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China Completes Its First Manned Space Docking

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the rapid-progress dept.

China 130

This AP story, as carried by the Houston Chronicle, says that the Chinese Shenzhou 9 spacecraft (carrying a crew that includes the country's first female astronaut) has successfully docked with an orbiting module, a first for China's manned space program. However, manned mission or not, the actual docking was actually executed from below: as with previous docking maneuvers, "Monday's docking also was completed by remote control from a ground base in China. A manual docking, to carried out by one of the crew members, is scheduled for later in the mission. Two crew members plan to conduct medical tests and experiments inside the module, while the third will remain in the spacecraft."

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Awww good on em (2, Insightful)

spokenoise (2140056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357497)

Now everyone will want to do it

Significant Milestone (5, Insightful)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357547)

Slow but steady progress since initiating this program in 1992.

With a first Chinese moonwalk estimated for 2024 that is 32 years total (with already 50 years of rocket research in the world to leverage off) ... makes you understand just much the US threw at its lunar programme to manage going from the start of the Mercury program to moonwalk in less than 11 years

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Interesting)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357569)

Or, to put it another way, how little the Chinese are investing. The space program is clearly not viewed as a high economic priority in China. The period between their first manned flight and now is roughly the same as the period between the first US manned flight and first US lunar landing; and in that time period China has had an economy far in excess of that of the US in the 1960s. They have also had lower costs due to the fact that they don't have to develop all the technology from scratch. They could easily have done a repeat of Apollo on this time scale, but chose not to.

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357611)

Maybe they just don't want to rush it and take chances. In the 1960s the US and the USSR were competing to be the first to space and the first to the moon. The Chinese are going to be the third country to reach the moon (second, for manned missions since the Russians didn't bother) whichever way you slice it.

There's no point going at it in a hurry and risking the lives of astronauts any more than they have to. Back when the Apollo missions were flying, the US and the USSR had an attitude of "get someone up there and maybe back down if they survive, and get it done now". The Chinese don't need to do that.

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Informative)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357629)

Technically not third to reach the moon
- Japan put up an orbiter (Hiten) in 1993
- ESA put up SMART-1 in 2003
- India crashed their Chandrayaan probe (deliberately an impact mission) a few years ago

And even then, both India and the Europeans are targeting manned landings before China.

Although even Iran has announced for 2025 so clearly some of these need to be taken with some skepticism

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Informative)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357805)

Don't forget that China has successfully completed two orbital lunar missions with Chang'e 1 and 2.

Re:Significant Milestone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358621)

Don't forget that China has successfully completed two orbital lunar missions with Chang'e 1 and 2.

And they stole all our rocket secrets in the 90's.

Re:Significant Milestone (3, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359349)

> And they stole all our rocket secrets in the 90's.

Says an American - from a country whose most used rocket is running on a Russian RD-180 engine.

SPACE NAZIS MUST DIE! (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359789)

> And they stole all our rocket secrets in the 90's.

Says an American - from a country whose most used rocket is running on a Russian RD-180 engine.

Ho Lee Crap, how off Earth did you miss the nearly automatic Goodwin play on that hand?!!!!
Here, it's not hard :

Says an American - from a country whose moon program was built by all the best repatriated NAZI rocket scientists.

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Funny)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357963)

Iran is going to go up there and knock over the American flag.

doesn't even require involving Andy Griffith! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359849)

Iran is going to go up there and knock over the American flag.

Heck, that could be done by a robotic mission. It wouldn't even be that hard (relatively speaking) to burn a American flag on the moon.
What are you going to do about that , mr toughguy Great Satan ? !

Obviously we need a crash moonbase program to base space rangers on the moon to oversee and preserve such great Human historical sites.

Re:Significant Milestone (3, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357955)

My largest complaint about the Chinese space program is the lack of operational tempo. Simply put, they aren't really in the habit of sending stuff into space and they are waiting too long between flights if they want to gain institutional knowledge about how to perform tasks in space. The last previous flight for Chinese astronauts was in 2008, although there was an "unmanned" spaceflight last year which acted as a dress rehearsal for this flight.

