China launches spaceship with first female

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Mind Over Matter, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Mind Over Matter Registered Senior Member


    JIUQUAN - China launched Saturday Shenzhou IX spacecraft with the country's first female astronaut aboard.

    The Long March 2F rocket carrying the manned spacecraft Shenzhou IX blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China's Gansu Province on June 16, 2012.

    Shenzhou IX , atop an upgraded Long March 2F carrier rocket, blast off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China at 6:37 pm Saturday.

    A see-off ceremony was held at the center hours before the launch. Wu Bangguo, the country's top legislator, attended the ceremony and extended wishes to the three astronauts.

    "The country and the people are looking forward to your successful return," he said.

    The first Chinese woman in space Liu Yang, 33, is joined by commanding officer Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang, who has been selected as an astronaut trainee since January 1998.

    Main tasks of the Shenzhou IX mission include the manual docking procedure conducted between the Shenzhou IX and the orbiting space lab module Tiangong-1.

    China succeeded in the automated rendezvous and docking between unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 last year.

    A successful manual docking will demonstrate a grasp of essential space rendezvous and docking know-how, a big step in the country's manned space program to build a space station around 2020.

    Liu, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) major, was a PLA Air Force pilot with 1,680 hours of flying experience and deputy head of a military flight unit before being recruited as an astronaut candidate in May 2010.

    After two years of training, which shored up her astronautic skills and adaptability to space environment, Liu excelled in testing and was selected in March this year as a candidate for the Shenzhou IX manned space mission.

    "Female astronauts generally have better durability, psychological stability and ability to deal with loneliness," Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, said.

    More than 50 female astronauts from seven countries have gone into space to date. The longest space flight by female astronauts lasted 188 days.
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Good for China, although it's sad that the US is now years behind the Chinese in space capabilities...
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  5. towards Relax...head towards the light Registered Senior Member

    Um....No. Still decades behind. Name me one part of their technology that is more advanced than the U.S.......
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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    China has the capability to launch people into space, something that the US won't be able to do until the year 2017, when the Commercial Crew Program is scheduled to start sending people to the ISS.

    Yeah, the US *used* to be able to send people into space, but then we went backwards - so far backwards that we won't catch up to where China is now for at least five years...of course, who knows what the Chinese will be doing by then?
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    So what? Why does any country need to send people into space, other than for reasons of national prestige?

    That's a preposterous interpretation. For starters, you're ignoring the fact that China has yet to do anything that the USA didn't do decades earlier. You're also ignoring the rise of commercial, private space flight in the USA.

    The fact of the matter is that space systems take a long time to design and are very expensive. This implies that gaps in certain capabilities are going to exist from time to time, as older systems are retired and new ones brought on-line. The existence of one such gap is not a "move backwards" in overall space technology or capabilities - areas in which the USA continues to lead China in every sense.
  9. Gustav Banned Banned


  10. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    No, the preposterous interpretation is insisting that the US is still ahead in space capabilities based capabilities that they no longer have. That's like insisting that a nation is a great naval power because they used to have an impressive navy and have the technology to build impressive warships, despite the fact that they scrapped their navy and do not actually have any ships.
    No, the Commercial Crew Program that I mentioned being scheduled to start launching people in 2017 is the private space flight. If you know of any company that has plausibly claimed they can send people into orbit sooner than that, I would be interested to hear about it, but I don't think there are any. If you want to talk about NASA/government space programs, then NASA's Space Launch System isn't scheduled to launch any people until 2019.
    Except in the sense of actually being able to launch astronauts into space, which is an area where China is ahead of the US, and will probably continue to be ahead for at least 5+ years.
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    A temporary, planned gap in some capability is not the same as "no longer having" it.

    Except, in this case, the nation in question is busy building even better ships with the money they're saving, and has no pressing need for said ships in the few years until they are ready. Which is to say that your analogy is bad and misleading.

    And exactly how many years away are the first planned commercial spaceflight from China, our putative new Master of Space?

