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Chinese Space Program (CNSA) & Ch. commercial launch and discussion


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"Asteroid exploration" is a Hayabusa style sample return launching in 2024. We now have further confirmation that China's MSR mission will be called Tianwen-2- so no Chinese Mars probes until 2028, which is when the MSR mission launches. "Boundary of the solar system exploration" is the spacecraft intended to reach 100 AU by 2049.

100 trillion RMB is 15,667,596,000,000 USD.

The major news also coming out of this conference is that the Chinese government has officially approved the start of the development of the crewed phase of the lunar exploration program. Previously everything was just small internal projects of different institutions with no plan to actually go.

Translation of the road map in the upper tweet, not by me-

Quote

2021-2030: Establish a main research base at the antarctic area of the moon.

2031-2040: Establish another two base at the front and the far side of the moon.

2041-2050: Establish multiple research station at the surface of the moon, form an interactive supervising and communication network for lunar surface probe and discovery.

To be clear, at first these will be robotic bases. Crew can optionally follow afterwards. The approved crewed program mentioned above is currently only for expeditions, no approval of a crewed lunar base yet.

On the space policy side of things-

I imagine many of you are laughing at the name of this meeting, but I for one like Soviet/post-Soviet ultra-long commission/document/project/whatever names!

And on the defence side of things-

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/10/questions-linger-over-chinas-reported-hypersonic-space-weapon-test/

This is a pretty decent article on the whole hypersonic FOBS debacle. Quotes that sum it up (emphasis added by me)-

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“In the past we’ve put a lot of confidence in our assessment of what an adversary like China will do in the future, and we use that to inform how we want to make our investments. And one of the lessons that I’ve taken from my own experience is perhaps we should look at what is possible from a physics perspective, as opposed to what we think they’re going to do,” Niemi, PACAF’s director of strategy, plans, programs, and requirements, said in a Monday talk hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. “Because China, again and again, has proven that if it is possible within physics, and it will surface another hole in our swings, that they will do it.”

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Dean Cheng, a Breaking Defense contributor and an expert on the Chinese military, said assuming the launch was a test of a hypersonic weapons system based in space, the “scary part” is what that might mean for how the Chinese are planning to use space — and potentially exponentially complicating the US ability to defend itself.

“ICBM warheads do not normally go into orbit,” he said in an email. “How would we know if a satellite carried a nuclear weapon aboard? We’d have to assume that ALL satellites launched by China are now potential nuclear weapons carriers.”

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Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on China’s nuclear and space policies at Monterrey Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), does not doubt the FT report that the PLA tested a FOBS, but also said in a Twitter feed the US must check its reaction.

“I keep seeing people describe China’s FOBS test as a ‘Sputnik moment.’ I think this is a lot more like 9/11 where we collectively panic and do a bunch dumb, self-destructive [expletive] that exceeds even the hopes of our worst enemies,” he wrote.

Before anyone starts assuming China is going to build an artificial black hole above US airspace (because physics), or decides to build a massive orbital ASAT combat network to shoot down Chinese nuke sats, or "does dumb stuff", I recommend watching a documentary called the The Atomic Cafe. If you take that and then use it as a sort of "mental filter" over current events, it is pretty funny.

Edited by SunlitZelkova
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Leaving the absurdity of the hype-ER... Whatever aside 

 

The sheer number of planned and approved missions are exceptionally aggressive. While an impressive achievement if they can pull them off... 

I wonder how much of it is sustainable / achievable from a financial perspective.  I don't know much about Chinese bureaucracy, but if anything like US & Russian - there are likely to be a lot of aspirational projects that can get initiated only to disappear unexpectedly. 

Anyone got a guess as to whether similar fates await the Chinese space industry, or is it too young* to be making such predictions? 

 

*I know China has been in space for a while, but this newly capable Chinese Space enthusiasm seems a different beast from 20 years ago 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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On 10/21/2021 at 2:32 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Leaving the absurdity of the hype-ER... Whatever aside 

 

The sheer number of planned and approved missions are exceptionally aggressive. While an impressive achievement if they can pull them off... 

I wonder how much of it is sustainable / achievable from a financial perspective.  I don't know much about Chinese bureaucracy, but if anything like US & Russian - there are likely to be a lot of aspirational projects that can get initiated only to disappear unexpectedly. 

Anyone got a guess as to whether similar fates await the Chinese space industry, or is it too young* to be making such predictions? 

