Skip to comments.Analysts keep close eye on China's mystery space plane
Posted on 11/09/2012 10:43:34 PM PST by null and void
A close-up of China's robotic Shenlong space plane prototype tucked beneath a Chinese H-6 bomber for glide testing in December 2007.
Last year several Chinese media outlets reported a test flight of the Shenlong space plane that apparently included its airdrop from an H-6 bomber.
Several China watchers in the U.S. have taken a stab at what the Shenlong (Mandarin for "Divine Dragon) might mean, with some experts conjecturing that the craft is simply a tit-for-tat response to the unmanned X-37B space plane.
This December 2007 image shows China's robotic Shenlong space plane prototype carried by an H-6 bomber during testing.
This comparative chart shows Chinas Shenlong and the U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane.
Space-to-ground military operations
Other China space program watchdogs are mindful of the military origins of the country's space efforts.
"Given regular Peoples Liberation Army writings about the importance of space-to-ground military operations in the future, something like an X-43 (an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft) or X-37B would also have appeal, as a likely pathway for military purposes," Cheng said.
This is an alleged screenshot of coverage by Chinas official military television channel depicting a Shenlong test flight.
The bottom line
depending on its precise nature, Shenlongs reported test may turn out to be part of a larger trend: a shrinking time gap between when the U.S. discloses a prototype military system and when China publicly shows a system similar in type if not equal in capabilities or immediately operational.
"Beijings development of space plane programs is broad-based, and their trajectory will represent a key barometer of its civil and military space intentions."
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Egg Flew Hung
You can bet they didn’t outsource any of their parts.
Didn’t they just roll out our F-22? Uh, ur.. I mean THEIR version of it? Just think, China has four more years FREE access to our most sensitive data and probably more!
“And I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords.”
China is a doomed state—inner politics will destroy it from within-— Upheavals will pull down all they have built up. You can’t preach Communism to the masses and live like princes of a capitalist state. One day it will blow up in their faces.
You could just about substitute "America" for China, there.
Are we done with those hypersonic thingies yet? I wish the
slide rule boys would get cracking a finish.
I want to test one on that new Chinese carrier.
Stop trying to cheer me up!
Seriously, in my estimation, China is the only other country on the planet with a viable chance to displace the U.S. economically, technologically, and militarily - within this century. My only hope rests with the phenomenon you've described, plus the possibility of a demographic implosion.
Unfortunately, that has been the standard political model throughout much of human history; an elite ruling class or king with the mass of proletariats, surfs, commoners, plebeians beholden to them. It is those rare times in human history where the public overthrows the Princeps.
Half the Chinese who are here are spying on us.
The other half are spying on them!
Sad thing is, you’re not joking. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. When you see someone asking too many questions, and about things not relevant to their jobs; red alert!