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China: The Next Space Superpower

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the great-space-wall dept.

China 250

the_newsbeagle writes "'As 2014 dawns, China has the most active and ambitious space program in the world,' says this article. While it's true that the Chinese space agency is just now reaching milestones that the U.S. and Russia reached 40 years ago (its first lunar rover landed in December), the Chinese government's strong support for space exploration means that it's catching up fast. On the agenda for the next decade: A space station to rival the ISS, a new spaceport, new heavy-lift rockets, a global satellite navigation system to rival GPS, and China's first space science satellites."

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China will rule the Pacific (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855431)

It is unavoidable. Hopefully the U.S.A. can tone down their aggressiveness and be content to defend their own borders, otherwise we have an inescapable course to WWIII and the world will pay a heavy price.

Re:China will rule the Pacific (1)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#45855447)

The US will have spy satellites riding piggyback on all satellites and peeking into the windows of space stations.

Re:China will rule the Pacific (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45855737)

And the Chinese will have even bigger satellites watching those satellites...

Re:China will rule the Pacific (0, Flamebait)

Anonyme Connard (218057) | about a year ago | (#45855589)

China has no direct access to the Pacific.

Re:China will rule the Pacific (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855657)

China has no direct access to the Pacific.

Back when you were in school, you got your lunch money taken a lot didn't you?

Re:China will rule the Pacific (5, Informative)

Anonyme Connard (218057) | about a year ago | (#45856105)

http://rhk111smilitaryandarmspage.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/unrestricted-access-to-the-pacific-ocean-what-china-wants-part-one/

Re:China will rule the Pacific (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#45856565)

Now that's a scary thought. The Empire of Japan's spurious belief it needed to militarily secure access to Southeast Asia to be a viable economic power led them to attack Pearl Harbor. Once they dug themselves out from the hole they'd dug themselves into, that belief was proved spectacularly wrong.

The Chinese regime has shown some of the same worrying signs of jingoistic paranoia.

another GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855445)

How many satellite navigation systems does a planet need? Can't we trust each other enough to share? (Obviously not.)

Re:another GPS? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855487)

> How many satellite navigation systems does a planet need?

More than one. Less than a thousand. Next question.

> Can't we trust each other enough to share?

The current GPS system is maintained by the US government. Do you REALLY expect a military the size of China to be satisfied with THAT, going into a potential war.

OK, my turn for a question. Why are you such a faggot?

Re:another GPS? (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#45855489)

Redundancy is good. What's more, the US-controlled GPS system can be crippled at will by the US military - and was for the longest time, until fairly recently. Do you trust the US to provide service with full accuracy to the entire world forever? Do you trust the US to have the capacity to replace failing GPS satellites? Heck, the US isn't even capable of keeping enough essential weather satellites up there [ibtimes.com] anymore...

The United States is going more and more decrepit. I for one am glad there's Russian, European and Chinese alternatives to fall back onto if the GPS system becomes useless for one reason or another.

Re:another GPS? (1, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45856317)

What's more, the US-controlled GPS system can be crippled at will by the US military - and was for the longest time, until fairly recently.

Although Selective Availability was turned off (in reality, the random offset was set to zero), don't believe for a moment that the US military has given up that capability, or that they don't have similar backdoor capabilities on other satnav systems.

Re:another GPS? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855653)

How many satellite navigation systems does a planet need?

Either 14 or 15 [xkcd.com]

Yes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855455)

Now, will the James Bond script writers use this for inspiration for some Sean Conery era type of Bond films?

shWhat? The shChinese have a shspace shtation?

Ah, the good old days of Bond films!

Firefly.. (3, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | about a year ago | (#45855463)

Didn't everyone speak Chinese? :)

Re:Firefly.. (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#45855499)

Zhèngquè

Re:Firefly.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855533)

Hardly. There weren't any Asian characters and they only used Chinese swear words because the frelling smegheads were too lazy to make up some fake swear words.

