China's First Space Station Module Reaches Orbit
September 30, 2011 1:02 PM
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Rendering of Chinese Tiangong-1
Two years from now other modules will launch
China is looking to make itself into a technology,
, 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
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RE: Hey U.S.
9/30/2011 4:18:31 PM
I have not given up entirely but I feel like my generation doesn't care no matter how hard any tries it just seems like they couldn't give a rat's a$$. I will also try but one man can only do so much unless others will at least put an effort to stepping forward when given the chance.
RE: Hey U.S.
9/30/2011 5:54:35 PM
Hard to blame them. Look at how badly their parents and grandparents screwed up the country. In Canada, for instance, throughout the late 70s up until the end of the Mulroney era, the nation kept on borrowing from the future until the next generation of workers are seeing a huge portion of their taxes going to pay for loans taken out by the ruling generation before it. We had hope while the Liberals under Chretien were in power. We paid down debt, our economy was doing well, but now that we're in another Conservative era, we're back to the crapper.
Other things to keep in mind: back in the 80s when interest rates were so high, a man could easily put aside enough money to buy a house outright. No one could afford to pay the interest on an expensive house. Today, with low interest rates, it's made the value of homes artificially high.
Let's face it, the world that this generation is inheriting has been really mucked up by their grandparents and it's being further mucked up by their parents.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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