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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 Salisme on 9/30/2011 6:01:40 PM , Rating: 4
Don't understand why you are getting voted down. I'm a father of three, and thankfully my kids have been wonderful. What I don't understand is why I see kids running wild at restaurants, stores or just generally out in public getting in trouble and the parents just sit there with a "meh, don't care" look on their face.

I remember the times when I heard the phrase "wait until your father gets home" and I was truly scared because I got my but whipped for acting up in school, and I never would do it again. Now, parents blame teachers when kids act up in school and coddle the kids with more Xbox games instead of instilling discipline.

Parents need to step up and be parents. And let me be the persona non-grata here and say, if your kids act up, spank the little bastard already will you!

RE: Hey U.S.
By DoctorBeer on 10/1/2011 9:57:40 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Hey U.S.
By vittek4 on 10/3/2011 8:13:10 PM , Rating: 2

That's IT?????? What the hell is the freaking clip about?????? Tell us, oh wise one!!

RE: Hey U.S.
By vittek4 on 10/3/2011 8:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
China finally got a spacecraft up the wtf why did it take so freaking long!!!!!!!

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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