Re:Firefly.. (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#45855831)

How does it make any difference what language the swear words are in when they are said on network TV? Obviously, for a language as widespread as Chinese there will be quite a large number of people who understand exactly what is being said. Would it be OK if all the swears were in Spanish? Because there would probably be quite a few people in the US (depending on which state) where a large number of people understand exactly what is being said. What about shows like Battlestar Galactica, where they just made up a word and continually said "frack". Personally, I found it kind of annoying, as that's the only word that changed in the whole English language, and hearing it jarred my brain, and snapped me out of the immersion of watching the show. The sentiment and meaning was exactly the same, so why not use the real word. That's why I really liked House Of Cards. Because they don't actually show it on TV, they can put whatever they want in the show. Use whatever words they want, show whatever body parts they want, and make the episodes exactly as long as they need to be, without having to worry about what anybody thinks of it except whether or not their desired viewers will like it.

Re:Firefly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856559)

"and hearing it jarred my brain, and snapped me out of the immersion of watching the show." Heh, first world problems.

world dominance agenda? (2)

ishwon (3484051) | about a year ago | (#45855467)

Well ... That does sound like a world dominance agenda. International trade is already at the mercy of China in some ways. Space exploration just adds to this.

Re:world dominance agenda? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855803)

Nope, just laziness and complacency from the rest of the world.

Re:world dominance agenda? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855941)

China > USA

At least there is no chinese-NSA.

Re:world dominance agenda? (4, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | about a year ago | (#45856879)

No, there's no Chinese Edward Snowden.

Before the whole NSA thing blew open, we were worried about the Chinese government working with Chinese companies to make sure their backdoors were inserted in all of the networked equipment they sold to us.

Just because the NSA fiasco currently overshadows that doesn't mean that the Chinese haven't been and aren't still doing it.

The second-worst thing about the NSA fiasco is that it has taken everyone's eyes off of the other balls.

Re:world dominance agenda? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856917)

China > USA

At least there is no chinese-NSA.

What the fuck... seriously?

Half of their government is designed to spy on their own population. Who did you think the NSA uses as a template?

Death Star (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855471)

http://static.prisonplanet.com/p/images/december2013/181213nuke.jpg

Europe, who did you piss off?!

Re:Death Star (1)

mordjah (1088481) | about a year ago | (#45857059)

maybe thats the tokamak's containment [iter.org] failing.. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

When they surpass us as the global (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855523)

Superpower in might and size and economy. Republicanism will be the blame.

Germany (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855537)

Unlike the USSR and America, China has not had the benefit of of German rocket scientists to develop and run their space programme.

They may have a few stolen blue prints, and without doubt the calculations and knowledge that the USSR still knows and America is fast forgetting, but they have also walked a long distance on their own feet, and they have done this in quite a short time.

Sure, you Americans can trumpet "Pppthhhffff the Moon, been there, done that" but I do need to ask: When China and India have bases on the moon and men on Mars. More importantly, when you as a nation have lost the ability to launch your own rockets, and you can only rent payload from communist states -

Whatever did happen to your once great ambitions?
Have you, America as a nation, let your hunger for war and hegemony override your once great ideals for the betterment of mankind?

Just where did you go wrong?

Re:Germany (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855587)

Just where did you go wrong?

Two words: "the niggers"

Should never have brought them over in the first place. A mistake. Second one was not kicking them out while we had the chance.

Now the USA is fucked. The niggers are out of control, and it will only get worse.

Re:Germany (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855689)

I guess I'm supposed to evaluate all the black governed nations of the world and .. what? Disagree with this? I bet nobody who mods you down or gets upset with you would EVER voluntarily move to any ghetto or any place like Haiti or Rwanda or Ethiopia.

If the blacks were a prosperous peaceful people known for their success and technical contributions you would never know what the word "racism" means. And don't give me that "history of oppression" bullshit. EVERYONE has ancestors who were slaves. No exceptions, look into it yourself. The Jews were horribly oppressed and remain prosperous today. How many counterexamples does it take for an otherwise scientific minded crowd to reject a false idea? Oh if you really like the idea you cling to it anyway just like anybody you'd scoff at in any other context, huh.

Re:Germany (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855693)

American Idol, NFL, NBA, etc.. When we decided it was more fun to watch others than to do it ourselves. Lazy fuckers.

Re:Germany (2)

amalcolm (1838434) | about a year ago | (#45855789)

Two or more stupid wars?

Re:Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855815)

We got the shitheads who don't want anything except the US to return to having its government be a police force for businesses, and no more.

Look at how every time there was a NASA post, someone bitched how it was ruining the US budget, and that it was against the Constitution. That is the prevailing attitude in the US now. Little interest in space, more into letting businesses have no regulation.

