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China Shoots Down Another Satellite

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the time-to-hide-the-goldeneye-in-a-lagrange-point dept.

The Military 221

An anonymous reader writes "It was reported this weekend that China shot down another of its satellites in January this year. 'The website of Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV said the anti-satellite missile test, if confirmed, is likely related to the missile interception test, which occurred at the peak of a dispute between Beijing and Washington on a massive US arms sales deal to Taiwan. During the interception test, US agencies spotted two missiles launched from two locations from the Chinese mainland, colliding outside the atmosphere, a Pentagon spokesperson said.' I guess ballistic trajectories that intersect with orbital ones don't count as 'weapons in space.'"

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221 comments

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More broken china (5, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955376)

in orbit. Great.

Re:More broken china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956036)

This would be funny if only you wouldn't have misused the subject line.

What the hell? (4, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955386)

Nice way to make even more space junk. Nice going, China. Are you trying to destroy access to LEO over time?

Maybe they just haven't figured out docking yet... (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955492)

I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.

Re:What the hell? (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955638)

What's up with these guys? I mean, to lose one satellite is just bad luck, but to shoot down two satellites in a row, they've got to really be doing something wrong.

Re:What the hell? (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955880)

What's up with these guys? I mean, to lose one satellite is just bad luck, but to shoot down two satellites in a row, they've got to really be doing something wrong.

Well either that or they are doing something really right.

I mean it's a test of an anti-satellite missile that performed an anti-satellite operation successfully.

Re:What the hell? (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955680)

Not a problem.

We now have a laser that can zap the junk out of space.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10682693 [bbc.co.uk]

But I still say what we really need is this guy:

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3025049600/tt0077066 [imdb.com]

Re:What the hell? (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956176)

Wow I had never heard of Raytheon until earlier this week and now I've seen them referenced in two different places for two different projects. (this and the "pain gun")

Re:What the hell? (3, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956458)

They make radars for F15, F18, F22... Patriot and a lot of other missiles. And Raytheon also invented microwave oven.

Re:What the hell? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956834)

Wow I had never heard of Raytheon until earlier this week and now I've seen them referenced in two different places for two different projects. (this and the "pain gun")

They are the largest private employer in the state of Massachusetts. Still smaller than Lockmart though.

Re:What the hell? (1)

tiptone (729456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32957072)

Your dad/grandfather knows who they are. See vacuum tube manufacturing.

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956462)

Or these folks... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetes

Re:What the hell? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956950)

This might be closer to the subject

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816398/

Re:What the hell? (5, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955828)

The article is unclear, but it sounds more like China tested their ASAT weapon against a launched suborbital target, not an actual satellite as the headline suggests.

A fast ballistic trajectory that either immediately returns to earth, or returns after a couple of orbits, would be a comparatively responsible way of testing these weapons. A well designed test would have most of the same challenges as firing on an actual satellite, without leaving a semi-permanent debris cloud.

Re:What the hell? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32957066)

"Just testing for research! China still cool!"

The Chinese are coming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955392)

I totally agree with Linus on this one.
The man has nailed it. He makes lot of sense as always.

Will the debris be a problem? (4, Interesting)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955398)

Does anyone know how much of an issue the debris from these satellites are? From the perspective of collisions in orbit more so than what happens when it lands (I imagine the parts are small enough that reentry will take care of them).

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (2, Insightful)

drpimp (900837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955500)

Even if it never rains down or enters the atmosphere, it's just as much of a problem just orbiting depending who you ask Debris Cloud [popsci.com]

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955514)

China's contribution to the debris field in NEO is minuscule compared to the wholesale pollution practiced by the USA. When are people going to wake up and begin blaming American capitalists instead of The Yellow Peril?

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955716)

The difference between the space junk made by the US and the space junk made my the Chinese is that the US isn't blowing up satellites in orbit creating massive clouds of debris, on fucking purpose.

