seppos reaction to chinese astronaut

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    Congratulations, China. Welcome to space. Not.


    Chinese spy satellite placed in orbit

    Washington Times

    China's first manned spacecraft did more than simply showcase Beijing's efforts for civilian space flight. The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel 5, spacecraft also conducted intelligence-gathering work for China's military.

    Included on the top of the Long March 2F rocket, which boosted Shenzhou into orbit Tuesday, was a new Chinese military intelligence-gathering satellite. The satellite was placed in orbit successfully shortly after the Shenzhou began its 14-orbit mission. No mention of the satellite launch was made in the state-run Chinese press.

    Additionally, defense officials said the single-astronaut spacecraft carried an infrared camera that conducted photographic spying. The camera was mounted outside the craft and has a resolution of 1.6 meters, meaning something as small as 5 feet wide can be distinguished.

    The space spying highlights China's plans to use space for military purposes, primarily to develop missiles and sensors, and to blind or cripple U.S. communications and intelligence systems in any conflict over Taiwan.

    Lt. Col. Mark Stokes, director of the Taiwan desk at the Pentagon, said in a speech Sept. 30 that China's space program is closely linked to the Chinese military.

    China's "space assets will play a major role in any use of force against Taiwan and in preventing foreign intervention," Col. Stokes said. It is working to develop networks of satellites that will be used for spying and communications for the military, he said.
    China also has shown "significant indications" of developing space weapons, such as satellite-killing missiles and satellites and lasers that can disable U.S. military and intelligence satellites, he said.

    The Long March rocket booster also benefited from illegal U.S.-technology transfers in the 1990s, when U.S. satellite companies helped China fix electrical problems with the boosters. The booster improvements also benefited Chinese strategic missiles, which are made by the same Chinese manufacturers of the Long March rocket.
 
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