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posted by janrinok on Thursday June 10 2021, @05:24PM   Printer-friendly

Rocket in place to send 3 crew to Chinese space station:

The rocket that will send three crew members to start living on China's new orbiting space station has been moved onto the launch pad ahead of its planned blastoff next week. The three astronauts plan to spend three months on the space station doing spacewalks, construction and maintenance work and science experiments.

The main section of the Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, station was launched into orbit on April 29, and a cargo spacecraft sent up last month carried fuel, food and equipment to the station in preparation for the crewed mission.

The Long March-2F Y12 rocket carrying the Shenzhou-12 spaceship was transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Wednesday, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a brief statement.

The space agency plans a total of 11 launches through the end of next year to deliver two laboratory modules to expand the 70-ton station, along with supplies and crew members. Next week's launch will be the third of those, and the first of the four crewed missions planned.

[...] China said in March the astronauts training for the upcoming crewed missions were a mix of space travel veterans and newcomers and included some women. The first station crew will be all male, though women will be part of future crews, according to Yang Liwei, who orbited Earth in China's first crewed mission in 2003 and is now an official at the space agency.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by ikanreed on Thursday June 10 2021, @06:35PM (9 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday June 10 2021, @06:35PM (#1144004) Journal

    From the article.

    China has sent 11 astronauts into space to date, all of them pilots from the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

    The PLA is literally just their name for their army navy and airforce. It'd be like saying "Sailors from the ruling Democratic Party's military wing, the US Navy" it's an incredibly bizarre and surreal way to describe it.

    Technically, I guess it doesn't include their reserves, like police, or volunteer militia members, but it's the only standing army the country has.

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @06:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @06:51PM (#1144009)

    The difference is that Chairman Xi won his election fair and square.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:22PM (#1144018)

    Funny how you are moderated offtopic. It's from TFA!

    And yeah, I agree. It's propaganda the other way.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:47PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:47PM (#1144033) Homepage Journal

    Maybe talking about them in that fashion is warranted, considering their social credit scoring system.

    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday June 10 2021, @08:20PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday June 10 2021, @08:20PM (#1144044) Journal

      If I were to, as you suggest, consider premise Px as "Country x has a social credit scoring system" I cannot fathom the syllogism that leads to the conclusion Cx "It is warranted to describe the military of nation x as a wing of its political leadership"


    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11 2021, @03:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11 2021, @03:30AM (#1144168)

      You, sir, just lost five docial point for making that comment online.
      D'uh. Be good citizen. Go play now.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:49PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @07:49PM (#1144035)

    I think the answer goes without saying, but if not: propaganda. Another statement from that very brief article is even more laughable:

    "Beijing doesn’t participate in the International Space Station, largely due to U.S. concerns over the Chinese program’s secrecy and its military connections."

    No, the reason Beijing doesn't participate in the ISS is because of the Wolf Amendment []. In 2011 we deemed China's abilities in space primitive and the threat of technological theft high, so we decided just banning any collaboration with them would be productive. In Representative Wolf's own words [] :

    "We don't want to give them the opportunity to take advantage of our technology, and we have nothing to gain from dealing with them. China is spying against us, and every U.S. government agency has been hit by cyber-attacks. They are stealing technology from every major U.S. company. They have taken technology from NASA, and they have hit the NSF computers . . . . You name the company, and the Chinese are trying to get its secrets."

    That country we have nothing to gain from now has now, in a decade, become one of the most active nations in space, effectively caught up to us in terms of public space capability, and is well on their way to surpassing us. Good times, great narrative shift.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @08:00PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10 2021, @08:00PM (#1144040)

      Citing public space capability is disingenuous because the US is migrating to privatized space capability.. Despite some teething problems and push-back from the established players it is working out very well and the US not only enjoys greater launch capability than ever before it is poised to increase it again by an order of magnitude over the next few years. The US has nothing to gain from China and a lot to lose.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11 2021, @02:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11 2021, @02:27PM (#1144247)

        Sure, that's a fair point. But I think it deserves some further discussion. Our "private capability" is really just a euphemism. There is SpaceX and then a handful of companies that vary only in their degree of fail. And while SpaceX has achieved absolutely amazing things, I do not believe they alone can compete against a superpower who is looking increasingly focused on space. And I'm not sure how long effective public-private can really work. The recent Artemis contracts exemplify this point.

        NASA picked SpaceX for their next mission to the moon, which makes all the sense in the world because SpaceX is currently leagues ahead of any other company. However, Jeff Bezos' wanted to be picked. And he owns senators. So he buttered a few bellies and the next thing you know congress is changing all the rules and passing new laws so Bezos can also "win." Bezos being the owner of Blue Origin - an aerospace company that has existed for more than 21 years and has yet to manage to put even a single object into orbit clearly deserved a contract to put something on the Moon.

        So our future (given the current political status quo) is looking to increasingly be SpaceX vs China. And I simply do not think that SpaceX will be able to compete against the effectively endless funding a superpower can provide. To say nothing of what happens when somebody dies, which will happen sooner or later as we start sending more and more people into space. For SpaceX it will be a months long investigation, endless media skepticism/clickbaiting against space, large bureaucratic panels which may likely end up having congressmen owned by people like Bezos on board (trying as hard as they can to ground SpaceX), and more. For China? They'll give some medals and honors, maybe toss up a memorial, declare them national heroes, and keep right on schedule for next week's launch.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Thursday June 10 2021, @11:32PM

      by crafoo (6639) on Thursday June 10 2021, @11:32PM (#1144124)

      It's posts like this that will earn you negative social credits in the coming USA social credit system. I wonder if they will tie this to your lending rate once all of our currency is digital and all commercial banks have been nationalized.