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China Plans Manned Space Mission This Month

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the more-the-merrier dept.

China 168

jamstar7 writes "From an Associated Press report: 'China will launch three astronauts this month to dock with an orbiting experimental module, and the crew might include its first female space traveler, a government news agency said Saturday. A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft was moved to a launch pad in China's desert northwest on Saturday for the mid-June flight, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing an space program spokesman. The three-member crew will dock with and live in the Tiangong 1 orbital module launched last year, Xinhua said. The government has not said how long the mission will last.' China, who is not an ISS partner, plans to see if its Shenzhou 9/Long March 2F system can get the job done like the Dragon/Falcon9 system can. They plan on two missions this year to dock with their Tiangong 1 module, which was launched in September 2011. Their eventual plans include building a complete space station by 2020, though one of only about 60 tons, compared to the ISS's 450-ish tons."

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Nice summary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40270981)

compared to the ISS's 450-ish tons

Journalism! JOURNALISM! Where did it go? Someone, help me find my journalism! We lost our journalism!

Re:Nice summary! (4, Informative)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271299)

The well-known journalistic suffix of "-ish" is used when quoting figures from Wikipedia, where you cannot be sure of veracity, or using woefully vague units like "ton". Wikipedia gives the mass as "approximately 450,000 kg (990,000 lb)" [wikipedia.org] , which is 450 tonnes (a non-SI unit acceptable in SI) or 495 short tons, the unit most commonly called "ton" in the US, 446 long tons, the unit used for the displacement of ships and in the UK. NASA, on the other hand, give the much less massive figure of "861,804 lb (390,908 kilograms)" [nasa.gov] or 391 tonnes, 431 short tons, or 395 long tons. Both sources approximate conversion from kg to lb, so there are four different figures to choose from even if you ignore the vagueness of "ton." Pick your poison.

Mod parent DOWN! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272043)

M...o...r...o...n...

Re:Nice summary! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272179)

What did the metric alien say?

Take me to your litre!

Next in the News... (3, Funny)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40270983)

USA legal teams develop relationship with patent troll Lodsys. Strategy? Wait for China to succeed in space and then sue their butts off for patent infringement.

It's true.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271095)

Maybe not that bit about Lodsys, I'm not sure.

But, regarding China, it's all they know how to do. They can't innovate anything, they can only replicate.

And, unfortunately for those of us in the west, they're damn good at it.

Re:It's true.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271127)

You do realise this exact same shit was said about Japan years ago. All they do is copy... not innovate...

China is copying to catch up. Once they catch up they will go shooting past - and all the MBAs, financial instruments and lawyers that the US has wanked away its educational estasblishments and brainpower on producing won't be worth a piss in a wind storm.

Re:It's true.. (0)

PAKnightPA (955602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271495)

So, I was a little confused by your Japan example. I could be missing something, but it seems like you are saying they are a model China should try to imitate.

Japan is an economic joke! Their economy has been in recession or barely growing since the early nineties. They've basically stagnated for the last 20 years. Their government is so in debt (230% of GDP) that they make Greece (165%) and Spain (69%) look fiscally responsible! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt)

China should not aim to be like Japan.

Re:It's true.. (1)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271593)

Pretty sure the GP was talking about Japanese innovation and not their economic model.

Re:It's true.. (4, Informative)

Alomex (148003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271675)

Japan is an economic joke!

Japan's GDP per capita is only $4K less a year than the USA and higher than Germany's. Some joke!

Re:It's true.. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271799)

Japan is an economic joke! Their economy has been in recession or barely growing since the early nineties. They've basically stagnated for the last 20 years. Their government is so in debt (230% of GDP) that they make Greece (165%) and Spain (69%) look fiscally responsible! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt)

It's worth keeping in mind that if Japan had the same quality of fairly ruthless leadership that it had in the 50s through to the 70s, it probably would have rebounded quickly. The severe recession of 1990-1991 was a good time to weed out the failures and allot the weaker performing keiretsu among the remainder (likely in the process encouraging new players to enter the ranks). That didn't happen and is in large part why things haven't improved very much for a long time.

