×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China Plans Space Station By 2020

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the great-space-station dept.

Space 293

RedEaredSlider writes "China unveiled plans for its own space station, to be completed by 2020, along with a cargo ship to ferry supplies to and from orbit. The fact that the country is proposing one is a sign of the Chinese government's ambitions in space. China is the third nation to launch its own manned rockets into space, sending its first astronaut into orbit in 2003 aboard the Shenzhou 5 rocket. Since then two other manned missions have been launched."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

293 comments

Space Race v2.0 (5, Interesting)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 2 years ago | (#35954936)

Hopefully the emergence of the Chinese and others (India?) will fuel a new space race, with bigger ambitions than last time around. Mars maybe?

Re:Space Race v2.0 (3, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955104)

I'd like it to have bigger ambitions.
To make a profit from humans in space

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955598)

I would like bigger ambitions, than again, at some point, they are too big to look real. Reference: Pamela Anderson

Big Ambitions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955786)

I'd bet the Chinese have plenty of big ambitions for their space station... like weaponizing it with missiles aimed downward at the USA.

Re:Big Ambitions (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#35956006)

Why? All they have to do is stop buying our debt and the country implodes, without the certainty of MAD. Besides, why would they need a space station for that? One of the dumbest posts I've seen all day.

A very slow race (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955108)

China first launched an astronaut in orbit eight years ago.

Seven years after the US launched its first astronaut in orbit, they had sent people to the moon.

iphone 4 in space (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955256)

I want to insert a white iphone 4 in my anus.

Will you help?

Re:A very slow race (2)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955400)

The incentive and willingness to spend huge amount of money on sending people to the moon, "just to be the first" is gone, and it looks like "just because you can" isn't enough either. Current US hasn't even managed to do what their fathers did over 30 years ago yet - they're even flying with over 30 year old hardware designs. Comparing NASA of the 60s with current China is just stupid.

Re:A very slow race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955516)

What do you mean gone? Didn't you hear? The moon landings were faked. So far man hasn't walked on the moon.

Re:A very slow race (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955592)

The incentive and willingness to spend huge amount of money on sending people to the moon, "just to be the first" is gone,

I don't think people went to the moon "just to be the first".

I seem to recall that one of the motivating factors of the space race was not falling behind the Soviets. Since rocket technology and missile technology are largely the same thing ... there was a perception that America could be losing a military advantage in not pursuing space technology.

Since the end of the Cold War, it doesn't seem to be perceived with as much importance. Tough to say if a China space station might impel the US back to caring about this or not.

I know a lot of us would like to see space being pursued a little more, but who knows what will happen. Space is a costly place to go.

waiting for our designs... (3, Insightful)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955720)

Perhaps they are waiting for us to finalize our designs for our Back to the Moon missions so that they can finally start building their ships. I doubt they want to replicate our Apollo Era technology at this point.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (3, Interesting)

smelch (1988698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955110)

We can only hope that something like that will happen. To be honest, we need to start focusing on getting the technology to make using materials from other worlds feasible. With all of the focus on dwindling supplies of rare earth metals and energy sources and economic problems and population problems we should be devoting as much time and effort in to space as we can and pay any costs to get to that point. I'm generally a low taxes kind of guy, but I would definitely support a raise in taxes that was specifically designed to boost the space program. It would have to be genuinely a case of having the budget, then the new budget with higher taxes and the only difference is the amount dedicated to NASA.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

altagir (259584) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955418)

We have all elements deposit we might ever need for a long time on this very planet, we won't find new energy sources either (no biologic form to create rich deposits) and sending it back ressources would be costly. Trend is to develop industrial capabilities to use resource on site ( water, oxygen) to avoid the huge cost of lifting them. This is an human adventure and as long as we stick to one planet our survival is not assured with the usual statistically periodic & cataclysmic asteroid fallout or most probably die before of choking on our own air.. Mars is a dream of potentially being a whole constructive adventure, when we bring life and try to terraform a whole palnet with vegetation and I hope some day in future, will show greater value of "natural" ressources. gogogo!!!

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

geegel (1587009) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955224)

Space races bring some footprints and not much else. What I'd want to see is a killer app, some use of space that makes sense from a commercial standpoint. I know that not many agree with me, but when space becomes profitable we'll become a spacefaring race.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955364)

Communication, navigation, and weather satellites are all commercially viable (and pretty killer.) Space exploration is another pursuit entirely...doing something 'because it is there' to that magnitude is very killer.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955372)

What I'd want to see is a killer app, some use of space that makes sense from a commercial standpoint.

