Why does the Chinese military need a space station?

Back in the early days of space launch, the U.S. conceived the idea of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, or MOL (pronounced “mole”), and built Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg AFB from which it would be launched. But when unmanned satellites proved both capable and robust, DoD dropped the idea of a manned military outpost as both unnecessary and cost-prohibitive. The MOL program was cancelled, and SLC-6 mothballed until the next program came along.

I have to wonder, then, why the Chinese have apparently decided that they want to orbit a military space station as early as next year.

As I wrote yesterday in the Space Warfare Forum,

That’s right, folks: a Chinese MILITARY space station. Not a Chinese module on the International Space Station, not a Chinese civilian, scientific space station, but a Chinese MILITARY space station.

Here’s the story, complete with images of the model unveiled during Chinese New Year celebrations.

And here’s what we have in the works: .

Looks as if we’re giving up the high ground.

I haven’t seen much other discussion about this, and that bothers me. I can only hope that my old Air Force compadres are on the case, but keeping mum about it.

Meanwhile, maybe I’ll dust off the nonfiction space superiority book I wrote a few years ago and see if I can update it and interest someone in publishing it.

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