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  China's Shenzhou VII mission (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   China's Shenzhou VII mission
hlbjr
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posted 09-26-2008 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Fox News infers the mission is being faked.
I didn't understand the article to say the flight was being faked. The fact is, the official China news agency posted the story which was on their website all day before the launch, which gave quotes by the taikonauts on their mission etc... That's what's disturbing.

hlbjr
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posted 09-26-2008 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The article does not infer the mission is being faked. The article is factually reporting that the official China news agency posted a story hours before the mission, which was on their official website for a day, which gives detailed quotes by taikonauts and controllers for a mission which hadn't yet flown. If anything, I think the article infers we may not know what is actually happening when it happens but instead may be told what the Chinese government wants us to know. That's it.

Harvey Brown
Delray Beach, FL

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-26-2008 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First and foremost, it should be pointed out that even though the article appears on Fox News, it is in fact an Associated Press story (which ran many other places, e.g. Space.com).

Second, it is not uncommon for journalists to pre-write stories, even inserting placeholder quotes. Almost every U.S. space news journalist I know pre-writes their shuttle launch stories and they have multiple versions just in the case the mission scrubs or encounters a problem during flight. They then drop in the real time details (e.g. launch time, actual quotes) and publish. How else do you think they have articles out within moments of liftoff?

Lastly, about the quotes, all missions are somewhat scripted. For shuttles launches, you could pre-write multiple phrases that are surely to be heard during the flight (e.g. "Roger, roll program." or Go at throttle up.").

So, the fact that Xinhua published a pre-written launch story is not in of itself nefarious, but at the least it's an amateur error.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-26-2008 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And now back to the mission, already in progress...

Xinhua: China's maiden spacewalk to be broadcast live

The video grab taken on Sept. 26, 2008 at the Beijing Space Command and Control Center in Beijing, China, shows Chinese astronaut Liu Boming unpacking and assembling the indigenous Feitian extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suit in Shenzhou-7.

China will broadcast live the nation's maiden spacewalk slated for 04:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Wang Zhaoyao, spokesperson with the manned space program.

The spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA), will last about 30 minutes, he said at a press conference here Friday.

Excluding the opening and the closing of the module gate, the real spacewalk may take about 20 minutes, he said.

According to the schedule, the taikonauts would finish testing the space suits at 1:00 a.m. Saturday when the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft has made 19 orbits around the earth, he said.

Then they would begin a 100-minute training in the orbital module before the EVA, he said.

If the EVA starts at 4:30 p.m. Beijing time on Saturday, it will be at 0830 GMT or 4:30 a.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-26-2008 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
Any idea where to look for visible pass info?
Heavens Above is now tracking Shenzhou VII (the dates extend past the landing, as the orbital module will remain visible).

cspg
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posted 09-26-2008 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Fox News infers the mission is being faked.
Funny this idea that the mission is faked.

Watching the first images of the YouTube video, the Long March rocket sure does look like a plastic model sitting in a movie studio... I thought that conspirationists (?) would have a blast (so to speak).

Chris.

jimsz
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posted 09-26-2008 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Fox News infers the mission is being faked. I wouldn't believe anything Fox says anyway.
I feel the same about the BBC but FOX didn't allude anything because they didn't write the article. It was (is) an AP release, not a FOX report.

The mission might not be faked but if the Chinese are releasing information and actions, complete with quotes, hours before it happens - their actions should be suspect.

tegwilym
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posted 09-26-2008 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Watching the first images of the YouTube video, the Long March rocket sure does look like a plastic model sitting in a movie studio... I thought that conspirationists (?) would have a blast (so to speak).
Yeah, I hate to say this but that second scene of the YouTube video sure reminded me of those old "Thunderbirds" show. Remember the ones with the really cool models and the goofy puppets?

But then again, they did Photoshop the fireworks and say they didn't have 12 year olds in the Olympics. Hmmm...

Tom

ejectr
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posted 09-26-2008 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Heavens Above is now tracking Shenzhou VII (the dates extend past the landing, as the orbital module will remain visible).
Darn! Two 67 degree night visible passes in the next two days and it's raining!

