In recent years, China has steadily pulled ahead of the US in various fields such as technology, economy and space.
More recently, China has been getting the upper hand in military equipment as well, having surpassed the US in the number of missile it has under its wing.
On December 6th, China successfully launched the Gaofen-14 optical satellite.
The satellite was launched at 11:58 local time using a Long March-3B (CZ-3B) launch vehicle from the Xichang cosmodrome (southwestern Sichuan province).
It is noted that Gaofen-14 will allow taking high-resolution images of terrestrial objects, which will help in creating 3D maps.
The current launch is the 354th launch for the Long March series launch vehicles.
Separately, on December 4th, China released images of its flag on the surface of the Moon.
This was planted there by the Chang’e-5 ascender.
Having packed samples of soil and rocks from the Earth’s only natural satellite within 19 hours after its smooth soft landing, the ascender of the Chinese spacecraft using the lander as a launch pad, took off from the moon surface, according to the China National Space Administration.
The Chang’e-5 ascender successfully took off from the lunar surface with soil and rock samples, and sent to the lunar orbiter some 15 kilometers away with the 3,000-newton thrust engine.
Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang’e 5. This is no easy task. When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community. pic.twitter.com/2xoKouf3dq
— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) December 1, 2020
“This is the first attempt in China’s aerospace history to lift off from a celestial body other than Earth,” chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine Wang Ya’nan said. “The launch is a major test, in that the vehicle had to rely entirely on automatic maneuvers without any ground command.”
Wang explained to the Global Times that the launch from the moon could not afford any time delay. “If the probe receives a command from the Earth to help it control the separation, altitude and speed, there will be at least one second delay, which will put the process in great danger.”
In addition to recent developments in space, which show that China is likely making big strides, with the US only having landed any sort of module on the moon approximately 50 years ago, and China doing that 3 times in the past several years, Beijing is also progressing on the Earth (both on land and at sea).
Progress is being made on China’s artificial sun.
On December 5th, the HL-2M Tokamak experimental fusion reactor went into operation at a research laboratory in Chengdu, Sichuan province, almost on schedule. The installation replaced the HL-2A reactor. The new reactor will allow Chinese scientists to conduct experiments with plasma heated to 150 million ° C, three times more than the HL-2A allowed. And this is ten times more than inside the Sun!
The HL-2M Tokamak experimental thermonuclear reactor will become a new, more advanced testing ground for studying the course of thermonuclear reactions. The magnetically active plasma heated to ultra-high temperatures inside the reactor is held back by a magnetic field. According to scientists, the HL-2M reactor can hold plasma for up to 10 seconds.
Studying the processes in the laboratory will help bring the development of the facility to an experimental reactor, which will begin building in China next year, and to an industrial prototype, which is planned to be built by 2035. The transition to full-scale exploitation of thermonuclear energy, China expects to be carried out by 2050.
Also, the work of the HL-2M Tokamak reactor can help in the development of the international project ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), within which a thermonuclear reactor is being built in the south of France with the participation of leading countries, including Russia, China, the USA, Japan and others. Like the HL-2M Tokamak, the ITER reactor will heat hydrogen isotopes to 150 million ° C. Since the ITER reactor will be operational between 2023 and 2025, experiments at the Chinese HL-2M reactor could help the project.
China is also making progress on its quantum supercomputer.
A group of scientists from China led by physicist Pan Jianwei has created a prototype of a superfast quantum computer “Jiuzhang”. With its quantum computing advantage, also known as “quantum superiority,” the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that it is capable of solving problems that are not available to classical computers.
Scientists have demonstrated the computational abilities of the Jiuzhang photonic computer using a special algorithm GBS (Gaussian boson sampling), with which it coped 100 trillion times faster than the most powerful supercomputer in existence. The Chinese developers have said that the computing power of their device is 10 billion times faster than the 53-qubit quantum processor Sycamore (“Sycamore”), developed last year by the American company Google (“Google”).
Google said last year it has built a computer that could perform a computation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputers 10,000 years.
“The quantum computing advantage is kind of a threshold,” said Lu Chaoyang, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China. “The fact that a new prototype quantum computing machine has the computing power that exceeds the most powerful traditional computer in solving a particular problem proves that it has the potential to make breakthroughs in many other areas.”
Chinese scientists noted that the possibilities of their development have potential applications in areas such as graph theory, machine learning and quantum chemistry. Their work has been published in the American scientific journal Science (Science).
In October 2019, Google announced that it was able to build a 53-qubit Sycamore quantum processor and demonstrate “quantum superiority” over conventional computers.
And if one was to think that this was only in the field of space and science, they would be wrong.
A photograph was released, showing the current progress in the construction of the 3rd Chinese aircraft carrier.
Next to it, another large destroyer is being completed of the 055 type, which are part of the current and prospective Chinese AUG.
On the reconstruction below, the approximate outline of the 3rd aircraft carrier, which will be even larger than the two previous ones – “Liaoning” and “Shandong”.
According to expert H.I. Sutton, the new aircraft carrier is expected to be much more capable than the current two ships. They are based directly on the Russian Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier. The first vessel, the Type-001 Liaoning, is literally the Soviet Varyag, while the Type-002 Shandong is a local produced copy with minimal changes. They both use the STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) arrangement with a distinctive ski-jump bow.
“The Type-003 however is expected to have an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), similar to the USS Ford. This should allow it to launch heavier aircraft. These may include a new KJ-600 fixed-wing airborne early warning aircraft similar to the U.S. Navy’s Hawkeye. And possibly new generations of stealthy fighter aircraft and uncrewed combat air vehicles (UCAVs).”
China is progressing fairly quickly in every field, with the US constantly appearing on the back foot. In addition, if the US Chief of national intelligence can be trusted on this, China is also using gene-editing technology to attempt and create super soldiers for a potential conflict.
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