All this said, I will admit that this is a significant accomplishment and something which speaks volumes about the technical accomplishments of China. The organizations which have been able to achieve this milestone are rather small, and for manned spaceflight is only NASA, Roscosmos, and now CNSA (Chinese National Space Agency), with just JAXA, ESA, and SpaceX as the only other organizations to perform this task using unmanned spacecraft.

Still, all China has done so far is more or less replicate Gemini 8, avoiding the problems that nearly killed Neil Armstrong and David Scott. They have a long way to go if they want to turn this into any sort of useful experience to get them anywhere else, but they can start to have their astronauts do stuff more elaborate than simply being potty-trained monkeys who know how to wave flags. A huge difference between Gemini 8 and Shenzhou 9 is that Armstrong and Scott were actually piloting their spacecraft where instead the pilots of the Shenzhou spacecraft are sitting at mission control.

Re:Significant Milestone (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358023)

A huge difference between Gemini 8 and Shenzhou 9 is that Armstrong and Scott were actually piloting their spacecraft where instead the pilots of the Shenzhou spacecraft are sitting at mission control.

I am fairly certain that if remote control technology has been sophisticated enough at the time, then NASA would also have done it by remote control.

Re:Significant Milestone (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358251)

A huge difference between Gemini 8 and Shenzhou 9 is that Armstrong and Scott were actually piloting their spacecraft where instead the pilots of the Shenzhou spacecraft are sitting at mission control.

I am fairly certain that if remote control technology has been sophisticated enough at the time, then NASA would also have done it by remote control.

Not really. This is basically a difference in attitude towards those who are inside of the spacecraft, where an American philosophy is that those inside of the spacecraft ought to be much more directly in charge of what is going on, while the Chinese/Soviet philosophy was one of paranoia that the spaceflight participants might do something politically embarrassing so that authority was taken away.

The original plan for the Mercury spaceflights was to be largely automated, with the astronauts being largely "spam in a can" and really not doing anything other than being a passenger and enjoying the ride. Considering the Mercury astronauts were all test pilot instructors (qualified not just as test pilots but to teach people how to become those as well), there was a minor revolt within the astronaut corps that insisted some level of actual piloting should take place inside of the spacecraft, where key decisions about the progress of the spacecraft such as abort decisions and proceeding through various milestones rested upon the mission commander... in some cases with the mission commander alone.

Note also that much of the early NASA technology for launching astronauts into space came from the ICBM missile development, where significant automation already took place. The first spaceflights for the Mercury program used Chimpanzees, who obviously weren't rated as pilots or expected to do much other than take in the ride.

I'll note that the attitude of allowing manual control has made a difference in several missions and allowed a successful conclusion to those missions that otherwise might have gone badly. Gemini 8 was one of those situations BTW, where the astronauts weren't able to explain their situation to ground control due to a loss of telemetry and garbled communications until after they had finally resolved the situation. Another was the ability of the astronauts to rework Apollo 13 in order to get them to come home. I'm sure other situations could be brought up where real piloting skill was applied, including John Glenn's decision to not jettison his retro-rockets on the Friendship 7 flight. John Glenn also switched to a manual flight mode due to problems he noticed during the flight, not trusting the automated system that was in place.

Re:Significant Milestone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358297)

I am fairly certain that if remote control technology has been sophisticated enough at the time, then NASA would also have done it by remote control.

Why remote control it when it can be fully automatic?
Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union had automated robotic probes on the moon before the first manned mission to moon.
I would say that the remote control technology was "sophisticated enough". If anything prevented using it it would be that one had more faith in the austronauts and less faith in the ground control back then.

Re:Significant Milestone (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359531)

It's cultural. There is simply too much at stake, and the pilots (err...passengers) are too low-ranking to make such huge decisions. If there is an Apollo 13-like incident, then careers will crash and burn, there will be a huge investigation, and the big bosses will likely end up in prison for stealing funds from the operation. The astronauts are just placeholders.

Anyone remember the names of China's first three astronauts? Me, either.

