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.