back to article China plans space station for the 2020s, eyes Moon trip

The People's Republic of China has unveiled plans to have a sizeable crewed space station orbiting the Earth by 2020. The Chinese space agency is also looking ahead to a manned Moon mission, though no timetable has been announced for this. Flight International reports today on the Chinese announcements, made at the International …

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ISS

Why not just add their 3 person capability to the INTERNATIONAL space station. I know they can have their own space station completely under their own control and manageable by just them, but the ISS already has a lot of things that they would not then have to worry about replication on their space station. Not to mention the massive international gesture the Chinese working with the rest of the world would have. it's a shame really. It would be nice to have a space station where different nations truely come together as one and look into space as a combined effort of mankind than of a particular nation of man kind.

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@ISS

"Why not just add their 3 person capability to the INTERNATIONAL space station."

Because then all the other nations on the ISS would be able to spy on the military research they are doing!

Also, one of the major reasons to do something like this is to prove your superiority. It's rather difficult to prove yourself superior by becoming a junior partner in someone else's project.

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@ISS

I'll flip that back at you and ask, why? The ISS has already become a money sink for the US, do you think China also want to pump cash into it?

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Orbital inclination

Is also an issue. The ISS is at a rather large inclination to the equator (57 degrees was it?). By putting their station up at a much smaller inclination (Made possible because they don't have to worry about the Russians getting at it) means they can make more efficient use of their already limited launch capability, while the Euros and USsies are wasting a significant part of that just getting into the right (wrong?) orbit.

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ISS

China's going through the motions. They wanna get a solid grip on space. They want to build their own space station to master building things in space. They also need to go through all the on-site research for military purposes that the US and Russia have already done ages ago, plus maybe some new stuff. They need a private place for that.

The US doesn't use the ISS for military purposes either, I don't think; the DOD does to research, but usually in independent platforms and even free-flying pressurized vehicles. Plenty of prototype sats and things too. The Clementine mission to the Moon was actually a DOD project - they needed to test a bunch of new technologies and found they could split the bill with NASA by sending it to the Moon.

...So I'm not saying the US doesn't do military research. Everyone does military stuff in space. The whole reason we're IN space is ballistic missiles. Gemini astronauts flew ballistic missiles to orbit, and even Iran's ballistic missile program developed into flying sats too.

Just... Not on the ISS. It would be kinda silly to do your top secret military research down the hall from Russia's lab, and likewise it would be pretty silly for China not to build its own private lab.

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Flame

Space Britain

"It just could be that space-happy Brits - at least those not choosing to try for a spot with the ESA - may soon start emigrating to China."

Don't worry, Britards: Lord Wooster's favourite "science boosting" project will soon be operational. No, not the funnelling of your money into the accounts of chums of the regime - it's the one with the jet-powered car with the strap-on rocket - thus satisfying the government's strategic targets for science: a bunch of easily impressed people get to say "whoosh!" together with the nation's schoolchildren, before the anticipated chorus of "meh!" from the latter group and a return to whatever games console, ringtone, Celebritard or meme was occupying their attentions up to that very point.

Still, at least the financial services industry is there to soak up all that cash which could have been spent on space stuff - it's just what the spin doctor ordered! And the Britards will respond in kind by voting in a new government with the same visionless agenda.

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Silver badge

Bah!

I remember the "Yellow Moon" scenarios were popular in US-sourced Skiffy in the 80s. Arthur C also said they'd be the ones to beat in "2010".

You can bet *they* won't be claiming the place "for all mankind". I wonder if they have a plan on how to make it all worth while.

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space race 2.0?

so it looks like NASA may well get funding for a trip, err, return to the moon after all - the yanks can't allow the chinese the bragging rights of being able to get there when the yanks can't manage it themselves

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@ISS

Not to mention that there is no guarantee that either the US or Russia won't pull out of the ISS project by 2020, much less the end of 2020s. Meanwhile, China is explicitly declaring their project is intended to run through the 2020s. Why join a project that is currently only committed to run through 2015 and will have decades old tech by the time you are ready to go when you can start your own from scratch and be in full control of it's operation?

There is also something to be said for having multiple space stations in orbit around earth. I realize that this is considered blasphemy by some people, but perhaps we're better off as a species not concentrating all of our efforts on one project? Diversity is a good thing. I just wish that the U.S. congress would realize how important space is from both a scientific and a strategic perspective.

-Daniel

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Black Helicopters

watch for falling Centuars

Now that the US have shown they can bomb the Moon with impunity, the Chinese had better hopr to have a strong roof on their moon base.

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RE: watch for falling Centuars

"Now that the US have shown they can bomb the Moon with impunity,"

I can't remember seeing strong resistance to that bombing raid from the Selenite forces.

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