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Guest: Dr. Namrata Goswami; Topics: Chinese landing on the lunar far side and the Chinese space program.
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We welcomed back Dr. Namrata Goswami for this one segment 1 hour 29 minute comprehensive discussion about the Chinese space program and the significance of their having landed on the far side of the Moon. During the early part of our discussion we focused on China's recent landing on the far side of the Moon with the Chang'4 lander. Our guest talked about the lander, the mission, and the communication relay satellite that China inserted in the L2 orbit earlier in 2018. This was an extensive discussion including political issues and US reactions and more regarding the landing. Part of what was discussed was the fact that the Chinese program was non-civilian, instead being a military and national defense program. Our guest then summarized some of the space technology that China has demonstrated in recent years, much of which had a strong military focus.
Our guest continued by pointing out how China behaves using terrestrial agreements and issues as possible indicators for space behavior. She has written about this in many articles including on The Space Review, The Washington Post and The Diplomat. Please listen to what our guest references. Let us know what you think by posting on our blog. Do you think this behavior is cause for concern for China in space? Note with particular interest what our guest said about fishing, Antarctica, Tibet, and their artificial South China Sea islands and waters.
Listeners brought up the fact that China has signed the Outer Space Treaty. Namrata discussed the treaty and offered comments about it as applied to potential Chinese space activity, including commercial space given the U.S. Commercial Space regs and property rights domestic regulation. Our guest referenced multiple Chinese documents in English and available on the internet. Part of this discussion focused on either a future U.S. lunar base and the plans for China to develop a lunar base. Namrata then talked about Chinese space goals, pointing out how China systematically accomplishes such goals. She contrasted that with US space programs and goals that have been cancelled or have failed to come to life.
Kim called from Mexico and had a detailed and interesting discussion with Dr. Goswami. Don't miss it. Part of what they talked about was China wanting its own access to lunar data rather than relying on access to US Apollo lunar data. Share your thoughts with on this issue by posting on our blog. Kim and Namrata also talked about public opinion and what it might take to move US public opinion to do more about establishing a lunar base. Listen to what our guest said about this and the stories she relayed to us on this and related subjects.
Later, Namrata was asked about the US Commercial Space Industry and priorities in terms of getting to the Moon as compared to China. Once again, pointing to Chinese behavior, goal setting, and objective accomplishment, she compared and contrasted China with the U.S. At this point, our guest brought up the subject of China and future energy management, fossil fuels, and SSP, all designed to support and sustain the economic growth China is planning on into the future.
Much of this part of the discussion focused on space solar power (SSP) and why China was pursuing testing and developing the technology. Once again this was a comprehensive discussion with examples so do listen carefully. As you will hear, the US is not focused on this so do you think China knows something that we don't? Should the US also be focused on SSP, develop SSP technology, and initiate some demo/test projects? Asteroid resources were also talked about as that too has been a focus for China.
Other topics discussed including competition within China and their small but emerging commercial sector. Our guest commented on ESA and Russia and what they were doing regarding lunar development. Before the program ended, Namrata talked abut there being a space race, something we sometimes here referenced for the US and China. Don't miss what our guest said about a space race with the US and china.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Goswami through me.