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China Tests Anti-Satellite Laser Weapon

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-people's-laser dept.

Space 552

schnippy writes "U.S. intelligence agencies believe that China has successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon by destroying one of their old weather satellites. The test, if confirmed, would be an order of magnitude more provocative than earlier reports of Chinese blinding lasers being. Arms Control Wonk has a good writeup on what this will mean for U.S. policy."

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IMHO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661582)

I think we should test our own laser and 'accidentally' nuke one of their spy satellites (I presume they have some). Yeah, it would be a relations disaster, but they're testing the waters and I think we need to say enough is enough.

Re:IMHO (0)

Beekster (732448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661640)

Does "our own laser" refer to the planet, or some small insignificant country within it?

Re:IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661974)

It s no moon...

Re:IMHO (5, Funny)

grimJester (890090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661862)

Considering that they shot down one of their own satellites, perhaps the US could shoot down one of their own satellites. From a European perspective this would be the funniest escalation of hostilities since Freedom Fries.

short term (0)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661602)

Has the Chinese Gov. ever considered other countries for anything they have done? All they have done up till now is what is good for them, not taking into account what consequences those actions have on either foreign countries or for their own population.

Re:short term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661696)

Has US ever considered other countries? Even those they attacked?

Re:short term (5, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661722)

And this is different from any other country how? Maybe they feel it's just about time for China, the largest and oldest nation on earth, to keep up with the competition?

Re:short term (1)

PurPaBOO (604533) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661962)

I believe they may still be considering the actions the USA took against them in the 1930s and 40s. Bon chance.

Just what the world needs... (-1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661618)

...another cold war.

Argh.

Re:Just what the world needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661702)

...another cold war.

Argh.
On the upside, we'll have some kickass war movies and video games to look forward to in another 20 years.

Re:Just what the world needs... (2, Interesting)

Larus (983617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661986)

According to international space convention, outer space is considered like Antarctica and not supposed to be used for military or economic self-interest. Spying satellites do not truly comply with this convention, and firing a laser from the ground would indeed be self-preservation.

I also notice military news generated more buzz when China was the subject.

Funny that we should view this as "provocative" (5, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662058)

It's ironic that the US should view this as "provocative" in the light of its stated policy to achieve hegemony in space (see http://www.space.com/news/061007_bush_spacepolicy. html [space.com] for the administrations statement of policy , and see http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=199827&cid=163 65327 [slashdot.org] for my earlier post on the matter, which refers to US weaponisation of space http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article/0,14493,13 45460,00.html [guardian.co.uk] , and the Airforce acquiring new business http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology /higher_ground_040222.html [space.com] )

I certainly won't claim that China wouldn't have pressed ahead with its anti-sattelite weapon if the US hadn't stated space hegemony as its policy objective, but in terms of being provocative it really seems to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The US space policy is confrontational if nothing else.

I'm fairly confident that the recently unveiled US space policy caused a massive "Oh yeah? We'll see about that!" response among China, Russia, India, and perhaps others too.

Re:Just what the world needs... (5, Funny)

meckardt (113120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662112)

...another cold war.

Maybe this will offset all the Global Warming [slashdot.org] .

How is this provocative ? (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661622)

The USA already has this sort of capability ... so why is China having this procative ?

Or is it OK for the USA to have it but no one else ? I suppose it depends on who you consider the bad guys. I note that China has invaded fewer countries in the last 50 years than the USA has ... so what is the answer to the question ?

Re:How is this provocative ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661658)

The USA already has this sort of capability ... so why is China having this procative ?

Because they destroyed a US satellite.

Re:How is this provocative ? (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661692)

No? The article says they destroyed one of their own satellites. They did blind a US satellite momentarily in the past, but that's far from destroying a US satellite.

Re:How is this provocative ? (2, Informative)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661710)

Nope, they destroyed an outdated, no longer used _CHINESE_ weather satelite.