Re:Significant Milestone (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360255)

My largest complaint about the Chinese space program is the lack of operational tempo. Simply put, they aren't really in the habit of sending stuff into space and they are waiting too long between flights if they want to gain institutional knowledge about how to perform tasks in space.

And what''s your standing to complain? Unless you're up there in their political elite, they aren't beholden to you in any way.
 

Still, all China has done so far is more or less replicate Gemini 8, avoiding the problems that nearly killed Neil Armstrong and David Scott. They have a long way to go if they want to turn this into any sort of useful experience to get them anywhere else, but they can start to have their astronauts do stuff more elaborate than simply being potty-trained monkeys who know how to wave flags.

That's the thing - they don't appear they're interested in gaining institutional knowledge about how to perform tasks in space. They appear to want to have just enough of a space program to certify that they're a Real Country and to provide propaganda victories and not a yuan's worth more. (And they don't have the political pressure that the Soviet Union was under in the 60's and 70's.) They certainly aren't in the game to live up to a space cadet's notion of what they should and shouldn't be doing.

Re:Significant Milestone (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357617)

"... economy far in excess... "

is only a relative figure. Per capita (which along with total economy MUST be included), their economy was nowhere near the U.S. during that time, as measured in U.S. dollars. The total "GDP" (if there is such a think in a socialist country -- definitions must be clarified) might have been greater, but it was for a far larger population.

The fact is that during most of that period, China could not even feed itself, "large" economy or not.

Re:Significant Milestone (5, Insightful)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357677)

I think the total size of the economy is more important in attempting to measure a country's ability to maintain a national space program. Otherwise some small but rich European or oil-producing country would have also launched humans into space a long time ago. The Soviet Union was clearly poorer than the US in per capita terms, but managed to beat the US to several early space milestones.

Re:Significant Milestone (3, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357999)

I think the total size of the economy is more important in attempting to measure a country's ability to maintain a national space program. Otherwise some small but rich European or oil-producing country would have also launched humans into space a long time ago. The Soviet Union was clearly poorer than the US in per capita terms, but managed to beat the US to several early space milestones.

I suppose that is where these crazy nerds [copenhagen...bitals.com] come along and try to prove your notion could work all along. I'll admit their goal is more to duplicate Alan Shepard's flight rather than John Glenn's, but it is none the less showing that more countries and people are coming together and trying to get into space.

Russia might get a little nervous if Denmark starts to attempt orbital spaceflight though. These guys are using a launch site in the Baltic Sea, and extra nerd points are earned because the "ground crew" for the launch site works out of a submarine on launch day.

Re:Significant Milestone (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357861)

Per capita (which along with total economy MUST be included)

Well, we can't keep you from inserting it into the discussion, but it's not significant for large public projects like those of this story.

The fact is that during most of that period, China could not even feed itself, "large" economy or not.

It hasn't been starving in the past decade which is the period under consideration.

Re:Significant Milestone (3, Funny)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358027)

(if there is such a think in a socialist country -- definitions must be clarified)

I live in a socialist country and I think we have a GDP here.

Re:Significant Milestone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358331)

(if there is such a think in a socialist country -- definitions must be clarified)

I live in a socialist country and I think we have a GDP here.

Well, most people do. Even the U.S. fits very well under the definition of a socialism. It's very hard to enforce a pure capitalism without everything turning into anarchy.

Re:Significant Milestone (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358195)

The total "GDP" (if there is such a think in a socialist country -- definitions must be clarified)

Haha, you must be a Foxnews viewer (or maybe even editor)? Why would a socialist country not have a GDP??? Do they not produce things of value? Do they not trade with other countries?

Re:Significant Milestone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357623)

"Or, to put it another way, how little the Chinese are investing. The space program is clearly not viewed as a high economic priority in China."

It's just to demonstrate their capability. Now the US will outsource their spaceflights to them too, just like all the rest already.

"They're starving in China" (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357725)

"They're starving back in China, so finish what you got." is a line from a John Lennon song, when I was a kid that's what mother's told their children when trying to persuade them to eat thier veggies. There were several famines due to Mao's "great leap" the worst of which was without doubt the worst in the 20th century (and perhaps of all time). I was too young to recall that one but I do recall the one in 1969 (the same year Armstrong set foot on the moon).

