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China Sends First Taikonaut To Space

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the gotta-check-out-the-great-wall-legend dept.

Space 915

tuxlove writes "Space.com reports that China has just successfully launched its first manned space mission. "Blasting off from a remote space base in the Gobi Desert atop a Long March 2F rocket, a single Chinese astronaut named Yang Liwei is on his way to circle the planet every 90 minutes aboard the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft. As a result, China has become only the third nation on Earth capable of independently launching its citizens into orbit. " Perhaps this will kick the US space program back into gear?" aerojad points to this Reuters report, about which he says "The article is short on details, aside from 'Xinhua said the craft carried astronaut Yang Liwei, 38. The launch on Wednesday, 42 years after the Soviet Union put the first man into space, marked a milestone for China's secretive space programme, which analysts say has its sights set on a manned mission to the moon.' The mission is due to end in 21 hours." zxm adds a link to China Daily's coverage, and puiwah to a story on MSNBC.

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I misread the headline as... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215665)

"China Sends First Takeout To Space"

Re:I misread the headline as... (2, Funny)

jobbleberry (608883) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215779)

> "China Sends First Takeout To Space" Well actually I think they already sent a Dog ... so that would be pretty close.

Re:I misread the headline as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215868)


That would be Korean, you insensitive clod

As if it matters either way... (1)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215867)

...I'm sort of depressed. It's 10:30 now and CNN still hasn't gotten its act together. Neither has NBC or Fox. I walked around the halls of my dorm and they were noticibly inactive. Everyone is watching the Cubs game.

FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215673)

Go Red China, Motherfuckers!

Congratulations! (2, Insightful)

panserg (555671) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215674)

It's good to see one more nation in the space. Go China!

Re:Congratulations! (2, Funny)

strateego (598207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215816)

Yeah, but real Congratulations are in order if their rockets, and command center software run linux.
[runs and ducks]

Welcome (1)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215680)

Welcome to the Space Race!

Re:Welcome (0)

chadm1967 (144897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215700)

Welcome to the space race? Uhhhhhh, that was about 40 years ago.

Re:Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215797)

What race? We NASA weren't in it.

Seriously, I left NASA when I realized it had accomplished very little last twenty years. And I could see why, while working there.

Well enough bitching. An important question now is this: where do we go from here?

-b

News Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215832)

The race was over in 1969.

The party is long over. China is arriving while everybody has left.

The tricky part (2, Interesting)

elliotj (519297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215684)

China has become only the third nation on Earth capable of independently launching its citizens into orbit.

That's nice and all, but isn't the tricky part bringing them back?

Let's see what happens in 21 hours.

Re:The tricky part (1)

Omerna (241397) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215757)

Not for China... they seem to have a relatively low regard for life (compared to the U.S. and other space-faring nations) so I'd bet getting them up is/was more important than getting them back.

Re:The tricky part (4, Informative)

Flamerule (467257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215799)

Not for China... they seem to have a relatively low regard for life (compared to the U.S. and other space-faring nations) [...]
Yeah.
so I'd bet getting them up is/was more important than getting them back.
Nope. For the Chinese, a large part of the value in this space launch is its propaganda value. In that light, having their first man in space die on his way back would be disastrous. It would make them look incompetent, compared to the USSR's and the US' first manned launches.

Both tricky... (2, Interesting)

Goonie (8651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215791)

They're both tricky. America's had accidents in both phases. In fact, the "staying alive whilst up there" part is pretty tough too - remember Apollo 13?

Re:Both tricky... (2, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215866)

Yeah, but Apollo 13 kind of shows how much easier it is to recover from accidents once in space. All three astronauts survived *that* mishap. I can't think of any equivelently serious malfunction while launching or landing that didn't kill the crew.

(Also, note how many probes have had glitches while cruising in space and recovered versus how many have recovered from take-off or landing mistakes.)

Re:The tricky part (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215826)

Eh, not entirely. Like with aircraft, the most dangerous bit tends to be launch and landing. (Note that of the three cases of fatalities, one was on the launch pad (for a test, but I'd say it still is indicative), one was just after launch, and the final was on landing.) Landing tends to be most coasting/parachuting, which is relatively easy to do right. In fact, you can make it very safe by clever design of the module. (I believe that the Mercury and Apollo capsules were actually designed to always tend to re-enter in the correct orientation.)

