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Is China’s Space Push Worth It?

The Wall Street Journal asks the question no one else is asking – why is China bothering with a Space Program? Click here to read it.

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Video: Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-9 complete difficult manual docking

China has made history by manually docking a spacecraft in orbit, joining the US and Russia in accomplishing the feat. Report by Sam Datta-Paulin.

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News: Chinese spacecraft docks with orbiting module

A Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts carried out a manual docking with an orbiting module on Sunday, a first for the country as it strives to match American and Russian exploits in space.

Read more here.

New Space Race: Russia and China Collaborating on X-37 Type Craft

I don’t really find this very surprising news considering how much China and Russia already work together in Space.

But not to be one-upped by the US Air Force and their recent not so secret test of the X-37, Russia and China are working on their own.

Here’s a mockup:

Russia China x-37

According to SUAS News:

A report published by China Aviation Journal, China has successfully launched its own space plane prototype, the news came out shortly after the US Air Force announced the successful test of their advanced X37B space plane, which is widely regarded as a next-generation super weapon that is even more dangerous than atomic bomb. This story has now been deleted.

Last year the X37 B was lost and found not once but twice by a South African amateur astronomer.

The Ming Pao and the Zhongguo Pinglun (China Review), a news website in Hong Kong, posted an article headlined “China succeeds in spacecraft test flight in tandem with U.S. X-37B” until early Tuesday, but no mainland Chinese media websites mentioned anything about it.

China’s “Hermes” Space Plane: A December 16 photo shows a model of the Shenlong and a new model of the Chinese “Hermes” space plane. China has made significant progress toward the development of an unmanned trans-atmospheric vehicle and a Space Plane. Beijing’s technological advancement has obvious commercial and scientific uses, however the military significance of the plane cannot be denied.

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Very interesting indeed!

China Plans Moon Landing in 2025

While we stand around with our thumbs up our asses about whether or not to go to the Moon or Mars, the Chinese are flowing ahead with a manned Lunar Program.

According to the Guardian:

Country also plans space station within a decade and Mars and Venus probes to be launched in next five years

China could put an astronaut on the moon in 2025 and launch probes to explore Mars and Venus within five years, according to the boss of a Chinese space programme.

Ye Peijian said China could make its first manned moon landing in 15 years, send a probe to Mars by 2013 and to Venus by 2015.

“China has the full capacity to accomplish Mars exploration by 2013,” he added.

The remarks, by the commander in chief of the country’s Chang’e lunar exploration project, were reported by the English language Global Times today and underscore the ambition of China’s plans.

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I wish them luck and I’ll watch with envy!