    What's that? They aren't even considering trying anything like that? And China has, in fact, only performed a handful of manned space flights, and so lacks the decades of experience and accomplishments of the US program?

    ... due to a planned, expected downtime of the US manned program. At the end of which time, the USA will again be the unequivocable leader in manned space flight, and these silly fantasies about Chinese supremacy will be forgotten.

    If China had actually succeeded in surpassing the USA at something the USA is currently trying to achieve it might be impressive. But the current situation is like an amateur track athlete running laps while the Olympic contenders are taking a break between events, and then claiming he's "beating" the Olympians who aren't even bothering to race him. Which is to say that it's really stupid, and that's why you don't see the Chinese going around trumpetting their "supremacy" in manned space flight. Only foolish "China watcher" types on the internet go in for such inanities.
  12. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    Not to mention the cutting edge science and logistics around all the successful US Mars (and other) probes & rovers over the last recent years - and also now as we look forward to the success of the Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity rover, due to land on Mars early next month.
  13. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

    Chinese are quite behind the technology capabilities of ESA, JAXA, and NASA. Their technology doesn't even meet the standards of CSA. Their Shenzhou-9 w/ Tiangon-1 rendevouz was a pathetic retrace of the past deeds of the nations. The chinese do not have a manned certified launch vehicle past LEO. Chinese's Long March 3A lacks in mass delivery to GTO to its competitors across the globe, at 2650kg to GTO for Long March 3A, Ukraine's Zenit-3SL of 5250kg to GTO, USA's Delta IV-H of 12,980kg to GTO, Europe's Ariane 5ECA of 8000kg to GTO, Russia's Proton-M of 6250kg to GTO.

    The Chinese can't do ****. No country currently has a manned capable TLI space vehicle.

    And the future? SLS's J2X engines (a continuation of engines used in Apollo programs) will take astronauts to asteroids, moon, and Mars...and China with its untested heavy launch vehicle engines isn't going anywhere far for sure.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  14. Edward M. Grant Registered Member

    SpaceX could launch astronauts into space tomorrow if there was a need that justified the risk of flying with no launch escape system and a cobbled-together air supply. There isn't any such need, so there's no reason to push the development schedule faster than they are.

    And the Chinese didn't launch anyone into space for about four years between their last two manned spaceflights. At that rate, SpaceX may be carrying tourists to Bigelow's space hotel before they launch the next one.
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I agree with you, Nasor. What you say is both true and sad.

    Of course Edward is right too. Space-X probably could launch a manned Dragon in fairly short order in an emergency situation, if they were willing to take additional risks.

    But right now, at the present moment (and for the next few years apparently), the only two countries on Earth with proven vehicles capable of launching human beings into orbit are Russia and China. The United States seems to be struggling to even retain the limited manned-spaceflight capabilities that it already possessed in the early 1960's.

    The really sad thing about all of this is that so few Americans even care any more. When I was a kid back in the 1960's, the country lived and breathed space travel. I remember my whole family getting up before dawn to watch manned space launches on live TV. Everyone did that. It was an adventure. There was a visceral sense of excitement, the almost universal feeling that humanity was at the beginning of a new age of exploration of a new and limitless frontier.

    Today, everyone just shrugs and sneers at how stupid they think we were back then. All that people care about now is keeping their welfare state going as America de-industrializes.

    The human race may or may not have a future out there among the stars. (I'm increasingly doubtful about that.) But if humans do, it's increasingly unlikely that its going to be the children of America or the European-derived Western world who will be blazing trails.
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I have yet to hear any serious reason that anyone should particularly care about that. So the USA goes a few years without making manned spaceflights, and then resumes manned spaceflight with newer, better systems. What is the big deal? Seems like it's just people with some axe or another to grind looking to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    I see no basis in fact for that assertion (either the "struggling" part, or the implication that new systems will be a regression to 1960's capabilities).

    There's nothing to be sad about - an interruption in manned spaceflight for a couple of years is just not a big deal.

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