Chinese manned spaceshot set for 25 September
Third mission to include spacewalk
China's third manned spaceshot is slated to lift off at 13:10 GMT on 25 September, New Scientist reports. The three-man jaunt will blast off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province atop a Long-March II-F rocket, following a six-month delay to the planned launch.
Huang Chunping, rocket systems consultant for the Chinese Manned Space Programme, told the Oriental Morning Post: "We will check the weather conditions to decide whether to launch as planned."
Huang added that a spacewalk "will take place after the craft has made five orbits".
In 2003, the communist state put it frst man into space. Yang Liwei spent 21 hours in orbit, earning himself national hero status in the process. In 2005, China successfully dispatched former fighter pilots Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng aloft in a Shenzhou VI capsule.
China's ambitious space programme ultimately encompasses putting a comrade on the Moon, although the powers that be have declined to be drawn on reports that they are planning to set foot on the lunar surface by 2020.
Last year, the Chang'e 1 spacecraft successfully sent back images of the Moon's surface, an acheivement which prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to declare: "The Chinese people have the will, confidence, and ability to constantly compose fine new chapters as we scale the peaks of modern science and technology." ®
Yes indeed. They may be late to the party but they are there now and it should scare the bejeesus out of everyone.
The Chinese leadership want to dominate (yes, they are trying to be capitalists as well). Think back to their laser shot into space.
Now think about them having a space based laser shooting back down to earth.
Anyone laughing now....
This is no longer fun and games. Russia now has money again, and they are going to up the space ante.
At the pace China is going, they very well may have a moon base before we do.
If they really want to get noticed!
Let them link up with the ISS. THAT would be something! Then it would be truly international in scope. When they do a mission like Apollo 8 (to the moon and back!) they will have done something. Of course, you need BIG rockets for that. Saturn-5's are on display in Houston (maybe not after IKE) for copying purposes.
On only their third mission? That's a pretty impressive level of development. The Soviets only attempted it on their eighth manned mission, the US on their ninth. Even allowing for technology transfer from the Russians, it's clear that the Chinese are very confident about their hardware and their crews.