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back to article China spacecraft masters the art of docking

The unmanned Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-8 has returned safely to Earth after giving the country its first successful docking mission. Shenzhou-8 parachuted safely to the ground in Inner Mongolia after rendezvousing with the Tiangong-1 space lab module and docking twice, the commander-in-chief of China's manned space programme …

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Impressive!

It would appear that the sun does indeed rise in the East

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Facepalm

Unfortunately,

it also sets in the West. "Space programme is too expensive and is a waste of resources, which could be put into ordering more fondleslabs for the masses." Order from where? Oh, from the Chinese, of course.

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Holmes

Congrats Chinese but...

Full credit to the Chinese, but whoever wrote this article is out of touch, Europe was the third to master docking technology, who do you think launched Jules Vern to supply the ISS???

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Joke

@MrXavia

Chuck Norris.

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Hats off to the Chinese!

The next step is to start doing science in microgravity and build up some experience of orbital-assembly.

A heavy-lift rocket (something in the 40 tonnes + range) would come in handy.

Followed by a series of probes (for the long term) and the beginning of propellent depots.

And then we'll see a Chinese flag planted somewhere beyond Earth orbit...

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Might not be a bad thing. Given the casual racism^H^H^H^H^H^H nationalism often found in western nations, if the Chinese start doing something better than their American counterparts, another space race could be in the offing.

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Anonymous Coward

More pointless duplication of effort.

If humanity wants to *really* progress with the exploration of space it needs to do it on a GLOBAL level. This pissing contest between Nations was already old in the 1970's.

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You're right, of course, but is it likely to happen any time soon? We would need to get the USA on board, and to them half the world consists only of backward savages trying to kill everyone, and the other half of possible holiday destinations and funny accents.

Dick-measuring contest it is, then.

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Happy

Competition's faster than Co-operation

Everyone should feel free to point out that if the USA, Russia & China worked together, sharing technology, dividing up the workload and putting in (more or less) matching funding, we'd have a bigger, better space station, lots more probes going out into space and a lot more space-related research going on, and for a lower unit cost than we have now.

The key word there is 'if'. But 'if' is never going to happen. So we'll do the dick-measuring thing, then and all send up our own rockets, stations, probes etc.

It'll be a whole lot of dicks to deal with but as long as we get a happy ending... ok, I'll stop there.

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Anonymous Coward

Hi China

Welcome to the 1960's!

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Boffin

We're doomed

If China keep this pace of development going, the entire western world will become as irrelevant as Belgium.

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Pint

Plus...

... Chinese girls are hot !

Ermm, *cough* *cough*, sorry for that.

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Happy

Shame on you... Absolutely correct though!

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Kudos to the Chinese space programme !

Let us hope that other countries and organisations which are really interested in space exploration (rather than making and deploying ever more drones to murder people they don't like) extend their hands to cooperate with Chinese, as, for example, the Germans did on this mission. If humanity is ever to overcome the limitations imposed upon us by our gravity well, we are going to need all the cooperation we can get. A coalition of the willing ?...

Henri

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