China’s space program is growing and expanding into all sectors of space exploration and development. A commercial launch industry is also blossoming. Here is a program about space in China: Constellations, a New Space and Satellite Innovation Podcast: China’s Long March Rocket Family, its Belt and Road Space Initiative and the “Elon Musk” Factor
China has been in the news a lot lately, mostly about trade tariffs and their expansion in the South China Sea. But in addition to the country’s growing economic power and international influence, it has also made some very impressive strides in terms of its space program. With us today is Blaine Curcio, the founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting. He discusses China’s development of the Long March rocket family, the deployment of the first space station, the Chinese lunar exploration program and the
Belt and Road Spatial Information Corridor, a significant space initiative that, among other things, plans to have a global GPS available by 2020. He explains the difference between the meritocratic nature of the U.S. space industry versus China’s incumbent advantage, as well as the “Elon Musk” factor in China’s space industry.
Note that the long-standing cliche criticism of space – “We should spend money on the poor instead of space” – is not supported by the Chinese experience. Absolute poverty there has dropped from about 85% of the population in the mid-1980s, when the economy was transformed from socialism into a mostly free market structure, to around 5% today. They did that with a space program growing in parallel. So the two things are clearly not in conflict.