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Chinese to test space weapon in moon shot

According to a watchdog group, the Chinese will be testing a space weapon during their moon launch this week, reports the Associated Press:

A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country's effort to develop space war technology, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said two survey ships are deployed in the South Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean to send signals to maneuver the lunar exploration satellite, expected to be launched Wednesday. At the same time, a nuclear-powered submarine will send simulated signals to the satellite as a test, it said in a statement.

Once the satellite-maneuvering technology matures, the group said, China would have the know-how to destroy other satellites in space in wartime. China could launch cheaply-made weapon-carrying objects into space and change their courses to destroy or damage satellites of other countries by sending signals from submarines, the center said.

China shocked the world in January by firing a missile at an old weather satellite without notifying anyone in advance, showing off its anti-satellite weaponry and its ability to shoot down satellites without being immediately noticed.

Read the rest at the link above. If the United States imagined putting even a purely defensive weapon in space, the cacophony of caterwauling from the peaceniks could be heard from Coosahatchie to Timbuktu. We know this because it happened at least once before, when one of the missile defense theories envisioned high-tech chaff launched via satellite as a potential way to disable incoming ICBMs.

The Chinese have already experimented with destroying satellites, so the report shouldn't shock anyone. It would be nice, though, if at least every now and then our own citizens recognized that countries other than the United States can present a threat to world peace, and acted accordingly.

Not holding breath, though.


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Comments (16)

Yet another proud accomplis... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Yet another proud accomplishment of the Clinton White House.

Whaa thank yew Jeff. My Ch... (Below threshold)
Bill Clinton:

Whaa thank yew Jeff. My Chinese contacts are coming in quite handy now with Hillary running for President. I can't wait to walk the halls of presidential power with my pants around my knees again. I hope Hill gets some hot interns!

I feel your pain (bites lower lip).

"...if at least every no... (Below threshold)

"...if at least every now and then our own citizens recognized that countries other than the United States can present a threat to world peace, and acted accordingly."

It would certainly reaffirm the importance of National Security, but that's an awful lot to expect at the moment. The January surprise didn't even make a dent.

The thing that surprises me... (Below threshold)

The thing that surprises me is the eagerness to blame past/current administrations for everything that happens geopolitically. It's almost like some think the world is only sitting back and waiting for something that the US does, doesn't do, contemplates doing, thinks about possibly deciding to do, or possibly might do if the phase of the moon is correct and the chicken entrails tell them we might do it.

Does it ever occur to people that other countries might have their OWN agendas, either only peripherally concerned with the US or completely separate? We've got over six billion people, over 250 countries, and they're ALL waiting for the President of the US to act, not act, or think about acting or not to determine the best courses for THEIR countries?

Every country has an agenda. It's nuts to think their agendas are always driven by past or present administrations.

I don't know what JLawson's... (Below threshold)

I don't know what JLawson's point is/was but I do know the U.S. should stop all import/export from China. Let em eat the cheap lead coated toys. They have nothing we can't do without and they need everything we have.

". . .two survey ships are ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

". . .two survey ships are deployed in the South Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean to send signals to maneuver the lunar exploration satellite, expected to be launched Wednesday. At the same time, a nuclear-powered submarine will send simulated signals to the satellite as a test, it said in a statement."

Geeze. Talk about back to the 1960s. Both the US and Soviets could do that back then. It does not really matter whether you use a survey ship, a land base or a submarine to send signals to a satellite. The whole story reminds me of a bullfrog trying to puff itself up to scare potential rivals.

Nothing the Chinese are doing is really new or different. If you can launch satellites, you can knock down other people's satellites. Big whoop. Saddam could have done it with his SCUDs if he had the imagination. Straight up and straight down and leave a load of BBs in the path of an oncoming satellite.

Scrapiron -My poin... (Below threshold)

Scrapiron -

My point is simple - it seems like every time any other country does anything, someone's willing to blame it on past or current administrations, depending on their political slant.

Like I said, other countries have their own agendas. Jeff Blogworthy in the first post blamed the Clinton admin - but what about blaming the folks who're actually doing the deed, like China? Everyone's too willing and eager to blame past and current admins, when what they SHOULD be doing is blaming the folks actually doing the deed.

But I know it's so much more satisfying to blame the President of Your Choice - only problem is, they may not be to blame.

Scrappy ~ I think JLawson w... (Below threshold)

Scrappy ~ I think JLawson was responding to Jeff Blogworthy's comment in #1. His point is well made, but I think Jeff was referring to the illegal transfers of sensitive missile technology which occurred on Clinton's watch, along with several questionable licenses to legally transfer the same. In such a case, "blame" attaches.

JLawson's point, though, is that the Chinese would be trying to develop/obtain legally/steal the technology to become a more formidable military power no matter who was in or who was out, and probably would succeed.


