Tag: ChinaPage 2 of 21

China Positions Planned Space Station for Post-ISS Era

21 Comments
chinese_multimodular_space_station_525

Engineer concept for Chinese space station. (Credit: CNSA)

China has provided the most detailed plans yet for its planned multi-module space station, which is scheduled to begin full operations in the early 2020′s. Irene Klotz of Space News reports:

China is positioning itself to provide orbital laboratory space, experiment racks and facilities to scientists worldwide following the completion of the U.S.-led international space station program.

Continue reading ‘China Positions Planned Space Station for Post-ISS Era’

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: A Tale of Two Human Space Programs

14 Comments

commercial_crew_earthAll the promise, perils and contradictions of America’s human spaceflight effort were on display earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

Things were looking good for a day or so, but then the proverbial other shoe dropped to remind everyone of the deep trouble that lies ahead as NASA attempts to restore its human spaceflight capability and send astronauts beyond low Earth orbit.

As NASA struggles to execute a series of ambitious programs on increasingly tight budgets, the main beneficiary appears to be the bumbling, crisis prone Russian space agency Roscosmos, which has reaped a financial windfall as a result of America’s equally bumbling human spaceflight policy. And matters could get worse before they get better (for NASA, at least).

Continue reading ‘The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: A Tale of Two Human Space Programs’

Guess Who Else is Developing a LOX Methane Engine

Comments

CASC
CASC — the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation — reports it has reached a milestone in its development of a new LOX methane rocket engine.

“Recently, a new generation of methane liquid oxygen rocket engine ignition system-wide test to be successful for the first time, signifying that our LOX methane engine development has reached the international advanced level,” according to a story by China Space News published on the CASC website.

The story (in Chinese) is here. You’ll have to open the page in Google Chrome (which has built-in translation) or run it through a translator.

SpaceX is developing a LOX methane engine that will be used as an upper stage for its Falcon rockets. The engine will be tested at the NASA Michoud facility in Mississippi.

Continue reading ‘Guess Who Else is Developing a LOX Methane Engine’

Will China Surpass the U.S. in Space by 2020?

12 Comments
The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

Today marks the 10th anniversary of China’s first manned spaceflight, an occasion that has resulted in some soul searching over the Middle Kingdom’s significant progress in space and whether it is poised to take the lead from the United States in the decade ahead. The anniversary comes as NASA is all but shutdown due to a budget impasse in Washington.

Former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao, just back from the International Astronautic Congress in Beijing, sees a perfect storm brewing between China’s ascent and budget restrictions on America’s space program.Writing in Space.com, Chiao sketched out a scenario where China surpasses the U.S. in space in about seven years.

Continue reading ‘Will China Surpass the U.S. in Space by 2020?’

Chinese Engineers Propose Super Heavy Booster

Comments

long_march_launch
Although no formal program has been approved, Chinese engineers are eying super heavy boosters designed to send taikonauts to the moon and beyond:

Chinese engineers are proposing a Moon rocket more powerful than the Saturn V of the Apollo missions and matching the payload of NASA’s planned Space Launch System (SLS) Block 2, the unfunded launcher that would put the U.S. back into super-heavy space lift.

Continue reading ‘Chinese Engineers Propose Super Heavy Booster’

China Launches New Rocket Aimed at Operationally Responsive Space Capabilities

Comments

china_flagGregory Kulacki at the Union of Concerned Scientists notes the successful flight of a new launch vehicle by China’s military forces and discusses its strategic significant:

On 25 September 2013 China launched another earth observation satellite into orbit. The spacecraft, identified in Chinese press reports as the Kuaizhou 1, is a small earth observation satellite that will be used for disaster management and will be operated by China’s National Remote Sensing Center. But the launch had a second purpose: to test a new solid-fueled launch vehicle the Chinese military plans to use to provide a rapid ability to replace Chinese satellites that might be damaged or destroyed by an enemy attack.

Continue reading ‘China Launches New Rocket Aimed at Operationally Responsive Space Capabilities’

China to Hold Long March Pricing Steady

Comments

long_march_launch
Space News
reports on pricing for the Long March, a family of boosters that has racked up an impressive series of launch successes:

The company selling Chinese Long March rockets on the commercial market said Sept. 24 that it is maintaining prices for telecommunications satellite missions at about $70 million, a price it says is backed by a 96 percent success record over 181 flights as of Sept. 23.

In a series of presentations here, officials from Chinese government agencies and China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC), the company that markets the Long March vehicle, said the Long March rocket has established itself with domestic and export demand despite the 15-year ban on U.S.-built satellite launches aboard Chinese rockets.

Until Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., arrived on the scene with advertised launch prices that bested even those of the Chinese, the Long March was considered the low-cost option among providers of rockets carrying satellites to geostationary transfer orbit, where most communications satellites are dropped off in orbit.

CGWIC officials point out that SpaceX has yet to prove its ability to maintain its prices — between $58 million and around $65 million for commercial customers — as it inaugurates its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket and ramps up production to meet the company’s large commercial backlog.

Read the full story.

China Opens Up Space Program to Foreign Astronauts

Comments
The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

China is opening up its human spaceflight program to foreign astronauts:

 

We would like to train astronauts from other countries and organizations that have such a demand, and we would be glad to provide trips to foreign astronauts,” said Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Agency. We will also welcome foreign astronauts who have received our training to work in our future space station.”

 

Continue reading ‘China Opens Up Space Program to Foreign Astronauts’

A Closer Look at Chinese Launch Activities in 2012

Comments

long_march_launch
China was in second place in 2012 in terms of both launches (19) and payloads orbited (30). That record put it just behind Russia and ahead of the United States. One of those launches involved a three-person crew sent to the Tiangong-1 space station.

The following look at Chinese launch activities is excerpted from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation’s new report, “The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2012.” The excerpt includes a summary of 2012 launch activities, closer looks at the Long March 2 and 3 rockets, and a summary of the Long March 5, 6 and 7 launch vehicles now under development.

Continue reading ‘A Closer Look at Chinese Launch Activities in 2012′

China Surpassed U.S. in Launches, Payloads in 2012

Comments

long_march_launch
By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

China’s surging space program moved into second place in 2012 in terms of both orbital launches and payloads, passing the United States and inching closer to Russia.

China successfully launched 19 rockets last year, placing a total of 30 payloads into orbit, according to an annual report released by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). Russia led all nations with 34 payloads on 24 launches, while the United States came in third with 28 payloads on 13 launches.
Continue reading ‘China Surpassed U.S. in Launches, Payloads in 2012′