24 thoughts on “That Chinese “Orbital Weapon” Test”

  1. This supposed August test was also reported on the Hugh Hewitt show this morning. He believes it was real based on his sources and says it is good incentive to push ahead with directed energy defensive systems. Does this inevitably lead to shiny silver weapons?

    1. Apparently Joss Whedon didn’t even recognize his own socialist leanings were laying the groundwork for “The Alliance”.

      1. I remember seeing a car with an Obama/Biden 2008 bumper sticker side by side with a Firefly brown coats stick. I could only shake my head at the cognitive dissonance.

    1. ICBMs and SLBMs don’t enter a full orbit of the Earth. Perhaps more accurately, they follow an orbital path whose perigee is underground. A FOBS actually enters a true orbit but typically does a deorbit burn before flying a full rev, just like what SpaceX plans for their first full up test of SuperHeavy and Starship. A FOBS can have a much longer range than a ballistic missile. Because it’s in orbit, a FOBS can fly at a lower altitude than a ballistic missile which decreases the range that it can be detected by long range missile warning radars. Add in a maneuvering hypersonic capability makes defense much more difficult. It makes the ABMs in Alaska obsolete.

  2. I *assumed* it could be a test of a prototype reentry vehicle capable of terminal “ABM avoiding” hypersonic maneuvers -OR- a writer that doesn’t know their elbow from their arse and an editor that loves clickbait.

  3. Reminds me of this story from a few years back:

    “No, China Hasn’t Built A Laser Assault Rifle That Can ‘Carbonize’ People
    From what we know and what the design team has said themselves, the ZKZM-500’s actual capabilities are likely far more limited than the wild claims.

    Amid a number of reports that its military forces are employing laser weapons to blind American pilots flying in East Africa and the South China Sea, a Chinese state-run research organization says it has developed yet another man-portable “non-lethal” design. However, researchers have also made wildly implausible claims that this “laser assault rifle” will actually be a disorienting dazzler, a pain ray, and a lethal gun that can turn people into smoking piles of ash straight out of a science fiction movie, all in one compact package.

    Earlier in July 2018, the South China Morning Post detailed the apparent capabilities of the ZKZM-500 laser weapon, which reportedly weighs less than seven pounds, has a maximum range of approximately half a mile, generates a 15 millimeter-wide beam, and costs around $15,000. The Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, says it has already built and tested a prototype of the weapon.”



    Never remember hearing about any followup stories about it.

  4. There have been similar stories about the Chinese doing successful in-orbit testing of Shawyer’s Em-drive; no data released of course.

      1. EMDrive as proposed by Sawyer violates conservation of momentum. As a magnetorquer not so much. As such I’m giving it more than its due other than as a heater.

      2. “Considering what the stakes are, it is wise not to be dismissive.”

        At this point I would be more concerned about UAP’s capable of making maneuvers that are supposedly “impossible” by our current understanding of physics. Flying rings around our jets; and unidentified “fast movers” reported by our nuclear submarines doing the equivalent under the water. To say nothing of taking control of our ICBM’s at a missile base in 1967:

        “Air Force Veterans Who Are UFO True Believers Return to Newly Attentive Washington


        1. Well call me skeptical but until one of these lands on the National Mall and out pops a guy in a space suit (why is that needed?) and tells us to clean up our act or else, I’m not going to navel gaze hoping for a revelation from Area 51.

          1. “Well call me skeptical but until one of these lands on the National Mall and out pops a guy in a space suit (why is that needed?) ”

            Well even that wouldn’t necessarily convince a hard core skeptic; they would just dismiss it as some kind of “false flag psyops” by the government. When senior government officials are finally publicly admitting these things are real and said skeptics think they are”birds” (mick west). Wonder what would convince them?

          2. I lived just outside DC when I saw both “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.” I liked the latter better as a kid (knock down the Washington Monument!?). Then, hearing Klaatu tell the Earthmen they were going to turn their autonomy over to a “race of incorruptible policemen” or else, I hunted down the original story, and was impressed to discover it was called, “Farewell to the Master.” Of course, the Master wasn’t Klaatu, it was Gort.

          3. The symbolism behind TDTESS is stark and blatant. Gort as the stand in for the atomic (soon to be hydrogen) bomb, Klaatu as Christ.

            I really enjoyed the original with Rennie and Neil. I’d have made only two minor changes to clean up some plot holes and improve scientific cred.

            1) Allow invisibility. When both Klaatu dons his spacesuit (to escape) and when Gort goes off to find him. Of course doesn’t help if they took his photograph at Walter Reed. I guess they could have circulated his x-rays in the papers? ??? 🙂

            2) Don’t turn off the electricity but eclipse the Sun for 24 hrs. Lots of places weren’t electrified in the late 40s. Even some today. But a missing day? Kinda hard to miss.

            Both of these ‘effects’ easy to pull off with late 40s movie tech.

            The remake had some merits but I think the interpersonal drama was better in the original.

  5. Couldn’t China have an off the books launch? How close are civilians watching their launch sites?

    I assume there are many things civilians don’t know about but our military keeps an eye on and doesn’t talk about.

    Zimmerman is right to be skeptical, we all should be, but China isn’t transparent and relying on press isn’t a good way to know what is going on.

    1. I rather suspect that anything launched from China would be detected by the National Reconnaissance Office. At least I sincerely hope so.

      Would the NRO tell the rest of us? Well, that’s an entirely different subject.

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