The US has been in space for years, but at this rate the Chinese should be able to catch up to us in the "space junk race" in no time.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (0, Flamebait)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955754)

I suppose you think the Russians have been perfect angels? No NEO/LEO operations by any nation have been particularly conservative in terms of debris, but your desire to be negative about US actions motivates you and makes you just as subjective as the paranoid bigots who jump on everything the Chinese do and magnify it just because they are Chinese.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956556)

Haha, nice sopssa/SquarePixel imitation, sir.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955516)

Will the debris be a problem?

I suppose that depends on where it's going to land. If its not going to hit in China, they might not think its their problem.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955562)

The title clearly says that they shot said satellite "down." I imagine its remnants will burn up upon reentry.

Nothing to see here.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (2, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955660)

It often takes more energy to de-orbit something (so it burns up) than it does to escape-orbit it (so it flies off into space)... A "shoot-down" pretty much always means "we scattered it into several lower and higher orbits". The only hopes for it removing itself from orbit are by atmospheric drag causing it to decay until it falls to earth.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (2, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955924)

You just "shot down" my joke.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955768)

That's not really how orbits work. Unlike airplanes, when you blow up a satellite it doesn't all of a sudden fall out of the sky. It's quite unlikely they actually "shot it down".

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955772)

And of course Slashdot titles and newspaper headlines are always 100% accurate.

I'm pretty sure "blown apart" would be far more accurate than "shot down".
The missile is ground based so it would hit the satellite from below, and
the explosion would go up.

Maybe if they did it when the orbit was almost entirely decayed it would be
OK, but the article does not indicate that.

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956352)

Surely they are more likely to shoot it upwards than downwards?

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955620)

NASA and the Air Force have to invest a lot of time into doing COLA (Collision Avoidance). Every time China blows one it's satellites into 1000 pieces, that's another 1000 orbits to track, and check for intersections with other objects, and perform avoidance maneuvers. Adds up to much $$, shortening of spacecraft life (the more fuel they burn doing maneuvers like this, the less there is to prolong life).

Hey, can we bill China for the extra costs associated with this junk? We'll just take it out of our loan payments - a Trillion here, a Trillion there....

Re:Will the debris be a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956086)

If a war breaks out that involves shooting down satellites between two or more superpowers, satellite health care will be the least of your concerns.

God damn it, China! (3, Informative)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955418)

Didn't you make enough bloody space junk the first time? NEO pollution is becoming a serious issue, and this isn't helping anyone.

NEO "pollution"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955568)

What absolute bunk. No doubt you are also a staunch believer in the hoax of global warming. There is absolutely NO credible evidence that the near earth space is "polluted". This is all just bullshit big government propaganda, no doubt intended to form the basis for future MASSIVE rises in taxation to pay for a "cleanup" (likely involving the disappearance of plane fulls of cash into union and left wing paramilitary group pockets).

MPU! (0, Offtopic)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955658)

I wish I had some mod points.

Re:MPU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956206)

I certainly hope those would be used to mark -1 flamebait

Re:NEO "pollution"? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955966)

What absolute bunk.

If you're looking at a global warming analogy, you'd probably be better to look at the numerous calls for 'global asteroid defence' against a threat which would almost certainly cost vastly less than the cost of trying to defend against it.

Re:NEO "pollution"? (2, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956258)

If you're looking at a global warming analogy, you'd probably be better to look at the numerous calls for 'global asteroid defence' against a threat which would almost certainly cost vastly less than the cost of trying to defend against it.

Well, yeah, technically you're right - an asteroid causing the extinction of the human species would cost nothing at all, so the cost of trying to defend against it would certainly be vastly higher. Good thinking!

Re:NEO "pollution"? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956466)

Well, yeah, technically you're right - an asteroid causing the extinction of the human species would cost nothing at all, so the cost of trying to defend against it would certainly be vastly higher. Good thinking!

Exactly: in the real world the odds of such an impact are minute over forseeable human timescales, so spending trillions of dollars to 'defend' against it would be insane. Even the odds of losing a city in that time are tiny, so spending billions would probably be a waste too.

But the 'true believes' demand we should spend vast amounts of money now to try to stop something that's unlikely to occur in the next few million years. And probably own shares in 'Asteroid Stoppers, Inc'.

Re:NEO "pollution"? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956828)

Apparently you missed the sarcasm/humour.