Re:How is this provocative ? (0, Offtopic)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662008)

US sattelite probably infringed on Chinese airspace.
From the Chinese viewpoint they own not only the land but the entire column of space above it.

US should train sharks with lasers attached to their heads to counter this threat.
Mobile,virtually undetectable and best of all cheap.

Re:How is this provocative ? (-1, Offtopic)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661704)

How is this provocative ?

it's mounted on sharks. shark heads. frickin!

Re:How is this provocative ? (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661842)

The same reason that Iran's nuclear ambitions are deemed provocative. Apparently only the west is allowed anything nuclear or dangerous - everyone else has no right, apparently. And even then the US has a right to everything, and the right to deny whatever it wants to anyone else. "Land of the free" needs to be updated - may I suggest "Land of the free (to dick on everyone else without the burden of a conscience pissing on your parade because the US is always good and right and never does anything bad to everyone else who are just jealous and should be grateful that the US saved everyone's ass in every war ever fought at least that's what's been drilled into everyone's head since being kids)". Pretty catchy, huh? :)

Re:How is this provocative ? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661882)

remember they "won" vietnam

And north korea!!!

Now iraq!!! Hey they are 3 for 3!!

Re:How is this provocative ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662044)

Ah - the good old american mods

Where its only free speach as long as you spout US progaganda.

How is it trolling to quote what they teach in US schools (well not north korea, if it weren't for M.A.S.H. most in the US wouldn't even know the north korean war happened)

Just because the rest of the world finds the USA's rewriting of recent history a joke - not that our countries haven';t done it in the past - its just that it was a lot easier to a few centuaries ago.

Re:How is this provocative ? (0, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661976)

Oh of course! It must be a troll! Even though the criticism is fair. Just because it's not popular doesn't make it a troll, but then I guess expecting some knee-jerk /. mods to understand that would be asking a lot. The kind of person who thinks the US IS entitled to whatever it wants when the rest of the world can suck its balls would most likely see any criticism of that "divine right" as unjust, hence the Troll modding. Piling that on just adds to my argument. Cheers :)

Re:How is this provocative ? (1, Troll)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662072)

The same reason that Iran's nuclear ambitions are deemed provocative.
Really? I don't recall in the last 5 years China saying anything about wiping another country off the map.Iran though, I do recall an instance or two. Perhaps I should consult with the Dalai Lama about that first statement.

Re:How is this provocative ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661876)

I note that China has invaded fewer countries in the last 50 years than the USA has ... so what is the answer to the question ?

On the other hand, China has claimed [wikipedia.org] more countries part of its territory in the past 50 years.

Re:How is this provocative ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661992)

yeah a modified missle from a modified jet - i am suprised that this is news as the capability has been around for few decades.

this is just typical "look at this bad guy while I rape ur rights from behind all in the name of saving the children"

Re:How is this provocative ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662152)

this is just typical "look at this bad guy while I rape ur rights from behind all in the name of saving the children"


YES! This is all a conspiration orchestrated by Bush so he can take our p0rn from us while we're too busy worrying about the China! Now please excuse me, I need to readjust my tinfoil hat!

Re:How is this provocative ? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662154)

Don't forget about the precious Intellectual Property.

Re:How is this provocative ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662068)

When a country invades another one with a false reasons and no UN mandate, it is an agression performed by a rogue country, unless the false reason is to fight terrorism, in that case, it is perfectly OK to insult any friendly country that objects those reasons.

For GWB: bad guy = anyone who is not a neocon.
For almost anyone else, bad guy = any leader whose actions directly caused the death of civilians, including GWB and a few neocons.

Re:How is this provocative ? (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662092)

Since the number of countries China has invaded in the past is greater than zero, it is provocative since the US isn't the only country keeping an eye on China's new military might. The other one? I'll give you a hint-Chicken Vindaloo.

Re:How is this provocative ? (2, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662146)

I note that China has invaded fewer countries in the last 50 years than the USA has ... so what is the answer to the question ?

