How China became a space superpower silently ?

In the 90s, it was Russia. Today, 
China is arguably one of the biggest  contenders in space program and they’re 
giving the US a run for their money.
 How exactly did China become one of 
the leading countries that can compete  head to head with virtually the biggest 
players in the space business?
 That and more is exactly what we’ll 
be talking about in today’s video.
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A few decades ago when Russia and the US are at  loggerheads as to who will be the master of space, 
it seems china wanted nothing to with it.
 However, today, China is taking the world by 
storm as they’re launching rockets upon rockets  with a relatively high ratio of success, greater 
than what the world has ever experienced.
 How have they managed to achieve such a feat 
within such a relatively small amount of time?
 A lot of details will have to be dug 
into, but first, let’s take a look at  where the country stands now in terms of 
space investments compared to the US.
 It’s estimated that around 3 billion dollars 
are being spent to fund China’s space program,  which makes a fraction of the U. S. NASA budget in 
2016 which was reported at around 19. 3 billion.
 Two of the world’s richest men Jeff Bezos 
and Elon Musk, who happen to be American,  are already investing large amounts of 
money to send rockets and robots to Mars,  but it seems like Xi Jinping’s 
government might beat them to it.
 Blue Origin owned by Amazon mogul – Jeff Bezos 
and Elon Musk’s SpaceX is ahead of the game when  it comes to colonizing space. March 30 is the 
date of the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.   And it looks like China’s proclaiming that 
by 2030 it will win the race with the US.
 Chinese tech companies are leaning toward 
breakthroughs in modern technologies like  aerospace, artificial intelligence, 
robotics, and big data analytics.   Maybe the future belongs to our Asian friends but 
we’ll have to wait and see. But what drives the  Chinese people to these ambitious heights?
It may seem like the only goal is to boost the  Chinese morale at home and abroad, but it’s clear 
that privately backed space startups are providing  a substantial benefit for the backers.  
Now it seems like NASA feels pressured  to compete with the ongoing Chinese space 
fever. If the Chinese government beats the  race it would be the first time in history, 
that a Chinese astronaut enters orbit.
 The steady growth shows that in 2016, 
China launched more rockets than Russia,  exactly the same as the US that year- 22.  
This is a substantial improvement for the CNSA  and they seem to put out just important 
milestones without any radical mistakes.
 Among those missions was Shenzou 11, 
a rocket that carried a crew of two to  dock with China’s Tiangong 2 spacecraft.  
This served as a stepping stone for the  Chinese space station in early 2020.
Experts say that this kind of behavior  is purely for prestige: “It’s escaping what they 
would call the domination of the West and the U. S.   It’s a way to assert China’s independence and 
a return to the global stage. ”, Dr James Lewis,  senior vice president at the Centre for 
Strategic and International studies says.
 Even if historically, the space program 
has been state-driven to prove the nation’s  technological prowess, it looks like it 
could pay economic dividends as well.
 According to the “Unicorn list” which refers 
to the companies worth over 1 billion dollars,  China is home to 43 start-ups worth at least 1 
billion, and it looks like President Xi expressed  a desire to see more of them, especially if they 
have something to do with information technology  and network-related business.
The signs within and outside of the  Chinese government are clear: there seems to be 
a consensus about the benefit to both the private  and state-owned sector. This would catalyze 
technological breakthroughs that will lift China’s  global standing and save its slowing economy.
The main investors in China’s space program  seem to be hedge funds and universities. Two of 
the start-ups OneSpace that launched a vehicle in  2018 and ExPace founded early last year plan 
to rent out their Kauizhou rocket to those  looking to loft small satellites into orbit. And 
another, Landspace, launched in 2015, plans to  conduct it’s first commercial launch this year.
Still, these companies can’t be compared to SpaceX  or Blue Origin for the sole reason of being 
tied to the government. The Kuaizhou rocket  is apparently based on the launcher for 
Chinese anti-satellite weapons and missile  defense interceptors, while Landspace’s rocket is 
based on the government’s Long March 11 rocket.
