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#1 2004-05-18 07:48:13

deagleninja
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2004-04-28
Posts: 376

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

China recently announced that they are scrapping plans to send people to the Moon. Does this mean they are gearing towards beating us in a 'space race' to Mars?

Here is a link to their space station designs, planned for the next 15 years:

http://www.spacedaily.com/2004/04051806 … 1mcrm.html

Here's a link to their first astronaut meeting the UN cheif:

http://www.spacedaily.com/2004/04051811 … ev3pa.html

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#2 2004-05-18 08:10:38

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Given the recent cooperation between France and Russia, I have this nagging sense that once the Aldridge Commission announces its report and President Bush gives his next major space policy speech then the ESA & RSA will "cover" those objectives - - in other words bid exactly $1 more than whatever President Bush proposes.

CEV? Meet Kliper fom Kouru

Moon? ESA/RSA will get there sooner.

etc. . .

Unless, of course the ESA/RSA are satisfied with the proposed level of cooperative effort.

= = =

China to the Moon? Racing the ESA/RSA and NASA is foolish and if China cannot be first to return, why bother?

There ain't notuing there worth going for, except practice.

= = =

Edit to add: Paul Allen is Burt Rutan's "white knight" correct? A source of funding?

What if George Soros were to be a "black knight" and offer the ESA/RSA $500 million or $1 billion for some Apollo relics, nothing too sensitive like a flag, just some refuse like a discarded Hasselbad camera.

All to prove the superiority of international cooperation versus unilateralism.

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#3 2004-05-18 08:40:53

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Unless, of course the ESA/RSA are satisfied with the proposed level of cooperative effort.

Saw a report yesterday detailing how RSA was trying to join ESA as a full and equal member (ESA wants to bring them in as an "assoicate"). Should be interesting to see where that leads...

ESA is planning on going to the Moon (no date given) and sending humans to Mars by 2030. Basically, The Vision for Space Exploration = Aurora. The difference being that US space policy calls for a specific timeline for the Moon, but not Mars. Also, it seems Aurora is couched in the language of partnership, cooperation, and non-binding frame-work.

There is plenty of room for the US/ESA to co-opt each other, which I think will be the end result.

China... they can sneak in the back door of RSA/ESA. They may also still head for the moon, since most of their space plans are part military secret. Perhaps the change in plans to a permanent space station is to shake a finger at the lack of US cooperation. The US may very well decide to let China join instead of having their very own space station, so this would merely be a move intended to get the response they are looking for.

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#4 2004-05-18 08:50:43

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

One problem faced by the "sprint for Mars" people is that the competition for global prestige does not require more than to "cover" what the others are doing.

Its like bidding $1 more at an auction, so to speak.

= = =

China may also be playing the expectations game differently than Russia did. Keep your plans close to the vest and do not boast about space exploits to come.

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#5 2004-05-18 09:36:37

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

China may also be playing the expectations game differently than Russia did. Keep your plans close to the vest and do not boast about space exploits to come.

Burt Rutan in China?  :laugh:

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#6 2004-05-18 11:12:55

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Eh, too much faith in the Chinese... symptom of the modern Sino-Worship that comes from their apparent runaway sucess via the artifical economic boom that will not last forever.

I think China is a long, long way from doing anything more than copying Russia, which does lend considerable experience and technology, but the Russian space hardware and technology is limited to LEO in a number of important ways, particularly high energy propulsion and landing mechanisims. The lower cost of the Russian launch vehicles does not make a great deal of difference if they can't get anywhere.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#7 2004-05-18 11:23:44

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

China, doing what Europe never could...  :laugh:

Perhaps some are culpable to the charge of Sino-worship GNC, but your last post sounds like Sino-envy.  big_smile

I don't place much credit in what China has done so far, but I give credit that they have gotten this far. I mean, come on, it looks to me as if they are playing this smart and following the advice of what most space advocates have been yelling for years: Do it simply, do it cheaply, and do it with purpose.

So it ain't homebrewed, it's a knock off. Big deal. Now China has a capability that we will not have in a few years- they have a technical foundation upon which to build on for the future, and they did it on the cheap.

Look at their involvement with the European GPS system- a serious catch-up to match US capability. Now they are talking about their own space station- not an international share-fest in space.