Launch is more dangerous in some ways if only because you've got X tons of very flammable (dare I say explosive?) materials under your butt. A slip-up there will tend to be much harder to fix or escape from.

Re:The tricky part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215853)

That's nice and all, but isn't the tricky part bringing them back?

Not really, if something goes wrong, there's probably one (in the immense Chinese population) that has the same name and same face as the taikonaut that went up there who'll face the media. A little switcheroo and nobody would notice.

Congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215686)

Congratulations!!

Congradulations!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215691)

Congradulations on a job well done !!

I saw a movie about this (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215692)

In the end a Patriot missile took out the Chinese ICBMs.

I think Morgan Freeman and Jack Palance were in it.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215693)

See, things made in China are built to last!

*Me prays that the rocket will hold together*

In the Words of Shaq... (0, Flamebait)

dupper (470576) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215699)

...I would like to offer the following congratulations: ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh

FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (-1, Troll)

RIAAwakka_nakka_bakk (704088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215701)

I submitted this story nearly an hour ago under my other user name and you fucking rejected it. What, you have to a have fucking pro-linux user name to be able to submit shit on here?

Re:FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (-1, Troll)

RIAAwakka_nakka_bakk (704088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215726)

AND fuck u TOO Troll mod

Re:FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215748)

Why does your lover's spat with Timothy always spill over onto Slashdot? Can't you homos find a way to avoid being so public?

Re:FUCK YOU FUCK TIMOTHY FUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215822)

YEAH FUCK MOD PARENT FUCK THE FUCK UP FUCK.

(here are some fucking useless lowercase fucking letters to get past the lame fuckass lameness cocksnot filter fuck shit bitch cunt)

I have just one thing to say. (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215705)

It's about damned time!

alt news source (2, Informative)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215708)

CCTV.com [cctv.com] can also provide you with chinese local news. I'm watching CCTV9 (english) on DirecTV currently. It's on their 110 satellite, so you need the "oval dish" and compatible receiver. Channel 455. Not surprising, Nasa TV has no coverage.

Hopefully this will cause NASA and the US gov't to focus more on the need for ongoing space exploration.

Re:alt news source (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215783)

Is it being broadcast live? From what I heard China stopped live coverage of their space program after a few unfortunate incidents involving ground casaulties [floridatoday.com] (though I don't think the linked article is the one which created the blockage of live reporting/broadasts).

Nice, but... (0, Troll)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215710)

this should have happened long ago. It's one thing to put a man into space when you're the first one to do it or when you are part of the initial space race. But 40+ years is long enough that all the information and resources are probably available to country that has enough money to throw at it.

Re:Nice Troll, but... (2, Insightful)

Narphorium (667794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215771)

So how do you propose that they sart their space program? Should they have just started with a manned mission to Mars?
I don't think its very practical to suggest that just because a couple of countries have already done it, that anyone who now wishes to start a space program of their own are obliged to break new ground on their very first manned mission.

Re:Nice Troll, but... (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215801)

Ok, I'm being serious (not a troll). I would have thought that other countries would have been sending manned missions to space back in the 80s or 90s at least. I guess other countries just aren't interested?

BRAZIL FAILED TWO MONTHS AGO... (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215798)

Brazil (having a better place to launch at), failed to even get a satalite into space a couple of months ago. China has been launchin satalites for decades. Furthermore, HAVE YOU ever launched a man into space?

the link is http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3175131.stm

why no broadcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215711)

A last minute decision to not broadcast the launch on live television prevented millions from seeing the 19-story-tall rocket climb toward space.

now why did they do that? were they afraid it might fail?

Re:why no broadcast? (2, Interesting)

andih8u (639841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215765)

actually, yes, I believe that was the reason given. They probably didn't want some challenger-esque footage following their future attempts.

Dispatch from Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215714)

"Yea, um, I'd like an order of chicken and broccoli, and some steamed dumplings....yea, and some of those crispy noodles w/the sweet sauce. How long? Twenty mintues? Sounds good...send it on out."

Re:Dispatch from Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215753)

You wan pok fied lice? Today no pok fied lice. Only cheeken. Cheeken wi bak bean sos? OK, sik dollah. We be der in thirty minus.

The guy at the shop seriously sounded like that. What's weird is that the rest of the staff didn't have any serious accent problems. Just that guy taking the orders.

