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China Space

China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station (cnn.com) 20

Earlier today, China launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. Chinese state media Xinhua described the event as a "crucial step for China's plan to have an operational space station by 2020." From a report: The Tianzhou-1 took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China's southern Hainan province, on track to dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-2. The launch was the latest in a series of major announcements by the Chinese space program, which celebrated its longest-ever space mission in November.

China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    when the US used to do this kind of stuff

  • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Thursday April 20, 2017 @04:59PM (#54272443)

    I think it would be better for the US Space program to let the Chinese join the ISS as they have requested many times instead of forcing them to build everything independently. Once they have the infrastructure built out then they wont be interested in coming in to be a part of the ISS. Now that China is helping Trump on North Korea it may be time to stop freezing them out

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday April 20, 2017 @05:07PM (#54272491)

      If not, then in the future other countries might very well join the Chinese space station and China might ban the USA from joining.

    • At this point why would they want to? The US is only committed to funding ISS until 2024. There are no plans on the table to extend the project. If China has longer term ambitions in space, they're better off going it alone.
      • There's plenty of benefit for China -- not so much the ISS itself but what cooperation on it entails. It'd mean equal access to research, and the ability for their scientists to collaborate with American scientists, unlike the current situation where NASA employees are strictly forbidden from Chinese contacts. More importantly, it'd be a boon for Chinese industry -- currently any project involving NASA is strictly forbidden from working with any Chinese company, which is not good for the bottom line.

    • Given that the ISS program is nearing the end of its funding in 2020 and there is no money or particular interest in funding it to stay longer, there is little point to bring in China now. We're going to have a big problem just to stay beyond 2020 ourselves because the current administration has no interest in spending money on things like this and they have also tasked NASA with doing other very expensive things. So there is no money, although the ISS should last another 10 years if we did fund it.

      So, b

      • leap ahead

        Aaaahaha

        a stepladder to the stars

        AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaahahh. Aaahh. That's funny.

      • The last time China "leaped" forward over 30 million Chinese died from hunger and state sanctioned purges. It was Mao's way of getting rid of all the excess dead weight who did nothing but complain about his plans to turn China into a communist based utopian society. He was also able to jettison some more dead weight by sending a million bullet catching peasants into Korea to reverse UN territorial gains. While Mao's legacy has taken a hit because of China's conversion into a capitalist state at least he ca

      • ISS will not be abandoned. The russians plan to disconnect their part and use it as a base for their own space station.

  • How did they feed Tiangong-2 with supplies before this achievement?
    • How did they feed Tiangong-2 with supplies before this achievement?

      With the cargo capacity of their manned capsules. Docking was performed manually, by the taikonaut on the spot. Mir was resupplied the same way by Russians using Soyuz capsules, and Skylab was resupplied the same way by Americans using Gemini capsules.

      Speaking of Soyuz, the latest Soyuz docking with the ISS was yesterday, 2017-Apr-21, delivering one Russian, one American, and some supplies.

  • Due to alleged security concerns, all researchers from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are prohibited from working bilaterally with Chinese citizens affiliated with a Chinese state enterprise or entity.
      - Wikipedia: Chinese exclusion policy of NASA

    That's why they are rolling their own. The US Congress, in its painfully finite wisdom, locked them out of the ISS program among others.

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