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Rendering of Chinese Tiangong-1   (Source: MSNBC)
Two years from now other modules will launch

China is looking to make itself into a technology, military, and space power over the coming years. China wanted to be part of the ISS, but NASA would not allow the country to participate. Rather than sulk in the corner, the Chinese have set about building an ISS rival and the first section of that rival space station has now been launched into orbit.

The first section of the Chinese space station, called Tiangong-1, was launched into orbit successfully. The Tiangong-1 module lifted off aboard a Long March 2FT1 rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. MSNBC reports that the module is about the size of a boxcar and is in orbit 217 miles above the Earth.
The Chinese say that the module will be used to survey Chinese farmland using special cameras and will conduct an experiment that involves growing crystals in space.

After the launch of this first module, China plans to launch an unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to practice remote controlled docking procedures with the orbiting module. The Tiangong-1 name means "Heavenly Place-1" and it will stay in space alone for two years. After the 2-year window, China will send two more modules up for more tests and then the actual space station will be launched in three sections in 2020 to 2022.

"This is a significant test. We've never done such a thing before," Lu Jinrong, the launch center's chief engineer, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The launch of the module was delayed for a year due to technical issues with the launch rockets. The Long March 2C rocket failed to reach orbit kicking off an investigation into the cause of the failure.

As the Chinese gear up to launch their space station, NASA is looking to deorbit the ISS after 2020.

Source: MSNBC

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RE: Hey U.S.
By FITCamaro on 9/30/2011 3:45:57 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah most people in their 20s today care more about getting drunk and who won American Idol than planning for the future.

I had a girl at work get mad at me for pointing out publicly that her tires were bald (didn't know who's car it was so put out a general company-wide message). She had the attitude of "well if you have the money to replace them you're welcome to pay for them". A few weeks later she was talking about how she flew to Ohio (from Charleston so probably about $500-600) to go to an Ohio State game and party. My inner thoughts were "So you don't have $500 to replace your tires but you have around $700 to go back to Ohio to go to a football game?"

Nice girl but screwed up priorities.

RE: Hey U.S.
By cjohnson2136 on 9/30/2011 4:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I know people like that. They will pay for expensive gadgets but won't pay for good food (good = healthy).

I myself and married and am working to buying a house. Would I like a really expensive computer and a tablet yes but I have bills to pay first.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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