Re:Germany (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#45855849)

They lowered taxes ;D

On the other hand what if private companies do all that no matter from where on the planet?

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855853)

America ... once great ideals for the betterment of mankind?

Tincture of poppycock.
Unadulterated balderdash.
Concentrated fiction.
Specious nonsense.
Purest fantasy.
Revisionist propaganda.
Delusional malarky.

Re:Germany (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#45855855)

Nope the USA let capitalism get in the way. unrestricted capitalism. Just look at health insurance. it isn't based on good facts, but on the companies we work for providing information.

besides lastly the USA is doing something else. trying to commercialize space travel. to push the cost of launching onto people who have an interest in lowering said costs greatly.

Not only that but the USA also realizes that space is a pain in the ass. The few resources present are useful but hardly justify the short term let alone long term costs. In space you have to take everything with you. including water and oxygen. normally you can find those on earth just about anywhere you need to go. Even nuclear subs have it easy compared to space travel. while oxygen in gaseous form is hard to find under water, it can easily be made, from the abundance of water.

The moon, mars, only have small quantities of frozen water. therefore if you want a colony of any decent size you literally have to ship those locations water on a continuous basis. water that can only come from earth.

Water is very hard to ship, and with a cost of thousands of dollars a pound very expensive to ship into space.

Re:Germany (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856351)

If not capitalism; then what? government control? LOL..

Go play with your Occupy signs.

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856381)

Water is very hard to ship

They cracked the problem. The solution can be seen in any supermarket of your choice. If you're interested, you should visit one near you some day. Ask for "bottled water".

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856963)

Water is very hard to ship

They cracked the problem. The solution can be seen in any supermarket of your choice. If you're interested, you should visit one near you some day. Ask for "bottled water".

So you buy all of the water you need for the day for $1 a liter at the supermarket?

idiot.

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855947)

Unlike the USSR and America, China has not had the benefit of of German rocket scientists to develop and run their space programme.

They may have a few stolen blue prints, and without doubt the calculations and knowledge that the USSR still knows and America is fast forgetting, but they have also walked a long distance on their own feet, and they have done this in quite a short time.

You really underestimate how much technology and knowledge has flowed into china legally or illegally.

I think it's great that they are running an advanced space program. But so far there is nothing really new being done. America stopped going to the moon because there was nothing more to accomplish there. The unmanned programs are much less costly and more effective then the manned ones, albeit less sexy. What is the point of an expensive base on the moon or mars, other than to say you did it? The real advances in manned space exploration will not happen until science can overcome the problems of long-distance travel.

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856313)

If China can't steal, they can buy.

Re:Germany (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856069)

Just where did you go wrong?

The answer is easy. They went wrong just after WW2 when the US decided that they didn't need to transition to a peacetime economy. The whole military industrial complex is a result of that thinking. Mind you, the US military resources are many times more than needed to defend the country. Eisenhower was the first to recognise the dangers of the military industrial complex over 6 decades ago, and it seems nobody listened. The US is a country perpetually at war, when there isn't one they create one, either outside their borders or inside. Gotta continue to feed those "defense" consultant companies.

Everything else is window dressing. The patriotism, the american exceptionalism, the american dream all vaporware. The military has ruled the US since the end of WW2. And it continues to do so.

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856073)

Well put.

There is too much of this "moon, been there done that" nonsense.

How much did the German government spend on the technology before it was "acquired" by the US?

Its easy to take something which was around 80% complete and then brag about it.

Re:Germany (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45856143)

but they have also walked a long distance on their own feet, and they have done this in quite a short time.

Short time? It's taken them 43 years to go from first satellite launched to a lunar lander. Which is about 35 years more than either the US or USSR took to do the same thing. Hell, the US managed a MARS rover in only 36 years, much less a Lunar rover.

I'm not trying to denigrate the Chinese effort. It's making steady progress in a difficult field. But it's NOT making this progress in "quite a short time"....

China? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855541)

Wake me up when one of these budding super powers no longer has people shitting in the streets. China and India are third world shit holes who waste money like this, when they should really be working to help their people.

Re:China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855647)

America still has people literally shitting in the streets. It's a super-shithole super-power, but that doesn't stop Americans from shitting on the rest of the world too.