I see you're from the UK. It figures. In the last 50 years, the US has invaded
Grenada - don't see anyone but Cuba and some Grenadian commies sorry about that one
Kuwait and Iraq in Gulf War I - nobody sorry about that one either except some now dead or imprisoned Iraqi government officials
Iraq in Gulf War II - well, nobody seems happy with that, so I understand complaints here.
South Korea and Vietnam don't count as it's really a stretch to call those "invasions".

China invaded Tibet. I think a whole lot of Tibetan people aren't real happy with how that one turned out. I think a whole lot of people in Taiwan are hoping that they aren't next on the list.

Yes Gulf War II was a big disaster. However, if the situation ever stabilizes the Iraqis will have a chance to guide their own lives. China's policy in Tibet is to weaken the local populice by flooding the area with Han Chinese immigrants. I suspect that most Tibetans would like to control their own future if possible but at this point they'd be glad to just not watch as their culture is destroyed in front of their eyes. I don't see that kind of cultural assassination going on in Iraq.

Re:How is this provocative ? (1)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662150)

To paraphrase Tom Lehrer:

First, we got the [laser], and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then [China] got the [laser],
But that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way!
Who's next?

Re:How is this provocative ? (0, Flamebait)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662172)

I agree. The US has the most frightening, provocative, dangerous and presumptuous military doctrine ever. Read for yourself [pww.org] and mod me flamebait afterwards.

Re:How is this provocative ? (1)

phayes (202222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662226)

The USA already has this sort of capability

No, the USA HAD this [vought.com] capability in the past but once the cold war threat was over, dismantled it. While we have other systems such as the experimental 747 borne laser [fas.org] that probably has some asat capability, we no longer have any operational ASAT weapons. It's provocative because even though a Chinese sat was targeted, by blowing the sat up into little pieces in uncharted and unpredictable orbits, the test created orbital hasards for everyone else.

"their" (1)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661624)

from the article:
"destroying an aging Chinese weather satellite target"

so it was one of their own satellites. The US didn't own it - whats the problem?

 

Re:"their" (1)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661674)

The problem is that their debris can cause an interruption of operation of our sattelites, worse case, they could seriously cause damage to property where the debris hits earth if it didn't get burned in the atmosfere or what didn't float off into space. What mess can enter our atmosphere?

Re:"their" (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661756)

Sources? Or is this what the journalists think?

Re:"their" (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661814)

You mean their debris is as dangerous as the hundred of tons of american debris in orbit?

Re:"their" (1)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661678)

so it was one of their own satellites. The US didn't own it - whats the problem?

I suppose you would have the same "what's the problem" attitude if the US started testing nuclear weapons again (on their own soil of course, so its "ok")

Re:"their" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661912)

there would be a problem - the US is signed up to international treaties obligating it to not test nuclear weapons. China has never agreed to not fire lasers in space. The treaty which bans space-based weapons says nothing about weapons that are ground-based aimed AT space.

Re:"their" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662060)

no, I didn't RTFA, but the point still stands - a kinetic-kill device launched by a missile is still a ground-based weapon

Re:"their" (2, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661716)

The problem is two fold. Initially, it the debris now clogging up the orbit. This will cause damage to other satellites, possibly knocking them out completely (debris is a huge problem in space).
Secondly, it opens up an arms race in space, with money thrown into space weapons research, testing, and bigger and heavier weaponry.
I do disagree with some of the conclusions drawn in the article (the author was berating a Short sighted Chinese government for development of space weaponry). The US has quite active in the ASAT department for some time. The only reason the politicians didt create some treaty to ban or restrict research was that there was no space arms race. So, rather than sign up a treaty and lead saying We can do it, but we wont, if you wont, they went ahead, and now people are surprised that other sovereign nations are doing exactly the same thing.
Yes, another arms race is a bad thing, but it was all avoidable if the politicians on the US side had actually had the foresight to pull up a treaty in the first place, rather than going ahead believing they would remain the only show in town.

