[FPSPACE] China to send at least 2 astronauts into outer space
next fall: CAS academician
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 3 18:20:43 EDT 2004
From: Rex Hall <Rex.D.Hall at tesco.net>
>I think it could be related to how the 5 year plans work in China. You plan
and ask for funding for a number of flights and it works well and hence you
have a gap. This plan demanded the first flight they did it in the time
period. The next set of missions is phase 2 hence the gap.
That could be it, but do we know that the first phase corresponded precisely with a 5-year plan? They did five years of flight testing, but certainly the program had to start before that time.
>They are going to be a force in the future. Let's see how fast they move
through EVA and Docking. The next target is certainly just below a week in
orbit then a docking and EVA for Shenzhou VII and VIII. I bet they complete
all of this in a timescale better than 1961 to 1966 for the USA and 1961 and
1969 for the Soviets. 2004 to ??
During the first phase they took considerably longer than the US and USSR to achieve first piloted flight, despite the fact that they were not making any major leaps in tech development (the booster was an upgrade, etc.). But it should not be hard for them to operate at a faster pace than the superpowers did. However, I remain puzzled by what I consider to be a slow pace and by some very conservative operational decisions. Why, for instance, fund only one flight per year? That implies that somebody is holding back the money, preventing a higher flight rate. And why are their ambitions for their second flight so relatively unambitious? After all, right now they are saying that their second flight will differ from the first primarily by the fact that it carries two people instead of one and that they will move around the capsule. That seems like a very conservative mission.
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