SPACEFACTS
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posted 09-27-2008 04:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SPACEFACTS   Click Here to Email SPACEFACTS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Zhai completed his EVA (21 minutes). It seems that Liu made a stand up EVA. As I could see he had only shoulders through the hatch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-27-2008 04:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua: Chinese taikonaut greets nation, world in first spacewalk

Chinese Taikonaut Zhai Zhigang completed a spacewalk Saturday afternoon, marking a historic breakthrough in the country's ambitious space program, which will eventually lead to the establishment of a permanent space station.

Donning a 4-million-U.S.dollar homemade Feitian space suit, Zhai slipped out of the orbital module of Shenzhou-7 in a head-out-first position at around 4:43 p.m. (0843 GMT).

He waved to the camera mounted on the service module after pulling himself out of the capsule, video monitors at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) showed.

"Shenzhou-7 is now outside the spacecraft. I feel well. I am here greeting the Chinese people and people of the whole world," the taikonaut reported to the ground control in Beijing.

Minutes after Zhai was outside the capsule, teammate Liu Bomingalso emerged briefly and handed Zhai a Chinese national flag that Zhai waved in the outer space against the backdrop of the blue planet Earth. The third crew member, Jing Haipeng, monitored the ship from inside the re-entry module.

Video monitors at the ground control showed Zhai then slowly leaned towards a test sample of solid lubricant placed outside the orbital module. He took the sample and handed it over to Liu.

Solid lubricant is widely used in spacecraft. The test sample carried by Shenzhou-7 included 11 types of solid lubricants. Chinese scientists said they hoped to improve the property and lifetime of the materials by studying the samples.

jasonelam
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posted 09-27-2008 05:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Video coverage of the EVA:

dom
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posted 09-27-2008 06:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to the Chinese on this impressive 'giant leap'.

The image of the Taikonaut waving to the camera from the hatch might now become an iconic image of Chinese spaceflight.

It reminds me of that famous 1980s picture showing a Shuttle astronaut holding up a 'For Sale' sign.

Perhaps the Taikonaut should have been holding a piece of card that said 'Made in China'

issman1
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posted 09-27-2008 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched the entire 20 minute EVA live on CCTV and you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ISS spacewalk. Having demonstrated such proficiency in human spaceflight ops, China is more deserving to be an ISS partner than some ESA member states - in particular the UK (it pains me to say).

jimsz
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posted 09-27-2008 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
I watched the entire 20 minute EVA live on CCTV and you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ISS spacewalk.
Standing in an open hatch is a spacewalk?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-27-2008 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
Standing in an open hatch is a spacewalk?
By U.S. definition, a modern spacewalk begins when a spacesuit is taken to internal power. By Russian definition, a modern spacewalk begins when the hatch opens.

Of course, Zhai did more than that, climbing out and traversing the area around the hatch, as well as retrieving an experiment from the outside of the orbital module.

jasonelam
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posted 09-27-2008 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to China for their first spacewalk! I found it interesting that according to the Xinhua news service, the spacewalk only lasted 14 minutes, which would make it the shortest "first" spacewalk on record.

The Chinese "Feitian" spacesuit looks to me like a cross between the Orlan and the Kretchet Lunar EVA suit. There are a lot of similarities to the Russian designs.

Finally did anyone notice that according to the news reports it took almost an hour to re-pressurize the Orbital Module? According to several news articles I read, the repress started a few minutes after 5 a.m. EST and was back to full pressure at 5:50 a.m. EST. Is this normal?

gliderpilotuk
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posted 09-27-2008 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
gōng xǐ (Congratulations).

Paul

ilbasso
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posted 09-27-2008 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it interesting that the CCTV English website shows a picture of Ed White's Gemini IV spacewalk!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-27-2008 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Understandably, the spacewalk is receiving most of the attention today, but the Shenzhou VII crew also deployed a satellite, as Xinhua reports:
China's third manned spaceship Shenzhou-7 launched a small monitoring satellite about two hours after an astronaut accomplished the country's first spacewalk Saturday afternoon.

The satellite, less than 40 kilograms in weight, will orbit the orbital module and send back the spaceship's first full video images.

It is equipped with two cameras that can capture clear images in a distance between four meters and two km, according to Shen Xuemin, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, developer of the satellite.

