Air Force General: China Is Advancing in Space Five Times as Quickly as the US

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    US Air Force lieutenant general Steve Kwast says the US still leads every other country in space but cautions that edge is whittling away. "In my best military judgement China is on a 10-year journey to operationalize space. We're on a 50-year journey," Kwast told CNBC in an exclusive interview. Regulations also need to ease, in his view, as Kwast said innovation is needed "to reassure Congress that this is safe and effective."

    Militaries will soon work more extensively in the space between the earth and moon, according to Kwast. "China is working on building a 'navy in space'" that would work even beyond earth's gravity well, Kwast said. Yet China is the not the most pressing threat. North Korea, with its continued missile testing, is "a real problem" today, Kwast says. "Right now, if North Korea were to launch a missile into space and detonate an electromagnetic pulse, it would take out our eyes in space," Kwast said.


    Sep 29, 2002
    says what everyone knows, NASA needs funding! people would be to mars and back by now if they had the resources to do it.

    safety is a necessary evil. the last thing anyone wants is to kill the astronauts in a space flight. but if you think about it, the early space race missions developed in leaps and bounds partly because safety was not a primary concern. just think about the early apollo launchpad fire that burned the entire crew to death because they couldn't get the door open...china doesn't care so much about safety and human life.

    there's been plenty of mishaps over the years and yes we should learn from them. however, at what point are we going too far? for example, when the astronauts of apollo 11 were attempting to land the lunar module for the first human moon landing, the guidance computer crashed due to data overload. the lander had to be manually piloted down and if you read up on this you'll find that they barely had enough fuel to get back. it's very lucky that they survived! with that in mind, we can conclude that many systems were not fully tested. by our logic today that means that the apollo 11 landing should not have been attempted.

    and that's the safety difference we live with now.
    vividshock and Vercinaigh like this.
  3. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

    Mar 31, 2003
    I agree with more funding for NASA but not so much with this general. A surface (sea) navy is ridiculously expensive (which is why the US is the only country to have any real capability there, but anyone who has served would tell you how outdated so much of the hardware is!). A "space navy" would be an even greater cost. Given how long military hardware is designed to last I actually think a 50-year operational plan is a hell lot more realistic than a 10-year one...

    It reminds me of an argument I had with my conspiracy theorist cousin. He was stating that China had crazy space EMP weapons and they were out-spending us on space. He used Chinese-reported numbers to support his argument. I countered with realistic values based on Chinese financials (as well as US and EU figures to counter his) to indicate it's not even a tenth of that, and he immediately said YOU CAN'T TRUST CHINESE NUMBERS!

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    vividshock likes this.
  4. DrBorg

    DrBorg Gawd

    Jan 22, 2005
    There was a James P Hogan story called Leapfrog about this very thing.

    Espionage is so much cheaper than R&D, for nation states at least.
    RayderR6 and ButtonPuncher like this.
  5. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

    Oct 20, 2004
    So he's saying there's going to be a Space Gap with China?
    tetris42 likes this.
  6. grtitan

    grtitan Telemetry is Spying on ME!

    Mar 18, 2011
    So, in other words, we need even more money for more weapons.
    mullet, tetris42 and Flogger23m like this.
  7. tec1500

    tec1500 [H]Lite

    Jan 30, 2016
    What else were you planning on spending that money for anyways?
  8. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ardness Supreme

    Nov 7, 2005
    Dust off that Real Genius space laser.... time to put it to work.

    Oh and back to quasi-reality.... if we took all the money we've wasted on Afghanistan and Iraq we could have colonized Mars already and been on our way to Titan. Get the MIC cranking out spaceships instead of F-35's and guided missiles.
  9. Mugato

    Mugato Muh Feelz!

    Feb 25, 2014
    Nailed it. I was going to post...because they are stealing our shit faster than we can get it produced.
  10. jedijeb13

    jedijeb13 Limp Gawd

    Feb 15, 2017
    Maybe they already are, maybe that is actually why the F-35 costs so much and has to keep being fixed, they are actually spending the money on spaceships and parts for them.

    On the serious side though, China doesn't have to out spend us dollar for dollar, they probably can do it for 1/4 the costs or less just like the do with everything else they compete with us on since they are not paying union wages or worried about making investors happy instead of doing things efficiently. If SpaceX can reduce the cost versus NASA per launch, China can reduce it that much more versus SpaceX.
  11. SecretStash

    SecretStash Gawd

    May 27, 2017
    China doesn't have to worry about the cost of saftey either
  12. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I was thinking:

  13. ccmfreak2

    ccmfreak2 Limp Gawd

    Jul 27, 2009
    China is on a ten year journey to organizational space? The same China that currently has a space station slowly falling uncontrollably from orbit? Yeah, it's important to be concerned and aware, but I think 10 years is quite a stretch. I'm sure the regulation points are mostly valid and important, and no doubt NASA funding is lower than it needs to be, but to say China is going to surpass us in space tech in 10 years is... ambitious to say the least.