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China test flies reusable suborbital spacecraft

The new colonial movement: China’s state-run press today announced that it had recently flown and landed a new reusable suborbital spacecraft. Here’s their full release:

A reusable suborbital carrier landed stably at an airport in Alxa League in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region during a flight demonstration and verification project on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, the carrier was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert. Its first flight mission was a complete success.

Developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the reusable suborbital carrier can be used in the space transport system.

The success of the flight has laid a solid foundation for the development of China’s reusable space transportation. Enditem

The release provided no further information. It also provided no images.

This could very much be a real thing, but it also could be entirely fake. The timing of such a factual-devoid press release, coming as it does between two different American commercial suborbital flights, suggests the Chinese government does not want to appear left out, and is claiming, without producing any evidence, that it too has a reusable suborbital spacecraft.

If this release is fake, it also does not mean that China does not have such a spacecraft in development. In fact, it almost certainly does. Like the Soviet Union, China’s state-controlled press has a tendency to exaggerate their achievements for propaganda reasons. But like the Soviet Union, China is careful to base the exaggerations on actual achievements or plans, no matter how tentative.

Based on this, I suspect that what this release tells us is that China’s government is building such a thing, but might not have actually flown it yet. If they have as the press release claims, then expect some images in the next week or so.

Conscious Choice cover

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Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


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All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


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  • Lee Stevenson

    The reality is that the Chinese have an extremely aggressive space program.. they have a space station about to become inhabited, a rover on Mars, and on the moon…. I have no doubt they are looking at SpaceX regarding reusable rockets, and although there is a lot of talk regarding “stolen technology”, it doesn’t really matter…. They are walking the walk.

    I actually don’t think this is a bad thing… A new race for space can only push forward the future, and if capitalism really can beat the communist Chinese space program then the future is rosy.

    I have absolutely no wish for the Chinese to gain superiority anywhere, socialist that I am, I also believe in democracy, but l think a bit of a space race between the west and China might be both interesting and push forward space exploration.

  • Questioner

    Lee Stevenson:

    Can one still speak of a communist state in China today or is that something different now? Totalitarian, of course, but maybe something else. Maybe more of a kind of National Socialism? So a mixture of right and left political elements. What do you mean?

  • Mark

    Whether you use the terms communist or fascist, China (PRC) is one Party State where the Party (CCP) is the de facto 1% elite controlling the other 99%. Also, China has a roadmap that it is following in its quest for global hegemony. This quest is led by one man and the “Xi Doctrine” is “the CCP’s domination of China, and the PRC’s domination of the world.” The Xi Doctrine explains why Xi is a unique leader and singular threat to both the Chinese people and America’s global interests.
    This Space Race is very important.

  • A. Nonymous

    Sounds very much as though someone thinks that the CCP just “isn’t doing it [socialism] right”.

    Funny how that always happens.

  • Jeff Wright

    Cuba they’re not. Over at space news there is a photo of what might be a landing strip…except there are what look to be buildings at each end. Something to catch a maglev sled?

    I’m thinking Blackhorse

  • pzatchok

    Well the Chinese do NOT have a real capitalist economy. All large companies MUST have a party member as majority owner.
    They also do not need any real reason to take over the company if the party wants to. No real legal court system to go through.

    Communism in a modern sense is nothing more than a benevolent dictatorship at best. (China) At worst its just a true evil dictatorship with a long name to make the people feel happy about it, (North Korea)

    As for Socialism. All governments are some degree of socialist. From 0% where no assistance for anything comes from the government all the way to 100% where everything is regulated and “free” from the government.

    There is no way to do socialism wrong. Its just an opinion if you think a government is not doing enough or to much.
    China is doing its form of socialism fine. Just like America and the rest of the world.

  • pzatchok

    As for the Chinese suborbital ship.

    Why? Are they going to open a space park and these rides are going to be the big attraction?

    Other than amusement park rides what are they good for?

  • Questioner

    Mark and pzatchok:

    In what ways does one-party rule (or dictatorship) in China, which makes it communist (or left-wing), differ from right-wing one-party rule (or dictators) of the past, such as Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy or Pinochet in Chile? In all four cases the economic system was capitalist, right?

