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Old 07-09-2011, 03:52 AM   #31
fsci123
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Originally Posted by fireballs619 View Post
 Having the best education in the world doesn't make you an intellectual- opening your mind to new ideas and subjects which you would have dismissed previously makes you an intellectual. From all of the patriotic fervor about our 'glorious' nation you have posted, you have demonstrated that you are very closed minded indeed. I apologize if you take offense to that, but it is people with your attitude that are the biggest detriments to progress we face.
Well number one im 13 of you havnt noticed.
Number two i am so proud that im american that i use propganda in typical conversation.
Number three my mind is open your just angry that i retain my opinion that China is not that excelling in space flight.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:15 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by fsci123 View Post
 Well number one im 13 of you havnt noticed.
Number two i am so proud that im american that i use propganda in typical conversation.
Number three my mind is open your just angry that i retain my opinion that China is not that excelling in space flight.
Number 1 - No need to get angry. Debate will always involve people who disagree.

Number 2 - Propoganda is a terrible thing because it hides certain truths that are plain for all to see. I could say the UK is a wonderful country to live in but we all know that the UK, just like all other countries, has it's share of problems.

Number 3 - China are doing very well in spaceflight and have several projects going on right now. Don't count them out just because they are being quiet. Right now they are working on an agena like target vehicle for which to practise dockings.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:17 AM   #33
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Not only is it a target vehicle, its a Salyut sized orbiting mini-workstation module, fit for three crew members to stay in. It will extend the usual Shenzhou mission to a couple of weeks rather than days, and will end up being the baseline for future space station modules and supply craft.

Here are some nice pictures:



---------- Post added at 11:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:16 AM ----------

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Old 07-10-2011, 01:16 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by fsci123 View Post
 Well number one im 13 of you havnt noticed.
Number two i am so proud that im american that i use propganda in typical conversation.
Number three my mind is open your just angry that i retain my opinion that China is not that excelling in space flight.
Number 1: What's your age have to do with it? I fail to see why you brought that up...

Number 2: I, too, am proud to be an American. That doesn't mean I fervently proclaim our greatness, because the duty of any responsible citizen is to question their government, not mindlessly follow.

Number 3: You have yet to present one solid fact backed up by evidence as to why China's space program shouldn't be considered to be excelling. In a span of four years, they went from their first unmanned test of the Shenzhou to launching a man in it. That is great progress, and I cannot fathom why you think it isn't.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:20 AM   #35
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fsi123: The fact that China is investing in space technology is actually a positive thing for the sector, even if in the very short term the advances are not so impressive.

Don´t be so small minded, things change very fast, specially if you have budget. Remember for example that in the 80s the japanese cars were considered a joke and nowdays they are very competitive. Who knows how China´s space program will be in 20 years from now?
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:24 PM   #36
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From what I read, the Chinese are pursuing slow, deliberate approach to space. They are slowly building up experience and capability:

1999 - unmanned spacecraft launch
2003 - manned spaceflight
2007 - lunar probes
2008 - spacewalks
2011 - interplanetary probes
2011/12 - in-space docking/unmanned supply spacecraft
2011/12 - space outposts
2013 - lunar landing (unmanned, rovers)
2013/14 - heavier launch vehicles (LM-5)
2017 - lunar sample return
2019 - Mir-class space station

What's next? I say lunar landing in late 2020s or early 2030s followed by a construction of a permanent lunar outpost/base.

It appears that the Chinese are also aiming for long-term sustainability of their programmes. They don't seem to be developing things for one purpose only. For instance, their medium-heavy lift LM-5 rockets will serve their human spaceflight needs, defence requirements, and commercial satellite launch market.

Their human spaceflight programme seems to be motivated by their desire to show their technological prowess to the rest of the world as well as to generate public support for the ruling regime. If statements issued by Chinese officials are to be taken seriously, China does see the Moon as a place that could be economically exploited in the future, so they'll surely want to establish a foothold there to ensure they get their fair share.

I think the rate of progress of the Chinese space programme will accelerate in this decade, once the Wenchang spaceport is completed and the LM-5 becomes operational.

Last edited by Victor_D; 07-10-2011 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:00 PM   #37
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Number 3: You have yet to present one solid fact backed up by evidence as to why China's space program shouldn't be considered to be excelling. In a span of four years, they went from their first unmanned test of the Shenzhou to launching a man in it. That is great progress, and I cannot fathom why you think it isn't.
I think we need to define "great progress here". We certainly can't deny that China is making progress, but considering the progress of the US and Soviet programs during the 1960s, it probably isn't exceptional (even by modern standards).

So far, the PRC has managed about 0.6 manned flights per year.

Between 1961 and 1966, a similar period of time, the US had launched 6 Mercury and 10 Gemini flights, a rate of 3.2 flights per year. Between 1961 and 1966, the USSR launched 6 Vostok and 2 Voskhod missions, a rate of 1.6 flights per year (even though there were no missions in 1966, I kept it in there for consistency; in a 4-year period, that would be 2 flights per year).