Questions (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215715)

Has anyone gotten a chance to hear about the equipment they're using? It's mostly russian Soyez hardware isn't it? More information in this department would be interesting, I know NASA based rocket design off of ICBM's in the early program, did china go the same way?

Re:Questions (1)

allrong (445675) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215787)

From what I've read it is based somewhat on the Soyuz design, but a substantial portion is "homegrown" in China.

Re:Questions (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215820)

well as far as i know the missle is variant american of design.. assuming of course it was based on the military missle program which was started by an american scientist and the capsule is suposed to be an upgraded syouz.
I think that is besided the point though. This is a rather remarkable achievement. I hope it gives nasa a kick in the pants that i need to start bing innovative again

Re:Questions (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215796)

http://www.astronautix.com/articles/shefacts.htm

"The Shenzhou spacecraft appears similar to the Russian Soyuz, but is different in dimensions (slightly larger and heavier) and does not seem to use any detailed parts copied from the Soyuz or built under license. Therefore although it follows the classic layout of the Soyuz, adopts many of the same technical solutions, and the re-entry vehicle has the same shape, it cannot be considered strictly a 'copy'. And if one considers Shenzhou to be a copy of the Soyuz, then was the Soyuz design stolen - from the American General Electric Apollo spacecraft proposal?"

http://www.astronautix.com/articles/wastolen.htm

More linked stuff :)

"Whoever flies aboard Shenzhou-5, they will not be the first person born in China to fly in space. William Anders, born in Hong Kong, orbited the moon in December 1968. Shannon Lucid, born in Shanghai, holds the world record for a woman for time in space (over 223 days in space on 5 spaceflights). And physicist Taylor Wang, also born in Shanghai, spent seven days in space aboard shuttle mission STS-51-B in 1985."

http://www.astronautix.com/articles/couzhou5.htm

I'm all for the Chinese entering space, but like the Soviets before and after the Second World War and the reconstruction of Germany in the 30s these technological and engineering feats have been accomplished through social and political changes which lead to the deaths of millions and the destruction of cultural identities for millions more.

Good luck to the crew and the staff who accomplished this, and I hope that we will see less and less oppression in China of thier minorities.

Re:Questions (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215819)

No, they've made their own equipment, they had technical help from the Russians, and they've ended up with a vaguely similar design, but as far as I know it's purely Chinese manufactured.

Well Done (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215716)

I just want to say congratulations to the China space programme. As a mechanical engineering student, I can appreciate the work it takes to successfuly complete so complicated a feat. I hope this jump-starts not only the US space programme, but space programmes around the world.

And on the menu? (0, Troll)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215723)

21 hours worth of Tang, Ramen, and Frozen Dog

Re:And on the menu? (1)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215875)

Oh crap! With all the frozen dog jokes that are sure to show up, slashdot is certain to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. Good-bye slashdot, hello The People's China News.

Yeah, right. (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215725)

Does anyone know how to say, "Capricorn One", in Chinese?

Re:Yeah, right. (2, Funny)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215800)

According to BabelFish, the phrase would be "ZR--re". However, when I translate it back the phrase becomes "The goat sits one". Guess we know where the Chinese now stand.

Then again, translating the phrase "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" into Chinese and back yields, "One half step manner, one giant leap is the humanity." Just remember that.

Another Red Scare? (-1, Flamebait)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215727)

Between the Chinese sending a person into orbit and Linux, does anybody else smell another Cold War against the commies?

Who knows, it might just be a joke on my part.

And the liberal slashbots are ecstatic. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215728)

China is one step closer to unleashing nuclear holocaust on the United States. The entire purpose of this "space program" is to ensure China's capability of long-range weapons delivery.

"War with the United States is inevitable" -Chi Haotian, Defense Minister, People's Republic of China.

What do you mean, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215730)

"China has become only the third nation on Earth capable of independently launching its citizens into orbit. "

China has been launching it's citizens into orbit for ages :(

information blackout (1)

ee_moss (635165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215734)

It's interesting how China kept secret the time and day of the launch. Kind of sad how communism works like that. For such a mark in history, I'm sure the world would have liked to see the launch live on TV, and known about it in advance so they could plan their evenings accordingly.

As everyone else is saying, congrats to China. Too bad they have to be so undercover about it.

Re:information blackout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215776)

As everyone else is saying, congrats to China.

Yeah, I would love to hear you say this again after the Chinese detonate a nuclear warhead over your city.

There's good news and there's bad news. This story falls definitively into the latter category.