It's said (by who I don't recall) that China has dragged more people out of poverty in the last 4 decades than the rest of the world combined by simply raising the standard of living for their own people. Having wittnessed (from afar) the scale of the change since the gang of four were booted out in the 70's, I'm inclined to believe that claim.

Que paranoid rants about governments from 20-somethings with cheeto filled stomachs, in...3...2....1

Re:"They're starving in China" (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357859)

People complain about the UK giving aid to India which has its own space programme while millions live in terrible poverty, but the simple fact is they need one. Modern technology requires satellites, advanced materials and cutting edge research. They need it to bring the economies up to western levels and lift everyone out of poverty at once, rather than fire fighting individual disasters.

It does suck that money spent putting a man in orbit is money that can't be spent educating poor kids, but you have to look at it as the individual need vs. the greater good and having a mix of both.

Re:"They're starving in China" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358215)

What kills me are all the welfare scum in the US taking and taking and taking while idiots like BO cancel NASA and innovation to keep giving out free stuff to those who refuse to work. The poor in America are fat with cell phones. Go socialism!

Re:"They're starving in China" (4, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358537)

"They're starving back in China, so finish what you got." is a line from a John Lennon song, when I was a kid that's what mother's told their children when trying to persuade them to eat thier veggies.

Funny thing is that I saw an interview not long ago with a Chinese writer who said that when he was growing up in the 50's and 60's, the Chinese were told the same thing about the U.S. They were shown Depression-era footage of soup kitchen lines and told that was typical of life in the U.S. They would even encourage schoolchildren to give to charity to help out the starving Americans.

Re:"They're starving in China" (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360321)

They would even encourage schoolchildren to give to charity to help out the starving Americans.

I wonder where that money actually went

Re:Significant Milestone (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358493)

The space program is clearly not viewed as a high economic priority in China.

That's because China isn't in a space race with anyone. This is just their way of saying "We've arrived." There is no particular hurry and no pissing contest to win here, especially with the U.S. bowing out of the whole manned spaceflight game.

Re:Significant Milestone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359645)

Wow. You just don't quite grasp this, do you.

China can put a large object into orbit, keep it there for as long as they want, remotely control it to do whatever they want, send people up to service it and bring them back down alive.

Oh, and China is a Thermo-nuke power.

Do you get it now?

Re:Significant Milestone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359479)

Yes, but you had Nazis to do all the hard work for you. http://xkcd.com/984/

"Medical experiments" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357551)

I wonder what kind of "medical tests and experiments" a mixed-gender crew might undergo in microgravity.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357561)

Since it tough to get blood to that area in zero gravity, I guess Viagra would be on the top of the list.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360069)

Not sure where you're getting your information from. A coworker's husband was on the ISS for a while. I see him at parties and happy hour, where the booze and talk flow freely. According to him, the zero gravity gave him morning wood all the time and he had to whack off every couple of days just to help hom focus.

Re:"Medical experiments" (3, Interesting)

Quick Reply (688867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357689)

Exactly what I was going to post.

In all fairness, it probably has already been done by the Americans and Russians, whether as a secret experiment or a "side experiment" done by the scientists themselves.

I mean, how many people would go all the way to space and not do it given the chance, it would be like doubling what is already the most amazing experience of your life.

I hope an adult entertainment company buys a couple of tickets on a private space flight, for the enjoyment of the rest of us who will never get the chance but are curious to see.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357899)

I don't know if Americans would've risked it. Imagine the bad publicity if the American public were to find out that their hard-earned tax dollars were spent to send Astronauts f*ing in space.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358073)

If I recall correctly, there has been experiments done using mouse embryos that show that fetuses can't develop properly in microgravity. Also as already mentioned, maintaining..ahem..readiness in space would be problematic as well.

Re:"Medical experiments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358403)

maintaining..ahem..readiness in space would be problematic as well.

Oh, maintaining readiness might not be problematic. It even works with reversed gravity. (Upside down.)
The problem is coordination of two bodies in microgravity.
Space sex is highly overrated.