It is also worth noting that this is starting practically right at the beginning of human spaceflight, so everything was pretty much being developed for the first time. In addition, multiple programs were being flown within this time period; Mercury to Gemini, Vostok to Voskhod, with Apollo and Soyuz not far behind.

Two years into its manned spaceflight program, the US had already flown as many people, on single-person vehicles, as have been flown till 2008 in Shenzhou vehicles.

It is also worth noting, however, that Shenzhou is more capable than all of the vehicles in the first era of manned spaceflight by the US and USSR, even Gemini.

If we take other periods in manned spaceflight, such as the first five years after STS-1, we have a rate of 5 flights per year. In the first five years after STS-51L, 8.8 missions per year, and in the first five years after STS-107, 1.2 missions per year.

If we take the first five years of Soyuz flights, we have an average of 2.2 flights per year, first five years of Mir, 2.6 flights per year, the first five years of Soyuz flights to the ISS, also 2.2 flights per year.

So the Chinese flight-rate has indeed been quite low, compared to US and Soviet rates at the beginning of the space age. Three missions are planned for 2012 though, so there is no reason to think that such low flight-rates will continue.

While China comes some 40 years late to the game of manned spaceflight, they have some 40 years of US and Russian experience to build on; information is available freely on the internet now, that a rocket scientist of 1950 could kill for.

Overall capability in space is not really determined by how long you have been flying, but rather by what funding, political attitudes, and program goals you have.

I think the low flight-rate that the Chinese space program has displayed, is understandable. China isn't trying to be the first to put a human into space, to build a space-station, or to go to the Moon. It is long beaten by others in that respect. But what China can do, is do those things, to say that it can. That China has put a man into space, and built a space station, and joined the "elite club", so to speak.

Is it a huge PR excersise? Of course. Is it propaganda? Of course. Is there anything wrong with it? Not really- the more spaceflights we have, the better, of course.

I do think we need to be realistic about the Chinese space program. What they're doing is important, but not exceptional. We'll wait to see if any exceptional endeavours come out of CNSA.

And of course, it is no reason to be sinophobic. It is also not a threat to the US or Russian space programs. Indeed, even the lack of a spacecraft is not the major threat to the US space program- the general way things are structured, that causes problems, is a far greater threat.

And we'll wait to see if that fate befalls CNSA as well...

EDIT:

Quote:
What's next? I say lunar landing in late 2020s or early 2030s followed by a construction of a permanent lunar outpost/base.
And will this 'permanent lunar outpost' be constructed with Chinese Skylons or Chinese BDBs?
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by T.Neo View Post
 And will this 'permanent lunar outpost' be constructed with Chinese Skylons or Chinese BDBs?
BDBs

They could do it with LM-5 if they wanted to. I am not talking about large stations housing dozens of people, which is why I wrote outpost.

Last edited by Victor_D; 07-10-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:09 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by T.Neo View Post
 I think we need to define "great progress here". We certainly can't deny that China is making progress, but considering the progress of the US and Soviet programs during the 1960s, it probably isn't exceptional (even by modern standards).

So far, the PRC has managed about 0.6 manned flights per year.

Between 1961 and 1966, a similar period of time, the US had launched 6 Mercury and 10 Gemini flights, a rate of 3.2 flights per year. Between 1961 and 1966, the USSR launched 6 Vostok and 2 Voskhod missions, a rate of 1.6 flights per year (even though there were no missions in 1966, I kept it in there for consistency; in a 4-year period, that would be 2 flights per year).

It is also worth noting that this is starting practically right at the beginning of human spaceflight, so everything was pretty much being developed for the first time. In addition, multiple programs were being flown within this time period; Mercury to Gemini, Vostok to Voskhod, with Apollo and Soyuz not far behind.

Two years into its manned spaceflight program, the US had already flown as many people, on single-person vehicles, as have been flown till 2008 in Shenzhou vehicles.

It is also worth noting, however, that Shenzhou is more capable than all of the vehicles in the first era of manned spaceflight by the US and USSR, even Gemini.

If we take other periods in manned spaceflight, such as the first five years after STS-1, we have a rate of 5 flights per year. In the first five years after STS-51L, 8.8 missions per year, and in the first five years after STS-107, 1.2 missions per year.

If we take the first five years of Soyuz flights, we have an average of 2.2 flights per year, first five years of Mir, 2.6 flights per year, the first five years of Soyuz flights to the ISS, also 2.2 flights per year.

So the Chinese flight-rate has indeed been quite low, compared to US and Soviet rates at the beginning of the space age. Three missions are planned for 2012 though, so there is no reason to think that such low flight-rates will continue.