Re:information blackout (1)

ee_moss (635165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215876)

Yeah, I would love to hear you say this again after the Chinese detonate a nuclear warhead over your city.

haha.. you know? you're probably right.

I think making advancements in technology and exploring space in its purest form is a good thing, which is what I think this story is about. At least on the outside.

But communism is definately not such a good thing. As my old friend Ronald once said, "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." - Reagan.

It seems, though, that China is getting more of a capitalist exterior to integrate with other countries such as the U.S., making it a little more economically dependent on other countries (such as the US) to get things it needs. That (should) decrease our chances of getting nuked any time soon, but you can never tell with those commies.

Re:information blackout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215781)

They were probably afraid that it would explode or otherwise fail-- after all, they have to be perfect in the eyes of their people, don't they? It would be a terrible embarrassment if the rocket blew up on the launchpad in front of all of China.

Re:information blackout (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215789)

We can only hope that they filmed it, but didn't show it live in case something went wrong. Maybe it'll get released in a couple of days.

Re:information blackout (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215806)

For such a mark in history, I'm sure the world would have liked to see the launch live on TV, and known about it in advance so they could plan their evenings accordingly.

I read that the Chinese government used to broadcast satellite launches until a rocket exploded on the lauchpad, killing the ground crew.

The powers that be were probably worried about the potential for a similar accident. Keep in mind this is the same governmnet that denied the existence of SARS this year, and only last year acknowledged that some people in China had been diagnosed with HIV.

Re:information blackout (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215878)

im sorry, what else do you expect from a leftwing gov? compassion? understanding? equality? tell that to mao, he would have proabably told you about how he will bring all that into the world.
Dont be surprised. besides, most human rights organizations dont complain about it so it must not be true after all the real enemy is the US...

I want flyover info (2, Interesting)

dpille (547949) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215739)

and I'm sure everybody else wants it too. NORAD [norad.mil] has nothing, NASA [nasa.gov] has nothing, space.com [space.com] has nothing, and I can't read Chinese.

Like it needs to be said, but if anybody stumbles across that information, totally post it.

GO CHINA! (4, Insightful)

lommer (566164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215743)

Given the comments I've heard recently here on slashdot, I think I speak for many of us when I say GO CHINA!

Sincerest congratulations to the Chinese. I hope everyone here realizes what a momentous occaision in history has just occured - This may well be remembered as the beginning of the second space race.

Re:GO CHINA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215807)

Second space-race?

They already have first and second placers and the rest have yet to start. They're not racing against anybody.

Re:GO CHINA! (2, Insightful)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215838)

This may well be remembered as the beginning of the second space race.

If so, it will be interesting to see whether history judges it to have been worth it. I would think that there are immediate problems down here on earth that need to be solved and spending lots of money on a really interesting dream may not be the best way to allocate scarce resources...

On a separate note, I wonder if the people who argue that NASA faked the moon landings will question this as well?

Not Impressed (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215842)

They used a (modified) Russian vehicle, and the astronauts were trained by Russia. About the only thing the Chinese did was provide the launchpad.

Incredible (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215746)

How long does freeze dried cat last?

I hope this guy doesnt starve.

Maybe a little bit morbid, but... (1)

FireBird615 (524539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215747)

What happens if they burn up on re-entry?

*Sombre Offical Types*

"He was a hero of the (insert equivalent of Hero Of The Soviet Union here)"

Indian Artical Insults Chinese Space Plan (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215752)

If you read the Space.com aritle, it points to an indian article calling the chinese space mission "A Joke". It goes on to say that "the [chinese space program] should be refferd to as the great creep forward" (reffering to the great LEAP forward). You can taste the animosity from the great subcontinnet.
(I don't have the link, but you can google for it, or search the space.com article)

This is really big news for the fans of space exploration, but I am saddend to say that I don't think that this will ignite a huge space race in the near term future. The closest we can hope for is with Japan, but they can already to go space with the US and the Ruskies. Very exciting, but I hope it doesn't stop there.

Good luck to the Chinese.....lets see them put a base on the moon (or something pretty cool!).

QUOTE.... (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215773)

this is the quote from http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/shenzhou5_lau nch_031014.html

"Another view, expressed before the launch, comes from The Times of India, which in an editorial Monday called the Shenzhou 5 launch a "joke."

