you found 'something' with Google.
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  14. #14
    chinawhite's Avatar
    chinawhite is offline Banned Idiot
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    Dongfeng,

    Why wouldn't a cannon work in space. I am assuming that a projectile would have a increased velocity since there is no friction around it.

  15. #15
    darth sidious is offline Banned
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    Re: China’s Manned Military Space Ambitions

    dongfeng

    I think the cannon would work better in space beacuse there is no resistance and the pulposion would still be the same gun powder as for the cannon its self is the same on as that of those used on the late MIG-21/23 agin its a long time ago and preety well documented


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