Saturday, May 14, 2011

Station-Keeping for China's Space Program

Despite false claims by certain politicians that China has surpassed the United States in space technology and will soon land humans on the Moon, in the real world China continues to move slowly towards its own modest space station.

Spaceflight Now reports that China hopes to launch two unmanned spacecraft later this year to attempt a docking maneuver for the first time in their history.

The docking experiment is a key step in China's aggressive plan to field a massive space station the size of NASA's Skylab research platform by 2020 ...

The space station would weigh more than 130,000 pounds. Its core module would stretch nearly 60 feet long, then two experiment modules would blast off and join together to form the complex in orbit, officials from the China Manned Space Engineering Office said at a news conference in April.


The last crewed Chinese flight was Shenzhou 7 which flew for three days in September 2008 with a crew of three.

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