The Chinese project to build its own space station by 2020 achieved a major step forward when, on November 3, 2011, a Shenzhou 8 capsule successfully docked with a Tiangon 1 module at 200 miles above Earth. Andrew Jacobs, writing “China’s Space Program Bolstered by First Docking,” in the New York Times, of November 3, describes the achievement. This achievement is especially significant since cooperation between Chinese and American space scientists has been obstructed by sanctions imposed on China after the Beijing massacre in June 1989, and China has had to build its program largely on its own. It is interesting that China aims to complete its space station just about the time that the International Space Station will be retired. The PRC has said that it would welcome scientists from other countries to participate in its activities, and exclude none — contrary to the way that China has been excluded from participation in the International Space Station.
China’s First Docking in Space
November 10, 2011 · No Comments