Re:It's true.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271963)

That's taking a little naive look at it. Japan's debt is domestic dept, and their can print their own money. So their debt problem is not the same as Greece (who is on hock to foreigners, and can't print their own money), Spain, Italy and Ireland.

Ironicly, Ireland is one of the countries Americans create shell corporations in to hide their assets. Go figure. Raise the tax rate in Ireland and the that solves one of America's problems automatically.

Re:It's true.. (0)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271563)

You do realise this exact same shit was said about Japan years ago. All they do is copy... not innovate...

China is copying to catch up. Once they catch up they will go shooting past - and all the MBAs, financial instruments and lawyers that the US has wanked away its educational estasblishments and brainpower on producing won't be worth a piss in a wind storm.

I can't find a link to any web based version but there was an interesting story on NPR about two months ago that I heard while driving home from a business trip. It went into how Chinese youth are being raised and trained in a fashion where they do exactly what the GP stated. They do not learn how to innovate, they learn how to copy and be good cogs in the machine. Now, that might change in the future but it is ingrained in their culture at the moment. You will not see much innovation out of China anytime soon. That is not meant to be disparaging; it's just a simple fact.

Re:It's true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271711)

That describes most Southeast Asian (and increasingly, American) educational systems in general. Rote memorization is so heavily pushed that creative thinking is discouraged. (ie. If you ask how or why something is done the way its being taught, you'll simply be told "thats the way its always been done")

Re:It's true.. (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271985)

You do realise this exact same shit was said about Japan years ago. All they do is copy... not innovate...

China is copying to catch up. Once they catch up they will go shooting past - and all the MBAs, financial instruments and lawyers that the US has wanked away its educational estasblishments and brainpower on producing won't be worth a piss in a wind storm.

I can't find a link to any web based version but there was an interesting story on NPR about two months ago

I support NPR, with my money and my time in volunteering

But I do understand that NPR is not perfect

NPR is not that much different from many other Western media - that their report on other part of the world routinely tinted with the Western bias

I am not from China but I do have businesses in China - and in my many trips to China, I have to say that the average Chinese are way more innovative than the average American

While it is true that if we compare the top American researchers the Chinese have nothing to compare to - their top researchers are still light years away from the West - but that does not mean that the Chinese people are a dumb bunch

The lack of innovativeness in China is caused by the damage done by the Cultural Revolution in the 60's and 70's. Two generations of top Chinese scientists were wiped out (many were forced to suicide)

China is still suffering the consequences

But if you talk about Chinese - as a people - they are not dumb

Go to Hong Kong or Taiwan or even take a look at the Chinese Americans - they are way more innovative than the average Americans

It's time you guys stop deceiving yourself. The Chinese are playing catching up, and once they are at par with America, you guys will eat dust, literally

Re:It's true.. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271747)

china will always be a 2nd choice, in terms of goods quality. well, for as long as it took japan to get their act together (20 years or so, roughly).

china simply does not understand customer satisfaction, long-term company reputation, local support, customer service or any of the other things that western businesses assume and take for granted.

unless you stand over them, the quality of goods from china is less than putrid. as someone who services the broken shit from there that is sold to us, I've about had it with buying their junk. its dangerous in so many ways its not funny. electrically, chemically, you name it.

japan was never this bad, at least as far back as I can remember (I'm in my 50's). china stuff is mostly to be avoided and I see zero slope in the improvement curve. zero. no desire. just keep selling shit and screwing the customer. customer won't be back but another sucker will! they figured this out and they're OK with it! fully ok with this ethic.

its bullshit. as if they capacitor syndrome was not bad enough to fuck over the world (world supply of bad electrolytics still is an issue, even 10 years after it happened).

no, they will not surpass the west for a LONG time. not with the quality attitude they have. and they total lack of business ethic.

Re:It's true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271817)

As far i remenber the capacitor syndrome ocurred in taiwan (for a bad formula) not in China, they already moving in the value chain and they already automatizating more, if you subestimated them they will eat you.

