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back to article First lady taikonaut and pals plunge into the dirt after space mating

The three taikonauts aboard Shenzhou-9 have returned safely to Earth, touching down in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region as planned. Chang Wanquan, chief commander of China's manned space programme, said that the space docking mission had been a complete success and that all three of the astronauts were in good …

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Pint

Good for them!

I'll drink to that (but not Chinese rice wine)

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Pint

Re: Good for them!

I'll second that. Fantastic news.

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"plunge into the dirt"

I really appreciate El Reg's precise reporting. Other news outlets misapplied the word landing... Well done taikonauts, though!

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Interesting to watch

My first thought was that it was a pretty hard touchdown. Spotted the retros after the second time, though it can't have been comfortable zorbing in an irregular metal pod.

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Rollercoaster

Watching it come down I thought it must have been a pretty extreme roller coaster ride down. Under the parachute the capsule was doing some serious spinning. And then when it landed (with the retros at the last second) it still rolled over.

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Re: Rollercoaster

Yeah. *Rough* landing.

Also bemused by the still-orbiting main module which looks like it's been stitched together.

So - Mir 2.0 next, and then a moon shot?

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Next?

First of all, kudos to China! From the 1st Russan man in space (1961) to the first single-module space station (1976 I think) a 15-year trek, the Chinese have done it 2003 to 2011, in half the time.

2014 sees Tiangong-2 with Tiangong-3 to follow to make the first Chinese multi-module space station.

And there's a larger station planned for 2020...

Not to mention more moon probes coming.

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Re: Next?

Being first always takes longer.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Next?

That's not what the wife says...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next?

Yeah, it's amazing how quickly you can progress when you don't have to bother with your own R&D!

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Boffin

Re: Next?

>>Being first always takes longer.

Not always

Russia in space April 12, 1961, Salyut launched April 19, 1971

USA in space May 5, 1961, Skylab launched May 14, 1973

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Anonymous Coward

Threesome?

I am relieved to read that nothing unbecoming had happened!

Well done, taikonauts!

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uh huh huh.. huh..

space docking.

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Great!

Really fabulous to see a different approach, a different culture aiming to achieve the same goals as ever. I think they'll go far!

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Great result

How fantastic must it feel to sit relaxing in a camping chair in front of the capsule you just returned from space in? :)

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Scary looking re-entry. There was a shot of the capsule early in the re-entry phase with what appears to be some hardware detaching. Although this was probably planned, it is a bit disconcerting in the context of the Columbia re-entry breakup.

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Coat

It's only disconcerting to authorities who can't zip social media tight as a drum the instant anything goes wrong...

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Why is it that every single BBC report about Chinese space programme drops in comments about it being politically-motivated and milked for its national feel-good factor?

It's not like the US programme has never had goals set by politicians, or generated a huge sense of patriotic pride.

The Chinese public should be able to be proud of their country's achievements without snide finger-pointing from BBC hacks.

Fairly play to the Reg for reporting the news in this respect, without the baggage.

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It's not like the US programme has never had goals set by politicians

Who can ever forget the politicians in the White House in January 1986. How cool, they thought it would be if President Reagan could talk to the Challenger Astronauts from the Podium of the House of Representatives when he was delivering the State of the Union message that night.

" Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRBs aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter."

"Several engineers—most notably Roger Boisjoly, who had voiced similar concerns previously—expressed their concern about the effect of the temperature on the resilience of the rubber O-rings that sealed the joints of the SRBs, and recommended a launch postponement.[7] They argued that if the O-rings were colder than 53 °F (12 °C), they did not have enough data to determine whether the joint would seal properly. This was an important consideration, since the SRB O-rings had been designated as a "Criticality 1" component, meaning that there was no backup if both the primary and secondary O-rings failed, and their failure would destroy the Orbiter and its crew."

You know the rest of the story. Politicians wanted the launch and they got it.

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Crass article titles on this series of articles

I would agree with "cap'n", however although the actual content of the registers articles on this mission has been excellent, I can only describe the titles assigned to each of these articles as infantile, about what I would expect from a 13 year public school boy (no disrespect to public schools).

Certainly not the high standard I usually expect from the register - shame on you !!!

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