Re:"Medical experiments" (2)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358405)

The experiments that you are talking about were done in "simulated microgravity" using magnetic fields to try and neutralize gravitational influences and other techniques, and not actually flying to experiments in space. The sad fact is that in spite of the fact that there have been several mice sent into space including a couple long-term studies done on the ISS, procreation has not been one of the aspects studied nor has any multi-generational studies been done or even attempted in terms of what might happen in space among placental mammals.

There was a pregnant rat which gave birth successfully to very healthy babies on board the Space Shuttle, but she conceived on the ground and that was a relatively short term study with that flight lasting only two weeks.

I'm sure that a bunch of horny mice could likely figure out how to get their equipment to work in space. I'm just disappointed that nobody has bothered to let them try in the first place. Even worse, I think it will need to be human experiments that will be tried before somebody gets smart and thinks it should be something seriously investigated.

In the end, the only thing you can really conclude is that nobody knows what will happen if you attempt to conceive a baby in space, and that anything you have read on the topic is pure conjecture and speculation not based upon any actual science on the topic. That is the reason some long term space mission planning such as sending people to Mars includes ideas like sterilization of the spaceflight participants, because of sheer ignorance about the topic and the mission planners simply don't want to even think about the potential of astronauts creating additional passengers that will show up on the manifest for the return flight.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359699)

They already made a zero g porn. It was filmed 20 seconds at a time on an airplane flying parabolic arcs. Don't recall the name.

Re:"Medical experiments" (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357917)

Playing doctor?

China completes its first womanned space docking. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357577)

There, I fixed that for /.

Re:China completes its first womanned space dockin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357693)

There were men, too. I would call it "humanned space docking", so that nobody can complain.

Re:China completes its first womanned space dockin (3, Informative)

progician (2451300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357855)

No need for inventing new words: crewed.

Re:China completes its first womanned space dockin (1)

Exrio (2646817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358687)

You both fail. These would work, yes, as alternative titles to the article, but they have no trolling value so they're useless for the purpose of the OP AC's suggestion. OK the GP's version would admittedly still troll the more sensitive to linguistics people, but that'd be a comparatively incomplete subset.

In Space... (-1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357587)

... no-one can hear you suffocate.

Re:In Space... (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357601)

Look... I apologize already for the insult, okay? But it isn't entirely undeserved.

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology -- not to mention the outright theft of some of it -- is hardly equivalent to doing this stuff on your own.

If it's a success, I will be somewhat surprised, and not very inclined to credit them for it.

Re:In Space... (5, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357657)

Look... I apologize already for the insult, okay? But it isn't entirely undeserved.
Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology -- not to mention the outright theft of some of it -- is hardly equivalent to doing this stuff on your own.
If it's a success, I will be somewhat surprised, and not very inclined to credit them for it.

I know. American scientists were able to get to the Moon without using any technology from any other cultures. Every other country should have to do the same. The Chinese shouldn't even be able to use those rockets we invented thousands of years ago.

(For the sarcastically disabled, I know who invented the rocket)

Re:In Space... (5, Funny)

hakann (2578479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357911)

This explains it perfectly: http://www.xkcd.com/984/ [xkcd.com]

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358013)

Was it some Chinese dude in the 1500s with a lawn chair and fireworks [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358301)

I can't see through your sarcasm. You know an American invented the rocket right?

Re:In Space... (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358429)

Wrong. American rocket technology was based on Nazi technology. Project paperclip.

Re:In Space... (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358543)

It would be more accurate to say that Saturn technology was based on Nazi technology. But the German technology was based on American technology, specifically Goddard's.

Re:In Space... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357707)

Hmm... Well...

You mean "borrowed" in the sense like the USA did when using the techniques developed in Nazi Germany?

And why should you develop something yourself when the knowledge is available? Most techniques used by the NASA are not especially top-secret as far as I know. So - why spend an big budget on something that's freely available?