Anyway, you're underestimating the odds, massively overstating the costs, and completely ignoring the fringe benefits. Of course, I suppose it depends on who you're referring to when you talk about "true believers", and on what kind of an approach they're proposing. Safe to say there are many reasonable steps we can take to work towards preventing such a disaster, and there are some actions which would be unreasonable overreactions. Just like with climate change.

Re:NEO "pollution"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956990)

Fucking AYE!

There is NO END to the number of bullshiat "sciency" sounding activist endevors that the left are willing to push in order to line their own pockets. Global warming, LEO/NEO "pollution", asteroids, evolution, it never fucking ends. I'm glad to see there is at least one other person with a brain on slashdot. Peace out bro.

Re:God damn it, China! (5, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955656)

Actually I believe that this test didn't contribute to that.
It sounds as if the intercept was at sub orbital speeds. IE it was a missile interception test.
Frankly this was miss titled big time.
Not that it is a good thing but it may not be as bad as you think.

You're kidding. Right? (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956788)

China is by far the heaviest polluter on the planet. Not only have they surpassed America in terms of CO2, but they surpassed America in ALL other forms of pollution around 2000. How? Because they have little to no pollution controls. And where they put it, as required by treaties, they regularly just turn them off due to the loss of efficiencies. Heck, if CHina's economy slows down to 5% as expected, then around 2019, they will have emitted 1/2 of ALL CO2 that has ever been emitted by man. And if they do not slow down, then around 2015, they will break that barrier. They currently account for just under 1/2 of mercury being emitted. etc. etc. etc.

So, if they have ZERO interest in their own citizens, let alone those in India, Viet Nam, Koreas, Japan, Russia, etc., WHAT COULD MAKE YOU THINK THAT THEY GIVE A CRAP ABOUT SPACE?

Another world record attempt (3, Funny)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955420)

They always want to be the best in everything. Now it seems that the Chinese are trying to become the country with the most objects in earth orbit.

Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (2, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955506)

With China trying to show off what it can do, what happens if they get enough fast moving junk in the orbit levels that it starts hitting other objects... which will promptly start speeding off in other directions, essentially causing a chain reason, tearing up anything in orbit at that level, eventually making an almost impenetrable barrier of fast moving stuff, blocking any chances at anything going into space for the next several hundreds years?

Is there any way to slow the junk down so it hits atmosphere and burns up?

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955602)

The term for this sort of scenario is Kessler Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , and if China keeps this up it might become a quite likely.

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956858)

We would need to make sure we were not adding objects with an average pseudo-temperature (momentum/speed of the chunks) that was not greater than the cumulative sum of drag by wisps of atmosphere.

Of course, the average number of collisions would probably be minuscule, for now, due to the vast volume, and thus would be drowned in the much greater drag of atmosphere when mapped over time.

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955642)

Push against it with a laser to either send it into the atmosphere to burn up or out of orbit.

At least that has been my suggestion. Seems the simplest.

Not one that would be powerful enough to knock out existing satellites, but just enough to push around space junk.

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

luizd (716122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955648)

Hey, does it means that, in the future, we will have a ring like Saturn?

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956888)

IIRC, Earth does have a real ring (not of space junk), detected some years ago. It's just incredibly thin and thus hard to detect, even with the "behind" method.

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955902)

Radiation pressure. Put a bunch of satellites up with big lasers and give everything it sees a retrograde zap. Bonus points if you put out enough wattage to cause ablation.

Re:Is there any way to clean out the LEO/NEO junk? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956534)

Always remember that if you increase the speed of those objects, they will fly higher.

What are they trying to prove? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955558)

Many military scholars believe it was targeting the Patriot missile defense system that Taiwan was trying to buy from the US at that time

Orbital rendezvous has been done since the early 60s and that's pretty much all "shooting down" a satellite is - put something in the path of the satellite in an opposite orbit and they hit each other at 36,000 miles per hour (18,000 mph one way and 18,000 mph the other way)- woop tee doo.

