The space power of China
Tsien Hsue-Shen (錢學森), the father of modern China’s space program, he was also the first director of the ballistic missile program. In 1958, with the help of the Soviets, China started the plans of the Dongfeng missile (東風導彈) which was first successfully launched in 1964.
In 1970, On April 24, China launched its first satellite, DFH-1 (Dong Fang Hong-東方紅), it transmitted the anthem during its 15-day mission. By this time, the carrier was designed and operated by China itself. In 1985, China entered the commercial space launch market. Between 1985 and 2000 they launched 27 foreign-made satellites. By the last century, China has become one of the key players in the outer space.
China has independently developed the "Long-March" (長征火箭) rocket group, containing 12 types of launching vehicles capable of launching satellites to near-earth, geo-stationary and sun-synchronous orbits. The largest launching capacity of the "Long-March" rockets has reached 9,200 kg for near-earth orbit, and 5,100 kg for geo-stationary transfer orbit, able to basically meet the demands of customers of all kinds. Since 1985, when the Chinese government announced to put the "Long-March" rockets into the international commercial launching market, China has launched 27 foreign-made satellites into space, thus acquiring a share of the international commercial launching market. Up to now, the "Long-March" rockets have accomplished 63 launches, and made 21 consecutive successful flights from October 1996 to October 2000.China has initiated its manned spaceflight program in 1992, and the unmanned experimental spacecraft "Shenzhou" (神州) was launched in November, 1999. In October, 2003, China became the third countries to launch an astronaut into orbit. The second manned Sheenzhou -6 was launched in 2005. These two successful missions has inspired Chinese people. It seems that Chinese Dragon is orbiting the earth. Chinese government has received a huge political pride.
There are two more political prides of China in the beginning of this century. On 24Th. Oct. 2007, China launched its first lunar probe Chang’e-1(嫦娥一號), first step into its three-stage moon mission. One month latter, Chang’e-1 sent back the first photo of the moon, marking a new milestone. The other one is the space walk in 2008. The space walk is also the third manned flight for China.
However, there is a big difference between Japan's and China's space development strategies. China tends to develop space technologies on its own from the launch system to satellite manufacture. Japan adopts a more open strategy to develop space skill. Japan takes part in the International Space Station by building the "Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) 'KIBO,' the first Japanese manned experimental facility, to the ISS started in March 2008, and is scheduled to be completed in 2009."
source from Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencyIndia
India builds "the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is designed to place satellites in Geo-Synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)" by adopting the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) which has been developed in the early 90's. India developed its launch system since 1962 and the first sounding rocket launch in November,1963. In the 70's, India developed a new launch system Satellite Launch Vehicle to carry satellite. The first SLV-3 with satellite Rohini was launched in 1979, failed to place the satellite to be in orbit. However, it succeeded in the following year.
source from Indian Space Research Organisation
The Comparison of Budgets and Main Missions
1959, Soviet probe Luna 2, landed on the Moon
2003, SMART 1
the first man on the Moon
Launch vehicle performance in 2007
The security structure of Asia pacific region- Peace or Threat
However, after the collapse of the soviet union, the idea to develop space technologies has changed fundamentally. Those technologies can be adopted into commercial applications. The most popular one is the Global Position System. On the other hand, there are some international cooperation or organizations to develop space technologies for peace. The most famous cooperation is the International Space Station (ISS), and the most well known organisation is European Space Agency (ESA).
To build a space station was a vital space race between the U.S.and the U.S.S.R. In the military sense, who builds a space station who domains the earth. Now, the space station becomes an international cooperation. The International Space Station was launched on November 20, 1998 and the first crew of astronauts arrived on the InternationalSpace Station on November 2, 2000. There are 16 countries: Canada, Japan, Russia, 11 nations of the European Space Agency and Brazil join the cooperation.All these countries have their own contributions to the ISS. For example:
The United States has the responsibility for developing and ultimatelyoperating major elements and systems aboard the station. The U.S. elements include three connecting modules, or nodes; a laboratory module; truss segments; four solar arrays; a habitation module; three
mating adapters; a cupola; an unpressurized logistics carrier and a
centrifuge module. The various systems being developed by the U.S.
include thermal control; life support; guidance, navigation and
control; data handling; power systems; communications and tracking;
ground operations facilities and launch-site processing facilities.
The European Space Agency is building a pressurized laboratory to be
launched on the Space Shuttle and logistics transport vehicles to be
launched on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.
Japan is building a laboratory with an attached exposed exterior platform for
experiments as well as logistics transport vehicles.
Russia is providing two research modules; an early living quarters called the
Service Module with its own life support and habitation systems; a
science power platform of solar arrays that can supply about 20
kilowatts of electrical power; logistics transport vehicles; and Soyuz
spacecraft for crew return and transfer.
European Space Agency is created in 1975, there are 10 founding members: Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. "ESA's purpose shall be to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems....." In 2005, A joint meeting of the EU Council and the ESA Ministerial Council, known as the 'Space Council' decided that ESA and its Member States are in charge of space exploration and space science, and for providing the tools needed for space activities, in particular access to space and technology. Now, ESA has 18 members: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
China and Japan has established their own international space organizations. Those organization have been working for a long time. However, they are not as well organized as ESA. Members have no obligations in Japan's or China's space organizations. Conferences and forums have not touched policy or security issues. On the other hand, space projects in these organizations are not big enough to collaborate countries in Asia.
China organize Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) based in Beijing in 2005. At the beginning, Pakistan and Thailand jointly proposed the initiative of the Asia-Pacific Multilateral Cooperation in Space Technology and Applications (AP-MCSTA) in 1992. In July 2001, the AP-MCSTA Secretariat was established. In 2003, "official delegations from nine Asia-Pacific countries attended the Meeting of the Drafting Group of the APSCO Convention in Beijing". In 2005, "the signing ceremony of the APSCO Convention was held in Beijing and representatives from the Governments of Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand signed the Convention".
The space project in APSCO is the Small Multi-Mission Satellite (SMMS). "The MOU on the Cooperation in Small Multi-Mission Satellite (SMMS) project was jointly signed by China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand on April 22 1998 in Bangkok". and "the first optical satellite of the SMMS has been scheduled to be launched by China either in late 2007or early 2008".
source from APRSAF website
source from globalsecurity.org
As we know, there are no projects like the ISS, nor multinational organizations like ESA in Asia and Space technologies can be easily adopted into military applications. In other words, space power could danger Asia's security because there is no mutual trust in this region. Any country owning superior space power in Asia, will become a super power in this area. Therefore, the development of space technologies in Asia would turn out to be a space race just like what happened in the last century.
Annual Report 2007-2008, Indian Space Research Organisation
The Space Report, Space Foundation
China's Space Activities (White Paper), China National Space Organization
China's Future in Space: Implications for U.S. Security, Phillip C. Saunders, Space.com
Dragons in Orbit: China's Space Program Merits Greater Attention, Dean Cheng, Space.com
Special Report: Emerging China, Engaging China, Anthony Duignan-Cabrera, Space.com
China's First Spacewalk: A Prelude of Things to Come, Leonard David, Space.com
Chinese Anti-Satellite [ASAT] Capabilities, Global Security.org
China launches its first lunar probe, China daily