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Thread: Another space race?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Here is a recent audio discussion over in the States on space where the presenter ( about 15 an a half minutes into the discussion) mentions China being 50 years behind in manned space flight.
    But the curve of accomplishments is not the same, nor is the incentive.

    While China's manned program took a long time to go to a certain point, the trend is to keep going. NASA had quite a lull after Skylab before embarking on a multi-module space station. From the point of man in orbit, the programs also took different routes (moon vs space station).

    So with the different goals from Gemini on, along with the change in technology since the early NASA programs, I find it hard to say anything about "behind" or even make any kind of progression comparison.

    Out of curiosity, I tried to find some accomplishment milestone timelines for comparison. From this, you can see how different the advancement curves are.

    NASA China
    1954 1967 Manned space inception (x15, project 714)
    1959 1986 Manned rocket program (Mercury, Project 863/921)
    1961 2001 Animal test (MR2, Shenzhou 1)
    1962 2003 Man in orbit (MA6, Shenzhou 5)
    1965 2008 First EVA (Gem 4, Shenzhou 7)
    1965 2012 First manned docking (Gem 8, Shenzhou 9)
    1969 2025+ Man on the moon (A11, unknown)
    1973 2016 Manned space station (Skylab, T2)(1)
    1982 2011 Manned orbital research (STS, T1)(2)
    2000 2020+ Multi-module space station habitation (ISS, T3)


    (1) I used T2 because it's more on par with Skylab than T1. T1 is more on par (by size/capabilities) with MOL (without docking and never happened)
    (2) This is where things get difficult because things diverge quite a bit here. But this entry is just to throw in some kind of orbital research capabilities.

    It would probably be easier to compare China to Russia.
    Last edited by NEOWatcher; 2015-Jul-16 at 03:19 PM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Here is a recent audio discussion over in the States on space where the presenter ( about 15 an a half minutes into the discussion) mentions China being 50 years behind in manned space flight. It has also come up in some of the discussions in this forum.

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/06/30/g...nasa-moon-mars
    I was not gonna bother listening to the audio. Who cares about the opinion claiming China is 50 years behind? I changed my mind and clicked. Wow, a 4-person panel of credible pros. So I listened. And at about 15 minutes or so, the moderator said something to the effect of: "I am reading how China is 50 years behind." Nobody bothered addressing that "statement". Of course, throughout the show the comments, from the panel, belie this and your very point.

    If you believe China will soon be on a par or better than NASA, say it and I will disagree and tell you why. I will not burden you or myself with finding statements claiming China is ahead. It would add zero to this discussion. If somehow you believe you are righteously defending China vs an absurd popular opinion (China 50 years behind) then I think you are woefully wrong.

    BTW, it was a good show.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    If you believe China will soon be on a par or better than NASA, say it and I will disagree and tell you why. I will not burden you or myself with finding statements claiming China is ahead. It would add zero to this discussion. If somehow you believe you are righteously defending China vs an absurd popular opinion (China 50 years behind) then I think you are woefully wrong.

    BTW, it was a good show.

    Cheers
    I never said China is ahead and in unmanned space exploration it will be a long time before they catch up on the outer planets. It is in manned exploration where China is making headway and I do not see them being 50 years behind but in the process of catching up very rapidly (my comments of China going through a 60s moment). It is 10 years from now where I see them having caught up but then NASA and China going separate ways. NASA to Mars and China to building a moon base.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I never said China is ahead and in unmanned space exploration it will be a long time before they catch up on the outer planets. It is in manned exploration where China is making headway and I do not see them being 50 years behind but in the process of catching up very rapidly (my comments of China going through a 60s moment). It is 10 years from now where I see them having caught up but then NASA and China going separate ways. NASA to Mars and China to building a moon base.
    Did I say you said China is ahead?
    Please stop saying they are not 50 years behind. Who are you arguing with? A moderator on a call-in show? Ask her where she got her information. I am disappointed you are not getting this.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I never said China is ahead and in unmanned space exploration...
    You did say that they will be ahead in 10 years.

