Super Em
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Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 6:48 am

America has enjoyed it's monopoly on space for almost 50 years now. From the hundreds of military and communication satellites to deep-space exploration and theory, America has been one of the few nations to find the value of space programs and, thusly, is one of the only nations left responsible for that technology.

And now, after many, many hard years of research, China has finally developed their own space program without U.N. and U.S. intervention.
They have launched an unmanned probe out into space and it successfully returned. They are now planning for manned flight missions in the future. What does this mean to you?

America's vunerability is revealed and will be exploited very soon: It's reliance on it's satellites. An independant Chinese space program will result in a single reaction by America: A satellite defense program, manned and unmanned.

BEIJING - Exulting over the launch of its fourth unmanned space capsule, China said Monday it is on the verge of sending a human into orbit — a step toward fulfilling its decades-old dream of joining the elite club of space-faring nations.


The Shenzhou capsule, which blasted off before dawn Monday from a rocket base in the Gobi desert, carried all the equipment for manned flight, the government said. It said the mission will test life-support and other systems.


If no problems are reported, then a manned flight is "just around the corner," said Zhang Qingwei, president of the state-run China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., which manufactured the capsule, quoted by the official China Daily newspaper.


The secretive, military-linked program is a key prestige project for the communist government. A manned launch would make China only the third country, after Russia and the United States, to put a human in space on its own.


China is proceeding cautiously and hasn't announced a date for a manned launch. But — in a replay of the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s — its leaders tout China's test flights as proof of the communist system's technical prowess as they strive to win popular support at home and respect abroad.


The noon newscast Monday on state television devoted 10 minutes to the Shenzhou launch. State newspapers were emblazoned with color pictures of the flames from the Long March rocket lighting up the night sky. "Flying into space — and flying toward glory," declared the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily.


The flight was the fourth for a Shenzhou capsule — whose name means "Sacred Vessel" — and the second in less than 10 months. Foreign experts have said China is likely to conduct four or five test launches before sending up a human.


Astronauts picked from the ranks of fighter pilots in China's air force have been training for several years to make the first flights into space. Officials refuse to disclose their identities, though as official confidence grows, state media have begun to disclose details of their training — much of it believed to take place in a converted medical laboratory in Beijing.


The Shenzhou is based on Russia's Soyuz space capsule, with extensive modifications by Chinese designers.


Two astronauts — dubbed "taikonauts" after the Chinese word for space — have been sent to study at Russia's cosmonaut school, and are believed to be teaching others. The astronauts used the Shenzhou IV before its launch for their first training in a capsule, state media said.


"The astronauts are absolutely capable of making their maiden voyage to outer space," Su Shuangning, chief designer of the astronaut system, was quoted as saying Monday.


China has never disclosed the price of its space program, code named Project 921, but foreign experts say the total could be as little as $1 billion. They note that salaries for Chinese scientists are low and that technologies that Russian and U.S. rocket builders had to invent are now widely available.


Nevertheless, in contrast to the upbeat state press, comments posted Monday on Chinese Internet billboards complained about the high price of space flight at a time when millions live in poverty.


"We are spending money on spacecraft but can't afford school tuition for rural children," said a message posted on a Web site run by People's Daily and signed "Asian Orphan Crying in the Wind."


Other comments on the People's Daily site were similarly negative — a tone made all the more striking because such billboards are monitored by censors who enforce government rules on content and remove remarks considered too critical.


China has harbored ambitions for manned space flight since at least the 1970s, when one early attempt was scrapped because of the political chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.


The current effort was inaugurated in 1992 and sent its first Shenzhou capsule into orbit in November, 1999. The next flight came in January, 2001, and a third capsule blasted off last March carrying a mannequin in a space suit. After it touched down in China's northern grassland, officials declared that the 10-day flight showed the drum-shaped capsule could keep human passengers alive.


The launch Monday was controlled from a base in the Chinese city of Xi'an and four tracking ships anchored in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, Xinhua said.

Looking farther ahead, a leader of the Shenzhou IV launch imagined a future of space flight not just for a handful of astronauts but for China's vast masses.