Com sats, weather sats, and geolocation sats?

I wonder how the complete GPS program costs compare to the sales tax income from all GPS unit sales. The govt Might be running a profit there...

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955638)

That is only near-earth, unmanned space flight. What is the commercial motive for a manned mission to another planetary body (even if it is as close as the moon)?

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955650)

How much did the GPS program cost? I haven't been able to find any figures. The European GPS system will cost roughly 7.5 billion EUR, so about 11 billion USD. Yikes, those are big numbers! I think it's reasonable to assume GPS was a lot more expensive, so far: they had to do way more R+D, the technology used was more expensive in the past, they launched more than twice as many satellites, etc. If we're using the expenses for Galileo as a lower bound, you'd end up with about 35 USD per US resident. Seems unlikely that the tax from domestic sales of GPS receivers adds up to that much.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955874)

Obviously, all our present space needs are well served by remote-operated or robotic devices. Spacefaring race ... is not something we will become without a necessity coming from within, some catastrophe worries, or life somehow becoming better (or more possible) out there then it is down here. All that, of course, changes if space travel becomes inexpensive (both directly and in externalities) enough - then we'll do it just because.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955902)

What I'd want to see is a killer app, some use of space that makes sense from a commercial standpoint

Same thing we tried telling everyone in the late 1970s/early 1980s: solar power satellites. Build them from materials extracted from the Moon (keeps launch costs down and builds us a settlement on the Moon). Beam the power to all the places they're now building wind farms or solar cell farms -- but at a higher energy density. Cuts oil use, cuts greenhouse gases, makes a profit. (Okay, the latter may take a while - but it will.)

If we'd been serious about it back then the world would be a very different place now. But it's not quite too late.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955280)

Not likely. The rivalry between the U.S. and China is nothing compared to the rivalry between the U.S. and Soviet Union at the time of the first space race. And the original space race was only prompted by the U.S. realization that the USSR was WAY ahead of us in astronautics. Launching men into space and even a space station just shows that China is on par with the U.S. and Russia, not that it's way ahead. This is likely just another move by China to assert its position as a serious peer, not a move to show superiority or provoke a new space race (which neither they nor we can afford).

Re:Space Race v2.0 (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955766)

the original space race was only prompted by the U.S. realization that the USSR was WAY ahead of us in astronautics

That was the perception at the time, but it was probably not correct. There was the missile gap [wikipedia.org] that turned out to be just a political ploy. Also, the US had plans to launch a satellite at least a year before the Soviets launched the first Sputnik, but president Eisenhower didn't approve it [wikipedia.org].

Re:Space Race v2.0 (2)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955974)

the original space race was only prompted by the U.S. realization that the USSR was WAY ahead of us in astronautics

Also, the US had plans to launch a satellite at least a year before the Soviets launched the first Sputnik, but president Eisenhower didn't approve it [wikipedia.org].

People remember what you did a lot better than what you could have done. Based on the link you provided, I get the impression the Eisenhower administration didn't want to escalate the cold war by launching what could be interpreted as a military missile.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955332)

Why don't we just trade them ours for a big pile of those US government bonds they are holding? Our government doesn't seem interested in maintaining it. It's $100B price tag is 10% of what China is holding in US treasury bonds. Of course that will only finance the US deficit for 13 days.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955532)

It's a catch 22. Unfortunately space is a big empty place and gallivanting around the planets is expensive as hell. With prices going higher for food, fuel, housing, education, etc. people don't want to pay the taxes allocated to space toys. Space science gives us new technology but unless there is a compelling reason for going into space (such as escaping a predicted disaster), it will be a long slow grind to getting anything done with the space program.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (2)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955760)

Hopefully the emergence of the Chinese and others (India?) will fuel a new space race, with bigger ambitions than last time around. Mars maybe?

God, I hope not. I hope we stay on the sidelines and watch the Chinese flush billions of dollars down the toilet to do what we've already done.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955808)

Hopefully NOT. We already possess the ability to launch satelites and that is all we need. The only reason we went to the Moon was to beat the Russians and we haven't been back (because there is NO reason to go there). And there is NO benefit in sending manned missions to Mars, other than it will cost an incredible amount of money and undoubtedly kill anyone who attempts it. Even the current space tourism thing is incredibly stupid. What we need are sub-orbital flights so we can get to India and China in 30 minutes - NOT to go to space. There is nothing there and our energy and propulsion technology is far to primitive to make it economical.

