2008-09-21

Shenzhou 7

In a couple of days China will launch its third manned space mission. The Shenzhou 7 spacecraft will carry three astronauts, one of them will make China's first spacewalk.

Part of the Shenzhou spacecraft (the 8m3 orbital module) will stay in orbit around planet Earth. The Chinese have plans to send two unmanned spacecrafts (Shenzhou 8 and Shenzhou 9) up there to dock with the Shenzhou 7 orbital module. This would give them a basic space station. They don't give an exact date, but if all goes well i think that within a year (or two) we will see three Chinese astronauts docking the Shenzhou 10 to their space station.

When talking about this, people always react "Why don't they join the International efforts of the ISS?" The answer is simple, the USA does not allow China to be part of the 'International Space Station'.

Anyway, my advice is to watch them! The Chinese have realistic and exciting plans. They already have a spacecraft orbiting the moon, and the Shenzhou spacecraft are designed for trips to the moon. All they need now is a bigger rocket.

You can find some pictures of Shenzhou 7 being transported to the launch site here at xinhua.

2 comments:

Philip Paeps said...

The US reminds me of the hermians in Arthur C. Clarke's "Rama" .... For some reason.

ghosty said...

Those Chinese try to be independent at least, here we just bow for the US, every piece of technology comes from the US nowadays...