Re:China? (3, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#45855795)

Wake me up when one of these budding super powers no longer has people shitting in the streets. China and India are third world shit holes who waste money like this, when they should really be working to help their people.

It may not be obvious to people who haven't spent any time traveling the world ... but the rich in China make the rich in the US look poor ... the middle class in China is living as well as the US, and is 6x the size ... and the poor in China don't live in anywhere near the squalor that the poor in the American Southeast live in. Visit rural China and rural West Virginia ... your eyes may be opened a bit.

Re:China? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856149)

As someone who normally tries to counterbalance the inaccuracies regarding China i think you might be mistaken.

I was in china a few years ago and went out of my way to visit Rural areas and they are literally "dirt poor". Granted i have never been in the southeast but its hard to imagine anyone still living like that in north america.

Next time you are in China drive a few hours out of any city and stop by to visit the locals in the area.

Re:China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856461)

"the poor in China don't live in anywhere near the squalor that the poor in the American Southeast live in"

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856751)

The rich in China do make the rich in the US look poor. But there's two reasons for that: they've gotten where they are by exploiting the weak. Today's rich Chinese should be compared to the Rockafellers and Carnegies of the 1900s. Those men were so fabulously wealthy in comparison to their peers--and they got there by paying men $1 a day for 14 hours of backbreaking labor that led to life expectancies under 60. Today's Chinese moguls are doing exactly the same thing.

The cost of food and other daily supplies is low in China. When you're rich, you have money to blow on status symbols, like Louis Vuitton bags and Bentleys. Plus, the concept of "saving for retirement" or setting aside money for a child's college funds are nonexistent in China. When you get to spend all the money you make, you'd be amazed what you can buy.

and the poor in China don't live in anywhere near the squalor that the poor in the American Southeast live in. Visit rural China and rural West Virginia ... your eyes may be opened a bit.

I don't know what part of China you visited, but I've never seen a place in the US without running water and electricity. I've seen some really awful conditions on Indian Reservations in the US SE...the rural areas of China are from another century. Indoor plumbing, law, electricity...those are not items every Chinese has yet.

Re:China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856107)

Let me guess, your passport (if you own one) lacks a stamp from China?

As I often ask, who's roads are in worse condition the US or China?

I always suspected (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#45855547)

A totalitarian regime would have an easier time developing manned spaced flights and perhaps colonies off the blue marble.

All isms are totalitarian (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855793)

A totalitarian regime would have an easier time developing manned spaced flights and perhaps colonies off the blue marble.

You do realize that the US is a totalitarian regime, I hope? In a capitalist system, the totalitarian dictators are the banks.

The banks may not kill and torture you physically, but they'll take all your possessions and leave you destitute -- certainly a form of torture. And if you understand Fractional Reserve Banking, you already know that they operate everyone in society as labor slaves in a perpetual system of debt that by design cannot be paid off.

You're right about totalitarian regimes being efficient, and ours certainly is. A democratic one would be far less so, but admittedly a nicer place to live.

Re:I always suspected (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855797)

Correct, and a corporate-feudal one would most certainly lag.

Re:I always suspected (2)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#45856345)

Yep, and it really worked great for the Russians! You can't point a telescope anywhere in the sky these days without spotting a Russian space colony!

Space Superpower isn't a thing (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45855593)

Until someone blows up a satellite, there's no "power" in space. You can launch from essentially anywhere, there's no way to monopolize the field.

Re:Space Superpower isn't a thing (3, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45855663)

China blew up one of their own satellites 7 years ago [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Space Superpower isn't a thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855675)

Oh yeah? I take it you've never heard of shark satellites with lasers in space?

Re: Space Superpower isn't a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855691)

China did that five years ago. Kind of a pita now http://news.discovery.com/space/private-spaceflight/orbital-debris-from-chinese-satellite-tops-3000-pieces.htm

Destroying satellites (3, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45855707)

Until someone blows up a satellite, there's no "power" in space.

Both the US and China have blown up satellites in space from the ground within the past few years using missiles. I'm quite sure Russia could manage the trick as well if they felt like it.

Damn, that time traveler was right (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#45855639)

That time traveler in the documentary "Looper" was right .. I should learn Chinese.

Re:Damn, that time traveler was right (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#45857071)

They said the same 15 years ago about learning Japanese. My guess? We'll stick with English. Chinese apparently is a very difficult language to learn to speak and write (Japanese writing is hard but learning to speak it is relatively easy). In contrast, English is easy to pick up, and already very widely spoken by non-native speakers.