"It would be better to call it China's Late Creep Forward, given that Beijing is attempting to showcase a four-decade-old technology. If this is China's idea of arriving, then it's come at a time when the other two spacefaring nations have left it light years behind," the publication said.
"

Was there this kind of rhetroric when the USSR launched sputnik? It seems a bit childish.

Umm... (1)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215754)

Is anyone actually verifying this? Or are we just trusting the Chineese government that they have a man in space. I mean, is someone from a non-government controlled media outlet going to watch this guy land and climb out of the capsule?

Seriously, if you think the Apollo moon landing conspiracies are bad...

Congratulations china! (2, Funny)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215755)

this is great news. if nothing else than the fact that the inidans reacted like this:

Another view, expressed before the launch, comes from The Times of India, which in an editorial Monday called the Shenzhou 5 launch a "joke." "It would be better to call it China's Late Creep Forward, given that Beijing is attempting to showcase a four-decade-old technology. If this is China's idea of arriving, then it's come at a time when the other two spacefaring nations have left it light years behind," the publication said.

Can you say green :-p anything that pisses off the indians is good in my book!

Is it worth it? (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215759)

While this is no small achievement, does it *really* matter? The space race ended some time ago...

No doubt their are factions within the Chinese government who really want the propaganda coup, but is there any more to this than just some positive press?

Good for them and all, and I hope their astronaut gets back in one piece. Yet I have to wonder if it's all worth it. I suspect that there are more important things that their goverment could spend money on. Parts of China are quite backwards, and surely the money could be better spent on solving immediate social and ecological problems there.

In all fairness though, governments in many different nations have their spending priorities all messed up.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215862)

Enter the new space race.

Instead of wasting resources on social program moneysinks, China is opening the door to the next step in human space exploration.

NASA's Offical Reply (2, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215763)

NASA's offical response:

NASA Administrator Marks China's Space Milestone

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe about China's first successful human space flight.

"This launch is an important achievement in the history of human exploration. China, after Russia and the United States, is only the third nation to successfully launch humans into space.

"The Chinese people have a long and distinguished history of exploration. NASA wishes China a continued safe human space flight program.

What their real response (measure in actions, not press-relases) remains to be seen, of course.

First single flyer since 1960s. (5, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215766)

Of interest, I believe this is the first time since 1969 that a single person has traveled alone in space. Every US flight since Mercury has had at least 2 people, the last 1 person flight was when the Soyuz was being validated.

Sadly, Komarov (the pilot of Soyuz 1) died when his spacecraft impacted the ground. I hope this brave Chinese pilot will have better luck.

TAIKONAUTS GO!

Space Race (1)

Bud Higgins (599268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215768)

This is exactly the boost that NASA needs to get started again. Hopefully they will be able to shed all of their bureaucracy and do some real engineering. BTW I hope that that China's rocket doesn't fail because it is built with stolen US designs.

Congratulations, China (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215774)

Now to hope that they got everything right for a safe return. Not much chance of making repairs if they didn't.

Not "Taikonaut", the term is "Yuhangyuan" (5, Informative)

RocketJeff (46275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215775)

Taikonaut was the term coined by an American (IIRC) observer of the Chinese program. The Chinese use "Yuhangyuan" which is closer to a proper translation of astronaut.

Taikonaut was formed by taking the Chinese Chinese word for 'Space' and adding the '-onaut' ending.

Re:Not "Taikonaut", the term is "Yuhangyuan" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215805)

SO FUCKING WHAT?

Good Luck, Godspeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215780)


Let's hope the next several hours are uneventful.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone brave enough to attempt such a thing.

Congratulations (0, Redundant)

flikx (191915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215782)

Another superpower sends a man on a dangerous mission to circle the planet at a mere 60 kilometers altitude. All this while ignoring extreme oppression, famine, and poverty at home. Only this time, it was accomplished with 30+ year old technology. Way to go China. Let me know when we see actual space travel; not another sputnik.

Re:Congratulations (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215845)

Oh aren't we the ever positive one. Damn those Chinese for not leaping straight into warp travel. How dare they not land a man on mars and immediately start building massive colonies.

Sheesh, every journey begins with a single step, and this is it.

As for the oppression, famine and poverty, the money spent on a space programme is a fraction of that spent on military hardware. If you want to fund good works, sell a couple of b-2s.