    I think it will take longer than that. Even if the schedules work out, they will have just landed on the moon in 10 years. A base will take much longer, and the goals diverge at that point again. At one time NASA had moon base plans too.

    They may be ahead in moon and LEO while the US suffers from "been there, done that", the US will still be forging ahead for loftier goals that will take China a long time to work on those endeavors. It's hard to compare past accomplishments to a currently (or planned) infrastructure when we don't know how long before they decide "been there, done that".

    Who knows what the future is? NASA may still put the moon in their plans, they may drop Mars, or even further BEO. China may do the same with their moon ambitions in favor of other goals. Projections and speculations against past accomplishments are just too fickle for comparisons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    You did say that they will be ahead in 10 years.

    I think it will take longer than that. Even if the schedules work out, they will have just landed on the moon in 10 years. A base will take much longer, and the goals diverge at that point again. At one time NASA had moon base plans too.

    They may be ahead in moon and LEO while the US suffers from "been there, done that", the US will still be forging ahead for loftier goals that will take China a long time to work on those endeavors. It's hard to compare past accomplishments to a currently (or planned) infrastructure when we don't know how long before they decide "been there, done that".

    Who knows what the future is? NASA may still put the moon in their plans, they may drop Mars, or even further BEO. China may do the same with their moon ambitions in favor of other goals. Projections and speculations against past accomplishments are just too fickle for comparisons.
    I do not mind what they do as long as they progress manned exploration . In fact it will be good if China concentrates on the Moon and NASA on Mars as then I can have hopes of seeing mankind on the moon again and also on Mars in my lifetime.

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    The whole argument about being ahead or not is hard to understand. It depends so much on what you compare. If it's achievements, then the US is in the lead. But if you look at capability, 45 years ago the US had a capacity for manned flight and today it doesn't, so you could argue that the US is 50 years behind itself.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    But if you look at capability, 45 years ago the US had a capacity for manned flight and today it doesn't, so you could argue that the US is 50 years behind itself.
    Or 35 years ago when we still didn't have the capability while waiting for STS. (which goes to your point)

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    Apple, meet orange.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    The whole argument about being ahead or not is hard to understand. It depends so much on what you compare. If it's achievements, then the US is in the lead. But if you look at capability, 45 years ago the US had a capacity for manned flight and today it doesn't, so you could argue that the US is 50 years behind itself.
    I would be looking at manned space technology capability. Right now I would say the US is in the lead, followed by Russia and then only China. But China is fast closing the gap. We saw what they did. 1st an experimental space station, followed with docking and then space walks. They did not do all this on their own. I would the first to agree they stood on the shoulders of those that came before them to do what they are doing.

    In a lot of cases they are learning a lot from Russia and ESA. For example their astronauts have visited/trained using the facilities of ESA and Russia. They have picked up information that they need to provide exercise machines from work done on the ISS. These are being incorporated into their space station. Perhaps some one on this forum can compare the Chinese manned capsule with the other capsules being use (both past, present and future (Orion, SpaceX, and Boeing)). Are their capabilities about equivalent or is one more superior to the others?

    In the next 7 years they have firm plans to upgrade their technology in space ships and space station technology (including supporting infrastructure - space tugs, cargo ships etc). At the end of that they would have at least equivalent technology as the Russians, with the US still having an edge with manned BEO technology.

    It is when they start their manned moon landing phase that I see them challenging the US leadership in manned space exploration technology.

  11. #41
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    The core strength needed to compete over time in large projects of any kind is free cash flow. The old USSR went broke trying to keep up and had to fold. Not true of some of the current competition. Technological leap-frogging is also possible; of all developments the one I am concerned about is AMD its selling chip fabs to China. Process technology is as critical to new chips as is design. But the US does need to mind its cash flow, which has been negative since 1980, allowed by having the main trade currency, backed by a politically stable country.