Re:"their" (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661832)

Because the US depends heavily on satalites for things like GPS and if China decides to start popping holes in Satalites nothing short of a full scale invasion (Read : USA can't win this in their wildest dreams, least of all after pissing off the Arabic areas of this planet) will stop them.

Starting to see the issue here?

Re:"their" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661946)

Because the Chinese depend heavily on their people for things like growing food and if the US decides to start nuking towns nothing short of a full scale invasion (Read : China can't win this in their wildest dreams, least of all after having just lost their army in a nuclear holocaust) will stop them.

Starting to see the issue here?

Re:"their" (1, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661888)

That is a mere triviality of a reason. Just look at recent history regarding the US's foreign policy in action. Iraq hadn't done anything directly to the US, yet they were ripe for invasion. Not doing anything to the US doesn't guarantee a country's freedom from being fucked with by the US. China, just by demonstrating it could take out a US spy satellite - note they don't even have to do it - makes them a massive risk to the US, which means they're "fair game" for a more bitchy one-sided, unfair foreign policy.

Re:"their" (0, Offtopic)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662016)

How is that trolling? The US didn't invade Iraq? I must have mis-read 3 years of news. Terribly sorry. Unless Iraq directly attacked the US, my point stands. Modding it as "trolling" doesn't change a fucking thing, no matter how uncomfortable questioning your own country's past is. Grow the fuck up.

Related to Earth Obserations Dropping? (1)

C0deJunkie (309293) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661626)

Does it relate to the fact that the number of NASA's Earth-observing missions will drop dramatically [slashdot.org] , as reported yesterday on Slashdot?

Re:Related to Earth Obserations Dropping? (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662168)

It's because the Airforce needs the capacities for more inofficial
earth observations... ;-)

Honk when you see a Cosco truck!! (-1, Flamebait)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661632)

After all, China is "our" Most Favored Trading-Partner.

See how ridiculous that is? Most of the cheap crap they sell us at Walmart is
"Made in China" (and most of that by chinese prison labor working under the most
deplorable conditions).

Honk when you see a Cosco (Chinese Overseas Trading Co.) truck on the highway.

Re:Honk when you see a Cosco truck!! (1)

omegashenron (942375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661778)

and most of that by chinese prison labor working under the most
deplorable conditions


Do you have any figures to verify this, i.e what percentage of Chinese exports come from these supposed "prison camps"? Having been to Shenzhen I find your comments hard to belive.

Re:Honk when you see a Cosco truck!! (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661818)

As would anyone that's been outside their own state in the US. The GP is just an ignorant troll, that will hopefully be downmodded to hell by those that have modpoints available.

Re:Honk when you see a Cosco truck!! (1)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661850)

Be honest, if you are a worker for a chinese company, you can consider it a prison camp. Having seen some incredible television docu's on working conditions in China, I think a prison camp is a correct description.

Re:Honk when you see a Cosco truck!! (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662096)

Oh, you saw it on TV? Then it must be true! Fox News can't be wrong, can they?

Having been to China for a month, and visiting some factories, I can assure you that the standards in the new factories are pretty much the same there as in the western world. Older places looked like they could have been from the western parts of the world, just 50 years back. Would you call that prison too?

Reading these slashdot posts I can understand why many Americans seem to think that randomly invading other countries isn't that bad, since living anywhere else than in the glorious United States of America must be like living in a prison camp.

<rant>how come 'slashdot' isn't a valid word in the firefox spellchecker?</rant>

"What will this mean for US foreign policy" (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661644)

Not a lot really. America has a bad opinion of the China regardless, and this will only fuel its attitude. Thankfully, though, China has way too much control over the west's needs (what we import, is mainly manufactured in China) so we may see some Democratic approach to this situation (for once!).