ObKentBrockman (0)

eap (91469) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215784)

I for one welcome our Chinese overlords. Let's all hope they don't set us up the bomb while they're up there.

kick the US space program back into gear.... (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215792)

I don't get that....I mean, the US did what China is doing 40+ years ago....what, do we need to spend billions and billions more just for the sake of national pride, to show how far ahead of another country we are? Seems a bad reason to me.

(btw, congratulations China!)

A big congratulations to the Chinese Space Program (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215795)

If the announcement has been made, it has been successful. Time to pop the champaign and give a solid salute on a major accomplishment.

For those in the United States, ABC News [go.com] television program NightLine [go.com] is doing a special 1 hour program on the subject. There are web links to the story on that page as well. This should be an interesting program to watch, and seeing it on television does bring some reality to the whole thing rather than reading about it on Slashdot. It is also nice to see the mainstream press talk about this stuff as well.

The Hardware Design is Serious (3, Insightful)

Tewley (415350) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215802)

There's an article [msnbc.com] by James Oberg, space expert, on the spacecraft hardware design decisions the Chinese have made. To sum it up -- they are indeed very serious about being in this game for the long haul (or Long March, whatever).

They took their sweet time for a very good reason, and have every intention of leapfrogging past the mistakes of the US and Russians. Slow and steady wins the race.

Slashdot posters show true colors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215813)

I cannot believe how many blatantly offensive remarks are being posted here and being modded up. I am really offended and /. has really lost a lot of respect from me. You think it's funny but it shows the sort of mind set people asians have to constantly deal with. You may think coding and hacking makes you smart people, but you're really quite stupid in so many other respects.

No one throws these idiotic remarks around when a white nation does something of note. The Chinese have done something worthwhile and admirable, and yet you still can't offer anything but crap in response.

You must be so proud of yourselves for being smart enough to dig up offensive remarks like these.

Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215873)

Talk to me again when their people have a bit of freedom of speech, democracy, and aren't forced to kill babies. China shot a rocket into space carrying a human. I'm sure it was really difficult to copy the US and Russian programs from decades ago.

Translation (for Chinese people) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215818)

CAPE CANAVERAR, Fra. -- China leached a mirestone in human histoly today with the raunch of its filst piroted spacefright into Ealth olbit.

Brasting off flom a lemote space base in the Gobi Desert atop a rong Malch 2F locket, a singre Chinese astlonaut named Yang Riwei is on his way to circre the pranet every 90 minutes aboald the Shenzhou 5 spaceclaft.

As a lesurt, China has become onry the thild nation on Ealth capabre of independentry raunching its citizens into olbit. The folmer Soviet Union was filst in 1961, forrowed by the United States in 1962.

It is expected the thlee-palt capsure, whose mole modern design is ralgery based on the lussian Soyuz spaceclaft, wirr make 14 olbits and lemain in space fol about 21 houls befole executing le-ently and a palachute randing onto Chinese soir.

Riwei, 38, is an avid ice skater and swimmer, accolding to Chinese news media. He was laised in the noltheast plovince of riaoning and is the son of a teacher and an officiar at an aglicurtular film.

Whatever the outcome of the fright, Riwei arleady is a hero to the Chinese peopre.

Tremendous Waste of Resources (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215829)

When it becomes worthwhile to go into space, people and companies will do so. Be it the US, Russia, or China, government backed programs like this are done about as inefficiently as they can be. I recall a story on /. a while back where some college students assembled a satallite for a few grand when it would have cost the government millions. Anyone got that link?

And China doing it - this is just a poor starving commie dictatorship trying to make everyone forget it's nothing more than a poor, starving commie dictatorship. Sort of like the ghetto kids wearing $200 sneakers.

Re:Tremendous Waste of Resources (1)

RedFive (78003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215877)

I'm a bit annoyed that Australia send A$50m in foreign aid each year to a country with its own manned spaceflight program....

How will the world react in the long-term? (3, Insightful)

Dukeofshadows (607689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215835)

I congratulate the Chinese on their achievement, it is truly awesome for them to put a man in orbit. However I have to wonder about how the world, especially the US, will react in the long-term to an accelerating Chinese space program. Mayalsia has announced that it wants to send a cosmonaut up to the ISS, India has hinted that it wants a manned space program, Japan has a shuttle in the works, and the European Space Agency has yet to even plan for manned space travel after the Hermes shuttle failed to materialize.

