Military Review

New space race: four launches in four days

It seems that now we can observe events that are in some way reminiscent of what happened in the fifties and sixties of the last century. More than clearly there has been a new space race, in which there will be new participants. And, as before, the main goal of all scientific and design work will be the exploration of outer space in the military sense of the word. At the end of January, several Asian countries took important steps in implementing their space programs. In addition, several more events have occurred, indirectly related to space.

At the end of January, just a couple of days, the United States and China conducted test launches of their anti-missiles, and Japan launched another two satellites into orbit. A little later it became known that Iran sent a spacecraft with a monkey on board into space, and in the last days of January, South Korea for the first time in its stories launched an artificial satellite. December events can also be added to the end of January-month rich in “cosmic” events. At the beginning of the last month of last 2012, the entire East Asian region, with curiosity and apprehension, observed the work on the North Korean missile range. As a result of these works, 12 December, a test launch of the launch vehicle “Unha-3” took place, on board which, according to official data, was a satellite.

The launch was successful and the payload of the rocket went into orbit. A bit later, interesting information came from the military and scientists from South Korea. They managed to find and examine some fragments of a North Korean rocket. The result of the survey was the following conclusion: North Korea is capable of making similar missiles on its own, although it needs to import some components. Despite the fact that Eunkha-3 launched an artificial Earth satellite into orbit, unfriendly rhetoric again fell from the direction of a number of states. Pyongyang continued to be accused of trying to provocate, etc. In addition, the leadership and engineers of North Korea recalled their previous joint projects with third countries: Iran, Pakistan, etc.

One of these countries, as already mentioned, continues to work in the field of manned spacecraft. 28 January launched the Iranian rocket, timed to coincide with the next anniversary of the Islamic revolution. The launch vehicle "Kagoshvar-5" launched into space an apparatus called "Pishgam" ("Pioneer") with a monkey on board. The capsule with the "astronaut" rose to an altitude of 120 kilometers and from there safely descended to the ground. Flight details - the duration and trajectory parameters - were not reported. There is every reason to believe that the monkey did not fly around the planet, because the Pioneer apparatus was moving along a ballistic trajectory.

Judging by recent events, Iran seriously intends to become a space power. Three years ago, Iranian scientists sent mice, turtles and worms into space. A year later, as a result of the accident during the next test, the test monkey died. Now it was possible to carry out a successful launch of a spacecraft with a relatively large mammal. Over the next five to eight years, Iran intends to put a human astronaut into orbit. At the moment, there is no reason to believe that the Islamic Republic will do this. At the same time, all doubts about Iranian success are based only on fragmentary information and the opinions of foreign (non-Iranian) experts. Therefore, it will be possible to speak about any prospects or successes of the Iranian space program only after appropriate News.

January 30 South Korea for the first time in its history conducted a successful launch of a launch vehicle with a spacecraft. The Naro-1 rocket, also known as KSLV-1, was launched from the Naro space center, and within a few minutes the research satellite STSAT-2C was in orbit. It is worth noting that this was already the third South Korean attempt to acquire its own spacecraft. In 2009 and 2010, similar launches of previous satellites of the STSAT-2 series failed. The third launch was originally planned for November last year, but was postponed due to technical problems in the second stage. An interesting feature of the carrier rocket Naro-1 is the fact that the Korean specialists created only the second stage. The first one is a slightly modified universal upper stage of the Angara project and was developed in Russia.

As for the Japanese launch, it was the most ordinary operation and the only interesting point is the purpose of the two running devices. These satellites carry radar stations, cameras, etc. reconnaissance equipment. It is alleged that the updated satellite group of Japan will be able to monitor any point on the planet. Probably, among these points will be North Korean military facilities, including the Sohe space center. Currently, due to the small number of its own reconnaissance satellites, Japan is forced to request the necessary information from the United States. Naturally, the data arrive late and this situation does not suit the Tokyo commanders. Because of this, Japan’s current plans include launching six spacecraft of radar and optical-location surveillance. Five of the six satellites are already in orbit.

In addition to the launch vehicles, at the end of last month, anti-missiles also took off. 26 and 27 January, with a difference of one day, the United States and China conducted test launches of their interceptor missiles. The Americans tested the EKV rocket intended for the transatmospheric interception of ballistic missiles. According to official data, the launch was successful. While the United States is bringing its own complex to intercept intercontinental missiles, China is engaged in less complex, but important projects. On January 27, the Chinese antimissile successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile. Specific types of missiles and interceptors, as well as the details of the tests, were not called.

In general, the end of January was very active for countries involved in space exploration. In four days, four launches of launch vehicles and antimissiles were made. All this remarkably demonstrates the current trends of Asian geopolitics and other similar issues. All seek to have at their disposal reconnaissance satellites and manned vehicles. In the light of such trends, recent American and Chinese missile tests look interesting, which look like a peculiar hint to other countries. It is quite clear that no one will take this hint at his own expense and everyone will continue to develop their own rockets, satellites and manned vehicles. This means that Asian countries and states that have their own interests in this region will soon publish new press releases about their successes or failures in the space field.

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    DEMENTIY 15 February 2013 12: 51
    Quite logical and predictable development of events is an adequate response of the 3rd world to "democratization" and various "vyosny".
    Further, I think it will be even more interesting and it is time to think about the development of a "Big Space Scavenger" for 10 years or so and you cannot fly into space even with the military, even with peaceful purposes. crying
    1. Botanologist
      Botanologist 15 February 2013 13: 17
      think about developing the "Big Space Scavenger"

      I would think about the development and construction of a military orbital station. The ISS is good for research, but the missile module will not hurt.
    2. Papakiko
      Papakiko 15 February 2013 15: 50
      In the meantime, it falls to Chelyabinsk and not just in the vicinity, but to the territory of the plant "meteorite".
      And on the eve, envoys arrived in Moscow (Deputy Secretary of State Rose Gottemeller and National Security Advisor to the President Thomas Donilon) from the United States to discuss the problem of reducing the number of strategic warheads on alert.
      "COINCIDENCE"? feel
    SIBIR38RUS 15 February 2013 13: 44
    Ours, too, probably run a lot of different things .... They just don’t advertise :) :) :)
    1. Justme
      Justme 15 February 2013 19: 11
      My friend, they also launch ours, only the question is what and where ...
      For example, in our research institute there is such a subject - "Diagnostics". I don’t know the exact budget for this topic now, but earlier I was told - 400 million rubles.
      And now let's look at the picture - this is the final statement in the document where the contracts for third-party organizations on this topic are summarized (accidentally got it) ..
      We didn't see any reports from these "friends" on these scientific works at the bottom - and even more - in November-December we wrote for them ourselves ..
      That is - 233 million rubles flew off somewhere .. A good half of the amount ..
      By the way, our supply also works according to the principle - ".. and where is my half .."
      Here you can tell this ...
  3. crambol
    crambol 15 February 2013 13: 55
    Quote: Botanologist
    but the missile module won't hurt

    But such a thing, it seems, was - the magnificent station "ALMAZ"!
  4. Asgard
    Asgard 15 February 2013 21: 23