  • Mark

    In response to Questioner – One of the ways the Chinese Communist Party is different from other one party states is that the CCP is a transnational criminal organization Results of its behavior include:
    * The suffering of hundreds of thousands of Americans resulting from the CCP’s failure to provide truthful and timely warning of the danger posed to this country and the world by its Covid-19 virus;
    * The annual deaths of over 30,000 Americans by Chinese-produced and -imported fentanyl;
    * The theft of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. intellectual property per year;
    * The theft of U.S. private and corporate data;
    * Human- and sex-trafficking;
    * Concentration camps, forced abortions and forced sterilizations of Captive Nations’ populations;
    * Organ harvesting/genocide of religious practitioners and other political opponents of the CCP;
    * Extreme environmental predations abuses;
    And have you ever wondered how soul crushingly cynical the CCP must be to support North Korea as a client state, while the CCP knows how North Korea starves and represses it’s own population for decades on end? And we haven’t yet touched on the body count from the CCPs Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, repression of the 1989 uprising, etc.
    In closing, I’m ready for breakfast and there is research you can do on your own to check these assertions.

  • Questioner

    Mark: Thank you for the detailed answer to my question, which is certainly not easy to answer, not even from me. I think we agree on one point (probably a few more). The differentiator with regard to communist is not more whether the economy belongs to the state or private sector or not. Even if we were taught this way in the past. Rather, it is the image of man that distinguishes left and right. The communists, whom I roughly equate with the left at all, see people due to their atheistic-materialistic basic view as a manipulated pile of atoms, which can be shaped according to the requirements of society as a whole or the state, often according to a utopian image of how the future man should be. In return, they like to let millions die and suffer for their communist ideology. And they try to control people’s lives down to the last corner.

    Right-wing dictatorships, which often feel bound to a higher metaphysical principle such as God, usually do not go that far (in contrast: non methaphysical Communists knows only the existence of matter as a philosophical substance). Are limit themselves to maintaining power alone and, as long as they do not rebel against the status quo, allow citizens their private freedoms. Only the political opponent is fought, often with all might.

    I would not consider global power claims to be the defining characteristics of communism, otherwise America would have to be considered communist as well. Certain seems the fact that America is moving towards a one-party state. A major step in this direction was the large-scale election fraud of November 2020, which deprived Donald Trump of his election victory. We have experienced it and can testify to it.

  • NavyNuke

    “Other than amusement park rides what are they good for?”

    Well, throwing political prisoners from helicopters is sooooooo 20th Century. If you want to make a ‘special’ impression on those who may oppose you then go big.

  • t-dub

    The words “Left” and “Right” are constantly misused. The truth is the “Left” and “Right are very close to each other on the total political spectrum which runs from anarchy to totalitarianism. Communism, Socialism, and Fascism are very closely related, and even though they differ on some points, they seem to hate and want to kill each other as evidenced by the national socialists (fascists) in Germany and Italy in the past. Also, I believe the “new” word for China’s economic system is “State Capitalism” for anyone interested.

  • Jeff Wright

    Here businessmen and lawyer-activists fight it out with most of us caught in between.
    China has a technocratic focus to their credit…more engineers and scientists in power. In some ways, they remind me of some aspects of America in the 1950s.

    Mao would hate them.

  • wayne

    Great topic….. deserves it’s own thread.

    CCP has implemented a ‘state-capitalism’ control structure. Which can be contrasted with a ‘crony-capitalism,’ or corporatist type structure. (like what we are sliding into, which is Amerikan Marxism
    None of this is really free-market “Capitalism,” as I think most of us would envision.

    There’s also the contrast between authoritarian regimes, and totalitarian regimes. (economic system aside, but everything is fully entwined.)
    (It’s more easy to flip, say a Pinochet type regime, into a more representative model, as opposed to say a N. Korea or Cuba.)

    “Start Up The Rotors”

  • Mark

    Heads up my space loving compatriots- we are beyond a friendly competition in space. Like biological warfare (Wuhan Lab Leak), the battle for space has already begun.In their book ‘Unrestricted Warfare’ Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, (two Chinese colonels) denigrate the US’s unlimited extravagance in war. They state “An American-made bomber is like a flying mountain of gold, more costly than many of its targets,”. They also predicted that the battlefield would be everywhere and that “the boundaries . . . between the two worlds of war and non-war, of military and non-military, will be totally destroyed”. Saddle up.

  • ““An American-made bomber is like a flying mountain of gold, more costly than many of its targets,””

    If you can get 50+ years out of an airframe; one known, and widely respected, for doing massive amounts of damage, decade after decade, then maybe the amortization is worth it? If the bomber is very hard to ‘see’, and rarely nullified, maybe it’s worth it?

