China in Space

What you all think about China joining the space club with their scheduled space launch next week? http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&e=1&u=/ap/20031010/ap_on_sc/china_space [Broken]
 
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russ_watters

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I wish them luck, but I'm not optomistic.
 
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I hope that US, EU and Russia will improve their space technologies on 21century level under Chinese pressure. Space scrap as MIR or Columbia never more! Good luck, tchajkonauts!
 
rocket successfully launched!!
 
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I'm all for China getting into space. I hope they gain absolute control up there. I hope China settles Mars within the next ten years, even if it's just a small research station. I hope they build on the moon. I hope they knock everyone else's satellites out of the sky. I hope China gains the ability to drop asteroids on every lame-arse nation on Earth that spent all its money on pointless defence contracts and overweight bureaucracy.

In short: If china becomes the greatest power up there, our weeny-arse governments have only themselves to blame. We could have colonised Mars already if they had been in any way serious about the future. But they have not been serious about the future. China's efforts now may force them all to wake up.

Congratulations China.
 
I hope that the increased Chinese presents in space will spark a second space race that will renew America's commitment to space exploration. At the same time, I hope the pissing contest will not lead to armed confrontation. But anyway, it will be interesting. For those who want the Yahoo news link to the latest launch http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&ncid=753&e=1&u=/nm/20031015/sc_nm/space_china_dc [Broken]
 
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I hope it does lead to armed conflict. In space. Satellite versus satellite. I hope one country or another loses hundreds of millions of dollars in a battle that nobody even sees, apart from through telemetry. Such a financial loss would drive home the need to move into space more heavily.
 

Njorl

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Adam, you are very naive. Any armed encounter in space would be interpreted as a prelude to a nuclear first strike. Terrestrial nuclear war would be certain.

The first, and most important step toward utilizing space or other planets well on a large scale, is to successfully manage our affairs on Earth well. We are not doing that. There is no economic incentive to have a human population somewhere other than Earth. It would be enormously costly. Not until a government has extaordinary economic ease will anything like this occur. Spending money on it now would not just be wasted, it would actually be counterproductive, and delay its eventuality.

The manned Chinese space program is for purely propaganda purposes, just like the American and Russian programs. There is really nothing useful for people to do up there at present. The success of the Chinese communist government, never as ideologically pure as other communist governments, is based on nationalism. They are a reaction to the depradations of the western powers and Japan committed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Foreign domination was a shameful blow to a people who had (often justly) considered themselves the pinnacle of civilization. This mission is just to demonstrate that China is at the forefront of nations.

Njorl
 

drag

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Go China ! :smile:
Hope this'll help start a new space race - to Mars
this time, and improve aerospace technologies ! :smile:
 
Heck yeah. I wonder what their next step will be. To follow America's steps and first go to the moon, start construction of their own ss or try to leap frog everyone else and be the first nation to send a man to another planet. I think they would like to do the last, but they are a long way away.
 

Phobos

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Congrats to China. I hope some of their enthusiasm spreads to NASA and the rest of the world.
 

enigma

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The idea of China beating us to Mars is a little funny.

Their spacecraft is basically a Russian Soyouz, modified so that the half which the Russians jettison can be left in space and built up. The thing which will basically cripple any attempt to get to Mars, and to a lesser extent, the moon is the space constraints of their spacecraft. The astronauts (cosmonauts... er... what are the Chinese calling them?) have to sit with their knees tucked up under their chins with their feet toucing their butts. Try sitting in that position for a week, let alone a month. Comfy.

They still have a looong way to go.

I do hope they team up with the international community and extend humanity at a whole's reach into space, although I doubt they'll get very far by themselves anytime soon.
 

drag

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Originally posted by enigma
The idea of China beating us to Mars is a little funny.
Indeed. They are a loooong way from even a lunar landing mission.
However, you can definitely say that most of what's been going on
with NASA in the past couple of decades is funny as well. There
are few other organizations that threw their money to the wind
in a similar manner. :wink: Thus, if they're our best choice for now,
we're not gon'na go anywhere anytime soon. Hell, there ain't even
gon'na be a decent whole ISS. Oh well... at least there'll be a small
useless space taxi...

Live long and prosper.
 
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Do not dismiss the Chinese so quickly. We need to not sit on our laurels and let them overtake us! Winston Churchill, IIRC, told us Brits, and indeed the world: "Beware the sleeping dragon.", with regard to China.

Some facts :
  • China's Gross Domestic Product per capita, adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity, is the second largest in the world, after Uncle Sam. Probably because the other half of the population are in labour camps and gulags, but that's not the point...
  • China's R&D spending on absolute terms is third in the world after the US and Japan. If you adjust again for PPP, they are the first.
  • If all of China's scientific and technological graduates in one year were employed, the number of R&D science and technologists in China will surpass the US. They are having major employment problems now...such things are characteristic of Communist vs. free market planning. But that is for another thread.
  • The Soyuz is only cosmetically similar to the Chinese equivalent. If you read CNN, etc, you will see that the Russians, too, were reluctant to give the Chinese space technology. The Soyuz the Chinese bought from the Russians was a stripped down, hull-only version. Most of the technologies for spaceflight were re-inventions of the wheel by the Chinese, hence their visible and seemingly abundant levels of cautiousness before they actually risked a "taikonaut".
  • The Chinese capsule may not have as much room for personnel as the Russian one, but it makes up for it with additional equipment. The Chinese module is still larger than the Russian Soyuz. What are they using that extra space for? [?]

The ESA & NASA really should get our acts together. Either co-operate with them or present a united front.
 

Phobos

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Originally posted by enigma
The astronauts (cosmonauts... er... what are the Chinese calling them?)
''taikonauts'' (after the Chinese word for space)
 

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