Re:"What will this mean for US foreign policy" (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662166)

Thankfully, though, China has way too much control over the west's needs (what we import, is mainly manufactured in China) so we may see some Democratic approach to this situation (for once!).
I assume you mean Diplomatic approach not Democratic, unless you meant to say that the Chinese will give Al Gore some campaign funds and it will be all ok. And I think you might want to look into what happens after running too high a trade imbalance before you go saying, "Thankfully the west relies on China for all its manufacturing." Oh and if you meant democratic(note lowercase d) solution then what about this statement "Not a lot really. America has a bad opinion of the China regardless, and this will only fuel its attitude.," gives you hope?

LASER weapon? (5, Informative)

hasmael (993654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661650)

From TFA: " ...weather satellite target with a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile"

That doesn't sound like a LASER weapon.

Re:LASER weapon? (1)

deviceb (958415) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661732)

If it were only a laser device, it would be easy to protect with reflective armor/covering. I wonder if tempest monitoring of a satellite is possible with laser like that.

Re:LASER weapon? (1)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661742)

Absolutely correct. There is no mention of a laser weapon in the article. Merely a laser that was illuminating an American satellite at a previous occasion.

Re:LASER weapon? (1, Redundant)

AxminsterLeuven (963108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661746)

You can't mount a kinetic kill vehicle-bearing ballistic missile on a friggin' shark's head, can you? At least not without seriously damaging the shark, I mean.

Re:LASER weapon? (3, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661786)

Of course it would have to be a robotic shark, anything else would be ridiculous.

It's not (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662262)

and neither the article, nor the writeup here, claim that it is.

not a laser (4, Informative)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661660)

from the article: "destroying an aging Chinese weather satellite target with a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile."

Lasers are not kinetic weapons. They are light-based.

The topic-writer appears to have been confused by the article mentioning that an earlier test used a laser to temporarily brighten a satellite.

Provocation (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661708)

Well, if understood literally, it is provocative: it may provoke the US to start an agression against China before they get stronger and less vulnerable; not necessarily with nuclear arms or with something like that, but with economic embargo and some dirty tricks we shouldn't be discussing here. OTOH, it can be misinformation in the best kind of the Sun Tzu style.

Re:Provocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661846)

economic embargo lol
where have you been last 20 years?

Thank Israel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661922)

U.S. Arms Sales to Israel End Up In China, Iraq: http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0509-07.htm [commondreams.org]

Re:Provocation (2, Interesting)

larytet (859336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662026)

Technically US owes to China about 0.6T (trillion) USD and counting. If China simply stops to buy those Treasuries US citizens will discover that their lifestyle is significantly less affordable. 30% of the US economy today is financial services. Above 60% of the US economy is "services". About zero of what they call "old industry". About 30% of the cars are not produced in the US. And so on. The list is infinite. War is not an option for the US. Neither is embargo. China is free to do whatever it likes. And you know I personally think that 1 bil people deserve it. They simply earned it.

One Word; Taiwan (2, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662136)

This is just silly talk. There will be no economic embargo on China because it developed a new weapon. No one is talking about economic sanctions other then crazy Slashdot posters.

It is a provocation in the same way any new weapon is a provocation, but the response won't be military or economic. The response will be that the US starts upgrading their own anti-satellite weapon if they have not already done so and building in more stealth features to their old satellites. This starts a potential arms race, but that is it. Even then, I doubt it is going to be much of a race. The US has had known anti-satellite weapons for decades. It probably has other still classified anti-satellite weapons waiting in the wings as well.

The real 'provocation' in this is what it means for Taiwan. The US has been quietly backing away from its promise to defend the democracy of Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion. Even now, the prospect of fighting over Taiwan makes the US uneasy. The US could certainly win today, but it would be far more bloody and dramatically more costly then Iraq. Such a war would have both nations getting itchy nuclear weapon trigger fingers. Now, to top it all off, China has the capacity to knock down US satellites making the military game much more dangerous while at the same time offering up a way to put a real hurt on American economic interests.