Meanwhile in the U.S. (4, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year ago | (#45855645)

We're building the world's largest bureaucracy and collection of Ship B people.

Best news I've heard in a while (2, Insightful)

Maquis196 (535256) | about a year ago | (#45855703)

Nothing seems to get goverments spending money on space like any kind of race. Just a shame China don't just say "Mars would look great in China Red", that would soon get the budgets for NASA and to a smaller extent ESA raised a bit.

Rather co-operation on this, I know there is some. A Chinese moon base? Like America would let that stand!

Medicare (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855781)

The US has spent all its money, and all the money it will ever get already. They voted on hand outs instead of improvements, and the hand outs have won.

Medicare is $100 Trillion in the hole, and I did not mistype that. Obamacare is a desperate attempt to hide the failure of Medicare without admitting to it, but that won't work. Until Medicare and hand outs are reigned in, the US will not do manned space exploration again on its own.

If you don't like these facts, stop voting in the liberals that tell you if only the rich pay a little more all will be good. The rich can't cover a $100 Trillion deficit.

Re:Medicare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855859)

Don't vote Republican either, we need to eliminate the tax cuts for everyone with the money to pay. Get the debt situation under control.

Re:Medicare (1)

Maquis196 (535256) | about a year ago | (#45855865)

really? turning a discussion about Chinese space efforts into a rant about Obamacare? Guess being that I'm British I dont have to worry about such things. UK space program is barely worth calling a program :)

Re:Medicare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855945)

The US has spent all its money, and all the money it will ever get already. They voted on hand outs instead of improvements, and the hand outs have won.

Medicare is $100 Trillion in the hole, and I did not mistype that. Obamacare is a desperate attempt to hide the failure of Medicare without admitting to it, but that won't work. Until Medicare and hand outs are reigned in, the US will not do manned space exploration again on its own.

If you don't like these facts, stop voting in the liberals that tell you if only the rich pay a little more all will be good. The rich can't cover a $100 Trillion deficit.

The US is a great country with one little defect. The military-surveillance-industrial complex that devours a good portion of the nation's resources. You think doing wars halfway around the world comes cheap ? If the american citizens had to pay for the wars in afghanistan and irak you'd have had a revolution in washington 10 years ago.

Re:Best news I've heard in a while (2, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#45855823)

Indeed.

Competition amongst earth's nation-states will have to do as motivation until cooperation is plausible.

Hopefully we don't have to wait for that until we have a common off-planet enemy.

Re:Best news I've heard in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855827)

Mars has always been red. As for cooperation, why do you think they have to do everything by themselves? Hint... another power actively blocks them from participation in the ISS and other collaborative projects. Can you guess who?

nothing new here (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#45855725)

China's space program differs from those of other nations in part because of the nation's political structure: A single-party government with a bevy of strong state-owned enterprises can get a lot done.

if we're talking 'superpowers' then no its not. Russia, sent the first man into orbit and the first robot to the moon through state owned enterprise.

the United States operates in much the same way. lockheed martin and northrup grumman would cease to exist if not for US taxpayer subsidy in the pursuit of our space program. their product is defined largely by US policy, and their sales controlled by it as well. theyre 'free enterprise' only in so far as it privatizes its profits.

How about postal addresses? (0)

selectspec (74651) | about a year ago | (#45855731)

This is typical authoritarian bravado. China invests heavily in a field that generates PR for nationalistic pride (with a dual military purpose.) Meanwhile, they don't even have a postal address system. Don't be fooled by the hype. Yes, their economy will be the largest, simply due to their numbers. (If the Chinese simply earned per capita one third of the US average income, they'd be a larger economy than the US.)

Re:How about postal addresses? (1, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#45855785)

This is typical authoritarian bravado. China invests heavily in a field that generates PR for nationalistic pride (with a dual military purpose.) Meanwhile, they don't even have a postal address system. Don't be fooled by the hype. Yes, their economy will be the largest, simply due to their numbers. (If the Chinese simply earned per capita one third of the US average income, they'd be a larger economy than the US.)

I'm not sure if that's just racism or lack of knowledge... but China has more people living in a US-level middle class than the US has people.

