What China's space capabilities mean for India

Discussion in 'China' started by gordon, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    China's manned missions and the space station also indirectly showcase the country's ability to use space for military purposes, says Dr Manpreet Sethi.

    The successful touchdown of the American spacecraft Curiosity on mars has generated much interest in India [ Images ] and the world. Certainly, this is a major milestone in earth's search for life elsewhere in space. But another event of significance for India's national security went relatively unnoticed though it took place much closer home in India's eastern neighbourhood.

    On June 29, China welcomed three of its 'taikonauts' aboard Shenzhou 9 back to earth after their 13-day sojourn into outer space. Of course, this was not the first time that China had sent up a manned spacecraft. In fact, it had already demonstrated this feat in 2003 and repeated it a few times since then.

    But there were two new dimensions of the recent flight. One, it carried a Chinese woman astronaut into space for the first time. Secondly and far more significantly, it demonstrated China's capability to conduct docking of a manned spacecraft with the experimental lab Tiangong 1 that China has had stationed in space since September 2011. Successful docking with an unmanned spacecraft had already been conducted in 2011 itself. But this time, the three astronauts in Shenzhou 9 established that China could precisely maneuver a space capsule to rendezvous with and attach itself to a port on the station in order to transfer people and material to sustain a space station.

    Each one of these feats is meant to fit into the long term objective of having a Chinese manned space station in outer space by sometime towards the end of this decade. Such a goal was first articulated by the standing committee of the Politburo in 1992 when it approved the manned spaceflight programme.

    The country has steadily moved to accomplish this and in fact, the white paper on space activities issued by China in 2011 categorically identified the national ambition to "launch space laboratories, manned spaceship and space freighters, make breakthroughs in and master space station key technologies, including astronauts' medium stay, regenerative life support and propellant refueling".

    What are the implications of these developments? First of all, a Chinese space station and the demonstration of capabilities towards that objective have tremendous symbolic value for power projection. Achieving these tasks reflects favorably on the scientific, technological and industrial/manufacturing capability of the country. Not only does this enhance the reputation of China to provide commercial services to global customers, it also enhances the soft power of the country.

    It is worth mentioning that China today claims international cooperation with 12 countries in the field of space. Just last year it launched satellites for three customers -- Pakistan, Eutelsat and Nigeria. Of these, the two vehicles launched for Pakistan and Nigeria were communication satellites made in China. Just last month China entered into a joint venture with Sri Lanka [ Images ] to set up its first space academy.

    Indeed, for the developing world, China has become a key provider of technology and other commercial launch services at competitive rates. But more importantly, China has taken upon itself the role of a mentor in space for many smaller countries in Asia. Since 2008, Beijing [ Images ] has led the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation. With its headquarters in Beijing, it comprises Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. Training of foreign scientists at Chinese institutes and donation of ground stations to member countries to receive information from Chinese satellites are some of the activities that the organisation has undertaken.

    As China enhances its space capabilities, it raises its profile amongst smaller nations taking tentative steps into this new domain. China plays upon the psychology of these nations by offering its space services as a means to break the monopoly of western imperialism in a pioneering field of science and technology. That China gains commercially and strategically from such relations is self evident.

    Besides raising its profile amongst the less space savvy nations, China's manned missions and the space station also indirectly showcase the country's ability to use space for military purposes. There are reports that the Shenzhou missions have been equipped with electronic intelligence or image intelligence gathering devices. Officially, China has never acknowledged the launch of a single military satellite, admitting at most that its space assets might have a dual role. But the demonstration of capability allows enforcement of military prowess for political objectives.

    Meanwhile, there are two added bonuses of the success of these plans. One, they do wonders for the party's self confidence and enhance its legitimacy at home. Secondly, they also allow China to participate in international negotiations on use of space from a position of strength. Not surprisingly, therefore, China perceives great value in these projects and will persist in its efforts towards setting up a space station by about the turn of this decade. Interestingly, this will also be about the time that the International Space Station [ Images ], a joint endeavor of USA, Russia [ Images ], Japan [ Images ], Europe and Canada [ Images ] would have lived its life and be ready to be de-orbited in 2020.

    In the next decade then, China might be the only country with a permanent human presence in low earth orbit. It is a thought that should spur India into action.

    Dr Manpreet Sethi is senior fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi [ Images ].
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    To be precise nothing.

    However, there are Indians who will work up a frenzy with Chinese achievements so that they can create a fear and get the favourite projects up and going and make some good money in the bargain.

    Without comparing with China all the time, one should realise what is required for India and work on such projects to achieve India's aims.
     
  4. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    I can say you have NOT read it, and prbabally you are not willing to do so.
     
  5. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    share a parable with some indian friends...

    There is a frog.He lives in a well and he never goes out of the well. He thinks the sky is as big as the mouth of the well.
    One day a crow comes to the well.He sees the frog and says,"Forg,let's have a talk.”Then they forg asks,"Where are you from?""I fly from the sky,"They crow says.Then the frog feeis surpriesd and says ,"the sky is only as big as the mouth of the well.How do you fly from the sky?"