It is a good old fashion Mexican standoff. A war between the US and China is a war that both sides could lose (read that as going nuclear). Even if both sides agreed to take nuclear weapons off the table, the economic damage done to the US would only be matched by the massive economic destruction wrought on China. The whole issue is messy and ugly, and it is coming to a head. China WILL make a move again Taiwan in the next 10 years.

Re:Provocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662214)

This may have been an option 15 or 20 years ago but we're past that point now. Not only becouse American people would be none too happy about the consequences but becouse very influential people have huge assests in China and they wouldn't want that to be 'communized' by the Chineese authorities.

Uh... What lasers? (1)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661712)

The only mention of lasers in TFA is about an incident several months ago, that involved the alleged illumination (not destruction) of a US military spacecraft.

This satellite was destroyed by "a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile." Could we have some more descriptive and less sensationalist headlines, please?

Re:Uh... What lasers? (1)

plehmuffin (846742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661940)

The only mention of lasers in TFA is about an incident several months ago, that involved the alleged illumination (not destruction) of a US military spacecraft.

Ah, but did it experience ego death?

More space junk. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661740)

Just what we need. More junk clogging up our orbit.

This is just one more piece of bad news from China (-1, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661770)

- They are increasingly becoming a war power
- The land of bicycles is increasingly becoming a land of car owners (greenhouse gases)
- They are filling the west with cheap manufactured goods, and those goods make up the bulk of safety recalls for manufactured products

For some reason we decided to make them favored trading partners? I'm thinking that we need to start looking at these decisions more carefully. What I mean is that we should be using trade agreements to hold China to standards that we hold others to here in the west. Things like censorship, product safety, military issues, global warming contributions, and anything that seems enough of a problem to become a law in western countries should be forced upon the Chinese government.

When they are as busy taking care of their people and environment, perhaps they will find themselves on a level playing field with the west, and that after all is what they want.

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661880)

I dont see the USA caring all that much for the environment nor global warming Censorship is on the rise also, particularly of scientists "do as i say, not as i do" anyone?

This is just one more piece of bad news from US (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17661924)



- They are increasingly becoming a war power
US has invaded more countries than any other I can think of.

- The land of bicycles is increasingly becoming a land of car owners
Gobsmacked with this hypocacy from the wolrds biggest oil consumer per capita!

- They are filling the west with cheap manufactured goods
So don't fucking buy them then!
Nobody is forcing you to buy cheap shit.
Do you complain about global warming because sombody sold you the fuel YOU are burning!

Wake up and smell the morning dump sunshine.
Not looking at the state of the world from the other dudes point of view is the reason the US is so poorly regarded by the rest of the world.

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661928)

America first, dude! A dictator in the whitehouse, military running amok all over the middle east (watch this space), global warming contributions, funamentalist influence. Don't act like the US is some beacon of how a country should be run. To the rest of the west it's quite the opposite. I apologise if this sounds like an anti-US rant, but I guess it technically is, as it's countering an anti-Chinese rant by demonstrating the hypocrisy employed by many people with regard to not acknowledging their own country's short comings, and jumping on another's.

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (1, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662056)

So bringing light to the hypocrisy of a poster is trolling? Are the mods out of their minds on this one? Sure, America doesn't come out looking that good, but shit - that's no reason to mod it as trolling. How the fuck are bad things the US does supposed to get discussed on /. if any mention of them is called trolling? Mod, grow up.

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662106)

Hey, actually it was a sarcastic post, but the tag didn't post?

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662140)

hahaha! Then I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, apologise for posting something that makes you look like a dick :) Seriously, that's not cool. Hopefully your post won't be modded into oblivion, and anyone looking at your post will see your sarcastic intentions :)

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661960)

Hold China to the standards here in the West? By that you obviously mean:
1. Being a war power is good (being able to engage 'enemies' on a worldwide scale to suit your needs is better)
2. Trade bicycles for cars (how could they! I mean the West is predominantly bicycle commutering isn't it??)
3. Grow parts of the economy for maximum profit without respect for the long-term effects on the environment etc(Hmmmmm - let's see how fast the Arctic can melt while the West continues to pump out C02)

I think you will find China is on more of a level playing field with the West than you would like to believe...