I also don't fault them for not having the high energy burn to get beyond LEO- hell, we don't have that for human transport, neither does ESA or RSA really. We're all in the same boat.

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#8 2004-05-18 11:49:49

deagleninja
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2004-04-28
Posts: 376

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

It is important to note that China has achieved a manned spaceflight program spending only 2.18 billion over 11 years. This is roughly the cost to fly just 2 shuttle missions and they built launch facilities and the rocket (not bad).

I don't worship China, but I do respect them (and am keeping a close eye on them). Many young new faces are replacing old cold-war era leaders in China. Many of those young faces are involved in their space program and they don't understand the distrust from the US (neither do I).

I don't think it is a coincidence that this station plan follows on the heels of our cold-shoulder treatment recently. They honestly expected a 'job well done' from their american conterparts and didn't get it. So why waste time repeating what the US has done? They figure we are going to say 'so what, we did that back in 1969' and they are right.

So why build a space station? It is very likely that we will not fufill our obligations to our ISS partners.

And there will be China with a space station available to everyone except the US....'sorry, your technology isn't mature enough America.'

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#9 2004-05-18 13:27:41

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Its still technologicly a copy of Soyuz and Russian rocket engines... engineering wise that is a bigger deal than it sounds, because that is alot of risk reduction that China didn't have to do, which is where alot of the trouble with making rockets comes from. The original SSME engines had a nasty habit of blowing up, but now they are fairly reliable for being right near the edge of its materials. Thats $2.28Bn with a good twenty years of free rocket research, which is not that spectacular.

Which goes to my next point, that now that China is aproaching parity with some Russian hardware, they will have to rely on their own for the next step, which will be very slow and not so cheap without free research. I don't think we have to worry about China "sorry, your tech isn't good enough" to us. And if China wishes to hang their space program with a tiny space station, they can go right ahead, doing nothing new and not looking beyond orbit... sound familiar? Purpose? What purpose? Circles... circles... nothing but circles said the bear...

And we are not in the "same boat," we have experience with nuclear rocket engines (including blueprints i'm sure someplace), we have experience with modest sized manned landers, we have experience with surface ops on the Moon, we have more reasources and technology for LSS and in-situ reasources, our materials science is clearly superior and our ion engines are a magnetude or two larger... the list goes on. What have any other countries really done about space technology to operate beyond LEO?


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#10 2004-05-18 13:58:55

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

I'm getting soooooo tired of this "its a copy of Soyuz so not much good"

AAAAaaAAAAaaaRgh! IT IS NOT A COPY! *pant pant pant* (heehee)

Read the specs thouroughly. It's far better than Soyuz. It may look like a soyuz, on the ouside, from a distance, but that's simply because soyuz is a sound, logical design... Did you see some of the new plans for USA stuff? some of thse things ALSO look like a Soyuz... Those are copies neither.

In fact they have the most modern, flexible design for a non-reusable manned craft today: Russia: 50-60's, USA 60's...

...and the people that have experience with outside LEO ops are alll retired, or worse... And the exclusive tech from tha era is in your washing-machine, your pocket calculator, etc...

So it's a question of investing money?

You're right of course GCNRevenger about the "next step", for China it will be huge, almost impossible...


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#11 2004-05-18 17:48:58

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Regarding China's potential for going it alone in space: What a wonderfully entertaining repartee between you two. I need to watch and wait a little longer, before I give up entirely on NASA and the U.S. insofar as crewed space exploration is concerned. But the continued safety record of Russia's Soyuz on-time launches, and China's brilliant extrapolation of the Soyuz solutions including leaving their solar-powered command module in orbit to return to, make me begin to wonder. Regarding the EU's future in space, give 'em time: They're still getting their act together, nation-to-nation-wise. English will be the language of choice for their rocketship instruction manuals; that's not bad for a start.

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#12 2004-05-18 17:56:40

deagleninja
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2004-04-28
Posts: 376

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

First of all, we haven't been on the Moon since 1972, that's 32 years ago. How much is that experience worth to us now? Meaning, how many Apollo technicians, astronauts and engineers does NASA still employ? When, we speak of our beyond-LEO experience we are really talking about blueprints and glory days.