 

*I know China has been in space for a while, but this newly capable Chinese Space enthusiasm seems a different beast from 20 years ago 

It is too young. One can not look at the 80s and 90s space projects because they were obviously unfeasible from both an economic and technological standpoint, but the China of 2021 is very different in both of those fields.

The spaceplanes are a little fanciful, but there is not that much extreme otherwise.

A short list-

1. Space station + Shenzhou

2. Crewed lunar expedition (just short stays, no funding for a crewed base yet)

3. Robotic lunar exploration (just more of stuff they have already done)

4. Mars sample return

5. Asteroid sample return

6. Jupiter orbiter

7. Two Pioneer 10/Voyager class probes

8. Reusable rocket (Long March 8)

This is by no means an unusually large number and is quite feasible. To compare it with NASA-

1. ISS + Commercial crew

2. Artemis (SLS and Orion)

3. VIPER and CLPS

4. Two currently operational Mars rovers + early planning for MSR

5. OSIRISEx

6. Currently operational Juno

7. Currently under development Venus probes

8. More SLS development (EUS)

Granted, a number of these programs involve commercial space, but it should be noted space projects are often uber-cheap when compared to the amount of money spent on other things. Thus they are very affordable. China also does not need to worry about public opinion over costs, as no one knows how much China spends on space anyways (lol).

If anything, I would be worried China is going to be more efficient than the US. It does not have regional politicians vying for election who wheel and deal useless vehicles into production, wasting money- there are basically two different companies/factories that do all of China's major aerospace manufacturing + CNSA who build probes, and they take their orders from people who don't need regional support to stay in power. The Communist Party also clearly understands the propaganda value of space too and will remain interested in it, especially considering potential economic importance regarding space.

Furthermore, China does not have internal competition like the Soviet Union had with Chelomei, Korolev/Mishin, and Glushko. The capabilities and duties of the two major companies are very clear and neither has shown any sign of fighting against each other (it is also unlikely the current government would allow such inefficiency anyway).

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As a post-90s Chinese, I think the reaction of most people my age when they hear such news about our hypersonic vehicles is "finally it's your turn to worry", and I guess it's the same for the previous generation, my father's generation. Frankly, the FT hype is more like a conflation of our several hypersonic re-entry experiments into a single story. With the surveillance capabilities of the Western countries' constellation of satellites monitoring the Chinese test site in question, I don't believe you couldn't get a picture if it really did crash, and if you did I don't believe you have the patience not to put the news out and continue the hype.

The words of our Foreign Office spokesman were along the lines of: well we did experiment, more than once, and we threw something in half way, which you didn't see, did you?

And btw, the FT picture looks particularly like the "Earth Engines" from the movie "the Wandering Earth" starting up, and actually I believe it's the launch pic from Tianzhou-2

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4 hours ago, steve9728 said:

The words of our Foreign Office spokesman were along the lines of: well we did experiment, more than once, and we threw something in half way, which you didn't see, did you?

Somehow I think the Western militaries aren't in the habit of releasing or discussing in detail their satellite footage or sensor capabilities. I'm sure the hypersonic tests were well monitored by every interested party.

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6 hours ago, steve9728 said:

and if you did I don't believe you have the patience not to put the news out and continue the hype.

The photo released of the failed Iranian rocket test was an anomaly. I think even they wanted to, they can't because publishing photos allows others to determine the characteristics of the satellite that took it- something classified.

Nonetheless, there is fearmongering all around in regards to both space and military developments in China.

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2 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

Somehow I think the Western militaries aren't in the habit of releasing or discussing in detail their satellite footage or sensor capabilities. I'm sure the hypersonic tests were well monitored by every interested party.

In fact, the effective monitoring of a particular hypersonic vehicle of a particular country in real time is, I think, still a bit too advanced for the current scientific development of mankind lol. 

But with today's modern technology, which can capture the moment of launch of an anti-aircraft missile that shot down a civilian airliner, If it did "crash" and was a few miles off target as reported, I don't think the Western satellites in the space wouldn't have been able to capture the crash site. Some media in China said that it is more likely that the object landed at an airfield near the conventional test site rather than aiming to hit it. 

But who knows? Maybe few decades later, time would tell us:lol:

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58 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

The photo released of the failed Iranian rocket test was an anomaly. I think even they wanted to, they can't because publishing photos allows others to determine the characteristics of the satellite that took it- something classified.

Nonetheless, there is fearmongering all around in regards to both space and military developments in China.

