Chinese rush to space death? And news bites for Wednesday 13 March

by | Mar 12, 2008 | China | 0 comments

The Chinese government’s propaganda machine keeps churning out these statements about the country’s next manned mission and its aims for a extra-vehicular activity during the flight

When I was in Beijing in May 2007 at the country’s astronaut research and training centre I was not convinced that the manned programme was anywhere near ready for a mission in 18-months time after talking to the personnel there

Australian space analyst Morris Jones has a lot of questions regarding the lack of credible information from the Chinese

So far we have only had one report, this one. It talks about ground testing of the airlock module and EVA suit and claims that this represented a simulation of microgravity conditions!

I doubt that somehow. But ground testing would very probably entail airlock pressurisation and depressurisation and standing the EVA suit user in a vacuum chamber while you check the integrity of the suit; and maybe doing both. I would be more impressed if they had rebuilt the airlock inside an aircraft and had astronauts practicing egress during parabolic flights. Water tank training is also a must and you would think it would be the easiest PR job in the world just to show pictures of the tank and yet, nope, we get nada

Personally I can see a space accident happening if the mission does go ahead this OctoberA brief problem with the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle’s propulsion system has been resolved and four orbital boosts have brought the ATV to a position 20km below and behind the International Space Station

Personal Spaceflight has an interview with Sir Richard Branson from Indian television (oddly I am in India at the moment) where the chairman of the Virgin group repeated the current Virgin Galactic plans for flight testing

Vietnam is preparing to have its first telecoms satellite launched

NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale talks budgets, if you can stand the excitement

The public’s photos of a Mitsubishi H-IIA launch have been hosted on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s website

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