原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:野花你莫采 转载请注明出处

China became the third country to land a probe on the Moon on Jan. 2. But, more importantly, it became the first to do so on the far side of the moon, often called the dark side. The ability to land on the far side of the moon is a technical achievement in its own right, one that neither Russia nor the United States has pursued.

1月2日,中国成为第三个将探测器着陆在月球上的国家。但是,更重要的是,它成为第一个在月球的远端这样做的国家,月球的远端通常被称为暗面。在月球的远端着陆的能力,这本身就是一项技术成就,俄罗斯和美国都没有实现这一成就。

The probe, Chang’e 4, is symbolic of the growth of the Chinese space program and the capabilities it has amassed, significant for China and for relations among the great power across the world. The consequences extend to the United States as the Trump administration considers global competition in space as well as the future of space exploration.

嫦娥4号探测器象征着中国航天计划的发展及其所积累的能力,这对中国和世界大国之间的关系具有重要意义。随着特朗普政府考虑到太空领域的全球竞争以及太空探索的未来,其后果延伸到了美国。

One of the major drivers of U.S. space policy historically has been competition with Russia particularly in the context of the Cold War. If China’s successes continue to accumulate, could the United States find itself engaged in a new space race?

历史上,美国太空政策的主要驱动因素之一是与俄罗斯的竞争,特别是在冷战背景下。如果中国的成功继续积累,美国会不会发现自己参与了一场新的太空竞赛?

China’s achievements in space

中国在空间方面的成就

Like the U.S. and Russia, the People’s Republic of China first engaged in space activities during the development of ballistic missiles in the 1950s. While they did benefit from some assistance from the Soviet unx, China developed its space program largely on its own. Far from smooth sailing, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution disrupted this early programs.

同美国和俄罗斯一样,中华人民共和国在20世纪50年代发展弹道导弹期间首次从事了太空活动。虽然他们确实受益于苏联的一些援助,但中国在很大程度上还是靠自己的力量发展了自己的太空计划。但这些计划远非一帆风顺.......打乱了这一早期计划。

The Chinese launched their first satellite in 1970. Following this, an early human spaceflight program was put on hold to focus on commercial satellite applications. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping articulated China’s space policy noting that, as a developing country, China would not take part in a space race. Instead, China’s space efforts have focused on both launch vehicles and satellites - including communications, remote sensing and meteorology.

中国在1970年发射了他们的第一颗卫星。此后,一项早期的载人航天计划被搁置,重点放在商业卫星应用上。1978年,邓 小平阐述了中国的太空政策,指出作为一个发展中国家,中国不会参加太空竞赛。相反,中国的太空努力集中在运载火箭和卫星上-包括通信、遥感和气象学。

This does not mean the Chinese were not concerned about the global power space efforts can generate. In 1992, they concluded that having a space station would be a major sign and source of prestige in the 21st century. As such, a human spaceflight program was re-established leading to the development of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The first Chinese astronaut, or taikonaut, Yang Liwei, was launched in 2003. In total, six Shenzhou missions have carried 12 taikonauts into low earth orbit, including two to China’s first space station, Tiangong-1.

这并不意味着中国不关注太空努力所能产生的全球力量。1992年,他们得出结论,拥有一个空间站将是21世纪声望的一个主要标志和来源。 因此,他们重新建立了载人航天计划,这导致神舟号航天器的发展。第一位中国宇航员杨利伟于2003年发射升空。总共有6次神舟任务将12名宇航员送入低地球轨道,其中包括将2名宇航员送入中国的第一座空间站-天宫一号。

In addition to human spaceflight, the Chinese have also undertaken scientific missions like Chang’e 4. Its first lunar mission, Chang’e 1, orbited the moon in October 2007 and a rover landed on the moon in 2013. China’s future plans include a new space station, a lunar base and possible sample return missions from Mars.

除了载人航天外,中国人还进行了像嫦娥四号这样的科学任务。它的第一次登月任务,嫦娥1号于2007年10月绕月球运行,一辆漫游车于2013年登陆月球。中国未来的计划包括一个新的空间站、一个月球基地和可能的火星样品返回任务。

A new space race?