And, strangely, I've never had an issue mailing something to China. You don't just scribble a name on it, and someone walks along an asks 1.2 billion people if that happens to be them, after all.

Re:How about postal addresses? (2)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#45856475)

I'm not sure if that's just racism or lack of knowledge... but China has more people living in a US-level middle class than the US has people.

Both what you said and what the GP post said are true.

China may have more middle class, but they have a huge amount of population in poverty as well.

On a per capita basis, if they matched the US, their economy would be about 3 times larger than ours. The do not have that yet.

Re:How about postal addresses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856331)

So in other words it was taken directly from the US playbook?

I mean every rocket (missile?) has a very large US flag and often was targeted to bring up "nationalist pride".
I guess you can always demonstrate how sending a school teacher to space provided real scientific value (I'm referring to the "Teachers in space" program) and not "PR"?

I miss the Cold War (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45855749)

Let's have another one with China versus Europe, and America is the Third World this time around.

Yeah (2, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#45855767)

... because what the world is ANOTHER FREAKING SET OF NAVIGATIONAL SATELLITES!

I'll launch my own too, can't trust any government. Maybe we should found a set for each of us together through Kickstarter?

More junk in the nearby space place!

Re:Yeah (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#45856375)

I'll just wait for Elon Musk to launch NavX.

They should catch up fast ... (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#45855777)

And pass both the US and Russia quickly.

Why? Technology is 40 years newer. Materials science has changed, automation, manufacturing techniques and a slew of other core technologies important for space flight have changed as much in the last 40 years as computing technology has. They're going to be able to do more with less the same as other up-starts like SpaceX can do -- but they're going to invest national levels of resources into it, with SpaceX levels of innovation and dramatically less of a "defense contractor welfare" bloat that drags down NASA.

And good for them. For the sake of every living thing that's fought entropy for the last three billion years on Earth, it doesn't matter who is working towards getting life off this rock, it just matters that someone is.

Re:They should catch up fast ... (1, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45856185)

And pass both the US and Russia quickly.

And yet they're taking decades for milestones that both the USA and Russia accomplished in years.

Re:They should catch up fast ... (4, Interesting)

akirapill (1137883) | about a year ago | (#45856289)

dramatically less of a "defense contractor welfare" bloat that drags down NASA.

Genuinely curious why you think this? It's been my understanding that there are strong ties between the government and the defense contractors, and the defense industry there is fairly shrouded in secrecy, making corruption easy to pull off. Do you think the Chinese government is more capable of taking an 'agile' approach to a space program than the US?

Re:They should catch up fast ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856493)

Dumbest thing I will read today.

Re:They should catch up fast ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856613)

"getting life off this rock"

Are you from Iraq?
Miami is a beauty man... I like it here.

Captcha: neighbor

But we have health care (0, Troll)

hessian (467078) | about a year ago | (#45855805)

USA has shifted spending from external (being a superpower, space conquest, invention) to the internal (entitlements, welfare and health insurance).

We may accomplish nothing but we're good people. Look at all the parasites we're funding.

Re:But we have health care (2)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year ago | (#45856051)

To be honest, I fail to see how invading two countries is internal spending.

Re:But we have health care (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45856295)

To be honest, I fail to see how invading two countries is internal spending.

Money spent invading two countries: ~$1T over ten years.

Money spent on SSA/Medicare/Medicaid in the same period: ~$16T. At the Federal level. Medicaid is partly funded by the States, so the total would be slightly higher

Does tend to look like our internal spending is considerably greater than the cost of those two wars, doesn't it?

Re:But we have health care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856111)

USA has shifted spending from external (being a superpower, space conquest, invention) to the internal (entitlements, welfare and health insurance).

We may accomplish nothing but we're good people. Look at all the parasites we're funding.

YOU STUPID GODDAMN FUCK. Social Security Retirement Income is the only "entitlement program" of consequence in the U.S. Budget and the people who receive benefits ALREADY PAID FOR THEM. Are you smart enough to read your pay stub ? You're still paying them. The money you pay as goes into the Social Security Trust Fund which in and of itself would be solvent but the GOD DAMNED government decided to spend the fund in the form of IOU's so they could pay of the likes of AIG and Goldman Sachs or start wars for the benefit of Halliburton or Brown & Root with your money. It's money I have paid too. Do I feel entitled to it ? YOUR GODDAMNED RIGHT I do.