    All that said, my view is that the US program has soberly moved beyond the newsworthy manned phase to concentrate on getting real research done at a far better cost. In my book, that is the way to go until such time manned missions add unique value, which for now is basically restricted to testing human endurance and long-term survival in Earth orbit. The high return from science-first missions is likely to outstrip the any foreseeable gains from the prestige missions preferred by emerging powers.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I would be looking at manned space technology capability.
    Only? Why?

    What about probes, landers and satellite technologies (as Hlafordlaes mentioned)?
    Even you hold space tugs, orbiters, landers and the such in high regard.

    Right now I would say the US is in the lead, followed by Russia and then only China. But China is fast closing the gap. We saw what they did. 1st an experimental space station, followed with docking and then space walks. They did not do all this on their own. I would the first to agree they stood on the shoulders of those that came before them to do what they are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    In a lot of cases they are learning a lot from Russia and ESA.
    And they have learned with the help of NASA.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It is when they start their manned moon landing phase that I see them challenging the US leadership in manned space exploration technology.
    Challenge from a PR point of view, yes. I'm sure China will land on the moon long before NASA lands on Mars. But; by that time NASA will have long duration BEO spaceflight in progress. With accomplishments with different goals, there's always going to be disagreement on who's leading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Only? Why?


    What about probes, landers and satellite technologies (as Hlafordlaes mentioned)?
    Even you hold space tugs, orbiters, landers and the such in high regard.
    In an earlier post, I had already stated that NASA is way ahead in the exploration of the regions beyond Mars. Do not hear of any other country other than ESA who have plans for this region. To me that makes NASA as uncontested leader of this region.

    It is only the region from Mars to the sun that there are plans from number of countries to send unmanned probes including landers to explore. It is here that NASA's lead which is considerable will be challenged by the old as well as the new entrants to space exploration.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Right now I would say the US is in the lead, followed by Russia and then only China. But China is fast closing the gap. We saw what they did. 1st an experimental space station, followed with docking and then space walks. They did not do all this on their own. I would the first to agree they stood on the shoulders of those that came before them to do what they are doing.


    And they have learned with the help of NASA.
    I did say " would the first to agree they stood on the shoulders of those that came before them to do what they are doing."


    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Challenge from a PR point of view, yes. I'm sure China will land on the moon long before NASA lands on Mars. But; by that time NASA will have long duration BEO spaceflight in progress. With accomplishments with different goals, there's always going to be disagreement on who's leading.
    This is one area that the public has for obvious reasons a interest in and as you say has a major impact on the PR view point. China wants to be seen as a leader in space and they will be putting their resources in that direction (manned space exploration). NASA has done it before so they will be trying to do one better, by building the 1st base there.

    I agree that the NASA will be doing other things in BEO and that can only be good for for overall human space exploration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    In an earlier post, I had already stated that NASA is way ahead in the exploration of the regions beyond Mars. Do not hear of any other country other than ESA who have plans for this region. To me that makes NASA as uncontested leader of this region.
    I still don't understand your response to Jens.
    You said you would be looking at manned capability. I don't know what you mean in the context of this thread. If other exploration matters than how does it fit in with your concept of space leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I did say " would the first to agree they stood on the shoulders of those that came before them to do what they are doing."
    Then why did you exclude NASA from that comment?

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    This is one area that the public has for obvious reasons a interest in and as you say has a major impact on the PR view point. China wants to be seen as a leader in space and they will be putting their resources in that direction (manned space exploration). NASA has done it before so they will be trying to do one better, by building the 1st base there.
    Again, you confuse me as what "leader in space" means as if manned space exploration is all that matters,

    I guess what I'm asking is what is your criteria on being a "leader in space"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I still don't understand your response to Jens.
    You said you would be looking at manned capability. I don't know what you mean in the context of this thread. If other exploration matters than how does it fit in with your concept of space leadership?
    Look at it form China's point of view. They want to be seen as a technology leader. One area they chosen is manned space flight.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Then why did you exclude NASA from that comment?
    ESA and Russia they have direct contact with them. They have certainly gained from NASA's experience but over the last few years by an indirect route.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Again, you confuse me as what "leader in space" means as if manned space exploration is all that matters,

    I guess what I'm asking is what is your criteria on being a "leader in space"?
    As I said, look at it from China's view. If they get to BEO and then land on the moon they would be seen as having equaled what the NASA has done. If they then go on and "lead" an international group to build the very first moon base that will raise their status in many eyes.

