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Fraser
2004-Nov-01, 06:24 PM
SUMMARY: China joined Russia and America in putting a human into space over a year ago, and they're getting ready to do it again. Officials from the China Aerospace Science and Technology (Cast) agency announced their upcoming plans to put more people into space next year. If all goes well, they'll launch two astronauts this time, and keep them in space for 5 days. Engineers are working to improve the Shenzhou spacecraft's performance, power generation, and environmental controls to support two astronauts. China is also planning on sending a robotic probe to orbit the Moon within 2 years, and another to land on it by 2010.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Guest
2004-Nov-01, 07:48 PM
If they're really gonna do some more manned flights, why not just send some guys over here or over to Russia to go up with one of us? It's much more efficient.

lfkjnter
2004-Nov-02, 12:12 AM
it's a big move. Chinese scientists have optimized the spacecraft's configuration to reduce its weight and improve the performance of onboard equipment, this was a smart move and the benefits should be very good for China. Will this spark another space race or will other countries realise the potential and work together ? The Chinese space plans are more free and open now compared to the old harsh Communist past, it recently brought in foreign journalists and provided a rare look into its top-secret launch center. However there are serious military and economic implications as other people said



There is military potential in space. Without sattelites, our bombs and planes wouldn't fly to where we want them, our communications would be back to the 1800's telegraph line type systems, we wouldn't have the advanced reconnaisance or surveillance capabilites that we have today, so we wouldn't have a good idea what to bomb in the first place. To be able to gain these systems for your own country, or blow up the enemies sattelites is a huge deal.
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There are some who are aware of the potential of the Chinese. Recently the Pentagon has released its yearly report to Congress on the current and future military strategy of the Peopleís Republic of China (PRC), including that nationís active use of space. There are some who desire to fight for a couple of barrels of oil in the middle East and it looks like China is going to stay clear from this fight. It has been written while others fight for the last drops of oil, China will be trying to increase its might and look to other sources of power. China wants to get up to speed while all the other countries aren' t developing their space programs any further and, once the pendulum of space technology development has gained some momentum, it is likely China' s rate of development by that point will have made significant progress. For space, the Washington report underscores Beijingís advancement of military space capabilities "across the board", including reconnaissance, navigation, communications, meteorology, small satellite technology, and human spaceflight in the future. There are other future plans too, like as part of on-going work in seek-and-hit space warfare -- termed "counterspace" in military parlance, China is expected to continue to enhance its satellite tracking and identification network is what has been written in the US .

There is also the fact that the global economy and other world affairs are starting to change. China had a wicked communist system, some terrible human rights abuses happened and the country was seen as a bad guy. However now in the last ten years China has changed hugely. To compare the system in China today to one 12 years ago , or to a time when China was ruled by the wicked Mao would be to almost compare Germany or Japan of the 40s to that of the system in the 60s. China is changing fast and it's economy is growing rapidly.

The global economy is facing big change and Bush isn't doing much with the American economy, all those jobs lost. The USA space program has also taken a hit since the unfortunate colombia incident, and the finance doesn't look so good however with some effort they should be able to reshape the program and get NASA back on the straight track. World economics have also become an important factor, China has looked to nations like Korea or Japan and seen the wealth these places can get by selling their designs and computer manufacturing abroad, it is very possible that China desires to have a more open and more powerful economy. Lately other nations in Asia have seen their economic problems increase, and Japan looks like it might back some huge cut backs on its space program and close of it's space plans. An unstaedy economy in Asia, or a dying pension system in Japan is what worries other countries, the Japanese look to stay out of the 10 year recession that dragged their economy down and it looks like space will no longer be an investment. China knows that it has the chance now to prove it could become the strongest and leading force in Asia for the next century.


Nations have also been realligned and we see the effects of a world market, the IMF and Globalisation. A key example of this type of idea of change could be the Euro and the EU, the EU is becoming like the US a formation of states bonded together under a common policy, a single set of rules and a currency. The European area has also begun to expand and has jumped from 15 nations up to 25, the euro has become a good strong alternative to the dollar while Europe still has many plans in aerospace designs, manufacturing and space goals with the ESA. The ESA is small now and has made mistakes but it also has made great projects and could also become much stronger in the future like NASA built itslef up, Europe has also created the idea of a European defence force a type of all area army much like NATO. Is this what the future could bring? A number of key superpowers having influence on the world, three different Superpowers like the EU, China, and the US. Is this what it means for China to be fast on track?

om@umr.edu
2004-Nov-02, 12:48 AM
Space exploration could benefit from healthy competition.

Let's hope it goes that way.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om