新的太空竞赛?

The most notable feature of the Chinese space program, especially compared to the early American and Russian programs, is its slow and steady pace. Because of the secrecy that surrounds many aspects of the Chinese space program, its exact capabilities are unknown. However, the program is likely on par with its counterparts.

中国航天计划最显著的特点,尤其是与美国和俄罗斯早期的太空计划相比,是缓慢而稳定的步伐。由于中国航天计划的许多方面都是保密的,所以它的确切能力是未知的。然而,该计划很可能与其对应的计划不相上下。

In terms of military applications, China has also demonstrated significant skills. In 2007, it undertook an anti-satellite test, launching a ground-based missile to destroy a failed weather satellite. While successful, the test created a cloud of orbital debris that continues to threaten other satellites. The movie “Gravity” illustrated the dangers space debris poses to both satellites and humans. In its 2018 report on the Chinese military, the Department of Defense reported that China’s military space program “continues to mature rapidly.”

在军事应用方面,中国也展示了重要的技能。2007年,它进行了一次反卫星试验,发射了一枚地面导弹来摧毁一颗失败的气象卫星。这次试验虽然取得了成功,但造成了一团轨道碎片,继续威胁着其他卫星。电影“地心引力”展示了空间碎片对卫星和人类造成的危险。美国国防部在其2018年关于中国军力的报告中称,中国的军事空间计划“在继续迅速成熟”。

Despite its capabilities, the U.S., unlike other countries, has not engaged in any substantial cooperation with China because of national security concerns. In fact, a 2011 law bans official contact with Chinese space officials. Does this signal a new space race between the U.S. and China?

尽管美国有能力,但与其他国家不同的是,出于国家安全考虑,美国没有与中国进行任何实质性的合作。事实上,2011年的一项法律禁止与中国航天官员进行官方接触。这是否意味着中美之间的新一轮太空竞赛?

As a space policy researcher, I can say the answer is yes and no. Some U.S. officials, including Scott Pace, the executive secretary for the National Space Council, are cautiously optimistic about the potential for cooperation and do not see the beginning of a new space race. NASA Administrator Jim Brindenstine recently met with the head of the Chinese space program at the International Astronautical Conference in Germany and discussed areas where China and the U.S. can work together. However, increased military presence in space might spark increased competition. The Trump administration has used the threat posed by China and Russia to support its argument for a new independent military branch, a Space Force.

作为一名太空政策研究者,我可以说答案为“是”和“不是”。一些美国官员,包括美国国家空间委员会(National Space Council)执行秘书斯科特·佩斯(Scott Pace),对合作的潜力持谨慎乐观态度,并且认为没有看到太空竞赛。美国宇航局局长吉姆·布林登斯丁最近在德国举行的国际宇航会议上会见了中国航天项目负责人,并讨论了中美两国可以合作的地方。然而,增加在空间的军事存在可能会引发更多的竞争。特朗普政府利用中国和俄罗斯的威胁,来支持其建立一个新的独立军事分支-太空力量(Space Force)的论点。

Regardless, China’s abilities in space are growing to the extent that is reflected in popular culture. In Andy Weir’s 2011 novel “The Martian” and its later film version, NASA turns to China to help rescue its stranded astronaut. While competition can lead to advances in technology, as the first space race demonstrated, a greater global capacity for space exploration can also be beneficial not only for saving stranded astronauts but increasing knowledge about the universe where we all live. Even if China’s rise heralds a new space race, not all consequences will be negative.

无论如何,中国的太空能力正增长到了在大众文化中有所反应的程度。在安迪·韦尔2011年的小说“火星人”和后来的电影版本中,美国宇航局求助于中国,帮助营救受困的宇航员。虽然竞争可以导致技术进步,正如第一次太空竞赛所证明的那样,更大的全球太空探索能力不仅有利于拯救处于困境的宇航员,而且有助于增加对我们生活的宇宙的了解。即使中国的崛起预示着一场新的太空竞赛,但并非所有的后果都将是负面的。

Author
Wendy Whitman Cobb
Associate Professor of Political Science, Cameron University

作者
Wendy Whitman Cobb
卡梅伦大学政治学副教授