Re:But we have health care (3, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | about a year ago | (#45856165)

You've been paying too much attention to Mitt Romney and not enough to the facts. The war in Iraq alone would have been enough to put men on Mars ten times over.If that didn't suffice tax breaks to millionaires and corporations alone would too.

Yet, your proposal to put men on Mars is to remove health insurance from the sick. Boy has his country ever lost its way!

Compare National Space Budgets (3, Informative)

thrich81 (1357561) | about a year ago | (#45856457)

From Wikipedia:
USA NASA annual budget: $17.7 billion, and that is just the NASA budget, the US Air Force Space budget is another $8 billion.
China CNSA annual budget: $1.3 billion.
Total pending by all national space agencies: $40.6 billion.
So the NASA budget is over 10 times that of CNSA and almost as much as all the other nations' programs put together. Considering that the US GDP is only about twice that of China's, then the NASA budget is a far larger percentage of the US GDP than the proportion that CNSA is of China's.

200k to Mars (-1, Troll)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#45855811)

Really? more ambitious than the 200k people signed up to colonize Mars?

Or /. just needs some more click bait for traffic? Slash-bait? /bait?

from the article (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#45855843)

TFA says it perfectly: "...Johnson-Freese put it more bluntly: âoeIn terms of technology, are the Chinese at a peer level or more advanced than us? No, absolutely not. What they have that we donâ(TM)t is political will.â"

Simply, Western governments have decided that space is no longer important. Certainly, not more important than handing out subsidies to industries, banks, and the underclass of easily-bought voters.

Re:from the article (2)

Alomex (148003) | about a year ago | (#45856235)

Simply, Western governments have decided that space is no longer important. Certainly, not more important than handing out subsidies to industries, banks, and the underclass of easily-bought voters.

Except that the biggest recipients of government largesse are Red States (look it up). So much for your "easily-bought" assumptiony.

I also have the expectation of the government spending my tax dollars in things that benefit the general population instead of tax breaks to Mitt Romney so he can stash his $100 million retirement fund in a tax heaven in the Bahamas (again look it up).

Current Space Superpower (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45855949)

They've got something on the moon and can get people into orbit this year. The US is years away from being able to put anyone in orbit without buying a ticket on a Russian rocket.

Fantastic accomplishment... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856043)

...for a country that cries about being poor when it comes to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

The old paradigm of "developing" and "developed" countries is being challenged, to say the least, by China and India. This is an issue and source of growing friction we'll have to deal with for many decades, and not just in the thorny area of climate change.

The Important thing: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#45856121)

The US can still beat them in Eve Online, can't we?

How many times did I hear from tech pundits that the New Virtual Economy made the brick and mortar world less important? Isn't this the same?

Oh wait. There was that little thing called the dot com crash. Guess the real world capabilities still matter.

No big deal. Guess I'll just get a beer and go back to playing Kerbal Space Program, then. It's what made America great. ;)

and all the equipment says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856349)

"made in china"

so... good luck with that.

Re:and all the equipment says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856779)

Because all the best stuff is made where? Actually, scratch that is anything not made there these days?

time for US to cooperate with China (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#45856513)

The US banned NASA from cooperating with Chinese space program, especially the ISS, due to China's tendency to steal technology. Much space technology has military applications. There was an embarassing incident this year when Chinese scientists were temprarily banned from a US exoplanet conference because NASA was involved.
But its time to do joint government science projects now. Two groups together can accomplish more together than separately.

Oh jeeze..another Chineese ship... (1)

mordjah (1088481) | about a year ago | (#45856521)

Hope their space ship works better than their ice breaker ship.. Did we not already [cnn.com] learn [economist.com] that chineese laborors don't particularly care about quality [nytimes.com] ? *sigh* I sure hope the astronauts are not volentold [urbandictionary.com] as well..

Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856661)

Just as they ran the olympics it looked nice at the time. After visiting China when they were over, China is still a dump and will always be a dump. For example we stayed at a 5-star hotel with giant cracks in the wall though the outside of the hotel looked nice. Reminded me of Doctor Who. And yes they were that big. So all in all, I think they have a lot of bark but their quality is just not there and will never be.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45856919)

SpaceX has the most ambitious space program in the world. Musk has a bet to get a person to mars by 2025.

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