September 29th, 2011
I hear that the Chinese have launched their very own space station; none of this international nonsense. They'll be able to do whatever they like up there. It won't be long until it's manned. No matter that at its largest, it'll be less than a sixth the size of ISS.
It seems to me that the Chinese are following pretty close to Werner von Braun's playbook; get into space, build orbital infrastructure, and use that to expand into the Solar System. Too bad that the US forgot all that...
Current Mood: grumpy
|Date:||September 29th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)|| |
Agreed. When I was a child, my dad was very much involved in the space program, and I've continued to be interested in it, such as it has become/dwindled in the past years/decades.
What ELSE will it take for us, I wonder, to confront the competition in space and all things STEM-related?
I fear that we've missed the window, and will take a backseat henceforth...
I was depressed for the entire day that the last space shuttle launched. We need to get things back on track.
I've been reminded, elsewhere in this discussion, that companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are forging ahead; there's talk that the former may launch a test flight to the ISS as early as November, while the latter has opened their factory to build space planes in (IIRC) New Mexico.
Yeah, if we're going to open things up to the private sector, we could find ourselves in a massive lead. Just not "as a government" but as an enabler. Hudson Bay Company as one wag (wink) said. There really is something to that notion.
We'll just have to see how things fare in the next decade...
|Date:||September 29th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)|| |
It's just a remote docking module. They'll send up a second module later in the year and just practice linking up via remotes. Their space station is still years away.
As to why not join the ISS? Politics aside all of their tech has been self_developed from the original Russian, compatibility and interoperability would be an issue.
This is more a "figuring out our doctrine" mission than the beginnings of station construction.
Not according to the press releases. Nonetheless, they are still forging ahead while we let our program deteriorate. I wait with bated breath for the private sector space planes.
So very reassuring to hear that.
Isn't just warm and fuzzy feeling?
|Date:||September 30th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)|| |
Perfect icon for this :-/
Honestly, I can't wait until our government is entirely out of the business, and so the private sector takes over. The difference between Columbus and the Hudson Bay Company, I suppose.
What waiwode said - they are years off - it'll take them as long to field a station as it will for us to replace the shuttles and Saturn 5 program.
Assuming that Congress doesn't fuck it up some more.
You know that Skylab fell out of the sky because Congress defunded the Shuttle program, slowing it to the point that it couldn't be launched in time to refuel the station, and so bits of it fell over Australia. Odd that there was never an investigation instigated by Congress, since they knew that it fell out of the sky because the planned Shuttle resupply missions were still years away.
"Heavenly Palace1" [I love the name!] is a prototype, more a proof of concept. However, they have a design for a Celestial Palace, which is meant to a true orbital facility, and it's about twice the size of the ISS [same number of crew though...their tech is bulkier].
Interestingly, it's been suggested that one configuration of the design includes an "orbital construction area".. i.e a space dock...presumably for building orbit-to-orbit or pure space vessels.
Way I figure it, America will get serious about space again, when China launches it's manned lunar mission.
Edited at 2011-09-30 11:54 am (UTC)
Maybe. Or maybe the Chinese will skip the Moon (it's so 1960s!), and go to Mars, leaving us all in the dust.
It's also the British Rocket Group playbook, but sadly Bernard Quatermass never really existed....