Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

China's space policy gets even tighter
by Morris Jones
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Oct 22, 2014

China's space program took a sudden turn towards more secrecy following the rise of Xi Jinping to the Presidency of China.

Anyone who watches China's space program is well aware of the nation's information policies. China has never been as open as we would like. We can understand that China operates under a different political system to other nations, and their space program is also subject to tight veils of secrecy.

Nevertheless, we have grown used to mining information from the trickle of reports and rumours that are released through China's state media and other channels. Working out the course of events in China's space program is like detective work.

Conclusions must be drawn from scant evidence and the stonewalling of those who are being investigated. But China has always given us a fair amount of information in the week leading up to a major mission.

Faced with such difficulties, we have long hoped that things would change. Now they have. Unfortunately, things seem to have changed for the worse. This analyst documented that reportage on China's space program took a sudden turn towards more secrecy following the rise of Xi Jinping to the Presidency of China.

This produced a dramatic difference in coverage between the pre-Xi flight of Shenzhou 9 and the post-Xi flight of Shenzhou 10. We didn't get as much coverage as we wanted, nor as much as we had received for previous flights. We hoped that this situation would change as China's new leadership settled down.

The recent policies concerning China's upcoming lunar test launch are a shocking testimony to a new "dark age" of media coverage for the Chinese space program. Even less has been said about this flight in the lead-up to launch than for any comparable mission.

This is a major achievement for China. Only two other nations have recovered a spacecraft from the Moon. Unfortunately, reportage and imagery have been tighter than for any previous lunar launch.

China may be seeking to control the flow of "state secrets" to outsiders. China could also want to avoid generating too much interest in a lunar program that was partially tainted by the problems experienced by the Yutu lunar rover.

But this is counter-productive. The Chinese space program is an outstanding triumph for this nation, and matched by so few. Greater publicity would be in China's best interests. It would also promote greater international co-operation in space, which is something China apparently wants.

With this excessively high level of secrecy, China misses out on these gains, and space enthusiasts also miss out on the fun. Nobody wins in this new "dark age". Not even China.

Dr Morris Jones is an Australian space analyst who has written for since 1999. Email Replace NOSPAM with @ to send email. Dr Jones will answer media inquiries.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
China National Space Administration
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China to send orbiter to moon and back: report
Beijing (AFP) Oct 22, 2014
China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days, state media said Wednesday, in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth. The spacecraft, which has not been named, will launch between Friday and Sunday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. It is China's first lunar module capable of returning to Earth, which will require withstanding ... read more

China's ailing moon rover weakening

NASA Mission Finds Widespread Evidence of Young Lunar Volcanism

Russian Luna-25 Mission to Cost Billions

New Batch of Lunar Soil to be Delivered to Earth in 2023-2025

Increasing cosmic radiation a danger for Mars missions

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Studies Comet Flyby

Mars rover had good opportunities to image passing comet

Mars One -- and done?

Dava Newman nominated for NASA post

"Houston: We Have A Problem...But No Worries, Our Virtual Therapist Is On It"

Space Trips To Change World For Better: Virgin Galactic CEO

NASA Exercises Authority to Proceed with Commercial Crew Contracts

China to send orbiter to moon and back: report

China's Secret Moon Mission

China's space policy gets even tighter

Work completed on satellite launch center in Hainan

CASIS Issues RFP For EO Ideas Using ISS Technology

Cosmonauts Busy as US Segment Crew Takes Day Off

ISS Astronauts Wrap Up Preps for Wednesday Spacewalk

Progress-M Cargo Ship To Undock From ISS On Oct 27

Proton-M Lofts Express-AM6 Satellite

China Completes Country's Largest Spaceport

Argentina launches geostationary satellite

Arianespace's December mission for DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 satellites in process

In a first, astronomers map comets around another star

Getting To Know Super-Earths

Astronomers Spot Faraway Uranus-Like Planet

NASA's Hubble Maps the Temperature and Water Vapor on an Extreme Exoplanet

Argentina launches its first telecom satellite

ORNL research reveals unique capabilities of 3-D printing

Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles

Goldilocks principle wrong for particle assembly

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.