Fri, Oct 10, 2003
Shenzhou Manned Mission Set For Next Week
China will try to put a
man in space October 15th, ending weeks of speculatoin on when its
secretive space program will launch its first manned Zenzhou
mission. That word comes from Chinese television.
We have been told our live broadcast of the launch will be on
the 15th," a China Central Television news center official told the
French news agency AFP. "But we do not know the exact time of the
launch on the day."
Becoming only the third nation ever to put a man in space has
been a dream of the Chinese since the 1960s. But the Cultural
Revolution put the kibosh on early aspirations. It's only been in
the last dozen years or so that China has truly geared up its space
program. It's modeled the Zenzhou ("Divine Vessel") spacecraft
after the Russian Soyuz. It's modeled its "taikonaut" spacesuits
after the suits cosmonauts wear. It's launched four unmanned
missions, claiming all were successful.
Xie Guangxuan, director of China Rocket Design Department, told
the Chinese news web site Sina.com: "China's space technology has
been created by China itself. We may have started later than Russia
and the US, but it's amazing how fast we've been able to do
The launch, reportedly set for next Wednesday, is the first step
in China's dream to become a major space power. The communist
government in Beijing plans a lunar exploration and mining program
and is eyeing manned missions to Mars as well. China has also
initiated talks about joining the International Space Station
There are also security implications in a Chinese manned space
program. The United States' reliance on its GPS satellite
constellation makes that array an item of military interest.
After only four test flights using unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou
V will be launched using a Chinese Long March rocket from Jiuquan
Space Launch Center in Gansu, northwest China. The capsule will
parachute back to Earth somewhere in Inner Mongolia.
Xie Guangxuan said mission controllers are worried most about
the period during re-entry when, at an altitude of 60 miles,
communications with the capsule are briefly lost.
Maneuver Performed Aboard CVN 77 The Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) began touch and go landing operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W.>[...]
HTF7000 Series Surpasses 1.5 Million Flight Hours With Better Than 99 Percent Dispatch Reliability Honeywell has announced that its HTF7350, the latest engine to join its successfu>[...]
Also: PC-12 Record, Maule Nation, Cockpit Lockout, 34,000 Airliners Needed, Beechcraft Wins Big Contract You know you're having a bad day when a flight goes so bad that you feel yo>[...]
Four Buried As A Group May 2 A Navy Pilot, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted-for and was buried with full military honors along with his crew. According to the Depar>[...]
Forest Service Smoke Jumpers Smokejumping was first proposed in 1934 by T.V. Pearson, the Forest Service Intermountain Regional Forester, as a means to quickly provide initial atta>[...]