China: June 2013 Archives

John Kelly: In space, Chinese are still far behind, Florida Today

"But, don't let yourself get caught up in the idea that the Chinese are somehow gaining ground and soon to pass the United States, Russia or their partners in the International Space Station project. Also, don't get too concerned that the Chinese have their own system to launch an astronaut crew to space and the U.S. does not.

The Chinese achievements are interesting to watch, but they're decades behind veteran space-faring nations like the U.S. and Russia. Their flight is not to some sprawling orbiting laboratory like the ISS. Rather, they docked their 60s-era Shenzou spacecraft to a tiny, one-module space station that is a little over one-tenth of the size of the U.S. Skylab and Russian Salyut stations of decades past."

Mars'c note: The Chinese are definitely behind but those supposed "60's era Shenzhou" aren't using 60's era computers. I think Mr. Kelly went a little too far to make his point. One of those layered questions that still remains to be answered is, though some would argue that it has already been answered, will China be an international exploration partner for the moon and Mars going forward? Or go it alone?

Marc's update: Paul Spudis offers a counterpoint. While I don't agree with all of Paul's points he does offer some thoughts worth considering.

"It appears Kelly wants us to reach out and cooperate with the Chinese in space, even though they have not shown any particular desire for such a path. Kelly, the geopolitical sophisticate, seems to think that we should woo China with promises of space cooperation, like we won the hearts of the Russians. Yes, the Soviets were our one-time rivals, but I seem to recall that aside from one public relations "d├ętente" mission in the 1970s (Apollo-Soyuz), real cooperation with Russia in space began after the fall of communism there in the early 1990s."

Shenzhou-10 completes automated docking with space module, Xinhua

"China's Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft successfully completed an automated docking procedure with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at 1:18 p.m. Thursday, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

The docking procedure was the fifth to take place between Shenzhou-type spacecraft and the space module. Previous dockings include two automated operations by the unmanned Shenzhou-8 in 2011 and both an automated and manual docking by the manned Shenzhou-9 in 2012."

China's latest 'sacred' manned space mission blasts off, Reuters

"A Chinese manned spacecraft blasted off with three astronauts on board on Tuesday on a 15-day mission to an experimental space lab in the latest step towards the development of a space station.

The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft was launched from a remote site in the Gobi desert in China's far west at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT) under warm, clear blue skies, in images carried live on state television."

Watch the launch:

China Reveals First Space-Based Quantum Communications Experiment, MIT Technology Review

"Today, the Chinese claim another small victory in this quantum space race. Jian-Wei Pan at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai and a few pals say they've bounced single photons off an orbiting satellite and detected them back on Earth. That's significant because it simulates a satellite sending single photons from orbit to the Surface, crossing off another proof-of-principle milestone in their quantum checklist.

"... Why publish it now? The answer may be a small but significant detail revealed in the final paragraph of the paper. Here Jian-Wei and co announce that they plan to launch the first quantum science experiment into space. The spacecraft is called the Chinese Quantum Science Satellite and it is scheduled for launch in 2016."

China to launch Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft on June 11, Xinhua

"The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday, said China's manned space program spokeswoman on Monday."

"The spacecraft will take three astronauts, two male and one female, into the space, said Wu Ping, the program's spokeswoman, at a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

"The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time (0938 GMT - 5:38 a.m. ET) June 11"

Related: Images: China's Shenzhou-10 Poised For Launch Tuesday, SpaceRef

HASC Subcommittee Chairman Demands Answers on Alleged Chinese ASAT Test, Space Policy Online

"Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday demanding information on a Chinese rocket launch last month that some press reports alleged was a test of an antisatellite (ASAT) system."



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