Is This Why China Went To The Dark Side Of The Moon?

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China has embarked on an ambitious space program – surpassing the United States in orbital launches last year (primarily for satellites), and now landing their own lunar rover on the dark side of the moon, the Chang’e 4.

The stated purpose of Beijing’s robotic lander is to collect samples and identify what minerals are there. And while the Chang’e 4 is unlikely to find precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum – there may be something up there that could serve as a “lunar fuel station to the stars,” as the South China Morning Post puts it; Helium-3 Continue reading

U.S. Army Tanks Arrive in Europe With Dead Batteries

U.S. Army Europe commander Ben Hodges speaks as Polish general Boguslaw Samol stands during news conference during a visit to the Multinational Corps Northeast, NATO base at Szczecin in northwest Poland / Reuters

 

U.S. Army tanks recently deployed to Europe arrived at a port in Germany, some of them with dead batteries and without sufficient fuel.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on logistical challenges that the U.S. military faced when sending an armored unit of 4,000 soldiers and 90 tanks to Europe in order to protect NATO member states and deter Russian aggression. Continue reading

Mr. Fusion? Lockheed Martin Promises Portable Nuclear Engines Within Decade

Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor, is aiming to use nuclear fusion to create cheap electrical power that uses water for fuel, produces byproducts that are totally safe and releases no air pollution.

With the United States spending less on defense, Lockheed Martin is showing more interest in the energy business than ever.

“Energy is certainly an area of growth for us,” CEO Marillyn Hewson told reporters at the corporation’s media day outside Washington last month. “In a relative sense, it’s not a large business for us, but it’s a growing business for us. So, we’ll continue to invest in that area.” Continue reading

Assad offers Moscow, Beijing bonds worth $30bn. Russian warships off Syria

Announcing he is not responsible for the safety of UN observers on their way to Syria if they don’t obey his rules, President Bashar Assad has set in motion steps for prolonging his war on the Syrian people rather than abiding by a truce. debkafile discloses he offered Moscow and Beijing $30 billion worth of government bonds for a massive injection of funds to replenish his depleted war chest.

And at the UN Security Council, while Russia’s Vitaly Churkin in a surprise turnabout voted with the West on a UN observer team to secure the Syrian ceasefire, Moscow quietly sent warships to Syrian shores to secure the Assad regime.

The heaviest outlay for keeping the massive Syrian war machine turning over is on fuel. Countless tanks, self-propelled artillery, thousands of trucks and tank transporters are constantly on the move from one rebel flashpoint to another, reinforcing embattled units and ferrying troops, equipment and ammunition.

Full article: Assad offers Moscow, Beijing bonds worth $30bn. Russian warships off Syria (DEBKAfile)