China Shoots Down Satellite

China successfully carried out its first test of an antisatellite weapon last week, signaling its resolve to play a major role in military space activities and bringing expressions of concern from Washington and other capitals, the Bush administration said yesterday.

Only two nations — the Soviet Union and the United States — have previously destroyed spacecraft in antisatellite tests, most recently the United States in the mid-1980s.

Arms control experts called the test, in which the weapon destroyed an aging Chinese weather satellite, a troubling development that could foreshadow an antisatellite arms race. Alternatively, however, some experts speculated that it could precede a diplomatic effort by China to prod the Bush administration into negotiations on a weapons ban.

“This is the first real escalation in the weaponization of space that we’ve seen in 20 years,” said Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks rocket launchings and space activity. “It ends a long period of restraint.”

White House officials said the United States and other nations, which they did not identify, had “expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese.” Despite its protest, the Bush administration has long resisted a global treaty banning such tests because it says it needs freedom of action in space.

Jianhua Li, a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said that he had heard about the antisatellite story but that he had no statement or information.

At a time when China is modernizing its nuclear weapons, expanding the reach of its navy and sending astronauts into orbit for the first time, the test appears to mark a new sphere of technical and military competition. American officials complained yesterday that China had made no public or private announcements about its test, despite repeated requests by American officials for more openness about its actions.

The weather satellite hit by the weapon had circled the globe at an altitude of roughly 500 miles. In theory, the test means that China can now hit American spy satellites, which orbit closer to Earth. The satellites presumably in range of the Chinese missile include most of the imagery satellites used for basic military reconnaissance, which are essentially the eyes of the American intelligence community for military movements, potential nuclear tests and even some counterterrorism, and commercial satellites.

Can you please start a blog or something? Why do we have to get four threads a day of this excerpting you love so much?

Anyway, my take is that the US probably already has this capability and it’s just mPeen (m=military) type grandstanding.

No. Also: No.

(stupid 5 character limit)

Of course they do. It even says so right there in the article. But considering how essential satellites are to global communications I can’t say the prospect of a space arms race with China involved is anything but bad news.

Next on G4:
C&C SuperDuperArmageddon adds anti-satellite missles to the RTS action. We’ll review how to best use these to disable your opponents battlefield view and command and control.

Come on, Kalle, did you really expect Spoofy to read the article before commenting on it? Also, Spoofy, there’s a real easy way to not have to whine about what Rucker posts: don’t frigging read his threads.

Dude they clog up the “New Posts” display." It’s annoying.


Not a really good rebuttal, that can be used as a defense of all sorts of message board misbehavior.

There are boards out that there that consider contentless link-and-run posts a warnable/bannable offense. I can see why, since link and run annoys me as well. If you want to start a discussion on a current event, actually put some analysis or opinion forward to start things out.

CHAPEL HILL, NC–Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers–as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

“I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television,” Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds ‘N’ Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment’s wall-mounted TV. “I don’t even own one.”

According to Melinda Elkins, a coworker of Green’s at The Frame Job, a Chapel Hill picture-frame shop, Green steers the conversation toward television whenever possible, just so he can mention not owning one.

“A few days ago, [store manager] Annette [Haig] was saying her new contacts were bothering her,” Elkins said. “The second she said that, I knew Jonathan would pounce. He was like, 'I didn’t know you had contacts, Annette. Are your eyes bad? That a shame. I’m really lucky to have almost perfect vision. I’m guessing it’s because I don’t watch TV. In fact, I don’t even own one.”

According to Elkins, “idiot box” is Green’s favorite derogatory term for television.

“He uses that one a lot,” she said. “But he’s got other ones, too, like ‘boob tube’ and ‘electronic babysitter.’”

Elkins said Green always makes sure to read the copies of Entertainment Weekly and People lying around the shop’s break room, “just so he can point out all the stars and shows he’s never heard of.”

“Last week, in one of the magazines, there was a picture of Calista Flockhart,” Elkins said, “and Jonathan announced, ‘I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. Calista who? Am I supposed to have heard of her? I’m sorry, but I haven’t.’”