Intercepting a missile with another missile in the atmosphere is still something that's not quite there yet - consider all the misses that the Patriot system has at least based upon its performance in the first Gulf War in 1991 (19 years ago!). In other words, the Chinese are just proving that they're willing to put shit in orbit in the way of one of their satellites and they think that's competition for the Patriot system? It that how we're supposed to take it?

Re:What are they trying to prove? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955878)

Intercepting a missile with another missile in the atmosphere is still something that's not quite there yet

Whether or not it's "there yet" rather depends on the type of missile that you are talking about. The US Navy has had the capability of shooting down anti-ship missiles for decades. An Aegis warship has the ability to handle several dozen cruise missiles. The Russians have SAM systems that would make mincemeat out of most non-stealthy cruise missiles, including the vaunted Tomahawk. NATO has similar systems.

Ballistic missiles are a tougher challenge (owing to speed and altitude) but one that modern SAM systems can meet. The Patriot system that was used in the Gulf War was never really intended to be used against ballistic missiles. It was designed to shoot down aircraft and cruise missiles -- against either of those threats it performs superbly. I certainly wouldn't want to ride in the aircraft that's taking on a patriot battery.....

GPS and communication satellites (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955560)

This is part of developing the technology to take out GPS and other communication satellites in case of a confrontation with the U.S.A. . Much of the U.S. war fighting capability is highly dependent on GPS and satellite based communication. The Chinese military is preparing to fight a war against the U.S. (this is completely independent of whether or not they are planning to fight such a war). The scary part of this is that even if current planners have no intention of ever fighting a war against the U.S. history has shown that when military and political leaders believe that they are in a position to win such a war they often choose to wage it even if a rational analysis says that it is a bad idea (see World War I).

Rational analysis says that it is a bad idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955762)

Rational analysis says war is the best way for military and political leaders to gain more power.

Even a losing cause that fucks everyone else can work for them.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Zot Quixote (548930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955872)

I'm going to take a wild guess and say China believes they're shooting down spy satellites. And China might be right.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956330)

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you didn't read the article or the summary. And I'll bet I'm right.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955910)

The scary part of this is that even if current planners have no intention of ever fighting a war against the U.S. history has shown that when military and political leaders believe that they are in a position to win such a war they often choose to wage it even if a rational analysis says that it is a bad idea (see World War I).

The Germans would easily have captured France in WWI if they'd been rational; it was the irrational changes to their highly rational war plan that led to disaster on the Western Front. IMHO the Chinese military seem far more rational than the US military at this time... they have a clear idea of who their opponents are and they're developing the most effective methods of defeating them.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956096)

they have a clear idea of who their opponents are and they're developing the most effective methods of defeating them

That they do. Subs to counter the US and a billion man army to counter Russia.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956860)

That they do. Subs to counter the US and a billion man army to conquer Russia.

Fixed that for you.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956944)

I think the last thing China wants is more people to govern.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956962)

I never said they would leave the indigenous population there. All the want is the breathing room after all.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955974)

Have they demonstrated an ability to reach the GPS constellation? As I recall their first test was aimed at a weather satellite orbiting at 550 miles or so. The GPS constellation orbits at twice that altitude (~1,200 miles for medium earth orbit)

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956870)

They may not be there yet, but that is their goal.

Re:GPS and communication satellites (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956866)

Very true but for some reason I'd like to think that the US gov is a bit smarter than that, and maybe some of those top secret satellites can be turned into a back up GPS with the push of a button.

Good to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955666)

"a Pentagon spokesperson said.' I guess ballistic trajectories that intersect with orbital ones don't count as 'weapons in space.'"

In fairness, the Outer Space Treaty [wikipedia.org] , to which both China, the U.S. and most other countries of the world are signatories, does not prohibit the design and deployment of *conventional* weapons in space, a detail which the U.S. has previously taken advantage of [wikipedia.org] . Whether conventional weapons should be allowed in space is open for argument.

I bet they're after those space Mongolians. (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955718)

...building a great wall of space junk...

Circular story (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955822)

The story, on a Chinese website (.cn domain) is reporting that the US is reporting that China shot down the satellite. I'm not sure how reliable any of this really is.

