Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Rise Of China In Space

David Axe, Daily Beast: Three Words: Chinese. Space. Station.

China just put another small space station into orbit—and by the 2020s they may replace the International Space Station. But private companies are the future of space exploration.

China has just launched its second small Tiangong space station into orbit, more or less catching up to what the United States’ and Russia’s own space programs achieved starting in the 1970s.

Riding atop a Long March rocket, the 34-foot-long, 10-ton Tiangong-2 blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Sept. 15, aiming for an orbit 240 miles over Earth’s surface.

While Beijing’s effort to establish a long-term human presence in orbit is impressive on a political level, on a technological level it’s decades behind the curve. In the United States and elsewhere, private companies are poised to establish a long-term presence in space that doesn’t depend on big, government-run orbital structures.

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WNU Editor: Russia is also starting to ramp up their space program .... Russia begins moon landing trials as Moscow ‘plans large lunar settlement’ by 2045 (The SUN).

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