[FPSPACE] China to send at least 2 astronauts into outer space
next fall: CAS academician
Rex.D.Hall at tesco.net
Fri Jun 4 01:57:21 EDT 2004
I think you are right that they are very steady and conservative in their
progress but this seems to reflect the whole Chinese approach to space. All
launches are heralded months in advance and then it goes quiet.
Is the lack of the space race another reason for this approach? Both the
Soviet Union and USA were in a race with each other or that is what it
seemed. It meant certainly with Gemini and early Apollo flights launches
came around quickly to beat the Soviets and meet the Kennedy commitment.
This did drive the early days.
I am not sure how failure is viewed in China.
I have watched a DVD of the flight and the setting up of the infrastructure
and what they have reflects the long haul and ambition to succeed. I will
talk to Brian Harvey and Phil Clark at the China / Soviet forum at the BIS
this weekend. Perhaps some collective wisdom can inform this question.
Perhaps they were surprised with their own success with only Shenzhou 11
having a problem on landing. That could explain why they only had 5 craft
for one launch a year. They speeded up for the tests to this 9 month cycle.
Also is deploying the boats for periods difficult to support regular
launches. I am not sure where they get their supplies or do they return
directly to home port after the mission is completed. There are still many
questions to ask them. Perhaps in Vancouver we will get some answers.
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org
[mailto:fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of DwayneDay
Sent: 03 June 2004 23:21
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: RE: [FPSPACE] China to send at least 2 astronauts into outer
spacenext fall: CAS academician
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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