Second, it is still significant that China spent so little re-designing Soyuz to be an even better rocket while costs remained reasonable. So many of NASA's 'great ideas' become pork and scientists pork-tenders. I believe we are seeing a much more efficent space program in action. Progress will be driven by nearly a single will and not by a loose collection of senators taking turns supporting each others pet projects.

I can't state for a fact, but it seems that their public is much more supportive of their space program than ours. This means if China's government wants to flex their 'space muscle' and increase spending on space related infastructure, their population will love it. Many Chinese see Americans as overtly arrogant fat slobs. They would love to see China take the lead in any area, and let's face it, it's not going to be in military strength.

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#13 2004-05-19 00:28:36

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

'bout the support... The city-people were extatic, the national pride thing, and the thought of China now 'officially' starting to be a major player in the overall tech field pleased them immesureably. Good for the politicians, I'd say. The farmers OTOH didn't even know it happened, when asked for their reactions by intntl. media... it's still a huge gap between the two, the farmers are extremely poor, lack a lot of basic stuff, let alone internet/cellphone/television etc... but the Govmint has declared they want to 'help the farmers' at last realising, i guess, how important they are for the economic health of the country...

But GCNR's statement remains true, observers say their next-gen. heavier launcher, needed to expand beyond their current launcher/vessle combination, might prove to be a major engineering headache. A lot of people foresee serious delays in development. What they did was impressive, but still reasonably simple, given enough time and money... Next step is much more difficult.

The only nation doing 'casual' manned launching (in wich i mean launching on-time, with a high degree of certainty of not blowing up, and through heat, mist or snow... ) is Russia. Delays are always money-related, otherwise they'd be doing it with one arme tied to their back, they're *really* experienced. Glorified plumbers instead of watchmakers, indeed.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#14 2004-05-19 09:21:08

Ian Flint
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2003-09-24
Posts: 437

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

About China's next step...

If they only spent a couple billion dollars to upgrade Russia's Soyuz then why can't they just spend a couple billion more to upgrade Russia's Energia?  We seem to be forgetting that China only took the first step.  Russia and America have already led the way with the next big steps, namely Heavy lift boosters and Space stations.  China should be able to improve on Mir and Energia without much difficulty.  Hopefully they will be smart enough to avoid the pitfalls of Shuttle/Buran and lego space stations.  And, since they will quickly catch the leaders, their momentum could very well catapult them ahead of the pack.

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#15 2004-05-19 10:32:13

deagleninja
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2004-04-28
Posts: 376

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Look out NASA, ESA, RSA and China!
4th Graders have their own means for getting probes to Mars!

http://www.press-citizen.com/news/051904mars.htm

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#16 2004-05-19 16:19:36

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Oh I doubt that... Energia is about as lost to the world as the Saturn-V, many of the engineers gone, the factory for building them gone or retooled, and only a precious handfull of RD-0120 engines left... and those are little better shape than museum pieces like the F-1/F-1A at the Smithsonian... The only remaining Energia rockets probably ruined when the roof collapsed at the Baikanour VAB. Russia is focused on building Soyuz R-7, Proton, Zenit componets and later Angara... no HLLV in the cards to give to China.

Chinese rocket technology is simply not that advanced, they are still using hypergolics and solids for most of their launchers, which still have a nasty habit of blowing up...


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#17 2004-05-19 16:57:32

Ian Flint
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2003-09-24
Posts: 437

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Did anyone say that China should just use old Russian stuff?

You misunderstand me GCNR, and you are very pessemistic. tongue

The Chinese could simply buy blueprints, learn from Russian designers, etc.  Though the rockets may be destroyed and the engineers scattered, China can find them and rebuild them if they want to.  China won't have to do everything from scratch.

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#18 2004-05-19 16:59:34

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

But thats what i'm saying that China can't do, because too little of the original Energia program remains... it would be almost like trying to build the Saturn-V over again. We've got blueprints for it and even a few old ones laying around next to museums.

Edit: You place entirely too much faith in the mighty Chinese engineers, able to do anything and leap tall buildings, etc etc.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#19 2004-05-19 19:25:38

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

This is what China will probably use to build it's space station.  It is not in the same class as Saturn IV or Energia, but it is a little larger than Delta IV heavy, meaning that it should be the most powerful rocket in the world when it begins operating.

