Big debate (2): Opposition! At this stage, China should not develop commercial space.

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash, official number: SELF GE Zhi Tao Forum (ID:SELFtalks), author: Gao Yang, Research fellow, Center for Space Application Engineering and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In the big debate (1), Fang Fang, the clerk of the square, explained to us from three levels why China should develop commercial aerospace at this stage. He even said that "commercial aerospace is the only way for China to become a space power, regardless of this. There is no way to argue about how to argue." And our anti-party debater Gao Yang is also a master of the scientist Li Huashan's sword. Before the debate began, he confidently said that this debate should be difficult. In the end, where will he break the problem and demonstrate his point of view? Today, we will bring you a high-profile and brilliant argument. His view is that China should not develop commercial space at this stage.

Today, Zhengfang (the debater) has painted a very good blueprint and vision for everyone, even for 10,000 years, just for the day.

However, ideals and reality are sometimes very cruel. I still support the argument that China should not develop commercial space at this stage.

First of all, I would like to pay tribute to our space pioneers, who wrote the "Rocket Equation" to create our current space technology.

Human beings launched the first artificial satellite in 1957, and first entered space in 1961, until 1969 the Americans realized manned landing. This is a space race between the Soviet Union and the United States, which ultimately rapidly promotes the development of space science and technology.

Since then, space technology has also begun to benefit the lives of ordinary people, such as satellite communications, satellite navigation, and space technology itself has gradually become commercially valuable.

Today's debate I divided it into four elements, namely, business, aerospace, but also reality, that is, China and the present stage.

We can't jump out of this framework to discuss the problem, and jumping out of it may diverge infinitely.

Commercial space is first of all has the prospect of space commercialization, the use of space technology can provide us with some commercial services.

Business services are nothing more than the use of aerospace technology to do business, hoping to seek some profit.

Then, if only one person does aerospace commercialization, it will certainly not reach the scale of commercial space.

At this stage of commercial aerospace in China, there may be many constraints and restrictions on realistic conditions.

Supply and demand issues

The most basic economic principle of business is the relationship between supply and demand.

There was once a 19th-century British historian who said that to make a parrot an economist, it is enough to teach it the words "supply" and "demand".

On the demand side, we need to have the desire to buy, the ability to buy. If we don't have desire and ability, we can't do this business.

On the supply side, we must have enough financial resources and ability to supply and provide our own services for the demand side, so that the business can form a certain scale.

What kind of service can aerospace technology bring to us?

Aerospace technology services

For example, we are familiar with satellite communication, navigation and remote sensing.

Do you all have a satellite phone in your hand? I think most people may not have it.

Do you enjoy the navigation service? It should be there, because everyone has a smart phone in their hands, and they all have navigation like GPS and Beidou.

Does everyone have a remote sensing picture on their mobile phone every day? I don't think so.

Including what may be proposed now, such as traveling in space, digging some gold mines in space, and returning diamonds. But do you think it's realistic?

At least for the time being, such as the decade from 2015 to 2025, it is clearly unrealistic.

We now have the International Space Station. The International Space Station needs to deliver the goods and bring people back. This is headed by the United States, but it is not played by the Chinese. It will provide launch services, but China's space can't participate.

This is also a demand-side problem. From Maslow's demand hierarchy theory, personal consumption is the most stable and lasting demand.

We meet more low-level needs, space exploration meets the highest needs of human beings, so only a small number of people in the pyramid of society will propose to enter space.

There are, of course, many countries in the world, with national strategies and national security considerations. Therefore, it has concentrated on the political, economic and military aspects to develop the state of space science and technology.

After all, the government procurement of space services is a so-called open competition scheme under the constraint. For example, NASA (NASA) in the United States needs to purchase a rocket launch service, and it will not go to China for bidding.

Therefore, aerospace technology as a whole, its demand itself is insufficient, because it will always meet the most advanced needs of mankind.

In the case of high supply prices, we cannot get rid of government support at this stage. This is not purely supported by private capital.

This is the full picture of the commercialization of space. We must consider what demand is, what supply is, contrary to the relationship between supply and demand, we can not talk about any commercial issues.

Institutional problems

Let's take a look at the differences between the systems of space development in China and the United States.

A comparison of the Systems of Aerospace Development between China and the United States

China has a national space agency, but the National Space Administration does not have a research institute.

NASA has 10 research centers, which have the advantage of being able to capture and plan and implement strategic aerospace programs in their own research centers.

We have two traditional state-owned groups, the Aerospace Science and Technology Group and the Aerospace Science and Technology Group, which we call traditional state-owned enterprises.