Re:Space Race v2.0 (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955988)

Yes, that's *exactly* what we need - another expensive and pointless race to prove who has the biggest penile substitute.

That's good but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35954942)

You're just going to be hungry for another space station in 2023.

Finally, a place where high levels of lead will actually be a good thing.

Tall people will have to scrunch down in their seat in order to close the door.

If they fly space stations anything like they drive cars, I'd avoid that neighborhood altogether.

Cool! (0)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#35954946)

I plan on using my 3 wishes for a billion dollars, a time travel device, and then an infinite amount of wishes!

If they want to waste their genie on shuttles, and space stations that's their business!

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35954998)

I'd wish to be a leader of a country from last century that could not be voted out of office. (my appologies to Rod Serling)

Captain Henny Youngman says (2)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#35954968)

I bet the orbit will take an hour - so they'll be back around as soon as you are hungry again.

This should be a TV show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35954976)

...oh wait, this is the plot to Moonlight Mile right?

QC anyone? (-1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 2 years ago | (#35954988)

With the what's been in the news in the past few years about Chinese manufactoring I would personally like to see some kind of oversight comittee on this project if they're going to be allowed to put a thousand pounds of "Grade A Chinese Steel" a few hundred miles above my head. I don't know why we're worried about regulating nuclear power, this is the kind of stuff that needs to be monitored.

Re:QC anyone? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955078)

With the what's been in the news in the past few years about Chinese manufactoring I would personally like to see some kind of oversight comittee on this project if they're going to be allowed to put a thousand pounds of "Grade A Chinese Steel" a few hundred miles above my head.

Orbital Mechanics [wikipedia.org]. Newton's got you covered. Now, calm down.

Re:QC anyone? (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955134)

I don't know why we're worried about regulating nuclear power

Because a well placed nuke can vaporize that thousand pounds of "Grade A Chinese Steel" in a fraction of a second. The Chinese would be obligated to de-orbit the station at the end of its life cycle into the South Pacific graveyard (just like MIR) and not on your head, the alternative would see a well place nuke delivered to the front door step of China.

Re:QC anyone? (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955376)

China is under no obligation to recognize any "oversight committee." Unless you want to go to war with them, I'm pretty sure they, as a sovereign country, can send whatever they damn well please into space.

Knock-offs (0)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35954994)

And interestingly enough, the outside of their space station looks a lot like the ISS, but inside there is a lot of plastic, bad/cheap soldering jobs, cheap components that break easily, duct tape, and a lot of empty unused space.

Re:Knock-offs (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955082)

But it's going to cost them a lot more to get it into orbit, y'know, with all the lead in everything...

Re:Knock-offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955326)

but inside there is a lot of plastic, bad/cheap soldering jobs

And? There are some plastics that can go stronger than stainless steels.
This, plus a hexagonal tube design with slotted joints is just as strong, if not stronger, as welds can be.
And with some heat applied over these joints to melt a little, stupidly stronger, and much easier to do than welds. (read: significantly cheaper)

Metals are last generation, bro.
Plastics, and even glasses, are the future.

Re:Knock-offs (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955408)

but inside there is a lot of plastic, bad/cheap soldering jobs, cheap components that break easily, duct tape, and a lot of empty unused space.

Well in that case, it is *definitely* a knock-off of the ISS.

The size is irrelevant (2)

damburger (981828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955068)

Not sure why every news source is banging on about the station being low mass; once the principle of on-orbit assembly is mastered the only real limits to mass are how many modules you choose to launch, and how much fuel you need for a reboost. Getting from 60-tonne station to 400-tonne station is a far smaller step than getting from nothing to a multi-modular station.

The fact China isn't going to build a very large station may indicate firm intentions to go to the Moon. If they are just using this to practice techniques for longer range exploration, there isn't much point making it huge.

Re:The size is irrelevant (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955266)

I didn't understand that about orbits, modules, or fuel, and I am ambivalent about the moon or mars, but I like -something- about your post.

Planning is not doing.. (3, Insightful)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955098)

Just because China is planning to planning to build something does not mean they will. Remember we we planned to build that super mega particle smasher in Texas? I don't recall that plan working out.
Remember when the US planned to have colonies on the moon by now?
Remember when I planned to marry a super model when I was a teenager? I am sure you can guess how that worked out.