    The crow says,"The sky is very big.You always stay in the well,so you don't know the wold is big."

    The frog says,"I don't believe."But the crow says,"you can come out and have a look by yourself."

    So the frog comes out from the well.He is very surpriesd.How big the wold is!
     
  6. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Heh - so this Gordon fellow was a Chinese after all, and not an Aussie. Thought so...
     
  7. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    it is shame you focus on my nationality rather than above topic about China's space capabilities mean for India...
     
  8. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Fear mongering, that is all.

    Sent from my T8830 using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You are the one who "focused" on your nationality. Why did you pretend to be an Aussie? And on top of that you are arguing on that point now! Have some shame.
     
  10. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    China's space achievements mean something alright. It would be unbecoming of a science oriented society as India wants to be, to underrate and undermine the Chinese achievements. In the field of Space exploration, only excellence performs, all else fails and the docking feat was an excellent achievement.

    What does this mean for India? Well, so far, their progress has been good in the peaceful aspects of space dominance, we are yet to see a positioning system, much less a Star Wars SDI like system. This is the exact field we can focus on and gain clear advantage over them. In plainspeak, the Chinese are yet groping in the dark when it comes to the matters of militarisation of space. India should fill this Chinese void.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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  11. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    India would get an incredible bang for their buck if we could get an orbiter on to Mars before chine could. To do it so soon would be quite remarkable but we do have a very highly educated scientific elite so it’s not impossible.

    Getting into lunar or Mars orbit actually involves quite similar issues. It’s not really the technology that determines it. It’s more a question of having a big enough rocket. If we can manage it we can make people take notice. Getting a lander down is a different matter and much more expensive. But if we manage put an Indian on the moon it would have a powerful impact on the way the country is perceived.

    It’s a mark of how seriously the Chinese are taking all this that they have rival space agencies in different provinces to promote competition so that for example scientists in Beijing are racing against colleagues in Shanghai rather than co-operating. It’s as frenetic as anything in the Sixties when the US and the Soviets were desperate to beat each other to the moon.

    The big prize for India, China or Japan would be getting a human on Mars. That could never be taken away, just as you can never take it away from the Americans that they were the first to put a man on the moon.

    Although there is a limited scientific case, the much stronger justification would be on a political basis and in terms of human destiny taking mankind as far as it has ever gone. That’s the prize India and China, especially, have their eyes on. Alongside that I don’t think we are especially interested in whether there was ever life on Mars.
     
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  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    He was British :-D

    Charles George Gordon (1833-1885): A Brief Biography
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    many chinese claims in space are taken with a grain of salt and believed to be faked.
     
  14. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    i never argue on my nationality. it is really a shame you can not recognize the Chinese Flag.
    come on, man... we are talking about What China's space capabilities mean for India.
    don't be so simple and sometimes naive...
     
  15. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Why did India map the whole moon and do the mineralogy of the moon before China if
    China is so capable?? Which nation holds the record for most satellites launched at
    one time-not China. Which country found water on the moon-not china.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  17. gordon

    gordon Regular Member

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    i will not be surprised when Indians send human to Mars, because you really know how important it is. not like the simple guys who is happy to be a frog in a well and focus on someone's nationality...
     
  18. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Just sending a mission to Moon or Mars, while itself being a huge technological achievement, shouldn't be the end goal obviously. As the founding fathers of the Indian space program felt, that while India was indeed a very poor country, it must invest in the space program nevertheless. All for the greater good of the humanity. The probe to Moon resulted in the confirmation of existence of water there. Makes Moon an option in the future for a human colony. Hopefully, the Mars mission is not just successful, but it has its end goal achieved, that is, something that betters human life eventually. I dont think and I hope not, that India goes on something like a dick measuring contest as far as space travel is concerned. Let other countries do that. We are better off reminding ourselves of our objectives.
     
  19. RedDragon

    RedDragon Regular Member

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    What China's space capabilities mean for India?

    Nothing.
     
  20. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    It is a shame you focused on hiding your nationality. Ashamed much to be chinese? Identity crisis? I know Chinese are not liked anywhere, but masquerading as another race brings you to the same level as pakis in the west who like to pretend to be Indians.
     
  21. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    well what does USA space capabilities mean for china ? eh ?
    what does russian spacve capabilities mean to china ?

    why always look at india and compare - why dont you compare yourselves with the USA and feel superior ? hehehehe :taunt1:
    among all the middle -eastern peoples , indians are the most advanced , so we are more concerned with that - t hose who are similar to us speak similar languages etc .

    .......but for you - among all the east asian people , china is probably the least advanced ( eg vis-a vis japan and korea ? )

    but anyway - what does DRAGON space capability mean for india _ why it's so simple we didnt need a thread for that silly question - the answer was too simple - we cant afford to fall to far behind them - that's all!!

    to allow dragon go ahead of us is fine - because really we had other priorities , but once there are defence implications , then we ant afford too huge a gap
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012

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