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Spacecraft launching into space
China celebrates another successful manned shuttle launch into space

China successfully launched its Shenzhou VII spacecraft into orbit last night, with three Chinese astronauts ready to carry out the country's third manned space mission.

During the scheduled three-day mission in space, China ground officials expect the taikonauts to carry out the ambitious space program's first space walk.  Furthermore, a different astronaut will wear a reported $4.4 million space suit that was designed and manufactured in China with no help from foreigners.

The taikonauts will share a 14-cubic-meter workspace while in space, which will be the same amount of cramped space two taikonauts shared during the Shenzhou 6 space mission.

The Chinese government is investing billions of dollars into a space program that has developed quickly and has had three manned launches in the past five years.  China plans to create its own space station by 2020, and hopes to put a man on the moon shortly thereafter.

The military-operated space program last year launched a lunar probe, which was the first step of a three-part operation for China to head to the moon.  NASA also has plans to return to the moon by 2020, although uncertainty over the development of Orion has made observers question if the United States will be able to make it back to the moon in 12 years.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin previously admitted China is more likely to return to the moon before anyone else.

The United States and Russia remain the only two nations to conduct spacewalks, and China joining the list will be historic, government officials said in a prepared statement.

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RE: Well...
By The0ne on 9/26/2008 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
While I like US myself I find myself from time to time reminding myself that even though it is better than some countries to live in it isn't perfect. Bush is a prime example of this. So be careful on what you wish for. US dominance can be scary.

RE: Well...
By mles1551 on 9/26/2008 10:43:01 AM , Rating: 5
It isn't just Bush. How about our self serving Congressmen that do whatever the lobbyists tell them?
We are the last nation that needs to be pushing our "democracy" on the world.

RE: Well...
By mindless1 on 9/26/2008 10:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Democracy works despite these problems, did you think other countries didn't have any corruption? Perhaps they had better media control and citizens who don't dare say anything about it.

RE: Well...
By nofranchise on 9/29/2008 4:32:09 AM , Rating: 1
Other countries have corruption. But there are a few social-democratic nations with next to no corruption:

What you want is a nation in which being corrupt has no or little benefit.

Coincidentally some of these same nations are also considered the best places to invest...

Some of the more "corrupt" nations score pretty high here as well for other reasons.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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