Sunday, July 11, 2004

One of the lesser-known fiascos of the Cold War is the case of the Chinese rocket scientist (literally) Tsien Hsue-Shen who helped found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, but subsequently wound up losing his job there and getting imprisoned when red-baiters in the United States government started to question his loyalty. There is no evidence that he'd actually done much to help the Chinese communists before this episode, but after he got deported there, he started designing missiles for them, leading fairly quickly to the rather productive Silkworm program.

Cut to today. A New Zealand tinkerer declared about a year ago that it was possible to build a cheap cruise missile, and to make the danger plain to governments, he was going to do it. The response of his government, at least according to the guy, was to illegally drive him into personal bankruptcy. And gosh, you'll never guess what happens next.

You'd hate to think he's a liar. But given what he's talking about, you'd also hate to think he's telling the truth...

via slashdot.


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