Re:It's true.. (1)

newbie_fantod (514871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272241)

unless you stand over them, the quality of goods from china is less than putrid.

Oh really?

I think it's the other way around. China will manufacture products as cheap and as nasty as their clients request. If a Mattel subcontractor specifies lead pain for children's toys, Chinese manufacturers will supply the product. It's not their fault if American marketers have no qualms about poisoning children.

Question... (2)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271013)

Does anyone have a clue why they want to do it by them selves?
I applaud the DIY mentality there, but it doesn't seem to be the easiest / cheapest thing to do. And on this level "because they can" is just seems ludicrous.
Anyone?

Re:Question... (2, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271053)

Why did the US spend billions upon billions to go to the moon? Why did we strive so hard to beat the Soviets there?

The answer to those are the same reason the Chinese are doing it alone.

Re:Question... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271223)

Why did the US spend billions upon billions to go to the moon? Why did we strive so hard to beat the Soviets there?

The answer to those are the same reason the Chinese are doing it alone.

China is in a cold war with Russia?

Re:Question... (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271947)

China is in cold (economic) war with the rest of the World!

Re:Question... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272315)

Actually, just with the west. They are working hard to take over the rest of the world via economic means, and when it fails, then they are using their military (right now, it is constrained to Asia, but that will change).

Not just Russia (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272427)

They're in a cold war with every major power on Earth. It's an economic and technological war rather than a shooting war, but the principal is the same - you beat on your chest and shout "We are mighty!" to inspire your own people and make your opponents nervous. China has been an also-ran in the world for a long time, significant only because of the sheer size of their population. Their development and economic growth has been phenomenal over the last several decades, but they started out so far behind that it's been hard to take them seriously on that front. That's starting to change. They still have a long way to go improving their per-capita numbers, but if you look at the just the top 25% of the population you get a very different picture, and they still outnumber the entire US. They're starting to become a major player, and they want to make sure everyone knows it.

Re:Question... (0)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271315)

Because there was a cold war going on. Now we have the ISS (guess where I stands for :-)
For scientific use, so no politics 'should' be involved. I mean... really... why? The only thing I can think of is something rather ironic:The CPR is doing it because that would make it more competitive, like in a capitalist system.

Re:Question... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271945)

And how did the Apollo program help the US win the Cold War? Why did Americans care so much about winning the space race? After all, it had no real military or economical advantages.

Honestly though there's no point in continuing this conversation. Your question shows you have no concept of nationalism either person or theoretical. Which is in some ways rather sad regarding the state of whatever country you live in.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271979)

Because it has military uses.

ALL space programs are, are a cover for military uses (eg spy satellites, missile launchers, etc), China blew up a satellite and sent a billion pieces everywhere, so now it's MORE hazardous to put a man into space than it was 10 years ago. Thanks China.

China, to give it credit, isn't North Korea or Iran. We'll step back and let it go into space as long as they aren't saying "Taiwan War 2014" in the same breath.

Re:Question... (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271055)

Does anyone have a clue why they want to do it by them selves?

Why not? We did, and our economy sucks harder than theirs. Some things we've done are a combined effort, but in the beginning it wasn't just by ourselves, but a race. It may as well have been Space Olympics.

But I do agree, everyone coming together would get more done. Maybe we'd actually learn to play nice, as well.

Re:Question... (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271569)

But I do agree, everyone coming together would get more done.

I strongly disagree. Competition is more effective. Sure you need cooperating groups to do big projects like this. But having just one such group doesn't usually work. There's not much incentive to try harder, because there's little benefit to doing so. In a competitive environment, trying a little harder than your opponents might net you considerable gains over them. And you can always compare your progress to that of your opponents.

And I'll form the head! (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271667)

Competition is good for some things, but not all. For instance, there are ideas which can't be done by just one group/country due to massive amounts of $$$ needed, amongst other things. An expedition to Mars would need a collaborative effort, going by what it'd take to get there.

I think it's a little sad to think that a figurative dick-waving is what you have to do in order to get anything done, the idea that "haha, we're better than you!" urging us on instead of, "OMG, if we'd all stfu and combine resources, we could be on Mars by such-n-such a year!"