I think there is a good chance the first man on Mars will be Chinese. Not because they are that good, but because they slowly bit steadily keep pushing forward, while the USA is stepping down. Anyway by the time of those first manned mars landing, I estimate the biggest budget in the USA will be spend on thousands of lawyers fighting the (around that time completely out-of-control) software patent wars (inside the USA, because outside the USA people are not that stupid).

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358253)

You mean "borrowed" in the sense like the USA did when using the techniques developed in Nazi Germany?

The US didn't just used techniques developed in Nazi Germany. They had Nazis from Nazi Germany built the rockets for them. Basically, americans just provided the money and sat back while the Nazis built their freedom rockets.

Re:In Space... (2)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358581)

You mean "borrowed" in the sense like the USA did when using the techniques developed in Nazi Germany?

The US didn't just used techniques developed in Nazi Germany. They had Nazis from Nazi Germany built the rockets for them. Basically, americans just provided the money and sat back while the Nazis built their freedom rockets.

This is so patently false that I simply must say you are full of it.

Yes, there were many of the rocket engineers who worked on the V-2 rockets of Nazi Germany which were hired by the U.S. Army Ordinance Command at the conclusion of World War II (through something called Operational Paperclip [wikipedia.org] ). Their contribution and experience was vital for developing the early ICBMs and rockets that later were developed by NASA as well as the U.S. Air Force.

All this said, it is ignoring the contribution and hard work by thousands of engineers and aerospace workers who helped to contribute to the development of American spaceflight. There is no way that the "Nazis" could have built all of this stuff without the insight and extremely hard work by ordinary Americans. Yes, they learned a whole lot from the German scientists, but this is gross oversimplification of what actually happened and is frankly insulting too.

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359033)

Different AC. Obviously there are many who contribute to a space program.
I do take exception to your apparent diminishing the contribution of the "Germans". All indications are they were a large portion of the "American" space program through at least the Apollo era.
Given that Qian_Xuesen [wikipedia.org] was an "American" handler of vBraun and Co. after the war, the "American" space program was ironically partly "Chinese".
Armchair quarterbacks like yourself might do well steering a neutral course, lest you come across as a incestuous loser.

Re:In Space... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359847)

Heck yah!

Don't forget the Canadians that got laid off from the Avro Arrow project and went on to work for NASA and build the Lunar Landing Module.

 

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359779)

y'all been trolled...

Re:In Space... (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357789)

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology

Yes, China borrowed from the US space program, which borrowed from the German V2 program, which borrowed from fireworks, which were invented by guess who? That's how civilizations progress, a failure to comprehend that basic fact of life is a failure to comprehend all of human history.

[I'm] not very inclined to credit them for it

That's just sour grapes.

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358141)

The Germans borrowed from Robert Goddard who invented liquid fueled rockets

we need to get Congress out the loop (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360037)

So we're arbitrarily drawing the line at liquid rockets?!
I presume the STS only partially existed in your universe?

Re:In Space... (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358473)

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology

Yes, China borrowed from the US space program,

Do you really think so?

The Chinese stuff looks much more like a copy of the Soviet/Russian stuff to me.

After all, why copy something that you know didn't work?

Re:In Space... (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357817)

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology -- not to mention the outright theft of some of it -- is hardly equivalent to doing this stuff on your own.

How dare you criticize the US Space Program like this. Admittedly the spoils of war go to the victor and the Nazi Germans can't really complain now about the "theft" of their technology by Americans and Russians now since they were overthrown, but still this is hardly the equivalent of doing stuff on your own. Oh wait - what?

On a more serious note - most progress is nothing but a series of incremental improvements on existing technology. Unless you happen to be an expert on both the US and Chinese space programs and can show me exactly where China copied the US verbatim, the point you are trying to make is completely irrelevant. I'm sure the Chinese rockets are built the Chinese way - with engineering short cuts and differences that make them entirely different and worthy of credit.

Re:In Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357835)

Look... I apologize already for the insult, okay? But it isn't entirely undeserved.

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology -- not to mention the outright theft of some of it -- is hardly equivalent to doing this stuff on your own.

If it's a success, I will be somewhat surprised, and not very inclined to credit them for it.

So I guess the credit for the the successful american space program in the 60's goes to the germans. ;).