 It might be just a way into the market since 
the ambitions of OneSpace seem to be planning  the development of a manned space capsule and 
Landspace is reportedly going for a far more  powerful liquid-fueled rocket that could 
be a match for SpaceX or Blue Origin.
 This private-sector push could allow companies 
to tinker and ideally improve government designs,  but beyond rocket hardware, China is pushing a 
major boost in spending on space science programs  that will challenge firms to develop new 
materials, sensors, and other technologies.
 The current five-year-long plan, already in use 
in 2020, calls for five major space exploration  projects. These include a dark matter seeking 
satellite that launched in December 2015 and an  experimental quantum communications satellite that 
launched last year, that could lead to significant  breakthroughs in communications and cryptography.  
Besides, the mere fact that China now has robotic  eyes floating in space means they now have a 
clear view of the Earth and plenty of data.
 Dr Alanna Krolikwoski, a post-doctoral research 
fellow at the China Institute at the University  of Alberta says: “These programs are part of a 
comprehensive, deliberate, long-term strategic  vision for economic and societal transformation.  
What’s needed is actually new drivers of growth,  and those have to come from 
services, from innovation,  from essentially becoming an economy that’s more 
similar to an advanced industrialized economy”.
 Companies in the United States like Planet 
Labs, Digital Glob, Spaceknow, and Orbital  Insight already gather and sell valuable satellite 
images to companies around the world, and now,  China could use the same strategy, by utilizing 
the equivalent to GPS – BeiDou satellites. China  clearly isn’t wasting any time and their desire to 
prove themselves as worthy opponents seems to be  the driving force of these endeavors.
Through its own investment, China is  becoming a valuable opponent to the 
States in managing satellite data.   It will be interesting to see the development of 
the situation especially since the Chinese backers  don’t have to answer to a specific entity.  
Their investments are privately handled  and that means they can do whatever they want.
All in all, we can see a clear upward trajectory  for both China’s rockets and its space-related 
ventures. It’s clear that as time passes we  will be seeing a significant improvement 
in China’s technological fares. It seems  that copying is the greatest form of flattery 
but it’s also a very safe path to success.
 In fact, the new strategy heavily reminiscent 
of the Longmarch in the Chinese civil war makes  us think of incredible outcomes such as China 
actually beating everyone and coming to Mars  first. If we remember, communists under 
Mao Tse Tung used this tactic to retreat,  when they were under attack and reform to 
come back stronger and more equipped. This  leads them to eventually win the war.
It’s not unreasonable to think that a  similar kind of development could lead to 
a successful venture into space. China just  might beat everyone with silent and resilient 
efforts, just like in the Chinese civil war.   Even if the competitors are outside of China, 
it looks like the unified approach to space  technologies and developments might be a 
force major in China’s space tactic.
 It remains to be seen if the U. S. fragmented 
approach consisting of various private space  companies and a government-funded one is going 
to sustain under the rising pressure imposed from  their biggest threat in reaching Mars first.
Whoever is your favourite, we can definitely  conclude that it’s an exciting time we live in 
and that whoever wins the race will do so in  benefiting the entire race, not just the country 
of origin. Still, it seems that China’s biggest  fuel seems to be national pride and a sense 
of gaining independence from the pioneering  clutches of the Western forces.
This is definitely an important thing  for countries that have through history 
felt threatened by western ideologies.   We can just hope that the future holds a fair 
competition without conflicts that could lead  us into some kind of cosmic third world war.
Jokes aside, whenever big forces try to pioneer  in a field there’s a lot of emotion at hand and 
where there’s emotion… Things can get out of hand.   So we can just hope that space people are led 
by their brains and not hearts. We don’t want  any kind of space conflict, intergalactic 
warfare, or nuclear space weapons!
 If you liked this video, you may also enjoy 
this next video on How Spacex builds starships  so quickly – that is shown in the 
end screen . See you there.

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