    It’s been said that ‘quantity has a quality all it’s own’, but quality is quality, too.

  • Questioner


    You are probably a follower of the horseshoe theory which I don’t believe in and which I consider to be wrong. It is liberal propaganda. Left and right do not converge, but there is a transition area in between. In general, the right is spread across a wider range of political ideologies than the left. The triangle is a more accurate topology for political views than the square or the simple left-right-scheme.

    Fascism is or was itself a whole, broad spectrum of political systems that is hardly reported in detail today. But you can’t go wrong if fascism is separated from the classical right (conservatism, religiously based monarchy or dictatorship, …) and left political movements (dictatorship of the lower masses) as an independent element that represents a third way. It was like that too. It uses elements from the left and right to build its political ideology.

    Unfortunately, you have not commented on my assessment of the unhappy political developments in America.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “Well the Chinese do NOT have a real capitalist economy.

    This is correct. In the past few decades, China has made moves in the direction of capitalism (defined as pooling people’s money in order to finance businesses) and some motion toward free markets (defined as consumer and producer control rather than central control over commerce), but they are a far distance from free market capitalism. India has made similar moves in the past few decades. These moves have made a large difference in reducing poverty.

    Questioner wrote: “Right-wing dictatorships

    This is a contradiction. The right wing favors individual freedom over government control, the “anarchy” side of the center. The left wing believes in strong governments, the “totalitarian” side of center, believing that when people choose, they chose wrong every single time. Of course, governments are made up of people, who make choices. (1/2 minute, “The Giver” People choose wrong)

    t-dub wrote: “The words “Left” and “Right” are constantly misused. The truth is the “Left” and “Right are very close to each other on the total political spectrum which runs from anarchy to totalitarianism.

    Actually, this is untrue. Anarchy and totalitarianism are completely opposite, extreme concepts, where the first has no governance at all and the latter has total-control governance. The political spectrum is linear, not circular. Left and right do not meet at the extremes.

    I believe the ‘new’ word for China’s economic system is ‘State Capitalism’ for anyone interested.

    Another contradiction. If the state is the capitalist, then that is just socialism.

  • Questioner



    Your definition of “right-wing” is wrong and only accepted by commentator Edward. For most of human history (more precisely until 1776 or 1789), there were practically only right-wing dictatorships, namely principalities or kingdoms, which usually derived their power from gods or the god. To call this royal rule “left” based on a strange idea of “right” is pure madness. Incidentally, their “dictatorship” was more or less strong because they had other princes as opponents.

    Your incorrect definition of “right” fits best with classical liberalism as it emerged in the 19th century, or with libertarianism. I recommend that you study the triangle diagram that was attached to my last post again.

  • Edward

    Thank you so much for the correct definition of “right-wing,” which I take away as: …

    Oh, dear. You failed to provide a definition. In fact, you reinforced what you called my definition, and my definition alone. Classical liberalism and libertarianism both believe in less government and more individual freedom.

  • Questioner

    I have put my reply to Edward on this topic in the wrong place above. So I’ll put it right here again. It is a pity that there is no edit function here. Mr. Z, why not?


    You ask for a definition. The accompanying Wikipedia article is not bad, can be used for this purpose. I quote the most important excerpt here:

    “Right-wing politics supports the view that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be seen as natural results of traditional social differences or competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to “the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system”.

    You can be viewed as a liberal in this context.

  • Edward

    Ah yes. Wikipedia. The last bastion of truth, especially when it comes to any political topic. I bow to your wise choice of definitive sources.

  • pzatchok

    I love this part.
    “The term right-wing can generally refer to “the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system”

    By stating that the right-wing is the reactionary section it leads one to think that the left must be different, thus not reactionary.
    Which we all know is a lie. Or at least quite false.

    If an adjective could be used for both them it should be dropped as a descriptor of both.

    We have thousands of hours of left-wing party members rioting, Sorry, passively protesting. Keeping warm by burning police cars and their own neighborhood shops. Physically attacking people they just think are not like themselves.

    I can not and never could see the KKK supporting Trump. He invites those Jews into his home and even his family.
    ‘But I can see the KKK supporting the race baiting left who are openly trying to keep the race hatred going. They benefit equally, if not more, by blacks hating whites than whites hating blacks. Hatred from one towards the other just builds the same right back from the other side.

  • Edward

    We must not question Questioner, for he has all the answers.

    Come to think of it, why do you need someone else’s definition? Don’t you know already?

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