Discussion The Ultimate Chinese Space Discussion Thread!

orb

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SPACE.com: Experts: Opportunities Increasing for Space Engagement with China:
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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orb

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USA Today: Chinese space lab set to soar:
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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Mantis

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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.
 

T.Neo

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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. :dry:
 

N_Molson

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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.
 

T.Neo

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To be fair, there is a reason for the comparative lightness of Soyuz. Apollo was a BEO vehicle, with a service module. A big service module, with a lot of Delta V- it had to brake the CSM/LM stack into lunar orbit, and perform TEI. You need a lot of dV for that, and thus you need a lot of mass.

And STS of course is not just a little crew transport vehicle- it's a reusable orbital platform. Maybe overkill, sure. But not really comparable to Soyuz.

What is more important about Soyuz, from a design efficiency point of view, is the fact that it has more pressurised volume with less mass than an Apollo type design. Even disregarding the service module.

Shenzhou (not even sure it has 3 seats), that's it).
At least one Shenzhou mission has had a crew of three, as far as I know.

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.
To the ISS, highly politically unlikely. I believe China expressed interest in ISS participation, but the other partners (or at least the US) rejected them.
 

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Rejected them this year. Next year's Congress might not renew the same restriction in NASA's budget.

Tomorrow is a new day.
 

GoForPDI

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To be fair, there is a reason for the comparative lightness of Soyuz. Apollo was a BEO vehicle, with a service module. A big service module, with a lot of Delta V- it had to brake the CSM/LM stack into lunar orbit, and perform TEI. You need a lot of dV for that, and thus you need a lot of mass.
I believe Soyuz would have used a separate rocket stage for LOI and TEI. Not too sure on exact details.

But yes, Apollo had one massive engine on the back as part of the fully integrated ''in-a-oney'' package, compared to the Soviet ''modular'' architecture.
 

Aaron Boyer

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I'll be keeping tabs on the launch of Tiangong 1, and hopefully it doesn't get delayed--it's going to be interesting having multiple stations in orbit again for the first time in over ten years. This will provide much more good news for me to keep up on.
 

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I wish china the best of luck on the launch of their first space station!

China may be the one that digs the rest of us out of this rut we are in as far as space exploration. I hope they can do a lunar flyby or Orbit soon as well.
 

Urwumpe

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If you place your bets on the Chinese, you are pretty optimistic...
 

Urwumpe

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Why is that?
Because even compared to European paces, they are terribly slow with their program. They just produce a lot of propaganda for stuff, that isn't that impressive if you think more about it. How many scientific missions did China launch yet? How many manned missions? Practically, it is all just a small fig leaf for their much larger ICBM, ABM and ballistic ASuW missile programs.
 

T.Neo

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Well, look at their rate of progress for a start... :shifty:
 

Zachstar

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They are slow. But is it not sad that even with their slow pace they are leaving the US and Europe in the dust?

Heck atleast over there they don't have presidential candidates saying we don't need disaster response like FEMA DURING a storm. That helps them even how slow things are.


And what other "bet" am I going to take? SpaceX MIGHT be able to do manned lunar flybys or possibly orbits in the future. But anything more is just too much without a massive amount of money (IE gov) behind it.

The Russian space program is up to their eyeballs keeping the ISS going with our waning care about it. A moon landing seems as distant for them as it is us.
 
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