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From the cosmosmagazine.com article:
Don’t be mistaken, this is no Space Shuttle. This is the Buran, product of Soviet suspicion, ingenuity and scant funds; and doomed to failure.

IN THE EARLY 1970S, at the height of the Cold War, Soviet space officials cast a concerned eye towards NASA’s new Space Shuttle Program. From all they could tell, it looked like an expensive boondoggle, so why on Earth were the Americans planning to pour so much money into it?

“They figured there were other reasons for doing this,” they just didn’t know what they were, says Asif Siddiqi, a historian of the Soviet space program at Fordham University, in New York City.

Roger Launius agrees. Chair of Space History at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, he thinks the Soviet reasoning probably went like this: the Americans have either lost their minds; or know something we don’t; therefore we’d better find out what it is by building our own one.

The great fear, of course, was that the ‘something’ was military. And so the Soviets embarked on the most ambitious space program they ever attempted. It was a mad, money-sucking plan that included not only the Soviet shuttle, called the Buran (Russian for snowstorm or blizzard), but an expanded military presence in space, including what Siddiqi describes as, “laser battle stations and all kinds of crazy things.”

The program would never succeed in launching a human into space, and today, the abortive shuttles and their prototypes are scattered around the globe. So for all the billions it siphoned from the struggling Soviet economy, the program can only be described as a masterful failure.

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From the article:
A commission concludes that China’s growing arsenal is being developed in ways designed to confront the United States. Clearly the People’s Republic is doing more these days than preparing for the 2008 Olympics.

The full report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released last week details the scope of China’s military buildup and the extent to which it is aimed at defeating the U.S. in any conflict over Taiwan.

“The Commission concluded that China is developing its military in ways that enhance its capacity to confront the United States,” the report states. “For example, China has developed capability to wage cyber-warfare and to destroy surveillance satellites overhead as part of its tactical, asymmetrical warfare arsenal.”

Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the commission that China is actively engaging in cyber-reconnaissance by probing the computer networks of U.S. government agencies as well as private companies.

The last paragraph of the article:
Former supreme leader Deng Xiaoping advised China’s military to “hide our capacities and bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile.” Beijing’s ultimate weapon may be patience.

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Boycott Chinese goods when possible! Don’t fund China’s war against the U.S.

From the article:
The US is pursuing a multibillion-dollar programme to develop the next generation of spy satellites.

It is the first major effort of its kind since the Pentagon canceled the ambitious and costly Future Imagery Architecture system two years ago, according to US officials.

The new system, known as BASIC, would be launched by 2011 and is expected to cost two to four billion dollars (�1-2 billion), according to US officials familiar with the programme.

Photo reconnaissance satellites are used to gather visual information from space about adversarial governments and terror groups, such as construction at suspected nuclear sites or militant training camps.

Satellites also can be used to survey damage from hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters.

The new start comes as many US officials, politicians and defense experts question the high costs of satellite programmes, particularly after the demise of the previous programme that wasted time and money.

The National Reconnaissance Office spent six years and billions of dollars on Future Imagery Architecture, or FIA, before deciding in September 2005 to scrap a major component of the programme.

Boeing, the primary contractor, had run into technical problems in the development of the electro-optical satellite and blew its budget by as much as three billion dollars before the Pentagon pulled the plug, according to industry experts and government reports.

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From the article:

The leaders of veteran allies Russia and India agreed Monday to launch a joint unmanned mission to the moon during Kremlin talks on boosting military and trade ties.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the plan after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during which the two discussed projects for a more than twofold increase in trade by the end of the decade.

“The symbol of our cooperation is the joint agreement to send an unpiloted space ship to the moon for scientific investigation,” Singh said in comments broadcast on Russian state television after the meeting.

Russia’s space agency Roskosmos said it had signed an agreement with the Indian space agency for joint lunar exploration through 2017, including the construction of a module that will orbit the moon “for peaceful purposes.”

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From the article:
China launched its first lunar probe Wednesday. Japan sent an orbiter up last month. India is close behind. It’s an economic competition with military undertones.

As the rocket carrying China’s first lunar probe blasted off Wednesday evening, it left in its wake a vapor trail of questions about the nature of Asia’s new space race.

The continent’s giants are jockeying for position beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Japan launched its own moon orbiter last month. India plans to send a similar satellite up next year. The dawn of the Asian space age, however, has been darkened by suspicion, instead of cooperation.

“This means more competition because of the lingering security concerns all three countries have about one another,” says Bates Gill, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. “Because of the military relevance of space missions and technology, real cooperation will be difficult.”

The moon shots, all designed to learn more about the lunar atmosphere and surface, have no military purpose, officials in the three new space powers are quick to point out. But in a field where civilian technological advances can easily be put to military use, nations closely scrutinize each of their neighbors’ steps forward.

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From the article:
A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country’s effort to develop space war technology, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said two survey ships are deployed in the South Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean to send signals to maneuver the lunar exploration satellite, expected to be launched Wednesday. At the same time, a nuclear-powered submarine will send simulated signals to the satellite as a test, it said in a statement.

Once the satellite-maneuvering technology matures, the group said, China would have the know-how to destroy other satellites in space in wartime. China could launch cheaply-made weapon-carrying objects into space and change their courses to destroy or damage satellites of other countries by sending signals from submarines, the center said.

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From the article:
Russia’s military space commander vowed to retaliate with an arms race if any country started putting weapon systems into orbit, he said in remarks published on Wednesday.

Stung by NATO expansion up to Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin has given notice that Russia intends to pull out of a treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe.

Tensions between Russia and Washington have deepened over U.S. plans to rekindle the stalled “Star Wars” program from the 1980s with a new generation of missile defense shields.

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From the article:
Russia plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon by 2025 and establish a permanent manned base there in 2027-2032, the head of the space agency said Friday.
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Also see this post regarding Helium-3 on the moon that correlates well.

WASHINGTON (AP) – China’s recent success at destroying a satellite in low-Earth orbit threatens the interests of all space-faring nations and posed dangers to human space flight, the Pentagon said Friday.

In its annual report on Chinese military developments, the Pentagon also said the People’s Liberation Army is building a greater capacity to launch preemptive strikes. It cited as examples China’s acquisition of long-endurance submarines, unmanned combat aircraft and additional precision-guided air-to-ground missiles.

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From the article:
BEIJING: For years, China has chafed at efforts by the United States to exclude it from full membership in the world’s elite space club. So, lately, China seems to have hit on a solution: create a new club.

Beijing is trying to position itself as a space benefactor to the developing world – the same countries, in some cases, whose natural resources China covets here on Earth. The latest, and most prominent, example came last week when China launched a communications satellite for Nigeria in a project that serves as a tidy case study of how space has become another arena where China is trying to exert its soft power.

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
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