That aside, I hope they do it. It seems the world will only move forward with competition from an "evil" empire.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (2)

damburger (981828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955154)

This is very true, but doesn't actually apply here. This space station is part of Project 921, which China has been working on since 1992.

The schedule has slipped by a year or two, but what they are doing now is pretty what they planned to be doing in the early 90s.

The US on the other hand has gotten into the habit of switching programs every 18 months or so. This is unlikely to change with a 'new space race' because the Chinese threat to US space dominance is boiling-frog slow, and the US public are decidedly lukewarm regarding such things these days - see the total non-response to Obama's "Sputnik Moment" comment.

So my money is on the Chinese, as they are showing an ability to commit to long term projects in space. Guess its easier to stay the course when your leadership is totally unaccountable to anybody.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955424)

The US on the other hand has gotten into the habit of switching programs every 18 months or so. This is unlikely to change with a 'new space race' because the Chinese threat to US space dominance is boiling-frog slow, and the US public are decidedly lukewarm regarding such things these days - see the total non-response to Obama's "Sputnik Moment" comment.

No problem, we'll buy our lead and melamine laced Chinese made space station from Walmart.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (4, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955162)

Just because China is planning to planning to build something does not mean they will

Sure, but China's track record on executing on promised mega-projects is pretty good.

Men in orbit? Check.
High-speed Rail? Check.
Three-gorges dam? Check.
Hangzhou Bay Bridge? Check.

We could go on and on...

Meanwhile, all the USA seems able to produce any more is Obama's birth certificate.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955212)

That last comment is not unrelated. I would be interested in seeing the amount of advertising money made by right-wing hacks stirring up the birther movement etc. to the annual budget of NASA.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955362)

Speaking of non-sequiturs.... Does this mean we should resurrect the old arguments comparting the cost of Apollo to the amount of money spent on makeup in the same period?

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955784)

There was a comparison that I read recently that I found quite sobering. The total number of man-hours spent creating Wikipedia is approximately the same as the amount spent in the US watching television advertising. In one weekend.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955446)

I think the point of the last statement is that people are more concerned with stupid shit, following their tea party masters, and FUD then any real progress. People completely emotionally tied up into some idealogical belief and refusing to look at and actually facts or think reasonably about anything thats counter to the tight held ignorant crap.

remember kids: If some counters you with actual facts and demands accountability in what you say, they are a no good liberal.

The polarization in this country will be the end of this country .

Re:Planning is not doing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955426)

Just because China is planning to planning to build something does not mean they will

Sure, but China's track record on executing on promised mega-projects is pretty good.

But you're missing the difference in magnitude.

Launching, Assembling, Manning and Supplying a Manned Space Station makes all four of those examples look like chicken feed. Even the whole launching men in orbit, is nothing compared to a manned station. The chinese didn't launch anything, they just pushed the button on some Russian tech that they bought/stole.

And your terrestrial examples are certainly engineering marvels. In 1975.

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955716)

Meanwhile, all the USA seems able to produce any more is Obama's birth certificate.

Sounds to me like that's all the Americans can afford.

Meanwhile the Chinese government decide they will stop spending its large surplus on American debt and start funding their own space program. Sounds sensible to me. I only wish any country in Europe could afford that...

Re:Planning is not doing.. (1)

ljgshkg (1223086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955196)

If a catching-up-country says they're going to do it, they're much more likely going to do it than the leading-country, which spent all their resources to support their army everywhere in the world.

We might have a space station for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955114)

'Low' Mileage, Great Location...

Maybe we should have worked with China as a partner on the ISS.

Re:We might have a space station for sale (2)

bored (40072) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955620)

'Low' Mileage, Great Location...

Isn't "Great Location" one of the problems with the ISS? The orbit was a compromise between what the shuttle was capable of, what the soyuz was capable of, and an orbit not already full of junk? The end result being a fairly crappy orbit for everyone involved?

Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955118)

9 years to go from "we put a few guys in orbit" to "fully manned and fully operational space station" is a staggeringly optimistic schedule. If China is able to pull it off, I will tip my hat to them.

I wonder if they'll also be just as fast in discovering that manned space stations are generally a waste of time and money?

Re:Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955252)

I wonder if we will be just as fast in discovering that they aren't wasting their money on a research space station, when in fact it will be militarized?