Re:In Space... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357903)

Look... I apologize already for the insult, okay? But it isn't entirely undeserved.

Making extensive use of, well, let's say "borrowed" technology -- not to mention the outright theft of some of it -- is hardly equivalent to doing this stuff on your own.

If it's a success, I will be somewhat surprised, and not very inclined to credit them for it.

So I guess the credit for the the successful american space program in the 60's goes to the germans. ;).

Especially given that the man instrumental in the US space program back then was actually a german the US recruited at the end of the war.

Parking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357591)

"[...] the country's first female astronaut) has successfully docked [...]"

Sorry in advance... (5, Funny)

yotto (590067) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357665)

...carrying a crew that includes the country's first female astronaut... A manual docking, to carried out by one of the crew members, is scheduled... Two crew members plan to conduct medical tests and experiments...

...giggity.

Re:Sorry in advance... (3, Funny)

ongelovigehond (2522526) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357759)

Shouldn't the "docking procedure" be done by two crew members ?

Re:Sorry in advance... (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357785)

There's the "Han Solo" method. Just a question of who shoots first.

Face (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357673)

Automatic orbital rendezvous and docking is no mean feat. Respect to the engineers involved.

What cracks me up, is how silly and inmature the mainland Chinese are as a nation though. They are so insecure, that they have to send the hottest female fighter pilot they could find into space, and then Photoshopped all the pictures. There's obviously no word for "tokenism" in the Chinese language.

The Chinese Communist Party is sooooo insecure. Everything they do is about making or preserving face, rather than merely trying to generally do the right thing, as in the West. It's hilarious, sad and piss weak.

Re:Face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357713)

Gossip much Mr. secure?

Re:Face (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359463)

Why hello, CCP shill 50-center.

Re:Face (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357753)

She isn't hot by any standard of the word. Well, at least by classical Chinese measures of beauty she's quite ugly. And if the pictures are photoshopped, whoever did it should be sacked. I think it's you who's insecure, and you seem to have a bit of a case of yellow fever, too if you think she's hot.

Re:Face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357847)

not being chinese I probably have no idea what is considered attractive in china,
on the other hand most of the chinese women on this site would probably rate as more attractive

http://www.chinahush.com/2009/08/31/top-ten-cities-in-china-with-the-most-beautiful-women/ [chinahush.com]

However as a pilot she has some class probably chosen for her skill and not for her looks.

Re:Face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357867)

As I am not benjfowler I can't know for sure what he meant - but maybe "hottest female fighter pilot" can be read as "best ... pilot"? Just a thought. We don't all judge proficiency by how someone looks.

Re:Face (2)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357907)

Well if he meant "hottest" as in most competent, then what did photoshopping have to do with it, and how is it any different from what the US did with Sally Ride? I fail to see how what China is doing is any more of a dickwaving exercise than the US/Soviet space race. In fact, it's probably less of a dickwaving exercise since no matter how fast or slow they go, they aren't aiming for any firsts anyway.

Re:Face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358295)

She isn't hot by any standard of the word.

Well, watch your tongue, because she will soon become the hottest woman in outer space!

Re:Face (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359439)

She isn't hot by any standard of the word.

Well, watch your tongue, because she will soon become the hottest woman in outer space!

And simultaneously the ugliest woman in outer space! Whoa, that's deep, I think I need to get my bong...

I guess if chicks in diapers is your thang... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360149)

Well, she's no Lisa Nowak...

Re:Face (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357975)

Wow you really called China out, and right on the public internets! I bet they will now have a moment to reflect on their actions and then will change to become the "Ms. Congeniality" of the world as a result of your insightful comment!

impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357813)

us europeans are impressed by how effective the chinese have become. very unlike the US&A and their most recent mishap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7jENWKgMPY

Re:impressive (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357839)

And that (accident, 1986) is related to space flight how...?