Well, The West always needing a Judas, and it never cares whether it is or not. Once it was the Soviet Union, now it's just our turn. How much better it would be if mankind would not waste resources on unnecessary politics but would get out of the earth and develop the universe together:/

Edited by steve9728
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This is the original text from the Foreign Ministry spokesperson and I put it in the translator directly 

Bloomberg reporter: According to the Financial Times, China has tested hypersonic missiles. Can the Foreign Ministry confirm this?
  Zhao Lijian: It is understood that the test was a routine spacecraft test to verify spacecraft reusability technology. This is important for reducing the cost of spacecraft use and could provide a convenient and inexpensive way for humans to return to peaceful uses of space, and several companies around the world have conducted similar tests.
  Separated before the spacecraft returns is the spacecraft's supporting device, which will burn up and disintegrate during its meteoric fall into the atmosphere and land in the high seas. China will work together with the rest of the world for the peaceful use of space and for the benefit of mankind.
  AFP reporter: Was the missile you mentioned earlier in response to the Financial Times report?
  Zhao Lijian: As I said earlier, it was not a missile, but a spacecraft.

Well to be absolutely honestly, I hope it really is about the “Spacecraft” for peaceful use of space.

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@steve9728, it does seem to have been a hypersonic weapons test. Zhao Lijian's claims actually don't add up, and a weapons test is much more likely than a "routine spacecraft test". Here's an article (if it's not censored where you are...IDK if you're even in the PRC right now). https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42779/chinas-claim-that-its-fractional-orbital-bombardment-system-was-a-spaceplane-test-doesnt-add-up

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4 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

@steve9728, it does seem to have been a hypersonic weapons test. Zhao Lijian's claims actually don't add up, and a weapons test is much more likely than a "routine spacecraft test". Here's an article (if it's not censored where you are...IDK if you're even in the PRC right now). https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42779/chinas-claim-that-its-fractional-orbital-bombardment-system-was-a-spaceplane-test-doesnt-add-up

Actually, I think even if that object is a “ablative resistant baseball”, it still really terrifying: It's already hypersonic, so I don't think it makes any difference if it's a weapon or just like Zhao’s words it’s not:ph34r: If use the Chinese meme, we the Chinese just be like “I neither know nor dare to ask”

China: I used to said that X37B definitely not just a small space shuttle that simple. You see, I’ve already told you

Edited by steve9728
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Find something funny: Chang Guang Satellite Technology Company used a launch vehicle based on the DF-31 missile and launched the "Jilin-1 Gaofen (High resolution) 02F" satellite from a missile launcher, and it is also the 31st member of the "Jilin-1" satellite constellation

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1yL411g75N

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1Jr4y117gk

Well, "Peaceful use of space":ph34r:

Edited by steve9728
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On 9/4/2021 at 6:34 AM, Beccab said:

The CCP has officially wiped all Chinese space forums from the internet

This will make tracking their stuff an order of magnitude harder, quoting the manager of Nextspaceflight.com:

"This is going to be a huge problem at Next Spaceflight. 99% of our data on Chinese launches (especially military and commercial) come from Chinese forums and social media. We can still go off of NOTAMs and tracked items in orbit but that doesn't give us reliable dates or tell us when failures occur."

Oh I notice this one. Actually it isn't: something called Hangtian Ba in the Baidu Tieba still working. It quite like the Reddit in America, but not as many strange conspiracy theories.

Here is the link: https://tieba.baidu.com/f?fr=home&kw=航天    Mr. Chrome would translate it for you I think:lol:

But, yes, if it something really that "interesting" (you know what I mean), "Don't ask question":ph34r:

Two Chinese meme in this forums you would see:

50w: Once China's State Security Bureau announced a maximum prize of 500,000 RMB for reporting spies. Ten thousand in Chinese is "wan", So the short version is 50w. When you saw it,  if it hadn't been used for mockery or "hatchet jobs", it means this object is the "don't ask question" one. But turst me, everyone is just as curious as you are about what it really is.

Every day is like New Year's Eve: Because New Year's is like Christmas in the West for us, so it is like everyday is the boxing day when something new appears or is launched.

Edited by steve9728
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50 minutes ago, steve9728 said:

50w

And actually, at July, people in this forum was already notice that this "intersting" object's introduction is missing compared to the information in the before and after launch. And a related video blogger with an official background on bilibili (Our Space, 我们的太空) also hinted at the hypersonic experiment in a reply. So we call it "50w Satalite". Put it bluntly, I'm just a little surprised that it's taken so many months for some of the media to seem to have remembered to hype this up. 

Edited by steve9728
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