The accompanying satellite will observe and assist the main spaceship and work for communication, scientific experiment, earth and astronomy observation, he said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-27-2008 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
...the spacewalk only lasted 14 minutes, which would make it the shortest "first" spacewalk on record.
The official start of the spacewalk was reported as 4:44 a.m. EDT; the official end was 4:58 a.m. EDT, so indeed 14 minutes.
quote:
The Chinese "Feitian" spacesuit looks to me like a cross between the Orlan and the Kretchet Lunar EVA suit.
See the discussion of the spacesuit: Chinese "Feitian" EVA spacesuit.

ilbasso
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posted 09-27-2008 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
I find it interesting that the CCTV English website shows a picture of Ed White's Gemini IV spacewalk!

Also noted that a clickthrough link on the site discussing EVA shows a thumbnail of Kim Poor's "Attitude Hold" portrait of Bruce McCandless.

Rodina
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posted 09-27-2008 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go Taikonauts, indeed!

Anyone know when they start their deorbiting procedures? Heavens Above has a pass listed for northern California this evening (I missed last night, alas) but if they are planning on landing Sunday, I don't know when the data on that pass will be outdated.

Thanks.

East-Frisian
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posted 09-27-2008 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats for this great job. And it doesn't matter if it was 14 minutes, 21 minutes or what ever else. It was a succesful spacewalk. That's it.

Philip
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posted 09-28-2008 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Checking HeavenSat, I was able to figure out that the Chinese spacecraft was visible from Belgium, passing under the planet Jupiter at about the time that the ISS passed over Belgium last evening, followed by the ATV 10 minutes later.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-28-2008 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shenzhou VII touched down at 5:38 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

Xinhua: China's third manned spacecraft returns after landmark spacewalk

The Shenzhou-7 space module carrying three taikonauts landed safely by parachute Sunday afternoon in China's northern grassland, after a landmark spacewalk mission that leads the country further in its space exploration.

Astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng came back from a 68-hour flight, which included a 20-minute spacewalk on Saturday.

"It was a glorious mission, full of challenges but the result is perfect. I'm proud of my country," said Zhai Zhigang, sitting on a chair after emerging from the module.

The space capsule was suspended down by a 1,000-square-meter parachute and landed on its flank at Siziwang Banner in central Inner Mongolia, where 300 search and rescue staff waited.

issman1
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posted 09-28-2008 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Truly a remarkable achievement. China has ably shown it is as efficient a spacefaring nation as the US and Russia. All that is left is rendezvous and docking to precede its own space station. By contrast US politicians had been reluctant to buy Russian Soyuz craft to keep NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station beyond 2011. Perhaps they should also relent and finally grant Shenzhou craft access to the ISS? I'm sure Chinese taikonauts would be happy at such a prospect.

Tom
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posted 09-28-2008 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm amazed at the progress of China's (manned) space program.

Shenzhou 5: 1 day orbital
Shenzhou 6: 2 men...6 days
Shenzhou 7: 3 men...EVA

Shenzhou 8 & 9: unmanned "space station"
Shenzhou 10: linkup with station

...could Shenzhou 11 be a lunar mission?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-28-2008 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
...grant Shenzhou craft access to the ISS?
quote:
Originally posted by Tom:
...could Shenzhou 11 be a lunar mission?
Xinhua: Spokesman: China to build space station in 2020
China aims to set up a space station in 2020 and before that it will launch a "simple" space lab in 2011, said a spokesman of the country's manned space program Sunday evening.

The station will be attended to by human beings, said Wang Zhaoyao at a press conference following the successful landing of the country's third manned mission Shenzhou-7.

The orbiter docking technology will be tested after the Shenzhou-7 mission, he said.

Mike Dixon
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posted 09-28-2008 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Truly a remarkable achievement. China has ably shown it is as efficient a spacefaring nation as the US and Russia.
A predictable post. Three missions in what... 5 years?

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-28-2008 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Truly a remarkable achievement.
Marginally so... almost everything about the Chinese program is the result of plagiarized technology and techniques...

MrSpace86
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posted 09-28-2008 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is just unbelievable how much Chinese Space Technology is pretty much a carbon copy of the Russian Space Technology. Sure, I know it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel... but Apollo looked nothing like a Soyuz or Vostok. Gemini and Mercury did not look like Voskhod or Soyuz. Orion does not look like all those mentioned with the exception of Apollo. Sure, Shenzhou is slightly larger, but how similar can you make things and still get away with it. I am not a genius but I do have eyes and a brain and it is obvious the Chinese did not do this on their own. Barry Bonds gets criticized and people want an asterisk next to his records for supposedly being helped... Should China get one too for supposedly being helped by the Russians?

