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.
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 …
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...
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.
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.
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?
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