In fact, the space industry in the United States does not have the concept of state-owned enterprises as we call it, because the United States is a capitalist country, and it has many private enterprises, such as Boeing and Rockhead Martin, which were originally thought to be engaged in aircraft. In fact, they are also aerospace giants.

Of course, since 2015, there have been many private space companies in China, the so-called emerging private commercial space companies.

At the same time, there have been many new commercial aerospace companies in the United States. Like SpaceX was founded by Iron Man Masque, the blue origin was founded by Amazon boss Bezos. Their early research and development was supported by their own financial resources, not by the support of the government. This phenomenon has not occurred in China.

Of course, in the course of the development of China's space system, China's space industry has also realized a historical chapter from scratch.

China Aerospace has achieved a historical chapter from scratch

However, after we have grown up, how can we innovate and develop, it is indeed necessary to call for new reforms, because such a system can no longer adapt to future development.

These are some of the shocking problems of recent years.

Launch vehicle technology: the private sector surpasses the state-run, shocking the world

Our launch vehicle technology, the technology of the national system, is indeed overtaken by the private sector in the United States, and of course they have also shocked the world.

I remember that the boss of a Rocket Institute said that he really felt that he was old, that our talents were not scarce, and our system shackled our ingenuity. This is a bottleneck encountered in the development of space science and technology.

Therefore, what we are more concerned about is where should China's space flight go?

The United States has now begun to discuss how to return to the moon, how people will be manned to Mars, and how to deliver the International Space Station to the Civil Service.

At this stage, China Aerospace seems to have the possibility of further widening the gap, which is very worrying.

We want to follow the example of the commercial space model of the United States to change this situation, but our history, national conditions, reality restricts us to take another path like the development of commercial space in the United States.

In fact, American commercial spaceflight has been developing for decades before it is gradually back on track.

More importantly, China's economy is currently facing three major difficulties, overcapacity, property market inventories and high debt.

The central government put forward supply-side reform, supply-side reform is actually a matter that every industry needs to consider, space science and technology industry can not be excluded.

However, China's space science and technology has long been a closed state. It has not been in the past three or five years that it has gradually come into contact with private capital and local governments, and the people have begun to understand it slowly.

All in all, our perceptions are still inadequate.

Capital speculation

When I was young, I might have had confidence and felt like Superman. Now I'm just a man climbing up the stairs step by step.

In reality, why are we so not optimistic about the development of commercial spaceflight?

Because we have to consider a series of problems, in this case, it is the time when the traditional aerospace group really needs reform.

Although the state allows private capital to enter to participate in space activities, the laws and regulations related to commercial aerospace in China have not yet been in place and perfected.

The local industry is also facing structural adjustment, industrial upgrading, aerospace has become a so-called high-tech industry.

In addition, the general public perception of the overall understanding of aerospace is still very large.

In fact, these issues offer new opportunities for some of the existing capital speculation.

This picture is familiar to everyone, originally sharing economy is a very good wish, but under the blue sky only these abandoned shared bicycles.

Abandoned shared bicycles

Some of the friends in the space industry have come out of the system. What do they feel? It used to be a shackle of the system, but now it may be kidnapped by capital. They couldn't say the unspeakable pain. I said it for them today.

(分析研究经验做出结论) sum up

Finally, I would like to summarize my four arguments.

First, the price of space activities in China is now high, which is determined by the laws of science, not our blood.

In ancient times, there were stories of ten thousand households flying to heaven, but he failed in the end and did not create modern space technology in China.

The overall demand for space science and technology itself is very limited, which is the basic law of supply and demand.

In fact, there is no commercial space model in the world that is profitable. This is a commercial reality.

Like Iridium, Motorola funded a huge satellite global communications constellation that went bankrupt not long after it was built. Maybe Motorola is out of sight by now.

Second, our current development model has not seen substantial innovation, both conceptually and technically, and it is the people within the system who continue to compete with the people within the system for homogenization, talent, capital and Technology is absolutely weak.

Third, there are dozens of satellite companies in China at present, and there are dozens of rocket companies. They still have to compete with each other, and the government has not even been able to support them now. The financial support of the people is very limited. of.

Finally, at this stage, China does not actually have the prerequisite to support the rational development of commercial space. And there is a high probability that capital speculation can easily be caused.

If the overcapacity of satellites and rockets is caused in the short term, it could actually lead to an overall retrogression for China's space technology.

Therefore, my conclusion is that at this stage in China, we must add this attribute and should not develop commercial space. thank you all!

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Big debate second opposition at this stage no business aerospace.

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