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China expects to complete space station by 2023

china space station tiangong 2003 60 square meters 10 years

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#1 Crisp

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:14

China expects to complete space station by 2023

 

China will complete its first space station within 10 years and be able to send crews of up to six people for short-term missions, according to the 64th International Astronautical Congress.

 

At the congress, which has been held annually since 1950, China released a host of details about its space station to around 3,600 delegates from all over the world.

"Room in the station will be no less than 60 square meters, which is enough for astronauts to move freely," said Xu Dazhe, general manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, at the five-day event that began on Monday in Beijing.

He said the station will also be able to support three astronauts on long-term missions. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp is the main contractor for the Chinese space program.

According to China Manned Space Engineering Office, the space station will consist of three capsules with a cargo shuttle to transport supplies.

The station's core module will be 18.1 meters in length and will weigh 20 to 22 metric tons. The space station will also consist of two self-contained laboratories.

Wang Zhaoyao, director of China Manned Space Agency, said astronauts will be able to make long-term missions in orbit and conduct technical tests.

But more research and development will be needed to complete the space station, Zhou Jianping, chief designer of the manned space program, told Chinanews on Monday. He said China will be able to launch the planned space station in 10 years.

On Tuesday, Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, said the nation is also willing to accept foreign astronauts for future missions.

Xu said that China will launch the Tiangong-2 space laboratory in around two years to test technologies in renewable life support and in-orbit refueling, adding that perfecting the technologies will be essential for the planned space station.

He said one cargo shuttle and several manned spaceships will be launched to dock with the Tiangong-2.

The country successfully carried out its first manual space docking, another essential step in building a space station, in June last year when three Chinese astronauts — Liu, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang — piloted Shenzhou-9 to link up with Tiangong-1.

China became the third country to launch a human into space in 2003 and has been rapidly expanding its space program.

Berndt Feuerbacher, former president of the International Astronautical Federation, said at the congress that China's space program is not only becoming more successful and advanced, it is looking for cooperation opportunities.

"The congress should help strengthen international cooperation with China," he said.

 

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#2 Beittil

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:51

I still wonder when the first modules for this station will go up... if it needs to be done by 2023 AND there is still Tiangong-2 to go with in 2015. That is pretty ambitious, the Tiangong-1 program was what, almost 2 years? 4 days from now it will be exactly 2 years ago that Tiangong-1 was launched. It was visited 3 times in 2011, 2012 and last in summer 2013 concluding the program.

 

Say Tiangong-2 has a similar timeline, launch in 2015 with visits in 2015, 2016 and 2017. That leaves 6 years to finnish designing, building and launching of Tiangong-3, and this baby will be a whole lot larger than #1 and #2 are!



#3 AwayfromHere

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:57

Oh. Now I know what happened before Metro 2033  :rofl:



#4 DocM

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:24

I assume they meant 60 cubic meters, not square meters. That's how habitable volume is measured.

To put it into perspective a Dragon is 10 cubic meters, Bigelow's BEAM testbed for the ISS is 16 cubic meters, their BA-330 module will be 330 cubic meters, and they have plans for one that's 2,100 cubic meters - 2x the volume of ISS.

The BEAM goes up ~2015. The first 2 BA-330's are planned for later this decade. All they're waiting for is Commercial Crew spacecraft so they can get people to them, the factory is already built outside of Las Vegas.

#5 Growled

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 16:32

2023 is a long way off still and a lot could happen in 10 years. I thought not too long ago that America would have people living in space by now, but that didn't work out.



#6 psionicinversion

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 16:38

I can see it now that americans will dock in the wrong space station because itll look exactly like the ISS, but the chinese will acclaim it looks nothing like it cus itll have a chinese flag on it



#7 Hum

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 23:45

Space Station ?  Show some guts -- send some people to the Moon .... if you dare. :laugh: