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

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3 hours ago, NSEP said:

Wait, is this the first non-government launch into orbit of the year or the first time ever by China?

First launch by non-govermental body.

Chinese sent a bunch of taikungnauts to space already.

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I should add that it looks rather... anomalous.

Edited by tater

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I mean, it did launch... Whatever it was! 

That reminds me of that strange lightshow that a missile put on over Norway a few years back, a tank failure caused the missile to start rotating, creating a similar spiral pattern. 

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14 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

A 20 ton spacecraft... Wow. That's in the ballpark of Orion! I'm going to take a guess and say it's designed for lunar operations to some extent.

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The Apollo CSM was only ~15 tonnes.

Less mass is good, considering that they said their LV is ultimately supposed to put 130t in LEO. Lower than Apollo, this would require lighter craft for a crewed mission to the surface. That or maybe 2 launches.

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10 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

I'm going to take a guess and say it's designed for lunar operations to some extent.

 

9 hours ago, tater said:

That or maybe 2 launches.

Both of these thoughts were confirmed in the article.

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That's a deep valley :o Aren't they worried about air turbulence? Rogue winds?

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On 10/15/2018 at 3:17 PM, Scotius said:

That's a deep valley :o Aren't they worried about air turbulence? Rogue winds?

Secrecy is more important.

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On 10/11/2018 at 5:50 AM, tater said:
I should add that it looks rather... anomalous.

Reports I've seen are that it was an ABM test, or something similar. Hence the secrecy.

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13 hours ago, insert_name said:

THADD sometimes pulls a similar maneuver to burn excess propellant, could very well be intentional

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense#/media/File:Tems11.jpg

Yes, might be an idea not to test this just after sunset or before sunrise if its supposed to be classified. 
Everybody has camera phones. 

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12 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Yes, might be an idea not to test this just after sunset or before sunrise if its supposed to be classified. 
Everybody has camera phones. 

They may have done the test when they did precisely so that such photos could be released. Just like they "allowed" a J-20 to be photographed at fairly high resolution without its camouflage paint, highlighting the sensors and antennas of the aircraft. And the Chinese have a VERY good firewall for catching those pics if they don't want them released.

TL;DR: Assume that any such "leaked" photo has been allowed to leak on purpose to send a message to interested parties, i.e intelligence agencies.

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