Will the launch failure affect the upcoming flight of the Long March 2C satellite affect Tiangong 1, China’s first space laboratory? Tiangong (literally “heavenly palace”) is a planned crewed space station with origins from 1992 as Project 921-2. The political message of the Tiangong project has been broached by the BBC. How will the world make sense of this recent failure?
For more, see China unveils rival to International Space Station (Guardian, April 26, 2011)
Less than a decade ago, it fired its first human being into orbit. Now, Beijing is working on a multi-capsule outpost in space. But what is the political message of the Tiangong ‘heavenly palace’?
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Pausing for Tiangong
by Morris Jones | Sydney, Australia (SPX)
Source – Space Daily, published Aug 19, 2011
- Illustration of the Tiangong mission. Photo – Space Daily
The recent failure of a Long March 2C satellite launch will certainly displease China’s spaceflight community. It raises another interesting question. Will the launch failure affect the upcoming flight of Tiangong 1, China’s first space laboratory?
There are reasons to suggest that China could simply forge ahead with the launch, which is expected by the end of the month. Launch failures happen to everyone from time to time. The gremlins that plague one rocket don’t necessarily jump to others.
Some of these failures are caused by random problems that don’t repeat consistently, ranging from faulty parts to badly implemented procedures. Right now, we can expect that Chinese engineers are examining the potential causes of this recent failure, but it will probably take some time before they can reach any firm conclusions. Read the rest of this entry »
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