09.12.2020 Author: Vladimir Danilov

China’s Space Progress Both Amazes and Frightens

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As the American editorial The Hill recently noted, China’s success in research and exploration of a natural satellite of the Earth is both amazing and frightening. In the spirit of the general aggressiveness of Western propaganda, the publication claims that “the transformation of totalitarian China into a dominant space power will be a historical tragedy” for the countries of the free world. At the same time, The Hill is clearly ready to jump on any and every bandwagon in defense of US space wars or Washington’s claims to lunar resources, the creation of NATO in Germany as a center for war in space, which for some reason do not frighten the same countries of the free world.

If you’re reading this and still confused, recall that not China, but NASA signed a memorandum with the US Department of Defense at the end of September, which, according to Dr. T.J. Coles, Director of the Plymouth Peace Research Institute (PIPR) Coles, clearly demonstrates the militarization of the outer space in order to ensure the comprehensive strategic dominance of the United States.

The true aggressive face of the United States in space exploration has been aptly formulated by space war theorist Professor Everett Dolman, who teaches military strategy at the U.S. Air Force Command College: “Who controls low-earth orbit controls near-Earth space. Who controls near-Earth space dominates Terra. Who dominates Terra determines the destiny of humankind.”

As for China, it is worthy of continuing the successes of the peaceful conquest of space in Russia, the pioneer of space rocket programs with the first Russian Earth satellite, the first Russian cosmonaut, the first discoverer of the far side of the Moon hidden from Earth, the first Russian lunar rover and the first to reveal water in it. 2009 with the Russian device LEND.

You may be asking the question: why is the Chinese astronautics called taikonautics? The answer is quite simple: in Chinese, space sounds like 太空 (taikong), which means “too empty”, hence the Chinese astronauts not only in this country are sometimes called taikonauts.

The date of birth of Chinese astronautics is closely related to the launch of the first artificial earth satellite by the USSR on October 4, 1957. On November 16, 1957 the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology was founded. And the first Chinese spaceport was built in October 1958 in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region near the city of Jiuquan, from which it derives its name Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. From this cosmodrome on November 5, 1960, the first Chinese rocket was launched, and then on April 24, 1970, the first peaceful Chinese satellite.

On November 20, 1999, a new epoch-making event took place in the Chinese taikonautics; the first unmanned aerial vehicle “Sky Boat-1” was launched. On October 15, 2003, the first Chinese astronaut, Yang Liwei, conquered space, and on September 27, 2008, the first taikonaut Zhai Zhigang went into outer space. On June 18, 2012, the first female taikonaut, Liu Yang, visited space, repeating, almost fifty years later, the world’s first space conquest by a woman-cosmonaut of the USSR, Valentina Tereshkova, on June 16, 1963.

The practical implementation of China’s lunar program began on October 24, 2007 with the launch of the first Chinese moon satellite Chang’e 1. Then on October 1, 2010, a second moon satellite was launched.

Last year, China landed on the far side of the Moon, which is not visible from Earth. And today we are witnessing another success of China in the development of the lunar program, in the development of lunar technologies, and in the exploration of deep space. On December 6, the module of the Chang’e-5 Chinese mission successfully docked with the orbital module and the reentry capsule of the spacecraft, the container with lunar soil samples was reloaded into the reentry module. This mission is like no other, as it was carried out by a robot on the Moon: after the probe landed on the Moon and made completely new images of its surface, it began an operation to deliver lunar soil samples to Earth.

China has clearly demonstrated its successes in outer space and has shown that it is the world leader in the exploration of the Moon. Rapidly catching up with the United States and Russia, Beijing plans to make a manned flight to the moon and send missions to Mars. Next year, China intends to build its own space station with a permanent presence in Earth orbit, and in the next five to six years to build a permanent lunar station. Therefore, the study of the properties of the lunar soil is of practical importance for the PRC.

By obtaining its own lunar soil samples, China will be able to possess unique information about the moon thanks to new analytical technologies. In addition, we must not forget that the moon contains a mineral, helium-3, which can serve as a renewable energy source. After all, one ton of helium-3 replaces 20 million tons of oil, and a hundred tons of helium-3 can provide the entire globe with energy.

Therefore, in recent years, it has become increasingly common to say that the Chinese space program has a commercial orientation, due to which an economic dimension will appear in the new space race, which did not exist before. China’s lunar lander and its robotic backbone is a giant leap forward, and not just in science. China has managed to pose a very serious challenge to US global leadership. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that the new space race between China and America will be a simple repetition of the old Soviet-American space race.

Following in the footsteps of the goddess Chang’e, the China’s National Space Administration said: ‘We believe that the Chinese nation’s dream of residing in a ‘lunar palace’ will soon become a reality,’ and, according to the chief designer of this project, Wu Weiren, it may come true by 2030. Chinese volunteers are already training inside a replica of the lunar palace erected on Earth.

But China has even more ambitious aspirations. Chinese engineers have been considering solar power generation in space since the early 1990s. Today, scientists from the China Academy of Space Technology already say that by 2035 they will build a solar power plant between the Earth and the Moon with a capacity of 100 megawatts, which will be one kilometer in size, and its weight will be 10 thousand tons (25 times larger than the International Space Station, which is the largest man-made object in orbit today). In China, it is believed that by 2050 the station will be operational, and this will be a revolution for global energy.

There was little about the Soviet space program that posed such a threat to US strategic positions as these Chinese plans, so The Hill’s assessment is understandable that China’s demonstrated success in research and exploration of the Earth’s satellite both admires and frightens the United States.

But they inspire a sense of admiration among the friends of China!

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 


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