The more the merrier? or engineering vs. science? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#40357837)

The more people working on manned space flight, the more likely we'll solve the problems and make interplanetary and even interstellar travel a realistic possibility. I'm all for this. Having more groups with space capacity also means more chances of helping each other in case of emergencies. Plus to be selfish it's more likely I might get to have a go sometime in the next few decades :-)

Perhaps there's a split between engineering fields and pure science fields? In pure science, everybody seems really happy when international collaborations happen and results are shared, and junior scientists are supported by more senior ones from other places. But with (space) engineering, there seems to be more of a nationalist / us vs. them attitude? Any thoughts on why? Perhaps it is more to do with applied vs. theoretic progress in a field? nobody wants the other guys to make money/ get military advantage?

Re:The more the merrier? or engineering vs. scienc (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40357981)

Because science is often done and shared among scientists, often relatively small scale, often inconsequential to international power hierarchies.

Space is nationalist because of the status implied, the technology implied which has direct military corollaries and extensions. People doing materials research for anti-radar and other stealth technologies don't tell the world either, are you as surprised by that?

Well, congratulations (2)

Guillaume le Btard (1773300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40358003)

It is interesting the Chinese have managed this, though I am not sure how useful this will be. It might have been better to work together with the other parties on the international space station. I was actually suprised that it has taken so long to get the first female into space as China has a rather 50/50 division of the sexes in the engineering field. As a matter of fact, I work in a institute that is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and I think that in my office there are more women than men as far as engineers are concerned.

Re:Well, congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358807)

It is interesting the Chinese have managed this, though I am not sure how useful this will be. It might have been better to work together with the other parties on the international space station.

China would have liked to be part of the International Space Station, but USA was and still is against it. And being the 800 pound gorilla in the world, what USA wants, USA gets.

Re:Well, congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358915)

It is interesting the Chinese have managed this, though I am not sure how useful this will be. It might have been better to work together with the other parties on the international space station.

The Chinese wanted to co-operate on ISS, but they were barred by the Americans.

NASA Infested With Crickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358095)

This just in: It would appear that NASA has been infested with crickets. When reporters called the NASA switchboard seeking comment on China's latest achievement, this is all that could be heard [myinstants.com] .

The Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358123)

Actually with all the science, open and public information available, drawings of space vehicles and the the how to do's that are open to our allies, all they needed was the willful cooperation of one of our companies, to put a man in space. To create the next space race, to militarize space. You know the old saw about being at the top of the hill. Easier to shoot down.But still have not seen anything on the midwestern news about their joy, or their accomplishments.

You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358299)

China Completes Its First woManned Space Docking

Link to article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358713)

Here's a link to a news article showing them three waving from the Tiangong-1 spacelab:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/shenzhou9/index.htm [xinhuanet.com]

(a bit surprised the Slashdot article was refering to a Houston newspaper not Xinhua net).

Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40358787)

I always though Space Docking involved a man and a woman.

Appropriate response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359111)

We should compliment them and applaud their achievement, I'm guessing...the blurb is light on factual details. Look, we're all nation states now, but it's likely your antecedents and theirs will intermingle at some point (if it hasn't happened already.)
  Mandarin is a fine ad hoc, potentially de facto language.

So either we'll look back on this as an achievement of humanity, or possibly look back on it as a bag of soylent green.

Do corporations really merit personhood? I mean, most of our robots are way closer.

Bender, for instance.

Appropriate Response (1)

neurosine (549673) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359161)

We should compliment them and applaud their achievement, I'm guessing...the blurb is light on factual details. Look, we're all nation states now, but it's likely your antecedents and theirs will intermingle at some point (if it hasn't happened already.) Mandarin is a fine ad hoc, potentially de facto language. So either we'll look back on this as an achievement of humanity, or possibly look back on it as a bag of soylent green. Do corporations really merit person-hood? I mean, most of our robots are way closer. Bender, for instance. *sorry for re post...I just like to keep track of my own opinions for when I choose to question them...and I am not an anonymous coward 40-60% of the time.

controlled from ground (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359389)

American astronauts wouldn't put up with being spam in a can [wikipedia.org] while everything was controlled from the ground.

eeew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359435)

Was it man-on-man docking, or something more in line with our interests?
Or was it symmetrical docking? I'd skip the manned docking, but symmetrical docking with nice breasts is something I'd stick around for.

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