-R

Editor's note: This post and the next four replies were migrated from another topic.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-28-2008 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
Sure, Shenzhou is slightly larger, but how similar can you make things and still get away with it.
Get away with what? China has been very forthcoming about the role Russia has played in the development of their manned space program. That said, Shenzhou is far from a carbon copy of Soyuz. Shenzhou's orbital module is a building block for a mini space station, a concept they plan to demonstrate on the Shenzhou VIII and IX missions (with a crew visiting the outpost on Shenzhou X).

MrSpace86
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posted 09-28-2008 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Get away with what?
Get away with lack of originality. Sure, the orbital module is different, but the capsule itself and everything else is pretty much the same. I had posted pictures to show comparisons of the spacesuits, capsule, launch escape tower, and EVA suits, but I guess they did not go by well.

The fact that they are forthcoming does not make it right.

-R

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-28-2008 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
I had posted pictures to show comparisons of the spacesuits, capsule, launch escape tower, and EVA suits, but I guess they did not go by well.
They were removed because either they were photos already posted to this thread or not hosted by you (reminder, you cannot embed images from a third party website, Wikipedia included).

On edit: To be fair and the reference of others, I've added them back to your post as links, rather than embedded images.

But that underscores part of the problem: you are judging books spacecraft by their covers pictures.

Why should China waste time reinventing the wheel? Just as we are looking at Apollo as a model for Orion, China used Soyuz for Shenzhou. It doesn't mean that Orion is Apollo, nor is Shenzhou the same as Soyuz.

MrSpace86
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posted 09-28-2008 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
To be fair and the reference of others, I've added them back to your post as links, rather than embedded images.

But that underscores part of the problem: you are judging books spacecraft by their covers pictures.


Thank you for adding them back. I did not know the policy about adding images, so I apologize.

And I guess you are right about the Apollo comparison, but I still think they should at least try to make things look a little more original. I just hope they don't have a Buran-looking vehicle on the pad soon!

-R

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-28-2008 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My point is that the magnitude of the Chinese achievement and sacrifice is significantly diminished because they didn't have to boot-strap their program from the ground up.

Lee Robert Brandon-Cremer
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posted 09-28-2008 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Robert Brandon-Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Robert Brandon-Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a theory why the Chinese have a different design for their Orbital module than the Soyuz design.

In my opinion its the requirement for EVA, it wouldnt be possible to fit two Orlan suited crewman in the Soyuz orbital module. Orlan suits were designed for Salyut Station airlock use, not Soyuz originating EVAs.

The Chinese solution was to require a larger orbital module.

Although Orlan suits were originally designed for Lunar excursions, they wernt actually first used until Soyuz-26 at Salyut-6.

ilbasso
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posted 09-28-2008 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCDR Scott Schneeweis:
My point is that the magnitude of the Chinese achievement and sacrifice is significantly diminished because they didn't have to boot-strap their program from the ground up.

I agree that they didn't have to invent it from the ground up, but they did have to make it work, and make it work right. (Russia has a LOT of experience with Soyuz, but they haven't had much luck with the reentry of the last couple of them.)

An analogy comes to mind: downplaying China's achievement because they didn't have to learn everything the hard way would be like downplaying Shakespeare's accomplishments because he didn't invent the form called the "play." He may not have been the first, but his achievements certainly stand on their own merits.

Manned spaceflight is entering a new phase, one where we are learning more from each other and building on each other's experience. I think it's an exciting time. I hope China's moves forward will inspire the US and Russia to pick up the pace in their programs.

cspg
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posted 09-28-2008 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Dixon:
A predictable post. Three missions in what... 5 years?
To quote a Chinese saying: who cares about the color of the cat as long as it catches the mouse.

In other words, they are in no hurry. Achieving the goal is more important than to stick to an (unachievable) schedule.

quote:
Originally posted by LCDR Scott Schneeweis:
Marginally so... almost everything about the Chinese program is the result of plagiarized technology and techniques...
So? You'd rather spent billions on something that doesn't work? Or when it does, you decide to trash it?

The Chinese have a more pragmatic approach to their space program.

Chris.


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