Remember, if Keith, Princess Allura, Pidge, Hunk, Sven and Lance had this attitude, they never would have been able to fight off the Robeasts. Amirite?

Re:And I'll form the head! (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271705)

An expedition to Mars would need a collaborative effort, going by what it'd take to get there.

Based on what? Fantasy estimates from NASA? My take is that with a cheap, heavy lift launcher (such as Falcon Heavy [wikipedia.org] which is claimed to be able to put 50 metric tons into LEO), we could do an indefinite series of manned missions to Mars (say one to two manned missions to Mars every two years) on what the US pays for the ISS, roughly $2 billion a year. That's a bit too ambitious for private groups (who could do a scaled-down version of this), but easily affordable by a number of government.

I think it's a little sad to think that a figurative dick-waving is what you have to do in order to get anything done, the idea that "haha, we're better than you!" urging us on instead of, "OMG, if we'd all stfu and combine resources, we could be on Mars by such-n-such a year!"

I don't really care, if "peen" is what it takes to go to Mars. Seems good enough a reason for me.

Re:Question... (5, Insightful)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271057)

They don't want to. They wanted to join the ISS but a certain North American country said "get lost".

Re:Question... (5, Funny)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271121)

Those damned Canadians and their selfish ways!

Re:Question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271221)

Yeah, and fuck Sweden too, why we're at it.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271737)

Don't jump to conclusions. It was the Mexicans who didn't want their jobs to be taken away by cheap Chinese astronauts.

Re:Question... (0)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271341)

Yup, the head of the House Appropriations CJS subcommittee in charge of NASA, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) actually attached a clause to NASA's funding bill last year that explicitly prohibits any NASA collaboration with China [sciencemag.org] . Of course, this was the same Rep. Wolf who raised a media ruckus back in 1995 when he demanded that the Clinton administration investigate claims that human fetuses were being sold in China as a health food.

Re:Question... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271409)

Yup, the head of the House Appropriations CJS subcommittee in charge of NASA, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) actually attached a clause to NASA's funding bill last year that explicitly prohibits any NASA collaboration with China [sciencemag.org] .

Of course, ITAR restrictions would have prohibited most of the collaboration even without this new clause.

Re:Question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272307)

Yes, well, why do we not just give them our technology for space and weapons as well?

Re:Question... (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271063)

If you try to do it with the US, it would never happen. Just ask the Europeans [sciencenews.org] . It's not like they're on great relations with the Russians, the only other country that can put humans into space.

So you're left with the Iranians, North Koreans and a couple of crazy amateur [copenhagen...bitals.com] in Denmark.

Sounds like solo is the best approach.

Anybody care to provide a link that isn't wall'd? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271109)

Just ask the Europeans [sciencenews.org] .

Thanks, buddy. Waste of a click. Thankfully, _they_ haven't decided to tax those yet.

NASA pulls out of astrophysics missions

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Anybody care to provide a link that isn't paywall'd?

Re:Question... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272331)

Give me a break. That was one time. We funded most of every other joint venture.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271071)

Because they used to participate in the ISS project, until the other nations had received China's cash, then they were kicked out.

So they are doing it by themselves now.

Re:Question... (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271149)

One reason I can think of is that, as the summary mentioned, they want to show the world they can launch things into orbit safely and reliably. Sending up people is a good way to do that.

Re:Question... (4, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271185)

China wanted to participate the ISS in 1990s, but China had no money and no technology at that time, and China could learn too much knowledge from participating the ISS at that time, so China was denied participating the ISS project.

Re:Question... (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271373)

Does anyone have a clue why they want to do it by them selves? I applaud the DIY mentality there, but it doesn't seem to be the easiest / cheapest thing to do.

Compared to mooching off of the ISS like the non-US participants do? Sure. But if you want to throw up a space station cheap, it's not a bad approach.

And on this level "because they can" is just seems ludicrous.

"Good enough" is the term I'd use in place of "ludicrous".

Re:Question... (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271535)

"...not a bad approach" and "Good enough" I'll go along with.