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (3, Insightful)

omegashenron (942375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661998)

Things like censorship, product safety, military issues, global warming contributions, and anything that seems enough of a problem to become a law in western countries should be forced upon the Chinese government.

Half of these things the US is guilty of:

  • Censorship - Look at the things your government does eg censorship of games, trying to prevent flag burning, monitoring citizens/bloggers etc
  • Product safety - Right... American companies have never tried to skimp on safety to save a dollar, SUV's anyone? Thats rich coming from the land of lawsuits.
  • Military issues - Whose government is an international joke for the wars it starts?
  • Global warming - The bulk of this has come from Western countries, why do you blame China? Maybe you should trade in your SUV for a bike, it may also solve America's obesity problem.
  • Forcing their government what to do - They are a soverign nation, not the 51st State of the USA

Re:This is just one more piece of bad news from Ch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662200)

So what ?

- The US is already a war power
- The land of car owners is becoming a land of SUV owners
- US products suck and/or are just to expensive for most needs

deeper space (1)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661784)

So before we start an arms race in space ourselves, do you think we should consider that the chinese are looking at a more effecient way of moving old satellites away from earths orbit. Did they indeed destroy the satellite or used this 'kinetic vehicle' to push it out of orbit and have it float away into space.

the Good News (1)

fattybob (196045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661792)

well, the good news that could come out of this would be a fresh injection of US dollars into space research & NASA, which would be good news for almost all fields in the scientific community, never mind the spin offs for the consumer world

Re:the Good News (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661950)

Yay! Because we're set for money at the moment. Spending it on putting things in space, with possible benefits for the consumer world in about 15 years sounds like a really wise use of time and money. It's not like people are dying everywhere, or millions going without health cover, or schools being run into the ground, etc. Yay space! So worthy! The answer to all our prayers!

1760 launch ready nukes probably wont decline (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661802)

Sounds like our massive nuclear stockpile [google.com] isn't going to be reduced anytime soon, especially in light of this news.

In 2004 China was against space weapons.... (1)

TomAnthony (927466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661822)

China have recently said they are against the weaponisation of space. From here [www2.unog.ch] :
"China said the priority concern was to further consolidate the international consensus on the prevention of the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space in the form of a legal commitment or a legal instrument."
So what has changed since 2004? Just that they now have the capability and technology? Otherwise, is it that they see the Space Preservation Treaty [wikipedia.org] is going nowhere, implying other countries are fully prepared for the weaponisation of space.

Shark unemployment. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662088)

Due to rising unemployment of sharks in their country, China was forced to begin developing weapons that could be mounted on the sharks' heads so they could have a job again.

Re:In 2004 China was against space weapons.... (1)

FooHentai (624583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662120)

And now they're testing weapons designed to neutralised space weapons.

I don't see this as inconsistent. You're against the weaponisation of space, so you develop tech to counter it.
If they were developing space-to-earth weaponry, that would be another story.

Already too much space junk as it is (1)

BentPenguin (252522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661826)

Thousands of nuts, bolts, gloves and other debris from space missions form an orbiting garbage dump around Earth, presenting a hazard to spacecraft. Some of the bits and pieces scream along at 17,500 mph.

A 1999 study estimated there are some 4 million pounds of space junk in low-Earth orbit, just one part of a celestial sea of roughly 110,000 objects larger than 1 centimeter -- each big enough to damage a satellite or space-based telescope. (excerpted from http://tinyurl.com/56tzo [tinyurl.com] )

Here's where it gets interesting. Anticipating just such an offensive capability from china, many military satelites are hardened against laser and EMP damage. Which leaves kinetic attack as the simplest, most effective mode of disabling a satellite.

The problem is, it creates enough floating crap in orbit that any real attempt to disable US orbital capabilities will effectively eliminate huge swaths of orbital real estate for hundreds and thousands of years.