Tony Gerela, who lives in the apartment directly below Green’s and occasionally chats with the 37-year-old by the mailboxes, is well aware of his neighbor’s disdain for television.

“About a week after I met him, we were talking, and I made some kind of Simpsons reference,” Gerela said. “He asked me what I was talking about, and when I told him it was from a TV show, he just went off, saying how the last show he watched was some episode of Cheers, and even then, he could only watch for about two minutes before having to shut it off because it insulted his intelligence so terribly.”

Added Gerela: “Once, I made the mistake of saying I saw something on the news, and he started in with, 'Saw the news? I don’t know about you, but I read the news.”

Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her.

“When Claudia went, the TV went with her,” Green said. “But instead of just going out and buying another one–which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn’t the issue–I decided to stand up to the glass teat.”

“I’m not an elitist,” Green said. “It’s just that I’d much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen.”

“If I need a fix of passive audio-visual stimulation, I’ll go to catch a Bergman or Truffaut film down at the university,” Green said. “I certainly wouldn’t waste my time watching the so-called Learning Channel or, God forbid, any of the mind sewage the major networks pump out.”

Continued Green: “People don’t realize just how much time their TV-watching habit–or, shall I say, addiction–eats up. Four hours of television a day, over the course of a month, adds up to 120 hours. That’s five entire days! Why not spend that time living your own life, instead of watching fictional people live theirs? I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am not to own a television.”

Of course they do. It even says so right there in the article. But considering how essential satellites are to global communications I can’t say the prospect of a space arms race with China involved is anything but bad news.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Looks at the moment like it’s basically China’s way of saying “so you dont want limits on orbital weaponry? Fine by us”.

Okay, I must humbly repent my previous post. Stroker Ace has proved how cool link and run can be.

Considering that Rucker’s put forth a great deal of effort in the past few years to find news stories he considers important, present thm to us, and update them whenever more news breaks, I think it’s pretty disingenous to characterize him as “linking and running.” He’s always been more than willing to discuss the story or issue when someone has tried. Personally, I value his news stories a hell of a lot more than Spoofy’s desire to have an uncluttered new post listing. That’s a pretty lame-ass reason to ask someone to quit posting.

Sure quat, but you’re in it together, ya dirty democrats!

China has been working on this for years. They are well aware of the strategic importance of space.

Eh? It is linking and running because he’s offering nothing more than the story. No personal opinion, analysis, etc. The quality or relevance of the stories is irrelevant.

Hmm, doesn’t seem that way to me. But let’s not argue impressions, let’s check.

Last 9 threads started in P&R by Brian Rucker: (I searched for 10 but I had to omit the Theocracy Watch thread because that’s an oldie)
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 2
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 2
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 0
Contentful posts by Brian Rucker after starting thread: 2

Now I’m not trying to pick on Brian, he’s just doing this thing and I do find many of the articles interesting, but I don’t think it’s an any way an exaggeration to say he’s more of a linking bot then someone you have an interesting discussion with.

It’s a matter of opinion. Some people get irritated by link and run, some don’t. Myself, I lean slightly more towards keeping things focused on discussion but I also realize the articles can sometimes be interesting conversation starters.

“So, the Chinese have been shooting down satellites. I think China’s just wagging their huge, collectivist dick in front of the US.”

“Can you back that up?”

“According to the unwritten book of P&R, my opinion is sufficient. Go find out yourself.”

I for one love Rucker’s threads. Hell, he’s a better source of information than most news agencies.

Yeah. Meaning that we could end up having a cold war in space. For the record, I think the US policy of saying “We can do whatever we like in space, suck it up” is retarded, counterproductive and a threat to all global communications. But I sure as fuck don’t trust the Chinese either. Maybe this will end up a good thing, and force the US to make some kind of commitment to space disarmament if they see the Chinese are willing to play hardball. But that’s a big maybe.

Yeah, cause that’s what this administration did when the North Koreans and Iranians got their nukes.

Are you including recon satellites, launch detection satellites and GPS in potential US space disarmament? Those are precisely the assets that weapons like these are meant to target and the primary drivers for their development. How about MILSTAR? TDRSS?