"Like rich men overseas, everyday Chinese will be able to travel to space in the future," Yuan Jiajun, commander of the flight, was quoted as saying by the newspaper Beijing Youth Daily. "It will be like taking a public bus in the air."



 
corocks
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:39 am

"imagined a future of space flight not just for a handful of astronauts but for China's vast masses. " --- The masses can't afford to eat, but they will be able to travel in space.

I think China's money would be better spent elsewhere than trying to send a man to the moon. Same with India, who has also stated they are going to try to send a man to the moon.

 
lehpron
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:45 am

""imagined a future of space flight not just for a handful of astronauts but also for China's vast masses. " --- The masses can't afford to eat, but they will be able to travel in space. "

Maybe so, but China will become a better economy that the US really soon (30 years tops) because they don't have things like labor unions, etc. which allows everybody to work for cheap pay. That would be degrading in the US, hence we allow China to take the lead cuz we aren't communists. [Or at least their definition, which is subjective.]
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
GDB
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 9:11 am

Why has a modest Chinese Space Programme have to be a threat to the US?
The US is one one looking at militarising space, now the USSR is no longer in the game.
Get over yourselves and your paranoia.
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 9:17 am

Where did they get the money from? Cos space programmes cost a heck of a lot of money.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
airworthy
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:44 am

>>Maybe so, but China will become a better economy that the US really soon (30 years tops) because they don't have things like labor unions, etc. which allows everybody to work for cheap pay. That would be degrading in the US, hence we allow China to take the lead cuz we aren't communists. [Or at least their definition, which is subjective.]<<

That doesn't make sense. Do you think the majority of Chinese will be able to fly into space while they "work for cheap pay"? And cheap pay for workers does not result in a good economy, just ask Mexico.
 
gotAirbus
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:03 pm

Arsenal@LHR
Where did they get the money from? Cos space programmes cost a heck of a lot of money.


As the news states,

China has never disclosed the price of its space program, code named Project 921, but foreign experts say the total could be as little as $1 billion. They note that salaries for Chinese scientists are low and that technologies that Russian and U.S. rocket builders had to invent are now widely available.

I wonder how much does it actually cost people to send a chimp up to the moon...

(gotAirbus?)
(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
 
hkg82
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:10 pm

So China is on the verge of its first manned space mission, big deal....

Hkg82.
 
Illini_152
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:11 pm

gotAirbus:
"I wonder how much does it actually cost people to send a chimp up to the moon..."

Now? Probibly a lot less than it did when the US went in the 60's. Then, all the technology to go there didn't exist and had to be developed and enhanced. The big cost is when you're the first one doing it; after that, all the hard work on R&D is done, everyone else can use that research and those products.

-
Mike
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hkg82
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:16 pm

The technology is there & not untried. How many countries could do it if they really choose to?

Hkg82.
 
cfalk
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:27 pm

My, the Chinese seem so proud of their glorious space program. Never mind they are catching up on where the US and the USSR were 40 years ago, or that they are flying a reverse-engineered 30 year-old design.

"Like rich men overseas, everyday Chinese will be able to travel to space in the future," Yuan Jiajun, commander of the flight, was quoted as saying by the newspaper Beijing Youth Daily. "It will be like taking a public bus in the air."

That's a propagandist taking out of his a$$hole.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
hkg82
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 4:36 pm

Cfalk: Exactly.

The Soviets & the US did it ages ago. It's not a big deal anymore, except to the Chinese of course. President Jiang even proclaimed it a 'great victory'...err over what?

Hkg82.
 
Guest

RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 5:10 pm

America has enjoyed it's monopoly on space for almost 50 years now.

Hmmm...I guess that the Soviet Union being the first nation into space (Sputnik 1), the first nation to send a living thing into space (Laika the dog on Sputnik 2), the first nation to send man into space (Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1), the first nation to send woman into space (Valentina Tereshkova in Vostok 6), the first nation to have a cosmonaut do a spacewalk (Aleksei Leonov), the first nation to land a man-made vehicle on a celestial body (Lunar 2), the first nation to photograph the far side of the moon (Lunar 3), the first nation to land on Venus (Venera 7), the first nation to launch a space station (Salyut 1) means that America has had a monopoly in space for over 50 years?



