China – Shenzhou 11 Launched to Tiangong-2 Space Station

With very little coverage on US News ( I saw it on CNBC World late at night when they move broadcasting to Asia for the market open…) China has launched 2 astronauts to their Tiangong Space Station.

Has nice photos in it:

China launches 30-day manned mission to test space station
Astronauts will spend 30 days aboard the Tiangong-2 space station conducting experiments and testing the ship’s systems.

By Stephen Feller | Oct. 16, 2016 at 11:44 PM

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (UPI) — Two Chinese astronauts lifted off for the longest manned mission in the history of China’s space program — a full month.

The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft blasted toward orbit Sunday night and is expected to dock with the Tiangong-2 space station in two days to start a 30-day mission conducting experiments and testing the station’s systems.

“The rocket is flying according to its original plan and the Shenzhou spacecraft has entered into its preliminary orbit,” said Gen. Zhang Youxia, chief commander of China’s human space program. “The solar panel has been unfolded and the crew is in great condition. Hereby I announce the launch of Shenzhou-11 is a complete success.”
Work at the lab is part of China’s plans to build a permanent space station in 2018, in addition to planning a lunar probe for the far side of the moon in 2018, unmanned mission to Mars in 2020 and a manned lunar mission in 2025.

Well at least somebody has plans for people in space and is doing them on schedule

Yeah yeah… I know we have lots of interesting private efforts to get back to space. I know we can rent a ride on a Russian taxi when needed (and if they like us that month). Yeah, I know our condominium in the International Space Station is on orbit and working. And yes, I know we have lots of ambitious plans on the drawing board that might even get done if any of the presidents or congresses between now and delivery date doesn’t just kill them…

Somehow it isn’t as fulfilling as seeing a planed scheduled expansion into a permanent national space presence unfold as designed.

Well, at least we know that someone will be getting back to the moon in the next 9 years, even if I won’t be able to understand any of their TV shows without a Chinese translator…

While I’d thought that the movement of civilization into space started in the USA in the ’60s, it looks like it has really started with the Chinese a half century late(r). I’m glad I’m getting to see both ends of the process, but really, by this time I ought to be able to book a commercial flight to the lunar City for an exotic vacation… On Pan Am, no less.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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5 Responses to China – Shenzhou 11 Launched to Tiangong-2 Space Station

  1. Gary says:

    Nice Pan Am reference only we old dinosaurs will get. IIRC, in the ’70s they were taking reservations for the first commercial flight in 1999.

  2. philjourdan says:

    The world has turned to navel gazing, so it will be awhile before there is a lunar Base. Remember Space 1999? A Nuclear waste dump was supposed to have blown the moon out of orbit and to traveling the galaxy. I think it only lasted one season. Which given the premise, was about all anyone could stomach.

  3. ROBERT M SYKES says:

    Not the world, the US has turned to navel gazing. Both Russia and China have long term plans in space, and if humans ever walk on Mars or even the Moon again, they will be either Russian or Chinese or both, likely on a joint mission.

    It sure looks like Russia and China won the space race.

  4. A C Osborn says:

    I think the Pan Am reference is also to A C Clarke’s Space Odyssey 2001.
    Where is that lovely big Space Station?
    During an interview with a couple of NASA Space Managers on UK TV they blamed it on the “Space Race”.
    Once the US had got to the Moon and effectively won the race all intreset was lost by Politicians and funds started to dry up from that point on.
    If it had ben extended to Mars, as it appears to be now, then it would have been a different story.

    I think it is is such a waste of money that each Space faring nation is going through all the same old trial and error and expense that the USA & USSR went through, instead of it being a truly International or World endevour.
    I know they start off knowing it can be done and using the basic Tech that has already been developed, but it still seems a waste compared to the “dreams” of all the Science Fiction writers, like Clarke, of the past.

  5. John Robertson says:

    Quivering in fear of the asteroid at the bottom of this gravity well, is much more the speed of “civilized” North America.
    We have already surrendered, unless we change our apathetic ways, the future belongs to China and India.
    I was anticipating retiring to the moon base old folks home, 40 years ago.
    What was not to love,1/6th gravity,something useful to do and no worries about genetic damage from hard radiation,cause already past best before date for human reproduction.
    Space was the new frontier for geriatrics.
    And that small hope for humankind, to increase our chances of survival in a capricious universe by expanding our planetary base.
    Waiting for the asteroid.

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