Re:Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (2)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955450)

Who cares if it's militarised or not as long as they don't use it? People kill people, not laser weapons in space!

Re:Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955320)

The US went from a few guys in orbit to a small space station in 9 years. So did the Soviets.

You don't remember Skylab and the Salyuts?

Re:Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955816)

Technically 10 years and 12 years from Gagarin to Salyut 1 and Skylab respectively. Those were pretty optimistic schedules too, and those guys on Salyut 1 didn't survive.

Re:Wow, that's an ambitious schedule (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955410)

No it's not. If the China government says they want it, it is completely achievable. Now, you add elected officials, scientifically illiterate people making key the decisions, stupid libertarian think the private sector can do it, and people who seem to be general angry at all progress, and then no, 9 years is not possible.

Chinese GDP (4, Interesting)

Slur (61510) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955124)

Look for a video called "China's Ghost Towns" to see how China is inflating their GDP by building cities that no one can afford to live in. It's freaky to see all these empty supermalls and highrise apartment buildings. When China's bubble explodes it's going to be a whole new disaster for the world economy.

Re:Chinese GDP (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955356)

Bubble? do you know how China manages their money?

Only in America can someone look at a country that is actually thinking forward and say it's a bubble.

Re:Chinese GDP (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955684)

The US has a lot of work to do its own economy, so this isn't meant to downplay anything about that. It's also not meant as anything negative about China--bubbles happen everywhere.

Having said that...

The idea of a China bubble isn't too far-fetched, and is on the radar of a lot of economists. It's not just about China either, but all of the emerging-economy nations that have seen recent rapid growth.

E.g., http://www.economist.com/node/18560195

Re:Chinese GDP (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955792)

Yep, if the Chinese government have 400B USD leftover at the end of the year and they're tired of buying everyone else's debt, I see no wrong in building luxurious council estates. It's their money, they can spend it as they see fit (and that includes a space station and a Mars mission).

It's the People Republic of China. Wether we judge it to be right or wrong, they do it with what they think is their people's best interest at heart.

How? (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955128)

But seriously! In nine years?
Uhmm?
Well maybe if the Higgs really has been discovered and the Chinese know how to use it to surconvent gravity, then maybe.
Nah!

Re:How? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955440)

That will be 17 years from their first manned space launch. That's more time that it took the Soviets, and they had to do it from SCRATCH.

Debris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955176)

Good luck to them dodging all that debris they left for everyone when they shot down their own satellite.

Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1, Interesting)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955198)

For whatever reason, the Chinese may indeed commit the colossally stupid act of setting up a manned space station. It is a moronic waste of money, which presents competitors with an opportunity: set up a network of completely robotic space stations that will do vastly more at far lower cost and generate more advances in robotics. Let the Chinese put little red stars on their shirt collars so that mommy can see what good little boys they are. Nations that have already seen that it is a financial black hole that produces practically nothing of value need not accompany them.

Actually, it is wishful thinking to believe the Chinese are that stupid. 2020 is still a ways off, and they will likely see that for many reasons robotics is the way to go. They have the potential to dominate the nascent robotics boom if they avoid idiotic distractions like this one. Let's hope those of us in the US are up to the challenge.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955334)

" Nations that have already seen that it is a financial black hole that produces practically nothing of value need not accompany them."

no, short sighted politician, and ignorant SOB don't see any value.

The Manned space program has paid for it's self many times over. It's a fantastic practical RnD resource. They have a unique need, private industry fills it, and then take what they learned to make other products they sell. They get taxed and the money goes around.

god damn it, how stupid are people not to be able to take the simple steps to figure that out? This isn't wishful thinking, it's documented fact. But no, narrow minded SOBs like you can't think past 'it cost money' to actually look at the revenue is generates, the value to our future.

Fuck, I wish you people would either learn to think of just die... preferable in a fire.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955656)

The question is not if the manned space program has had benefits in other areas. That's quite obvious.

The question is: could you have spend the same money on something else, and get an even better return on your investment ?

For instance, we could have spend more on robotic missions, getting better robot technology as a result.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955668)

The Manned space program has paid for it's self many times over... This isn't wishful thinking, it's documented fact... can't think past 'it cost money' to actually look at the revenue is generates, the value to our future

"Documented fact," eh? That should make it easier for you to prove it and not just insult people with empty platitudes. Show us credible numbers and lists of technologies that have, for example, paid for the cost of the ISS "many times over." They do not exist. It is a false claim. It is simple-minded superstition, sci fi space-adventure magical-religious cultism. The starry-eyed myths and legends of childhood.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955976)

They get taxed and the money goes around.

