China to Use Space Station to Detect Nuclear Submarine

Shenzhou XI mission commander Jin Haipeng (left) is a major general in the People’s Liberation Army, while crew member Chen Dong is a colonel. Photo: EPA

Shenzhou XI mission commander Jin Haipeng (left) is a major general in the People’s Liberation Army, while crew member Chen Dong is a colonel. Photo: EPA

China’s space program is obviously both military and civilian with astronauts from ranking PLA officers, but how will China use its space station for military purpose?

SCMP says in its report today titled “Is China’s latest space mission a step towards PLA tracking of nuclear submarines?”, “Chinese scientists are working on a space-based device that could track gravitational ripples produced by submerged submarines”

China’s space laboratory is carrying world first cold atomic clock.

SCMP says, “The ultra-accurate timepiece shares its core technology with cold atom interferometers, which can measure tiny changes in gravitational pull with unprecedented sensitivity, and one of the devices, to be built and put on the Chinese space station, could potentially be used to track nuclear submarines.”

In fact, US government space agency NASA is also closely linked with US military, but unlike China, it is not under direct control of the military. I should say that China’s space program is first of all for national security and defense.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at


3 Comments on “China to Use Space Station to Detect Nuclear Submarine”

  1. Joseph says:

    This is actually the kind of idiot reporting where the reporters do not even know what they are writing but they are so eager and desperate to please their Western boss. They are so desperate to find a military application for a space station that they actually invent one.
    An interferometer? Who would point that thing back to Earth? Do the writer even know what an interferometer is? It is a spectral telescope commonly used to detect cosmic radiation including sun ray radiation and those emmited by dark matter. It is usually pointed up to the nothingness of space, not down on a space platform toward a huge planetary body of mass like the Earth. I am surprised that the writer didn’t even say that it is designed to detect whales or sharks too.
    A space station is an expensive platform to conduct limited functions, namely experiments. China has lots of cheap remote sensing satellite to do the job, why would they use expensive space station where lots of people watching? They do not even have related purposes. It would be like using a semi-trailer as a road sweeper, or a tank to make simple delivery run. It is a waste of a good asset. Only the American plans to use their their expensive F-35 as surveillance plane, but it is after the F-35 is proven useless. Ironic that the writer bothers to say that Chinese space programme has military application and NASA does not, when the major beneficiary of NASA is US military.
    On the contrary of Western popular belief, not everyhing is about them. Life goes on. China may have a military build up against the West. But not everything China is doing is about the build up against the West. No one is that diabolical as the West.


  2. Simon says:

    Duterte visit is not aim at resolving the Scarborough Shoal issue. Regardless of other areas of relationship that might be improved China should not respond by offering Fillipino fishermen returning to or near the Shoal to fish otherwise it would be interpreted to the world as a Chinese concession and acceptance of the illegal PCA ruling.


  3. Steve says:

    When successfully implemented, it’s an incredible achievement.