    Thinking through this answer, another thought has occurred to me. The US must not be complacent on how China is developing its space technology. Look at what we already know of China's plans -

    1) In the early 2020s they will be doing a sample return mission to Mars.

    2) In the late 2020s they will have the Long March 9 rocket ready.

    So in the early 3030s, they would have all the technology needed for a manned Mars mission. Do we see a race!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    As I said, look at it from China's view. If they get to BEO and then land on the moon they would be seen as having equaled what the NASA has done. If they then go on and "lead" an international group to build the very first moon base that will raise their status in many eyes.
    So; in your view, all that matters to be a lead in space is to have a lead in manned programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Thinking through this answer, another thought has occurred to me. The US must not be complacent on how China is developing its space technology. Look at what we already know of China's plans -
    That's all and good, but the US has no plans of stopping. And, your comments say "will". Yes, these are planned, but they haven't happened yet. The more appropriate word is "should" or "planned".

    Yes, NASA (actually, Congress) shouldn't be complacent but...
    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    1) In the early 2020s they will be doing a sample return mission to Mars.
    While NASA will be doing a manned sample return of an asteroid.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    2) In the late 2020s they will have the Long March 9 rocket ready.
    While SLS will have been flying for 10 years with the Block 2 having been flown for 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    So in the early 3030s, they would have all the technology needed for a manned Mars mission. Do we see a race!!!!
    Not "all". They still need to develop interplanetary habitation.
    They are aiming for 2040 to 2060 while the White House has set policy to aim for the 2030s with the moon as a test mission.

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    Actually, come to think of it, there are really three kinds of space program; public, military, and private. It is the interplay of all three that will determine the shape of upcoming competition.

    Since that can lead to possible polemics, an innocuous corollary would be to ask if there are treaties in place for territorial claims on the Moon, or any other resources? (I could wiki, but CQ is an nice lazy alternative that often works.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Since that can lead to possible polemics, an innocuous corollary would be to ask if there are treaties in place for territorial claims on the Moon, or any other resources? (I could wiki, but CQ is an nice lazy alternative that often works.)
    Yes. Yes, there are. (Lazy answer! )
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    So; in your view, all that matters to be a lead in space is to have a lead in manned programs.


    That's all and good, but the US has no plans of stopping. And, your comments say "will". Yes, these are planned, but they haven't happened yet. The more appropriate word is "should" or "planned".

    Yes, NASA (actually, Congress) shouldn't be complacent but...

    While NASA will be doing a manned sample return of an asteroid.


    While SLS will have been flying for 10 years with the Block 2 having been flown for 3.


    Not "all". They still need to develop interplanetary habitation.
    They are aiming for 2040 to 2060 while the White House has set policy to aim for the 2030s with the moon as a test mission.
    I did say from the Chinese view point. Look how India's image as a space faring nation jumped when they put MOM around Mars.

    Both NASA and Russia had a broad based space programme when the entered the space race in the 50s and 60s. China has been more focused with earth then the moon. Now we have Mars also in the picture. The idea being to exceed India's achievement by doing a Mars sample return (if successful, they will become the 1st nation to achieve that).

    I am only trying to point out, if China does the manned moon landings, sample return to Mars and build the LM 9, then they will have most of the building blocks for a manned Mars mission.

    I agree NASA is not standing still, but as mentioned, should not be complacent about the lead they have.

