Astronomy

Chinese Space Program



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According to CNN plans for laboratories in space has been announced by China. There are also plans to get moon samples and begin preparations for space stations to be built during the next five years. The country is aiming to put itself on the map globally when it comes to the exploration of space. 

A government white paper showed plans to launch manned freighters and vessels in the next fifty years. A manned lunar landing is the long term goal for China. Exploration and scientific development are needed in addition to the economic progress. The United States has started to scale back space exploration funding and ambitions as this announcement is being made by China. 

China made a number of breakthroughs since 2003 including becoming the third country to put humans in space and in 2008 it completed a spacewalk. The creation of a space laboratory was made possible by Shenzhou-8’s automated docking and return to earth in November of 2011. A month after the launching of Tiangong-1, the first module space laboratory, the spaceship was launched from northwest China’s Gobi Desert. 

The use of the Chinese space program that is run by its military is peaceful although there has been controversy over past activities. In 2007 it shot down a dead satellite of its own alarming some U.S. officials raising concerns over the space race’s militarization. Experts believe the lack of talks regarding space security between the U.S. and China is a critical gap. 

China is planning to two additional space docking missions in 2012, one of which is to be manned. There is still a long way to go when it comes to China’s development of space technology since they are attempting to catch up to countries that have had space programs since the 1960s. The United States has reduced the emphasis on spaceflights and now depends on Russia for getting astronauts on the International Space Station. 

There have been a number of satellite launchings that have failed for Russia. China’s current infrastructure is being expanded on to assist in building a pressurized module to house the astronauts. They will work and live in the module. There are also plans to use a fleet of vehicles that China builds to transport the astronauts between the ground base and space module. 

The goal is to have the space laboratory and station built by the end of the 2020’s in order to make progress in microgravity research.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://articles.cnn.com/2011-12-30/asia/world_asia_china-space-program_1_space-exploration-jiao-weixin-space-program?_s=PM:ASIA
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/world/asia/china-unveils-ambitious-plan-to-explore-space.html?pagewanted=all
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.digitaljournal.com/article/317136