The only things which America has a monopoly on are:

1) Landing man on the moon - The Soviets would have also done this, except man on the moon was only a race to be the first (so the Soviets saw no purpose in this)
2) Space shuttles - Buran would have gone on to be the Soviet space shuttle, but this was scuttled due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

With facilities such as Star City (training), Kaliningrad (space centre control) and Baikonur (launch site in Kazakhstan), the Soviets (now Russias) hav always been a power in space. It is basically impossible to say that the Soviets or the Americans had a monopoly in space, because they were both equally important.

Even today, Russia is still an important player in space (ISS, Mir, etc).

But even without the Soviets, there are the Europeans with their program (from Kourou in French Guiana).

Good luck to the Chinese. Will be good to have low-cost alternatives for nations wishing to get into space.
 
cfalk
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 9:32 pm

Aviatsiya,

While the Soviets had a run of well-deserved "firsts" in the 50's and 60's, their inability to perform such essential, but less headline-attractive tasks such as orbital rendezvous and docking and their continued use into the 21st century of throwaway, one-use-only spacecraft put them in second place from the mid-sixties onwards. I suppose the loss of first place was mainly due to American advantages in computer technology.

I've seen the designs for the Soviet lunar lander from the late 60s. It actually flew (unmanned) as well, and is similar in concept to the Apollo/LM system.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
cfalk
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 9:34 pm

their inability to perform such essential, but less headline-attractive tasks such as orbital rendezvous and docking

I meant to say that they did not achive them until well after the Americans did, not that they never managed them.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:37 pm

I believe that the Shenzhou space capsule that the Chinese will use for their manned flights is essentially a modernized version of the Soyuz spacecraft. Besides the fact it has more modern on-board electronics than the Russian original, Shenzhou is also launched on the more modern Long March rocket. The Russians still use an updated variant of the original R-7 rocket dating from the middle 1950's (!) to launch the Soyuz spacecraft.
 
Guest

RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Wed Jan 08, 2003 3:54 pm

It is different from a Soyuz. It is larger and has more room for cargo, It has more room to move around it has two sets of panels so it has more power. I think that while based on the Soyuz it is different to be considered a new machine.

What is needed is a new nation to start a space race. It will lead to more competition in space. More space stations and perhaps a race back to the moon. America needs a advisory, The Russians don't have the money, The Europeans just launch rockets for profit with no real interest in science and India and Australia are very far from a real program.

China has vast economic power and a large manufacturing base. A lot of natural resources and a quickly improving infastructure.
 
GDB
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RE: Chinese Optimistic About Space Program

Wed Jan 08, 2003 4:53 pm

While I generally agree with Boeing In Pdx, I should point out that Europe has launched plenty of science missions, including the Giotto probe to Halley's Comet in 1986, (built by British Aerospace and launched by Ariane), a large Earth resources satellite last year, this year should see a probe to another comet, as the recent Ariane rocket failure seems to have concerned the new variant not the standard model, this probe should launch soon.

Later this year the European Mars Express probe should launch, including the UK built 'Beagle 2' lander.
Then there was the ESA built 'Spacelab' facility carried on Shuttle flights in the 1980's and 1990's, plus modules destined for the ISS, already an Italian logistics module is in use on ISS flights by the Shuttle, ESA has provided many scientist-astronauts on Shuttle and Soyuz flights to Spacelab, Mir and ISS.

While not as glamorous as Shuttle, the Russian use of Soyuz enabled them to set all the records in manned spaceflight endurance with the Salyut and Mir stations, Skylab's 84 day record was beaten within three years in 1977, later cosmonaut would spend well over a year in orbit carrying out useful science, as well as the knowledge gained on how they were affected.

Perhaps if NASA had retained Apollo/Skylab for longer, instead of going for the Shuttle they would have been in a space station game earlier. Apollo, always more advanced than Soyuz, had plenty of development potential left, as did the Saturn launch vehicles.

But in 1972, after huge cutbacks in both the space program and other aerospace projects, the Nixon administration were concerned about the political fallout of the layoffs in important states such as California, so the Shuttle was approved with some reluctance, manned US spaceflight came very close to being canned altogether in late 1971/early 1972, after the Apollo/Soyuz link up in 1975.

That is China's advantage, their planning will not be subject to 4 year political cycles and the whims of different administrations, plus the ingrained hostility of the US Congress.

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