Re:Circular story (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956280)

It's like taking a bit fo news, spinning it 180 using the propoganda machine, then spinning it 180 again with another propoganda machine.

The actual news in the article (5, Interesting)

quatin (1589389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32955870)

Apparently people have completely missed the point of this article. Space junk, yes it's a problem, but did no one grasp the importance that one nation is capable of SHOOTING DOWN SATELLITES?!?

It's obviously aimed at countering US ballistic missile technology that we're selling to Taiwan. Perhaps not to intercept the missiles, but to destroy US GPS satellites so the US missiles won't track. This is just as important as ballistic missile interception program. There's going to be another arms race to have satellites that can "counter" incoming missiles and missiles that can counter the counter on the satellite.

Lastly, can we please stop arming other countries. It always backfires and we end up getting shot by the same bullets we gave out.

we aren't too excited (2, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956120)

We aren't too excited, because the USA had this tech (destroying satellite) for some time. If anything it re-establish the BOP which is good thing for peace.

Re:The actual news in the article (-1, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956146)

Any nation capable of launching satellites is trivially close to shooting them down.

Please stop taking the bait.

Focus on keeping Congress from being handed over to the corporations in November.

Re:The actual news in the article (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956496)

Focus on keeping Congress from being handed over to the corporations in November.

It's already there. Your only choice in November is between which sets of corporations you want running the place. If you like big media then you should vote for the Democrats. If you like big industry then you should vote for the Republicans.

Re:The actual news in the article (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956822)

Focus on keeping Congress from being handed over to the corporations in November.

Handed over? In which timeline would ownership by corporations require a "handing over" event?

Re:The actual news in the article (5, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956268)

Perhaps not to intercept the missiles, but to destroy US GPS satellites so the US missiles won't track.

GPS satellites are at 20,000 km - if the Chinese could hit those, that would really be something!

All the satellites shot down so far have been well under 1,000 km.

Re:The actual news in the article (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956886)

Arming countries in the cold war days of course backfired on us because we subscribed to "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" type of logic (over generalization, but you get the idea), in addition to letting despots control that weaponry. Taiwan is a stable democracy (assuming fistfights in congress remain rare), and unlike most countries we've armed in the past, we probably will declare war in defense of Taiwan should they be attacked. The better equipped Taiwan is to deter an attack, the less we have to worry China may one day decide to exert their claimed sovereignty over Taiwan.

Re:The actual news in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32957014)

From what I heard, Taiwan wanted missiles that can reach the Three Gorge Dam. It figured if it can seriously threaten China then it might have a chance to change their official name.

Who cares? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32955960)

Honestly, the only people who benefit from this China-US military hype are the huge suppliers of military equipment. China and the US will never fight against each other. They are joined at the hip, about as much as California and, say, Idaho are. China needs the US, the US needs China. Stop buying into the paranoid, tinfoil-hat ladden, slashdot reactionary ultra-hyped bullshit that they're feeding you.

Besides, the US can out-nuke them any day if they really needed to. :)

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956526)

China needs the US

China's "middle class" is now larger than the entire US population. What, exactly, do they need us for?

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Big_Breaker (190457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956918)

China needs us to buy the exports that their billion+ underclass help manufacture. That keeps those workers busy and distracted from the fact that they are being exploited by the privileged classes and deprived of any say in their government. Stop the exporting and it is a short road to civil unrest.

China needs us to buy their products in US dollars so that the government can stand in between every export transaction and the local Yuan based economy and thereby control everything. They also get to wield that pile of dollars as a political tool in furtherance of their goals.

A non-exporting China with a freely exchangeable currency? That's a nightmare for the CCP. They would lose some of their favorite tools!

