Shenzhou 5 to launch October 15.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, I had some news to cheer me up this morning. China appears to be working toward an October 15 launch date for its first-ever manned space mission, Shenzhou 5. It also looks as if this first test flight will last just one orbit (90 minutes) and have only a one-man crew (the astronaut's name has not been released to the media, however). State television in China will broadcast the historic launch live, according to officials.

    Welcome to the exclusive club, China:

    Shenzhou 5
     
  2. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    Finally. It's about time the space program got a swift kick in the pants.
     
  3. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    Does this mean the US will be hitching rides up with the Russians AND the Chinese?!?

    If the Chinese actually have a goal of putting a long term research station or Colony on the moon, I say go for it!

    Construction on the moon would solve a number of problems when it comes to getting probes out. The gravity is there, which allows us to take advantage of its benefits (no bone density loss, no need for expensive assembly tools, etc.) but the escape velocity is minimal compared to Earth, thanks to minimal atmospheric resistance, and small gravity well.

    In the mean time I wish them luck with the up coming launch!
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The Chinese have stated repeatedly that the country's goals include the construction of a manned orbiting space station and manned flights to the Moon before 2020. Mars, they have hinted, is in the pipeline too.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm very excited about this. china has finally come full-circle and embraced technology. i can't wait to see what they do next.

    of course, part of me wants to make some crack about asians driving in space... [​IMG]
     
  6. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    There seems to be some confusion even within the Chinese media about the specifics of the first flight. Some report one orbit, others report 14 orbits. The only thing that seems to be set is the launch date of the 15th.

    While this is an exciting development in space exploration, it's easy to read far too much into it. The Chinese already have a lot of internal political resistance even to the orbital flights. I don't believe there will be any serious attempt for a manned moon landing let alone a manned base. A Salyut or MIR-like station is a possibility. The main problem is that although China is a huge country, it's not very well industrialized. The majority of the economy is still rural agriculture, and they are currently spending much larger amounts of money to modernize the army. They really don't have the industrial base to support the infrastructure for a moon base. It would be cool if it happened, but I see less chance of the Chinese manning a moon base than the US.

    Also, Don't expect to see any cooperation between NASA and the Chinese: there won't be any astronauts riding the Shenzhou and definitely no docking with ISS. Although this is a big internal technology and patriotism achievement for the Chinese, this won't have any effect on the US space program. The Chinese aren't going anywhere the US and Russia haven't been many times before.

    Andy "wet blanket" Testa
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Actually, Andrew, I agree with you. Long, long ago I was posting the same thing about earlier Chinese claims about aiming for the Moon and Mars. The Chinese economy would be hard pressed to support it, even though it is state-controlled.

    Shenzhou 5 may, in terms of what it accomplishes, be a de facto repeat of the April 12, 1961, flight of Vostok 1.

    If Shenzhou galvanizes the Chinese to push onward and upward, well, we can all hope!
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i pretty much agree with andrew's statements. as excited as i am for the country, i just don't see this as a "practical" progression for the country.

    i can't help but think this is partly an "ego-trip".

    i feel china could (and probably should) be spending it's money in other areas that need more immediate attention. gotta learn to walk before you can run.

    i didn't realize china had no part of the iss? i thought they had a small module somewhere? or am i thinking of japan?
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Japan.

    China is not involved in the ISS.
     
  10. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    Is there any projected plans for a US or a Joint space station on the moon? That seems like the logical next step?
     
  11. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Nasa has been exploring the details of moon bases for decades. Many of the details are already designed, and a lot of options are available depending on what becomes available in terms of launch and transfer vehicles. All we need is someone to fork over the cash and say "go".

    But there are no current plans to go beyond the design exploration stage, since we have no long term space policy.

    Andy
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    ...and aren't likely to get one, given the current climate on the Hill.
     
  13. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    For those who would like to see some of what NASA engineers (not managers) believe is possible, visit this NON-NASA site, The Mars Institute, and in particular the Romance to Reality section that summarizes various plans and studies, some by NASA, for lunar return, bases, and other advanced exploration.

    The knowledge, will, and desire is there, just not the political and financial backing.

    Andy
     
  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Ted posted

     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    While this is exciting news, I have serious doubts like Andrew.

    There is no way the US and China will cooperate on any mission unless China agrees to allow NASA engineers and technicians to inspect the vehicles and equipment. Well, that's what I would insist on doing if it was MY mission. [​IMG]
     
  16. David Baranyi

    David Baranyi Stunt Coordinator

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    It is nice to see China enter the Space Age, but what about the other advanced countries? What about Third World countries entering the Space Age other than one African country that send a satellite into space?
     
  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  18. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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  19. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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  20. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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