But mooching? You mean the other countries involved (what, 14 of them?) contributed nothing? No money, materials, modules, know-how, personnel, comms links, experiments, or launches?

Re:Question... (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271609)

But mooching? You mean the other countries involved (what, 14 of them?) contributed nothing?

If I get a $40 meal, but only pay $10 of it, am I not mooching from the person who pays the rest?

It's worth remembering that the key purpose of these participating countries was pork protection. Namely, international projects are harder to cancel. They can still be cancelled (for example, ITER and some astrophysics space missions), but it's more secure.

For the people receiving the pork, that was money well spent. For the US and its interests which had to pay for the ISS, its many revisions, and the necessary flights of the Space Shuttle? It's of negative value.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271967)

So, I guess it's safe to say you think the Chinese doing this, on their own dime, is a good idea, then? I wonder how much better/worse off the world would be without collaborative efforts like the ISS. Personally, I don't think the US would be up there at all, right now, without other countries flipping a portion of the bill. I mean, clearly, the Soyuz-U has been the a keystone of the ISS' success - it's lifted two ISS modules, and virtually every resupply flight [wikipedia.org] . Did NASA even have the hardware & cash to fly that many flights any more? Based on what I'm seeing, this probably could have been done without NASA, but I suspect the US wouldn't want to be left out of something this important.

Whatever the case, I do know this much : the culture that learns to thrive in space is going to be the culture that speaks for humanity. The fact that the "East" is doing it on their own, tells me that the "West" had better re-prioritize a few values pretty God damned soon, or we'll be fighting each other in the mud, and thinking we're doing well.

Re:Question... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272271)

So, I guess it's safe to say you think the Chinese doing this, on their own dime, is a good idea, then?

Absolutely.

Did NASA even have the hardware & cash to fly that many flights any more?

NASA has always had enough money to launch the ISS. Now should be easier than ever due to such companies as SpaceX and Bigelow. Frankly, I think they could replace the ISS and its valid functionality for a few billion.

Re:Question... (0)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272399)

LOL; ROFL.
We would have had a new space station up there around mid 90's. We had it designed and were starting to bend metal for it. In fact, one of the units is here in Colorado. We changed to bring on-board Russia and work with them, as well as EU. We helped EU a great deal. MOST of the modules up there were designed and launched by the shuttle. The fact is, that only the smallest modules were put up their by Russia. Likewise, we paid Russia to do this since their gov. would not do it.
Had we built this, then the neo-cons hopefully would not have gutted private space. They would have been forced to allow it to happen. Basically, we would have multiple launchers there.

And when it comes to the bulk of the equipment and supplies on their ISS, the shuttle has carried more than 3/4 of it. Progress was sent up quartly and would take up less than 4000 KG each trip. That includes the fuel, water, etc. OTOH, the shuttle would take up 24,000 KG each trip. We used to send up 4 a year, but it probably averaged about 3 a year due to being out. Still, just ONE shuttle takes up more cargo than all of the progress does each year.

Even now, USA has the largest lifters capable of putting up these modules, and we are getting more. By early next year, we will have a launcher that takes up DOUBLE the shuttle. Yes, the FH will take up 54,000 KG. That is more than 10 progresses in just one flight.

Re:Question... (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272063)

"If I get a $40 meal, but only pay $10 of it, am I not mooching from the person who pays the rest?"

Depends a bit, I think. As it stands, one could consider each gets a discount even tho one ends up out $30. If the person paying $10 is also helping you get a job done...

Nice point about pork. Some of it, maybe, goes deeper. I recall some of the discussion at the time, and a few involved were looking further ahead - be it participation, collaboration in future endeavours, for instance. (Btw, I did spend some time trying to track down facts and figures before my first post, but didn't find all that I was looking for.)

"It's of negative value." Hmm. Does ISS have any value at all? (At first blush, I could make an argument for answering no, not really. But I consider that the day is yet young. Or even ask, "Of what use is a newborn?")

Re:Question... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272293)

Does ISS have any value at all? (At first blush, I could make an argument for answering no, not really. But I consider that the day is yet young.

