Year of the Rocket

The Chinese have developed an impressive booster capability--but how?

18 min read
Year of the Rocket

The Chinese have the space capabilities of the most advanced industrialized countries. They build and launch long-range missiles, put satellites in orbit, and, as of late 2000, plan a national strategy for manned space flight. But detractors, suspicious of China's rapid progress, allege it leap-frogged years of R&D by spying on the West. Is there anything to these charges, or has China achieved success all on its own? The truth, it seems, is more complex than either extreme.

Perhaps the most sensational charges were in a May 1999 report by a Congressional commission headed by Representative Christopher Cox (R-Calif.). "The PRC [People's Republic of China] has stolen U.S. missile guidance technology that has direct applicability to the [Chinese army's] ballistic missiles," it stated. The commission had been organized the year before specifically to look into issues of possible espionage by China. But making charges is one thing, and proving them conclusively is another. In fact, the Cox Report also noted that China may have come by its knowledge in part the old-fashioned, dare it be said, cooperative way: through joint projects with other nations, by reading open publications and attending conferences, and through personal contacts. Indeed, China does appear to be hunting energetically for foreign space and missile secrets, but not only in the way the charges first read.

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Video Friday: Drone in a Cage

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
A drone inside of a protective geometric cage flies through a dark rain

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

ICRA 2022: 23 May–27 May 2022, PHILADELPHIA
IEEE ARSO 2022: 28 May–30 May 2022, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
RSS 2022: 21 June–1 July 2022, NEW YORK CITY
ERF 2022: 28 June–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11 July–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20 August–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12 September–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Remembering 1982 IEEE President Robert Larson

He was a supporter of several IEEE programs including Smart Village

3 min read
A photo of two men in suits.  One behind the other.

Robert Larson [left] with IEEE Life Fellow Eric Herz, who served as IEEE general manager and executive director.

IEEE History Center

Robert E. Larson, 1982 IEEE president, died on 10 March at the age of 83.

An active volunteer who held many high-level positions throughout the organization, Larson was the 1975–1976 president of the IEEE Control Systems Society and also served as IEEE Foundation president.

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Take the Lead on Satellite Design Using Digital Engineering

Learn how to accelerate your satellite design process and reduce risk and costs with model-based engineering methods

1 min read

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Learn how new digital engineering techniques can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs. Download this free whitepaper now!

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