Re:Who cares? (1)

mpfife (655916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956992)

While the tinfoil hats are definitely overblown - I still find your lackadaisical analysis dangerously short-sighted. It's a total cop-out to say this is 'just another industrial-military complex grab for money and nobody's going to fight a real war anyway'. Oh, there might be elements of it, but you haven't been a very astute student of history, Chinese political posturing, or your military history. Sun Tzu himself said “He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.” Simply out-nuking someone isn't an answer. You need a whole bag of reprisal options so you can match the response to the offense. If someone shoots your satellite down or sinks a ship in disputed waters - do you nuke a city? How big a city? How many people are worth a military satellite? Or a communication satellite? Or MTV? Further, you can't let advances like this go without proper counter-measures - or you quickly become backed into a corner. And this plays out in political ways. I hope you see the problem. Just like the US has done, you know you can push without fear of certain kinds of reprisal. While I'm an optimistic guy too, just hoping that the other guy is acting in good faith is a HUGE gamble when your very country and livelihood are on the line. Even if today's govt is ok to deal with, tomorrow's china might be run by a Kim Jong-Il. Just imagine how rational THAT guy would be with the weapons China has...

Satellite Shmatellite (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956012)

Russia can shoot down the moon!

W.O.P.R (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956056)

The only winning move is not to play

Not surprising (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956070)

China says one thing, but does others. Quite honestly, the leadership there sees themselves in a cold war with the west, and are trying to take advantage of the west's not wanting to be in one.

The problem is that China has a VERY active space weapons program and will not give it up. If you look closely at what they are working on, it should be obvious that it is not about defense, but about an offense. They are
  1. working on a ground based laser designed to take out western sats to try and stop GPS and communications.
  2. Working on interceptors designed to take out incoming missiles.
  3. Building nuke-powered Boomers/attack sub at a rate of 1-2 EACH.
  4. Getting ready to launch multiple space stations. The first one will allow civilians on-board, but the second on, are expected to be military only. There is ZERO need for a military to have a manned space station, EXCEPT as a way of hiding weapons as a prelude to an attack.

Heck, even the agreement to get FTA and WTA required them to open their money in 2004, quit dumping, quit subsidizing, and drop trade barriers. Yet, they fixed their money against the dollar, they dump more than ever, subsidies have actually gone up (vs 1999), though trade barriers have shifted all around.

China is positioning themselves for a hot war.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956396)

What? And the US hasn't been giving the rest of the world the big 'FUCK YOU' for the last fifty years. Doing pretty much whatever they like.

It's the same old shit for us. Just another country compensating by trying to show how powerful they are. Actually, it's kinda refreshing that there is another 'sustainable' player.

Re:Not surprising (-1, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956722)

You are in luck. YAssuming that you are a white guy, the are looking for whitey's to rent. And they will pay pretty good for their area. In fact, I think that if you move there, that you would get a great education.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

Nysul (1816168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956630)

China can't get into any sort of extremely unprovoked unpopular war (such as one with the US) because it would be devastating to their economy. Most of the Americas and Europe would embargo them. It seems to me globalization is a good deterrent to a world war, in economic uncertainty most countries can't afford to give up 20% of anything. The only way it makes sense to me is if they were seriously provoked or they lost something of such great value that the economic ramifications would be worth it.

Re:Not surprising (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956688)

In a hot war, citizens do not care as much about the economy. After all, you can blame the problems on the other side.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956762)

Getting ready to launch multiple space stations.

This guy is a genius for exaggeration. I am getting ready to go to the Mars by exercising daily for the healthy condition needed by such a mission.

Quite the persuasive argument. (0)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956816)

Let's see... when's the last time China invaded another nation? When is the last time a Western nation invaded another nation?

But let's forget history for a moment. What does the Air Force see in our future? [cdi.org] And, consider you aren't American for a moment, and what your rational response to this policy would be.

As we implement our vision to fully exploit space as a space combat command, AFSPC [Air Force Space Command] will become a significant force provider of CS [counter space], conventional and strategic prompt global strike capabilities with even greater force enabler capabilities. As depicted in Figure 2-2, our space capabilities are built upon a structure where the uppermost portions of SFE [Space Force Enhancement] and SFA [Space Force Application] depend on a solid foundation. While our ultimate goals are truly to “exploit” space through SFE and SFA missions, as with other mediums, we cannot fully “exploit” that medium until we first “control” it. The needed foundation, therefore, consists of the assured space access and infrastructure provided by the SS and MS areas along with the CS capabilities (SSA, Defensive Counterspace (DCS), and OCS) required to control space and ensure Space Superiority...