I consider the ISS to have three things of relative value. First, it is a demonstration of orbital assembly. Second, it is a fair test platform for technology development. Third, it's great for microgravity research. I sorted these into declining value as I see them.

Unfortunately, most of its value has been exhausted with its completion and being one of the best (and likely, one of the most expensive) platforms for microgravity research this century just isn't that interesting compared to the cost.

Re:Question... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272351)

And they canned the "Centrifuge Accommodations Module" which was supposed to let us test biological reactions to "gravity" greater than microgravity but less than earth gravity as would be important for a long term moon or mars misson.

Re:Question... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272417)

Well, the problem is that the microgravity counted on the life centrifuge. When W/neo-cons canceled that, they killed one of the best uses of the ISS. That single piece would enable us to figure out how we will do on the moon and on trips to mars and elsewhere. It was stupid of that admin that they killed that.

Re:Question... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271437)

Because they believe it to be a strategic long-term interest of theirs, and don't want to rely on other countries - which are neutral at best and potentially hostile at worst - to provide the technology that they can withdraw support for later?

China has a DIY mentality in many areas lately. In the military, for example, they are steadily converting everything to their own designs and standards (which are often based on old Soviet tech, but developed further... a smart idea) - planes, tanks, even small arms and ammo.

Re:Question... (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271921)

It's because the US Congress objects to the Chinese space program having access to the ISS. China has for years applied for access to the ISS, and the US has blocked it every time. That on the surface sounds pretty elitist and bigoted, but their reason is that the Chinese space program is still very much controlled through the PLA, and therefore not a civilian research organization like NASA, ESA, JAXA. I'm not sure why it would matter, though, since a civilian organization run by the government would still be able to secretly collaborate with the military.

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271971)

It's a good symbol of the governments mandate to govern, which is based on improving the lot of the civilisation/nation/people. Plus the leadership is mostly science/engineering educated, spending a little on a space program would appeal on a personal level. These guys are thinking and planning long term, accumulating useful skills and knowledge, trying to move everyone up the food chain.

Re:Question... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272007)

Does anyone have a clue why they want to do it by them selves?

You've hit the RIGHT question !!

China had to DIY because nobody, not USA, not Europe, not even Russia, will permit them to join the ISS

Ever wonder why the ISS was visited by a middle eastern prince but never any citizen from China?

Because there is an unwritten, but strictly enforeced rule, that no citizen of China is permitted to step inside the confine of the ISS

what an insane world (0)

aheadinabox (936810) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271041)

Hard to believe human beings would think it logical to duplicate an engineering feat such as a space station due to nationalism. You'd think the average educational norm could be slightly higher than the nationalistic primal urges, but no.

Re:what an insane world (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271061)

If China want to be jingoistic and stupid and waste their money on 40 year old technology, then let them.

They'll still steamroll the world through sheer economic might and weight of numbers, but this will delay the inevitable for a few days.

Re:what an insane world (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271079)

Hard to believe human beings would think it logical to duplicate an engineering feat such as a space station due to nationalism. You'd think the average educational norm could be slightly higher than the nationalistic primal urges, but no.

Mankind is not a rational animal.

He is a rationalizing animal.

Besides, there is a whole lot of useful engineering in being able to launch something into space. Materials science, engines, controls - hey, there even could be a military use.

If all else fails, you can make it cheaper and sell it to the US.

Re:what an insane world (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271205)

As was mentioned elsewhere too, China asked to participate in the ISS in 2007, but the US was/is against it. Nationalistic primal urges go both ways.

Re:what an insane world (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271405)

It also made sense to keep China out. There were valid concerns that they wouldn't contribute, but just suck knowledge and technology for their own uses. Mind you, that describes most of the participants to some degree.

Re:what an insane world (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271543)

China will "suck knowledge and technology" from the ISS? Unless the ISS has a secret military purpose (does it?), I don't see it as much of an issue. There might be some secrets to "steal", er, copy in the robotics department, but the stuff that stays up in space appears to be more ancient than the W3. Since the Shuttle retired, there isn't any more launch technology for an undercover taikonaut to observe at docking range. That leaves only the life support systems and radiation hardening, which the Chinese can probably acquire from the Russians, who until recently held the most important endurance records in space.

