Danger Room: China Set to Launch Its Own Space Station; Mission: Unknown

29.09.11

Categorie: China, David Axe, Space |
Tags: , , ,

International Space Station. NASA photo.

International Space Station. NASA photo.

by DAVID AXE

China is just days away from launching an ambitious rival to the International Space Station, pictured above. A rocket launch carrying an unmanned test module named Tiangong 1 — literally, “Heavenly Palace 1” — is scheduled for this week. Allegedly, the 8.5-ton Tiangong 1 module is designed to practice autonomous rendezvous ops in orbit, in order to prep for a manned space base around 2020. But China-watchers and space specialists are trying to figure out if there’s an additional agenda for the Heavenly Palace.

Will it be a spacelab equipped strictly for scientific research? Is there a military mission? Is it a jobs program for China’s “large, young, highly motivated and growing population of space scientists and engineers?” (That’s what Gregory Kulacki, from the Union of Concerned Scientists thinks.) Is the whole space-station program really just a PR ploy? Or some or all of the above?

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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One Response to “Danger Room: China Set to Launch Its Own Space Station; Mission: Unknown”

  1. Georgia says:

    I saw your article on China’s Heavenly Palace space lab, and loved your commentary and questioning. I think it’s important for blogs today to question and evaluate the news they get instead of merely passing it along–it prevents the blogosphere from becoming an info trap and gives people real purpose to read a blog.

    Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this video from Newsy (http://www.newsy.com/videos/a-space-lab-made-in-china/) about the spaceship. It goes into what different sources are saying about the ship, and possible motives or alternative uses it could have. Just so you know, Newsy is an online news video source that pulls information from different mainstream sources to give viewers “the real story,” and to show bias in news media today. Feel free to link this video (or any other) to your blog as supplemental info for your posts! Hope you enjoy!

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