Overall this may be the spark of a new space race. No one wants to see their neighbors achieve a presence in space that they cannot reach, thus we open the door for half-a-dozen groups to begin sending men into space for political and scientific purposes. China has already announced that they intend to build their own station in orbit to compete with the ISS, and old USSR/Russian technology/training is for sale to whoever can afford it (India, ESA, USA, etc.). If manned spacefaring technology is truly the passport to being a first-rate power of the 21st century, we will see almost every nation with ballistic missile technology attempting at least some sort of manned spaceflight capacity.

Thus a new space race may prove detrimental since most of the technology is dual-use. No doubt, it would be uber-cool to have observatories on the backside of the moon and a space station comparable to those seen only in sci-fi platforms thus far. Microwave solar power systems like those under development at the University of Kyoto could solve most of the world's power problems. Yet these also become quite potent orbital weapons capable of incinerating missile silos, labs, and cities is "accidentally misalinged". Space rockets were ballistic missiles, and the whole of composite materials, microcomputers, velcro, and hosts od other civilican and military discoveries trace their way back to the Space Race of the 1960s.

At worst we might be seeing the beginnings of a new arms race. Hopefully the initiative by China will evolve into an independent space station that goads India, Japan, the ESA, and USA to seriously pump funding back into their own programs and develop the spacefaring technology of 2001 by 2051. Maybe whoever said, "the 1960s were a decade transplanted from the 21st century because of the space race" will be proven right after all. If the US does not get off its duff soon, we may see a Chinese camera on the moon looking at two taikonauts wondering whether to take down the American flag still found at the Sea of Tranquility before we know it.

Anyone else have any thoughts/comments?

Re:How will the world react in the long-term? (1)

encebollado (472759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215874)

I would love a new space race. I just watched Apollo 13 again and I was wishing that I could have been alive that night when Armstrong stepped foot on another world. What drama and what achievement! I think the world, or at least the US, could use some grand and positive goal like the race to the moon was. The government should be inspiring dreamers instead of putting thousands of soldiers in harms way.

Only 42 years behind.... (1)

froggle2003 (662676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215839)

One wonders why it took them so long.

One wonders even more why Western European nations like Great Britain were beaten by the Chinese.

One wonders why the Russians even beat us to the punch in the first place, when we supposedly got the better German rocket-engineers from WWII.

///

Good Fig [goodfig.org] - News for Christians.

http://www.goodfig.org [goodfig.org]

Astronaut getting filtered content of world? (1)

encebollado (472759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215840)

I suppose the Chinese government installed filters on the windows of the spacecraft so that the astronaut (or whatever the Chinese translation) doesn't get a full view of the corrupt western world.

But where were the parts made? (1)

Gldm (600518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215847)

I mean if American parts and Russian parts are all made in Taiwan, where are Chinese parts made?

P.S. It's a movie reference for those of you who don't get it.

When?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215852)

When will they quit sending MONKIES into space?? When??

The title I want to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215855)

First Slashdotter in Space

Human spaceflight in the US (1)

apsmith (17989) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215859)

First, congratulations to China, and best wishes to Yang Liwei for a safe landing!

tuxlove writes:

Perhaps this will kick the US space program back into gear?

Maybe. While the shuttles are likely down for yet another year [yahoo.com] , coincidentally enough the House Science committee is meeting this Thursday to discuss The Future of Human Spaceflight [house.gov] . And, apparently at the request of the White House, the National Space Society [nss.org] has just realized a short position paper [nsschapters.org] on next steps for human space exploration. NSS recommends a general revitalization beyond NASA, a focus on lowering the cost to get into space, planning beyond the space station for a base on the moon, and funding "planetary defense" against asteroids and comets.

yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7215863)

This is great.

And considering the jingo nature of the shrub... it may give NASA a boost.

It's always a good thing when a human being hops on top of a giant tube of hydrazine and goes head to head with Mr. Newtons law!

Go China! (hope y'all can read this from Jiuquan)

This is such a waste of money (3, Funny)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7215869)

A rocket? Capsule? Training? What a waste of money.

Think about it. According to the CIA Factbook [cia.gov] China has about 1,286,975,468 people. Figure the average person is 5' tall and you've got 1,218,726 miles worth of people. The moon at apogee is about 251,655 miles away, so they've got enough people to build a ladder to the moon with a nice stable base, even figuring in the inevitable attrition. Hell, take a look at the prototype [spray.se] . Just start passing up building supplies and poof! Instant colony!
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