3.2.2 MID-TERM (FY12--17)
In the Mid-Term, AFSPC will deploy a new generation of responsive space access, prompt global strike, and space superiority capabilities. Our Weapons Officers and other space professionals will integrate and operate these capabilities into joint and task force operations. In practical terms, AFSPC will continue to prioritize efforts that support SFE transformation to include Transformational Communications and space-based Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) capabilities. Responsive spacelift capabilities become more important in this timeframe due to their support of both Global Strike and DCS (Responsive replenishment of space assets). Such work will increase support to the terrestrial warfighter while protecting US space assets and demonstrating space combat capabilities.

3.2.3 FAR-TERM (FY18--30)
In the Far-Term, AFSPC will target resources toward fielding and deploying space and missile combat forces in depth, allowing us to take the fight to any adversary in, from, and through space, on-demand. Based on previous development efforts, AFSPC will focus on Battlespace Awareness (space and terrestrial), OCS and DCS, and prompt global strike and LBSD capabilities. Many of these will be supported by responsive spacelift and payload capabilities. We will continue to explore advanced technologies to revolutionize and transform our operations beyond 2025. The result will be a space combat command that is organized, trained, and equipped to rapidly achieve decisive results on or above the battlefield, anywhere, anytime.

Outer Space Pooper Scooper Law (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956266)

That's what we need. Satellites should be outfitted with pooper scoopers and plastic bags. They should be required by international law to clean up after themselves, and toss the plastic bag at the sun afterwards.

Or maybe one of those "cleanup the side of the road" community walks . . . except in space.

This all sounds silly, but maybe we do need some kinda of special cleanup satellite. It would probably be a great opportunity for the international space community to cooperate, as on the ISS . . . ?

Space is FFA game! (0, Troll)

GooDieZ (802156) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956298)

Should i care? NO!

If China is testing their stuff, US goes on alert, if US is testing their stuff anyone else should shut up and poop in their pants??? NO!

Space is Free For All race, any nation has the right to explore, and put satelites into orbit. And if they feel so they can blow them up too. Compaired to all the US junk in orbit, that ESA, China, Russia, India and others have to avoid, plus all the natural space waste that comes to earth at far greater speeds, few blown satelites are really not rendering orbits useless.

And if US is doing something other Countries are not comfortable with (eg space weapons), US expects others to just watch and stand by unprepared? Heck no!

Playing with fire is allways dangerous, and at some point your plan can backfire badly, and space togather with Earth's satelite orbits doesnt belong to one Country on this planet, and sooner world will realise that cooperation brings greater good than semi cold war arms races, the better chances we all have to SURVIVE on this Planet.

Re:Space is FFA game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956602)

Actually, more than 1/2 of the junk is from USSR/Russia.

future missles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32956332)

You know future missles could use this, shoot up into an orbit and sit dormant for a period of time until its close to its target and then fire the remaining fuel to pull it out of orbit and rely on its remaining battery to guide itself to its target on the other side of the globe. It could make ICBMs a joke

The solution to the debris (1)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956406)

To all the people that were asking about the debris, maybe the solution is not that far away. Raytheon has unveiled a anti-aircraft laser system today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10682693 [bbc.co.uk]

I am no expert in this field, but to me it seems not too far-fetched that the system will also be suitable in the future to get rid of space debris.

Re:The solution to the debris (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956970)

Sweet [youtube.com] !

inception test (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956618)

China shot down a satallite... and then decaprio woke up.

UFO (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956662)

So is this what that "UFO" was that everyone was talking about the other day?

My spokesperson (0, Redundant)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#32956980)

Pentagon spokesperson said.' I guess ballistic trajectories that intersect with orbital ones don't count as 'weapons in space.'"

My spokesperson says: "Who the fuck started the whole star wars hype?"

My spokesperson (-1, Troll)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#32957048)

Pentagon spokesperson said.' I guess ballistic trajectories that intersect with orbital ones don't count as 'weapons in space.'

My spokesperson says:'Who the fuck started the whole star wars thing hype?'

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