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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 Ringold on 9/30/2011 6:35:55 PM , Rating: 1
Eh, while the wars were expensive, they were one-off expenses, where the things that truly break the bank are long-run, constant entitlement expenses; Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

Having skipped Iraq wouldn't of changed where the US would be fiscally by 2030, or 2050, ie, bankrupt. Afghanistan is something priced in the billions, not the untold trillions in unfunded liabilities.

But sure, something intellectually easy to grab a hold of and try to make an example of.

RE: Hey U.S.
By augiem on 10/1/2011 3:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
I meant for my post which I accidentally posted under mcnabney's parent post to be under this one. Oops. Scroll down a few messages...

RE: Hey U.S.
By johnsmith9875 on 10/2/2011 6:11:00 PM , Rating: 3
Wars are NOT "one-off" expenses. That's why congress has to continually re-budget for every war we are in, plus every war generates new wounded veterans which costs us in health care through the government funded TRICARE insurance system, not to mention retirement and disability. Wars are never easy to end and linger on, requiring more contracts to be awarded for reconstruction and support. Then of course you have your intelligence budgeting for that war, which does consume a considerable amount of money.

The GOP has managed to use its reality modification machine to turn "Obligations" into "Entitlements". SS, Medicare/Medicaid is not an entitlement, its an obligation. An entitlement is something you get for free like Welfare or LIHEAP.

Wars are entitlements, because they're optional expenditures to assist foreigners. Wonderful, help non-citizens, thats really gonna save us a lot of money.

RE: Hey U.S.
By jvillaro on 10/2/11, Rating: 0
"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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