While China comes some 40 years late to the game of manned spaceflight, they have some 40 years of US and Russian experience to build on; information is available freely on the internet now, that a rocket scientist of 1950 could kill for.
But you are not taking into account the fact that the USA and the USSR were in a Cold War at the time! The budgets spent on those early flights were probably nothing near what China currently spends on its human spaceflight.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:39 PM   #40
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But you are not taking into account the fact that the USA and the USSR were in a Cold War at the time! The budgets spent on those early flights were probably nothing near what China currently spends on its human spaceflight.
I think that makes sense... if you flip "the budgets of those programs were probably nothing near what China currently spends on human spaceflight" with "China probably spends nowhere near what the USA and USSR did in the early days of their manned programs".

Remember, those guys were not only working on several programs within a pretty limited period of time- and were developing all sorts of infrastructure and knowledge from very little.

And they were doing it for the first time. Not "first time we've built it" first time, but "first time anyone has ever tried" first time.

Based on ongoing programs and flight-rate, I think it would be safe to say that CNSA's manned spaceflight budget is either smaller than, or similar to, the budget of the US and Soviet programs of the 1960s.

And even then, having a high budget does not make things super-impressive. I can start a program to launch a pet rock into space, and it'll cost you 600 billion dollars. Yes, yes, all the workers in the production facility will wear clothes and shoes covered in gold leaf, among other unique and special arrangements, but that doesn't mean the project is an exceptionally special effort.

There is data on the budget of NASA from 1958 to the present. From 1961 to 1966, NASA spent roughly $21.7 billion per year (in 2007 constant dollars). Of course, the budget started out at only 6.3 billion in '61, practically doubled in '62, and then practically doubled again in '63.

Those must have been the days.

If there is data anywhere on the budget of CNSA, it would put this to bed... but I doubt that data is available to the public, if it even exists in any coherent form at all.

Last edited by T.Neo; 07-10-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #41
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SPACE.com: Experts: Opportunities Increasing for Space Engagement with China:
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WASHINGTON — The United States and Europe face barriers to effectively engage with China on space policy matters, but recent changes within the Chinese government and industry present an opportunity for dialogue and possible technical cooperation, a panel of experts agreed July 28.

Among Washington space policy circles it is often said the motives behind Chinese space policies and actions are, at best, not transparent and, at worst, nefarious. These sentiments are in many cases inaccurate and reflective of a failure to communicate between both sides, three academic and policy experts said at an event here hosted by the Secure World Foundation.

The Secure World Foundation and Chinese Academy of Sciences in May held a conference in Beijing to discuss Asian space policies within the context of the larger multilateral environment that included government and industry officials from China, India and Japan. A wide variety of technical and policy issues were discussed, and it was clear there is an increasing willingness among these nations to engage with the United States and Europe on space policies and processes, said Ben Baseley-Walker, an adviser on security policy and international law at the Secure World Foundation.

"What really came out of this meeting was that the Chinese understand the American system as little as we understand the Chinese system, but not necessarily for reasons of trying to obfuscate the question," Baseley-Walker said.

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:30 PM   #42
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USA Today: Chinese space lab set to soar:
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China looks ready to launch a small space lab into orbit, space policy experts report, perhaps as soon as this month.

The 8.5-ton Tiangong I space lab, the next step in China's manned space program, follows three successful launches of Chinese astronauts, or Taikonauts, into orbit in the last decade.

Smaller than NASA's 85-ton Skylab, launched in 1973, Tiangong I will be unmanned when it launches. The lab will mostly serve as a test-bed for as many as two manned docking missions in its two-year lifetime, says space analyst Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. "It is a logical move in developing manned space capabilities."

Learning the intricacies of docking one space vehicle with another in space is key for a nation planning long missions, so that vehicles have a way to transfer moon explorers, for example, from a lunar orbiter and return vehicle to a lander. The space lab could also serve as a platform for space medicine and micro-gravity experiments similar to the International Space Station.

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Old 08-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #43
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 But thats a good thing. They should be using the Soyuz design. Its the best capsule design you can use.
I'm not sure about that. It's tiny, cramped and still pretty low-tech despite the recent upgrades. Simple and effective? Yes. The best design? Doubtful.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:56 PM   #44
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I'm not sure about that. It's tiny, cramped and still pretty low-tech despite the recent upgrades. Simple and effective? Yes. The best design? Doubtful.
It does its job, and has been doing its job for the last 40 years. It is not glamorous, but it works.

Also, it manages more internal volume for less mass than Apollo, for example, because it does not try to return all of its habitable volume to Earth. It is more efficient that way.

Despite designs like this popping up multiple times in the CEV design competition, as well as in Apollo design concepts, the US hasn't adopted it.

Presumably Griffin and his cronies were too obsessed with recreating Apollo.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #45
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And, even more importantly, Soyuz is light with its 7250 kg, compared to any three-seats or more manned spacecraft ever launched (uuh, Apollo (20 tons), the Shuttle (95-120 tons), and Shenzhou (not even sure it has 3 seats), that's it).

Maybe the Dragon is going to change that, but that's still to see.

The Chinese space program could become very interesting if they sign commercial contracts for let's say, resupply mission. But again, we're not there yet.
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