View Full Version : Discussion: 100 Days Until Chinese Space Launch?

2003-Jul-24, 03:45 AM
SUMMARY: The Chinese attempt to launch humans into space might only be 100 days away according to industry insiders. Rumors say that space officials have chosen which astronaut will pilot the mission, Shenzhou-5, but his identity hasn't been revealed to the public yet. Fourteen astronauts have been in training at the Beijing Aerospace city for many months, but so far all of their identities have been kept secret. The Chinese Space Agency is notorious for secrecy, waiting until after spacecraft have launched before revealing details to the public.

Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

2003-Jul-24, 08:41 AM
We finally get to see some fresh faces in space...
But I dun think this is gonna do much to wake up NASA. We need to see the Chinese start going places. I'd love to see the expression on the faces of Washington politicians and NASA officials, should one day the Chinese annouce that they've secretly built a colony on Mars! That'll really make them push the panic button, haha!
Nothing like a little competition to get things moving... =)

2003-Jul-24, 03:02 PM
I totally agree. It would be very funny :lol: to see their faces. On a more somber note :unsure: Let's all hope that the Chinese astronaut gets back safely! Good luck to you all!!

2003-Jul-24, 04:10 PM
There's something we can all agree on - their safe return.

2003-Jul-24, 08:09 PM
Is there a reason for their extreme secrecy? Why not let the nation know who is involved in their space program. Even in communist Russia they weren't this secretive.

Safe journey to the unknown Chinese astronaut! May this bring us all closer to glogal space exploration.

2003-Jul-25, 04:26 AM
Well the Russians didn't annouce Sputnik until it was in orbit and - likewise - I don't think they announced Gagarin's flight until he was safely back on Earth.

Interestingly, back in the late 50's there was a rumour within the british intelligence community that the Russians had sent a man (possibly two) into space before Gagarin with the cosmonaut concerned knowing it would be a one-way trip. This story lasted until the mid 90's when I heard it.

And then I read a biography of Gagarin and I think the truth became known... the Russians had secretly launched a Vostok capsule into space with a lifesize dummy of a human on board. It landed way off course - as locals watched from a distance, they saw officials pulling out (what looked to be) a body from the capsule.

Sorry to be a little off topic... but in a sense I'm getting a kick out of the secrecy. I'm very interested in hearing what rumours and stories emerge about the Chinese efforts over the next few months...


2003-Jul-25, 05:16 AM
It seems like the way it happens in Chinese government. Think of the SARS scandal; secrecy thinking. It's probably a wise idea when you're planning a rocket launch and you don't want to get people's hopes up. It's a bad thing when you're fighting a disease outbreak.

We had a policy at the software company I used to work at of never discussing launch dates. We'd announce the software only after it was already out. It drove our customers crazy. They wanted any kind of date though could get from us, but predicting when such a difficult thing as software would be ready is really difficult. Announcing release dates always came back to haunt us, until we finally learned our lesson. I suspect building a human launch program is just like that... only more so.