...

But no, narrow minded SOBs like you can't think past 'it cost money' to actually look at the revenue is generates, the value to our future.

Broken window much?

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955452)

financial black hole that produces practically nothing of value

A manned station can be useful.

On the other hand, what if you do the ISS thing and take plans for a very useful manned station, and cut cut cut cut budgets until the only thing left is the hotel load? That's how you end up with a "financial black hole that produces practically nothing of value".

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955752)

Just to name a few products that came out of space exploration related projects - most of which were to assist humans while in space: cat scans, microchips, cordless tools, ear thermometer, frozen food, insulation, invisible braces, memory foam, GPS, scratch resistant lenses, shoe insoles, smoke detectors, and water filters.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955866)

I'm pretty sure all these products would have been invented/produced even without a manned space program, and on a lower budget.

Re:Dumb Idea, Potential Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35956020)

That's great you believe that.

In reality however, they weren't. We're talking about reality.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955232)

Expect to see dollar stores in space by 2025 then?

Great... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955242)

Space travel - yet another thing we'll be outsourcing to China...

Re:Great... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#35956034)

Space travel - yet another thing we'll be outsourcing to China...

China has already admitted that they can't do it as cheaply as SpaceX. Now, it's possible that SpaceX is producing unrealistic cost estimates, but for the time being it looks as if private industry could at the very least compete with the Chinese space program, if not surpass them in cost-effectiveness. If that changes, yeah, we might have to outsource to them, but there's no reason to be such a pessimist yet.

Egg baskets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955250)

From a long-term evolutionary perspective, the cultural or polity which manages to keep a long-term presence off-world wins at life.

If they can pull it off, good for them.

well... (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955268)

at lease someon is going. Good luck China.

BTW, Manned Space Programs are what countries get for have appropriate eye on science and the longevity of a country.

It's also what you loose when all focus is on money spent now and constantly cutting.

But hey, let keep lowering taxes and butcher all our assets. It's the libertarian way...to 3rd world status.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955666)

Obama is anything BUT a libertarian, jackoff. Don't bring them into this mess just because you don't like them. And YES, I voted for Obama and will do so again.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955844)

You would rather spend the U.S into a 3rd world Country? the one thing, and only one thing Obama got right is to start moving to private sector to fill in for Government.

have had plans for a while (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955336)

The wiki page lists an eleven launch, partially completed program to a permanent station. Sounds a bit like Skylab or Mir.

eliminate unfavorable opinions with censorship (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955454)

that makes sense. saves bandwidth, typing etc... it's easy to know which opinions are unfavorable, as some are already partially censored (doublebunked), before we never even get to read them? you call this 'weather'? how about, after disarming, we establish stations on this planet, to prevent the development of the next scheduled chosen ones death from god holycost theatrical event, staged & executed for their own personal gain, & crusadiacal religious 'beliefs' about themselves. &, to cover up stuff from our real history, as evidenced in the genuine native elders teepeeleaks etchings, for which no certificates of proof are needed, as the look in their clear eyes, the soft voices & confident actions of the native elders legitimizes everything they say & do.

Space Station Funding (1)

agw (6387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955596)

"China Plans Space Station By 2020"
In other news:
"FBI Says Wire Fraud Scam Sending Millions To China"
"77 Million Accounts Stolen From Playstation Network"

They have the money and they want to do it... (1)

h-alpha (1777352) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955658)

So good for them! Nothing like a little friendly competition (and hopefully collaboration) to reignite the space race. Mars or Bust!

Not "astronauts" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955730)

US spacefarers are astronauts.
Russian spacefarers are cosmonauts.
Chinese spacefarers are taikonauts.

So What? (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955780)

This is good for China, but whats much, much more impressive is a private company has started making plans on putting a man on Mars within 10-20 years (SpaceX). Its one thing for a government to commit to space travel, but its amazing for a private company to do that! SpaceX is already do amazing things with their launch capabilities.

Re:So What? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 2 years ago | (#35955896)

The difference is, China actually has the capability to do it. Musk only has one bit of technology, and the hope that the US gov. will buy it.

Ballistic missiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35955848)

As with the US-USSR space race, there is also the purpose to perfect missile technology, especially ICBMs. Keep that in mind for each space program you hear of.
 

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...