Chinese Rocket Falls on Village While SpaceX Is Ordered to Study Launch 'Stress' of Seals

SpaceX via AP

A few days ago, I wrote about AI warplanes in the American arsenal. The Air Force Secretary strapped into an F-16 piloted by AI and flew for an hour, mock dogfighting with a human-piloted F-16. 


“Experts” have assured us that China is well behind the West in AI technology. That may be true, but with the current administration, it isn't all that trustworthy. It hasn't been completely upfront and honest about what the Chinese are doing. And, it often doesn’t really know what the Chinese are doing. The spy balloon debacle was another demonstration of administration ineptitude. 

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And then there is space and Chinese use of rocket technology to put war-capable vehicles into orbit. Three years ago, the Chinese launched a “Hypersonic glider,” but US officials were gobsmacked. What was a “hypersonic glider?” they asked:  

According to the Financial Times, which first reported the news, this was a test of a new, nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle. China has insisted that it merely conducted a “routine test of a space vehicle to verify technology of spacecraft reusability”. Yet the demonstration reportedly stunned American officials. “We have no idea how they did this,” one of them told the newspaper. What are hypersonic gliders and why do they matter?  

When it comes to space and space vehicle launch technology, the Chinese do not care about the “environment.” What China cares about is catching up to America. I assume that America is paying attention to what China launches or attempts to launch into space. China is not a “hermit” kingdom like North Korea, so when a launch of payload goes wrong and falls out of space and into a sleepy village, there is a good chance that someone with a smartphone might video the “mistake.”  


In that clip, it appears that a Chinese booster took a tumble to earth and fell into the Chinese countryside markedly close to a Chinese village. The hypergolic propellent, or what was remaining of it, can be seen pouring for the mostly intact booster. Anyone on the ground close enough to breathe the propellant would not survive. Maybe this is a sign of Chinese ineptitude. We likely won’t know because the Chinese have consistently demonstrated that anything that goes wrong (i.e., COVID) will be covered up, and those “in the know” will disappear.  

One can contrast that with SpaceX. 

America’s NASA used to be the sole “launcher” of space payloads, but because the federal government is a massive waster of money, it has farmed out launching rockets into space to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Nonetheless, Musk’s company is still burdened with government bureaucracy like making sure that seals are not getting stressed by rocket launches and those rockets going hypersonic. SpaceX had to capture a seal, put headphones on it, and play the sounds of sonic booms, then, presumably, ask it to show on the doll where the rocket hurt it. The feds wanted to know if seals were suffering PTSD or immediate harm from sounds of rocket launches. Why just seals? Whales and pufferfish have feelings, too. 


According to Musk, the seal population has increased around the launch zone, so maybe the sonic booms are a boon to seal sex.

While the federal government is ordering SpaceX to put headphones on seals, worried about the seals’ feelings, the Chinese are dumping rockets and rocket fuel on their people.   



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