back to article China sets out space-station plan, asks public to name it

The People's Republic of China will go it alone to assemble a small manned space station in orbit this decade, according to plans announced by officials yesterday. The China Daily reports on a news conference held by the PRC's Manned Space Engineering Office, the arm of the People's Liberation Army* responsible for Chinese …


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  1. Volker Hett

    No mentioning of cheaper and better US products?

    This can't be Lewis! He didn't even mention aircraft carriers which would make a better investment than a space station.

  2. Chad H.

    Given that this is a Chineese station

    I guess calling it "Steven Colbert" is out of the question?

    (How about a el reg contest to name the thing?)

  3. Mondo the Magnificent

    Arthur was right..

    Arthur C Clarke prediicted that China would be the leaders in space travel and even in the colonisation of the Moon and Mars in his book 2061 Odessy 3.

    While western governments count their coffers and rest their laurels upon the emerging aerospace private sector to provide alternate transportation methods for delivering payloads, the Chinese will quietly catch up and pass NASA and ESA within the next 10-15 years..

    Watch this space, or space in general...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Wee Fli Hi?

    Flo ting Hi?

  5. David Harper 1

    Two Wangs don't make a right

    I think you'll find that Wenbao is Wang Wenbao's given name, and you should really be referring to him as Wang instead.

    Unless, of course, Lewis is on first-name terms with the head of China's version of NASA.

  6. Muckminded


    Happy Lucky Space Station #1

    Spy Shack

    Semi-Autonomous Space Vehicle of Irony

    The People's Future Accidental Re-entry Vehicle of Sunshine

  7. DJV Silver badge

    I suggest...

    I suggest they call it SONY - it will then install a rootkit on the ISS as it passes, accidentally broadcast all the addresses and credit card details of the entire 1.3 billion Chinese population before hitting a satellite and crashing into a Japanese nuclear power station after failing to burn up in the atmosphere.

  8. Hooch181

    I wish them all the luck in the world...

    but for some strange reason I keep thinking:

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,

    Guess I'll go eat worms,

    Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,

    Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

  9. reitton
    Thumb Up

    My Vote

    I vote for Tiananmen Square space station.

    1. ZankerH

      re: 'Tiananmen'

      'Heavenly peace' does indeed sound like a fitting and well-wishing name for a space station, a symbol of peaceful space exploration and the combined effort in advancing humanity as a species. Knowing China, they may as well go full Orwellian and call it just that.

      1. Thecowking


        Men means gate.

        So Tian'an would be the correct name.

        Personally I'd go with tian shang (above heaven) for the symmetry with tian xia (Below heaven, often used to mean the world or China.)

  10. Anonymous Coward

    China launches Long Dong rocket

    Just what are the Chinese compensating for here?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I once...

      had a student called Quing Dong.

    2. hayseed

      @AC 14:16

      North Korea and Kim Jong-il flashed the Long Dong.

  11. John 62

    J Michael got here first

    Skylab -> Mir -> ISS -> Babylon 4

  12. Robert Moore

    Take away

    I just keep wondering if the ISS can grab a quick take away Chinese dinner.

  13. Scott Broukell

    "small manned ... "

    dwarfs ?!

    That is all.

  14. bluesxman
    Big Brother

    "World Domination 1"

    And you thought their (attempted) stranglehold on the WWW was bad, wait till you get a load of the floating oppression machine!

  15. Craig Vaughton

    Re: "Small manned"

    You missed a bit. If its small manned and being launched by the Chinese, surely it would be Red Dwarf?

    But would they have to change the bulb to step up to red alert?

    1. Scott Broukell

      yep, took my eye off the thribble ...

      An excellent and inventive suggestion, sir.

  16. NoneSuch


    "the mere fact of the PLA being in charge doesn't lend the Chinese space programme a particularly military character."

    ...but it does not discount it either, does it?

    Today, orbit.

    Tomorrow, the moon.

    Little Red Books on Mars by Friday.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I don't care what it is called.

    Just keep my cat away from it.

  18. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "So Ronery"

    Thing is, China is yet to experience the economic crash. Once there, prospects may change.

  19. dssf

    Far Point

    Wolf 359

    Ce tee Ai Pah Fyve

  20. Luther Blissett


    Peoples Liberation Spacestation

  21. Chimp

    Your old mother

    Perfect name for it. Needs two more labs added on the sides so that the middle finger symbolism of it is clearer. Every ninety minutes it passes over Washington...

  22. Tigra 07
    Thumb Down

    Names, names names...

    The Long Dong Space Station?

    Seriously though who's going to work on a space station with made in China stamped all over it?

    You can already see Foxconn workers building the modules on their assembly lines.

  23. Russell Long

    Maybe they'll get Rickrolled.

    It'd be fun to see the first space Chinese space station called "Never Gonna Give You Up".

  24. Mike Moyle

    Would it take the People's Libration Army... launch their space station into a Trojan Point orbit?

  25. ratfox

    Pure BS

    Since when does the Chinese government ask the opinion of its citizens?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Excellent, I look forward to a space race so I can witness some planet landings in my life time!

    Obviously it should be called, "China Fuck Yeah!"

  27. longbeast

    What orbit will it be in?

    There has been some vague mumbling about this station being used to support moon landing missions. Does anybody know if this is going to be put into something close to an equatorial orbit, or matching the plane of the lunar orbit, or anything else that is sensible?

    Both Mir and the ISS were crippled for any use as a staging post for long range missions due to being in stupid orbits - both with very high inclination so that they pass over Baikonur, so that Soyuz launches could reach them.

    The orbit of Mir was chosen because the launcher couldn't get it into any more sensible plane. The orbit of the ISS was chosen for political reasons, to keep the Russians happy.

    Hopefully the Chinese won't be doing either of those things.

    1. Volker Hett


      "The orbit of the ISS was chosen for political reasons, to keep the Russians happy."

      Else we'd have to abandon it pretty soon now.

  28. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Y'all are missing an important point....

    Which is that the chinese expressed an interest in hooking up with ISS and were rebuffed on the bases of their technology not being up to snuff.

    It's hardly surprising they decided to put their own station up after that - and without even referring to Clarke & Heinlein's predictions that china would rule the skies, I've been fully expecting the chinese to be the first nation establishing a long-term presence on the moon ever since they announced their intention to do so some time back - simply because they tend to follow through on such announcements (unlike the USA, which lost its urge to go back even before GeeDubya was ousted.)

    The only question is how the chinese intend to go there. The gobi desert is rather large, high altitude, sparsely inhabited with not much population downwind == a good candidate for an orion-class launcher to lift from.

    Where are they running those hypermodern railway systems to?

  29. Mike Flugennock

    Hey... how about "ISS"...?

    For "International Space Sweatshop"?

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