If the Chinese say that they will build a space station within 15 years, you should take them seriously.  It probably means that they are actually hoping to have the space station built in 10.  However, that does not mean that they will have a really good space station, it will probably be much smaller than ISS.

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#20 2004-05-19 23:20:21

SBird
Member
Registered: 2004-03-10
Posts: 490

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

It should also be remembered that China is no longer a 3rd world country when it comes to manufacturing and research.  Most of the world's semiconductors and light manufacturing go on in China these days and they have very active and successful research programs.  They've had double digit economic growth for over a decade now which shows no sign of stopping for at least a few more years. 

Remember that the US wasn't a world power until WWI.  China's leadership for all of its many shortcomings knows what it's doing when it comes to long range economic and technological long-term planning.

For the next decade or two, the US will reamin the prmier world power.  If we make a concerted to get to Mars, no one, not Russia, not China, not ESA will beat us there.

However, if one looks at our slowing economic growth, continual outsourcing of actual manufacturing ability and continually declining domestic technical capability, unless we shape up, we're not going to be in the driver's seat forever.

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#21 2004-05-20 00:44:07

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Don't forget that Russia may be joining the ESA.  If the resultant agency works together with China, Japan, and India, it could provide the US with some formidable competition, even in the short term.

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#22 2018-03-25 14:45:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,490

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

What goes up does come down... Chinese space station set to plummet uncontrolled back to Earth

tiangong-reentry-ho-mo-20180325_hpEmbed_21x11_992.jpg

The highest risk places of this fallout in the uS are not all that high but here they are

Oregon, northern California, parts of Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Tiangong-1, China's first space station, which was launched in 2011 and has been in decreasing orbit ever since. Most of it will burn up on re-entry, but there’s always a chance some of it will survive and hit Earth. That said, most of our planet is covered by water so the odds are overwhelming it will splash down in an ocean someplace.

tiangong-1-ap-jt-180325_hpEmbed_22x13_992.jpg

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#23 2019-01-15 15:57:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,490

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

China has done 2 lunar missions so far with robotic landers of which they are quite the technology challenge to survive the temperatures that they are with in from the sun lit side and now on the dark side of the moon with the last. The moon is an inhospitable place. In the sunlight, temperatures hit highs of 260 degrees Fahrenheit, in the dark, it can reach a miserable minus 280. Radiation is high and water is scarce.

China news stories

The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, also known as the Chang'e Project after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e, is an ongoing series of robotic Moon missions by the China National Space Administration. The program incorporates lunar orbiters, landers, rovers and sample return spacecraft, launched using Long March rockets. Launches and flights are monitored by a Telemetry, Tracking, and Command system, which uses 50-metre radio antennas in Beijing and 40-metre antennas in Kunming, Shanghai, and Ürümqi to form a 3,000-kilometre VLBI antenna. A proprietary ground application system is responsible for downlink data reception.

After becoming the first country in the world to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, China is planning four more missions to get samples back before studying the feasibility of a lunar research base. China will launch a probe to collect samples from the moon around the end of this year, a space official said on Monday, weeks after Beijing hailed the successful touch down on the far side of the moon.

It should be time to declare detente with China as well and do some mission to bridge how the US and China would wade forward in space partnership....

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#24 2019-01-15 17:41:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,490

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

2nd try....

China is striving for a giant step for Man and a giant leap for Plant Kind it would seem with the latest lander..

th?id=OPN.RTNews_AyBvo4oInnonV7JjZg0-eQ&w=256&h=144&c=14&rs=2&qlt=90

China's Moon mission sees first seeds sprout

Cotton sprouts, seen to the left, on board the Moon lander. Seeds taken up to the Moon by China’s Chang’e-4 mission have sprouted, says China National Space Administration. It marks the first time any biological matter has grown on the Moon, and is being seen as a significant step towards long-term space exploration. The Chinese Moon lander was carrying among its cargo soil containing cotton and potato seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs. The plants are in a sealed container on board the lander and hopes to be growing potatoes ‘within 100 days’ .

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#25 2019-01-15 17:48:17

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,380

Re: China beginning a space race? - Fallout from NASA's China Snub

Would be great if China focussed on the Moon and left Mars to Space X. That would be a brilliant result.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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