For this reason, many have been trying to phase out Kinetic Energy ASAT programs. With the chinese regard for the environment well evidenced on the ground, its not likely they'll be shying from the simplest means of retiring another nation's offending satellites.

Re:Already too much space junk as it is (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661964)

Here's where it gets interesting. Anticipating just such an offensive capability from china, many military satelites are hardened against laser and EMP damage.

But, what about sharks with frickn' laser beams?

Seriously, though. War time is hell, and if another all out world war (a real war where Congress actually declares war) breaks out our "regard for the environment" would be the last thing on our minds. We would blow the enemies satellites out of the sky just as our enemies would. It would be a race to see who could do it first, in fact I would guess this would be step 1 in any war plan against a technologically advanced country.

What this will mean for U.S. policy? (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661852)

I'd say that it will mean:
  1. Bigger budgets for space weapons research.
  2. Bigger budgets for everything else that is even remotely connected to space weapons research.
  3. Bigger budgets for intelligence gathering.
  4. It might take a little wind out of the war on terror due to budget reshuffling.
  5. Conservative ideologists, demagogues and fanatics of all denominations will pop up on every TV channel to talk about the new red peril.
  6. Left wing ideologists, demagogues and fanatics of all denominations will pop up on every TV channel to play the new red peril down.
  7. If we are lucky points 5 and 6 will result in an unscheduled yet entertaining amateur boxing match on live TV.
  8. Yet another rant on the O'Reilly Factor.
  9. The list goes on.... and on......

chill out (2, Insightful)

Gearoid_Murphy (976819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661932)

i find the reaction among american media sources stunning, Its as tho the chinese premier had taken a shit in the white house garden. American military spending approaches 500 billion dollars a year. Chinese military spending verges on 90 billion. While it was irresponsible for the chinese to have endangered orbital vehicles, it is nowhere near the chest beating call to war that some of the linked articles have made it out to be.

This is simple... (2, Funny)

LoganTeamX (738778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17661936)

Just take out their anti-satellite satellites with the US Navy's new uber railgun?

Interesting timing (2, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662002)

As Northrop Grumman has just opened a factory [informationweek.com] for high energy laser weapons in Redondo Beach, California. Admittedly they're aiming to shoot down ballistic missles and systems to protect buildings and areas.

But do they have... (1, Funny)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662028)

Sharks with lasers on their heads?

The obligatory (0, Redundant)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662066)

"Shalks wiz flikin Rasels on zem!!"

Obligatory Dr. Strangelove quote: (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662104)

Mr President, we MUST not allow an A-SAT gap!

So what happens if you put mirrors on your satellite? I don't know much about optics. Even if it's a powerful laser (from the head of a shark?), wouldn't it just bounce off a reflective surface?

nuke in high orbit for EMP - US already did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17662110)

Some of the first satellites ever put into orbit were taken out by EMP when the USA tested nuclear explosions at the extreme atmosphere limit. (Radioactive particles are still found in sealife in the ocean from that area)

In a real war you can bet we'd do it again, and again.

the truth is being manipulated here (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662118)

first the story that the baiji, the blind chinese river dolphin, has gone extinct

now the announcement that the chinese have an advanced laser weapon

there's only one obvious conclusion: the extinction news was a lie, a cover up...

it isn't sharks with frickin' laser beams they're building, it's a top secret corp of dolphins with frickin' laser beams!

that's a very clever twist, but i see through your cynical machinations beijing

Peaceful space full of arms (1)

Elixon (832904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17662198)

> Although this idiotic move by the Chinese government will demonstrate why we don't want hit-to-kill ASAT testing in orbit--that will be a long-term recognition. In the short-term, the Chinese will simply not be credible partners in efforts to keep space peaceful. Moreover, other countries could follow suit with their own anti-satellite programs, including the United States.

---

This statement made me smile. This is a very nice piece of propaganda. Who talks about peaceful space in the time when every other satellite in the space is the military one? :-D
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