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    Because why? What of this " complacency " you speak so terrifyingly of ? As far as most people say..... "Let them knock themselves out trying."
    We need water storage, not rocks. Education, not dust and vacuum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    We need water storage, not rocks. Education, not dust and vacuum.
    And the reason we can only have one at a time is...?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Education, not dust and vacuum.
    My mother got quite cross with me when I said I wanted education, not to dust and vacuum!
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Because why? What of this " complacency " you speak so terrifyingly of ? As far as most people say..... "Let them knock themselves out trying."
    We need water storage, not rocks. Education, not dust and vacuum.
    When NASA landed on the moon, they won the space race. 20 years from now if China was to beat NASA to land on Mars, psychological they would seem to have taken the lead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    When NASA landed on the moon, they won the space race. 20 years from now if China was to beat NASA to land on Mars, psychological they would seem to have taken the lead.

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    That's due to the difference between the realities of scientific endeavor and public perception, rarely in synch. I think it is true that in the popular imagination, generally speaking, arriving at a sort of Star-Trek space faring stage is the primary goal, which makes manned missions sexy and inspiring. I certainly hope, however, that NASA et al keep up the focus on hard science and not fall sway to popular preference, as that research is what provides the real beef. Some concessions in order to garner public support for funding, however, might need to be made. Personally, I hope that private programs focused on space tourism and such will provide enough for the imagination in order for many to remain engaged. (Minor outreach efforts, such as those fun recordings of EM around planets turned into sound, also seem to be great for garnering enthusiasm for space.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    When NASA landed on the moon, they won the space race.
    And within a few short years, nobody really cared. A big part of the goal was to set space policy. That was accomplished. We don't have a red moon.
    NASA and USSR both went their own ways and concentrated on technology and science. Prestige and politics didn't matter much.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    20 years from now if China was to beat NASA to land on Mars, psychological they would seem to have taken the lead.
    That's true, but how long will that euphoria last?

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I did say from the Chinese view point. Look how India's image as a space faring nation jumped when they put MOM around Mars.
    What does that mean? That the Chinese view NASA as ending its programs? That would be complacent.

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    A look at major space achievements over the last 46 years. Majority from NASA with USSR contributing a few and one by ESA.

    http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/XOI...#nav=also_read

    Space exploration has come a long way since the moon landing in 1969, and with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner investing $100 million to search for intelligent extraterrestrials (ET), a project announced by physicist Stephen Hawking, there is clearly much to look forward to. A look at space exploration through decades since the moon landing in 1969:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Was the Intel Xeon Phi developed in China? Was their supercomputer built without Intel's input? I think you're getting into very murky and not terribly relevant territory when you're talking about building supercomputers vs. space technology. Building a supercomputer today is about how much you're willing to spend to put together widely available commercial hardware. With more hardware you can get higher scores. It's not about building a highly specialized or unique machine like the old days.
    The US will be spending the money to get the lead . They hope to have it operational by 2025 (Though the challenges that engineers face in building such a machine “are not trivial,” researchers told the BBC that they hope to meet the plan’s deadline and construct the exascale computer by 2025).

    http://www.popsci.com/obama-calls-us...-supercomputer

    Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order to establish the National Strategic Computing Initiative, intended to advance American research efforts that require high-capacity computing (HCC). The main thrust of the program, according to a blog post from the White House, would be to create the world’s fastest supercomputer, which would be 20 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-2. The machine would be called an exascale computer--capable of making a billion billion—or one exaflop—calculations per second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The US will be spending the money to get the lead .
    Meh. Bragging rights. More cores grouped together. The commercial market pushes the chip technology, and that's mostly about reducing energy demand and being able to put more cores on the same sized piece of silicon, and as a consequence, it also becomes more economical to build and run highly parallel machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Meh. Bragging rights. More cores grouped together. The commercial market pushes the chip technology, and that's mostly about reducing energy demand and being able to put more cores on the same sized piece of silicon, and as a consequence, it also becomes more economical to build and run highly parallel machines.
    The US is making China spend the money on R&D. They now banned the export of the chips to China. The US commercial chip companies are not happy as if China starts to produce equivalent chips, they not only loose the China market but China might then sell into their current markets.

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