MarkL ~ Quite so, and such weapons and others have been tested by both the US and the USSR in the past. The difference is that we and the Soviets at least attempted to keep our experiments and tests secret so we could continue to proclaim the peaceful sanctity of space yadda yadda yadda. The Chinese already demonstrated they don't care what the world thinks of their military tests in space, which likely means they won't care what anyone thinks about the next steps, either.

Gee, hope they don't accide... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Gee, hope they don't accidently fire up HAARP while they're trying to send signals to a spacecraft in orbit...

JLawson #7 ~ Once again I f... (Below threshold)

JLawson #7 ~ Once again I fell victim to my failure to refresh . . . naturally you were able to better clarify your own post. Thanks.

JLawson,We are not... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:


We are not talking about "any other country." We're talking about the Chinese communists. It is an established fact that the Clinton administration advanced Chinese military and missile technology by at least 20 years. The Clinton's will sell their soul for a buck. In case you haven't noticed, Hillary is still very much in bed with them to this day. She may well be the next administration.

Sometimes blame is in order, unless you are suggesting that there should be no sense of accountability when it comes to presidential administrations? I am more than willing to assign it when it is due, no matter who is in charge. Bush gets blamed for out of control spending, bloated government programs, and failing to secure our borders. Clinton's get blamed for - being the Clintons. Whistle past the graveyard all you like - don't expect everyone else to.

"The difference is that we ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

"The difference is that we and the Soviets at least attempted to keep our experiments and tests secret so we could continue to proclaim the peaceful sanctity of space yadda yadda yadda."

Ah . . . not quite. At first, both sides tended to keep stuff quiet because they did not want the other to know what we could do. later both sides kept quiet because publicizing military space activities would be embarrassing -- because of how much money had been poured into rat-holes, chasing truly stupid ideas.

Remember Dyna-Soar? In its original incarnation it was a manned orbital bomber -- much like the dive bombers of WWII, only it was supposed to deliver a nuclear warhead. After pouring big bucks into a WWII paradigm someone finally asked, "Why do we need a manned system?" (The answer was roughly "So we can reuse it. The response that followed went "How do we 'reuse' an asset that will likely return to a destroyed base?) It was cheaper to use the one-use booster as an one-use ICBM, and leave off the weight of the man, his life-support system, and the return system.

So Dyna-Soar was recast as a satellite delivery system -- until someone finally asked the same question as before (Why does it need to be manned?) and the only real answer was "to give Air Force pilots space wings."

The Soviets did some equally dumb things that they did not want to advertise. (Test-firing a 20-mm cannon from a manned station in Earth orbit -- talk about orbital debris! -- building Buran, etc.)

Yet both sides had -- and have -- functional ASAT systems. Really since the late 1970s, early 1980s. We have a system that can be launched by F-16s which is more sophisticated than any of the Chinese systems. The Russians have ASAT wings attached to some of their ballistic missile bases. They have reusable launch sites, so that the site can launch multiple missiles from the same silo.

The only difference between the US and Russia on one side and China on the other is that the Chinese are advertising. Sun Tsu (who wrote the Chinese book on military strategy) advises that where one is strong appear weak; where one is weak appear strong. Since the Chinese are making so much noise about what is a trival capability, I have to conclude it is designed to hide weakness rather than demonstrate strength.

Thank You Al Gore! Your con... (Below threshold)

Thank You Al Gore! Your contribution to global war is duly noted.

Mark, while we had a progra... (Below threshold)

Mark, while we had a program to build an anti-satellite system that was launchable by F-15, it was last tested two decades ago, and it is not currently a functional system. We would not be able to destroy enemy satellites without a delay while that program was brought out of mothballs.

You are right about the num... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

You are right about the number (I hit a 6 instead of a 5 -- which should teach me not to enter stuff before drinking my morning coffee), but you miss the main point.

Q. Why is the program in mothballs?

A. Because it is not needed.

Besides, all of you miss the main point -- an attack on another nation's satellite is an act of war. Unless it is done in context of a major war, it's not going to happen. If that kind of a war starts, satellites are not going to be the many worry anyway.

A Clark Field in the sky just isn't going to happen. It is more difficult to hit critical satellites than it was 20 years ago. There are a lot of backup satellites, that are smaller than the ones than the ones used in the 1980s. And satellites are now less important, mainly due to drones and other means of filling the functions conducted by satellites.

Yeah, but it's China. What ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, but it's China. What are the odds the mission will be even marginally successful? To the Moon, orbit and come back is going to be hard enough for commies, but they're cramming other stuff in there too?
If there were anything to crash land on between the Earth and the Moon, I would vote for just that happening.

Commies make crappy everything, that's a hard and fast rule.
What is the one thing commies make that isn't crap? Cigars, and they're just lucky cuz they had the best strain of cigar tobacco before the commies took over. Otherwise, they'd be on a par with Swisher Sweets. So they don't "make" cigars, they just force their slave labor to roll them.






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