On Saturday mankind will have a first, well, womankind, well, Chinese womankind. Today the first female Chinese Astronaut takes flight.
The Chinese are sending up their spacecraft – the Shenzhou-9 –for many firsts. It will be a first for Liu, their female astronaut, (keep in mind it is only their fourth manned launch), they are performing China’s first manual docking – docking with Tiangong-1, their prototype for a manned space station. And should this be successful?
This is just the beginning of firsts as they plan their first visit to the moon, maybe. China’s quickly advancing space program has lofty goals as they wish to make their presence more than on this world, they have set their sights on the heavens!
Iran space program at present is a bit challenging. What they are in need of is cryogenic rockets. On February 3rd of this year they launched successfully a low orbit satellite. On May 12th of this year they successfully launched their first Safir-2, a space vehicle. Of course their 2011 launch involving a space monkey or what was to be a space monkey wasn’t quite so successful.
Westerners have long thought that Iran’s space program was to hide their nuclear program attempts to test missiles. Iran states that they intend to visit space again and to become a nation very similar to the US, Russia, and now China.
India’s space program at present is more of a to-do list than a has-done. They are currently in the development phase of a orbital vehicle that will carry two people and will likely go up in 2016. They have previously successfully launched satellites so are ready for this next step. This year they are starting an astronaut training center in Bangalore as part of the preparations involved. They are receiving assistance in crew training from Russia.
Any discussion of India’s space program with out mentioning Chandrayaan-1 would be incomplete. Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first unmanned lunar probe that was launched in 2008 and was sending data until 2009. The mission was deemed successful and gathered much information.
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
This is an agency that is made up of: France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Austria,Finland, Portugal, Greece, Luxemborg, Czech Republic and Romania. It also has Canada as an associate member.
The ESA has many launch vehicles that can handle the launch of payloads of the many communications satellites with no problem. As far as manned missions go, it did not consider that its primary goal but more one of need (satellites) and scientific exploration. The European SpaceLab built in 1983 provides the majority of their maned missions which have now become the routine and not the exception.The International Space Station eventually became the destination with the shuttle becoming their main method of travel. Now that NASA has retired the shuttles, the ESA has introduced the Vega, a new launch vehicle.
As far as manned missions, currently their involvement has been astronauts from their corp and the ISS. It is hard to say where that will go with the current financial problems of Europe and basically to some extent, everywhere.
So if the world ever needs to pick up roots and move out in space as they require in Sanacion: The Black Hole Mission, it really will mean pooling their abilities and understand their varying ineptitudes.
To China’s first female astronaut I say 祝賀