China announced Thursday (Feb. 28) that it will send three astronauts to space this summer on a docking mission to its orbiting lab, according to news reports.
Carrying three Chinese astronauts the Shenzhou 10 capsule will launch into space atop a Long March-2F rocket sometime between June and August, the Xinhua news agency reported. Once in orbit, the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will link up with China’s space station prototype, the Tiangong 1 laboratory module.
The new space mission will mark China’s second manned docking of two spacecraft in orbit, and the fifth Chinese manned spaceflight. The country’s space program achieved its first manned orbital docking 2012, when the three-person crew of Shenzhou 9 linked up with Tiangong 1.Space.com
Raise your hands, anyone who knew the Chinese built their own space station? Have sent manned missions to it before? and the media claims to report “the news”. Apparently this isn’t newsworthy in the US.
Facebook Status update backdated to the blog.
Editor’s note 2018. This status update was backdated to the blog when it was, because this event was happening soon,
The European Space Agency (ESA) has issued a new re-entry forecast for China’s Tiangong-1 space lab.
The 8.5-ton spacecraft is now expected to fall into Earth’s atmosphere between March 24 and April 19, though ESA officials stressed that this is a rough estimate.
“Re-entry will take place anywhere between 43 degrees north and 43 degrees south (e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, etc.)” latitude, officials with the Space Debris Office at ESA’s European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, wrote in an update last week. “Areas outside of these latitudes can be excluded. At no time will a precise time/location prediction from ESA be possible.”Space.com
In all honesty, I thought that this space station had already suffered re-entry. Apparently I had read the story projecting the re-entry data, and never took into account how far into the future this event would occur.
…Also? I loved the comment by someone of Asian descent on my Facebook status who thinks that because Chinese spaceflight is important to him, it should be important to everybody. I was simply marveling that as a voracious news consumer I had never encountered this story in two years of listening to and watching the news almost constantly. Space is simply not something that the mainstream media reports on, and when they do, they do it badly.