Re:what an insane world (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271637)

China will "suck knowledge and technology" from the ISS? Unless the ISS has a secret military purpose (does it?), I don't see it as much of an issue.

It has TRDSS, which is a secret communication technology. I believe the Russians have similar secrets in their sections. Further, a lot of the sections contain private projects that are expected to remain the IP of the organizations doing the work.

Point is that while most participants didn't have to give very much, they are expected to contribute and to honor various NDAs. There's a legitimate worry that China wouldn't be a useful participant and would take secrets from the other parties doing work on the station.

Re:what an insane world (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271687)

Further, a lot of the sections contain private projects that are expected to remain the IP of the organizations doing the work.

And here I thought the ISS was for the good of humanity and all that warm and fuzzy stuff. However, don't American fears of Chinese industrial espionage also apply to the Russians?

Re:what an insane world (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271713)

However, don't American fears of Chinese industrial espionage also apply to the Russians?

Why would they? The Russians stay bought.

Re:what an insane world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271691)

The stuff that stays up in space may be ancient; but leaking the codes contained on those ancient satellites/spacecraft would be on par with leaking unchangeable, active nuclear launch codes for every ISS-participating nation in the world.

Re:what an insane world (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271425)

Hard to believe human beings would think it logical to duplicate an engineering feat such as a space station due to nationalism.

I think the problem here is that you use "belief" instead of "reason". The space station was pretty cheap and the nationalism benefits fairly concrete, a morale boost for more than a billion people. The logic isn't perfect, but it's a good deal more solid than you believe.

Meh (1)

VonSkippy (892467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271115)

Meh.

Might have a women crew member.

Won't disclose how long the mission will last.

Just another long line of China BS disclosing just the bare minimum to garner some "face" for their "great" space accomplishments.

Of course nothing that goes wrong will be reported. They're barely a step above NK for their PR releases, but wait, they prop up the US economy so lets all give them a rousing pat on the back.

So golf clap for China, they've stolen enough IP to duplicate what US/USSR did back in the 80's.

Re:Meh (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271191)

Well, with Apple's WWDC approaching, maybe they're taking a page from Apple's playbook and keeping things under wraps. Try to get some buzz going...

Re:Meh (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271467)

Yes, can't wait for another one of their space "accomplishments"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBL98p0wZ7g [youtube.com]

We should send them a load of SCUBA gear, that'll probably help 'em get it done faster.

most pertinent question (1, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271125)

this female astronaut, will she be hot

google search for candidates seem to indicate, hell yeah!

Re:most pertinent question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271153)

Nah, youre just sayin' that 'cause all Chinese look alike to you...

Re:most pertinent question (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271171)

Meh. [nasaspaceflight.com]

Re:most pertinent question (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271225)

Go ahead, knock yourself out [wikipedia.org] . I do have to wonder about the 80s big hair obsession with the Americans though.

Re:most pertinent question (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271289)

Wahhhh, we're halfway there
Wahhhh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it I swear
Wahhhh, livin' on a prayer

Seems perfectly in line with being an astronaut to me.

Re:most pertinent question (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271505)

Keep in mind that while Americans are launched into space from Florida, most of the manned spaceflight program is run through the Johnson Space Center [nasa.gov] in Houston, Texas [dallascowb...eaders.com] .

So I'd imagine that it's an occupational hazard. If you're a woman and you get your hair done in Texas, it's gonna be big.

Secrecy of the Chinese Space Program (2, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271219)

What I find most interesting is the difference between the Chinese Space Program and organizations such as the ESA, NASA, and POCKOCMOC (Russia) is the amount of secrecy. Whenever any of the other space agencies makes a manned launch, you normally hear about it years before the actual mission flies, and the crew assignment is normally announced shortly after the mission is. With China, you hear about it almost days before launch day!

Re:Secrecy of the Chinese Space Program (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271463)

I consider this a symptom of a serious, but by no means unique problem with the Chinese space program. Namely, that the leaders responsible for the program are extremely risk adverse. Various governments manifest this problem in various ways. The US government, for example, does a great deal of soul-searching and blame-finding when things go wrong.

Here, China, much as the Soviets did, attempts to hide failure. They don't mind killing people, but they do mind greatly any negative publicity.

That's just China.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271573)

It's not really that it's the Chinese Space Program being secretive, that's just China.

Re:Secrecy of the Chinese Space Program (2)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40271693)

China has been publicizing their space station plans for years though, with a timeline. The exact dates of launches isn't that important.

Re:Secrecy of the Chinese Space Program (5, Informative)

longk (2637033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272001)

Are you kidding me? The mission was announced in 2002. With the date being narrowed down as time passed. The use of a female astronaut was announced in 2004. Nothing secret about it.

Re:Secrecy of the Chinese Space Program (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272425)

In fact, their space stations is never to have citizens in it. It will ONLY have military personnel in it. Basically, their space station is our MOL, but they see a reason to build it, while we never built it.

Check your math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271823)

The Science Lite ISS boondoggle will weigh a lot less once it de-orbits.

Which of course means... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40271899)

ALL YOUR SPACE STATIONS AND MOON BASES ARE BELONG TO US!

Which they will proclaim were always in fact a part of Communist China, eh JC?

Just like Tibet... And everyone in China is SO FREE or else... ;-)

GreekGeek

SAAAY WHAAAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272025)

China, who is not an ISS partner, plans to see if its Shenzhou 9/Long March 2F system can get the job done like the Dragon/Falcon9 system can

Let's just say the Dragon/Falcon can only aspire to catch up with the Chinese.
The Chinese already performed automated docking a few years ago, whilst the Dragon had to fly to within the reach of the CanadaArm, and it's up to the arm operator to exercise some mad joystick skillz.

And of course the Chinese trample on other's IP rights.
They're just getting even for gun powder, and paper.

Re:SAAAY WHAAAT? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272087)

They're just getting even for gun powder, and paper

.... and compass
 

It's a terrible precedent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272061)

We need to bring China in on the ISS. I'm not saying that I am not excited by the prospect of competition possibly spurring innovation in space travel, but rather I don't want nations excluding others from vital human frontiers. Today we're ahead, tomorrow they may be and if that means only China going to Mars, why would they transport our people?

China could be a paper tiger and the U.S. may drastically improve.
Or the opposite. Or something unimagined.

(If Canada ever becomes a super power, I'm offing myself.)

Who knows how the next several decades will unfold.

Re:It's a terrible precedent. (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272091)

We need to bring China in on the ISS.

China was / is specifically banned from joining the ISS program

I think this is great (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272155)

Less because I think china will do anything meaningful in space exploration at least for a long time to come. But Americans in particular take space more seriously when they think they're competing for it. So this could mean a serious reprioritization of resources in favor of space exploration by the US.

Again, I think it's great the chinese are interested and I wish them the best. I think it's great that more countries are getting involved. I just think in the short term the best news here is that it's likely to get more established countries more involved as well.

Homefront (1)

Cito (1725214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272235)

It's all a ruse!

Just like the pc game Homefront :) except with China instead of North Korea...

The "space station" will detonate a massive EMP over the U.S. disabling much of the nation's grid preparing the way for invasion.

Most all our national debt is owed to China and they are coming to collect.

At least let me make sure my tinfoil hat is on straight.

Re:Homefront (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272391)

Most all our national debt is owed to China and they are coming to collect.

At least let me make sure my tinfoil hat is on straight.

Don't think China wants your tinfoil hat

Weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272257)

The neither of these space stations "weigh" anything, they only have mass............

Of course. (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40272371)

They previously put a small habitat into orbit. Now they're sending some people up. The US had Skylab, the USSR had Mir, and China is now doing something in roughly the same scale. Why not?

America must beat the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40272383)

but we can't spend any money to do it.

So, um, get to it. For country and for free, nerds.

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