News / Science & Technology

China Completes Longest Manned Space Mission

Astronauts (L-R) Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping salute after returning to earth in the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft at its main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 26, 2013.
Astronauts (L-R) Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping salute after returning to earth in the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft at its main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 26, 2013.
VOA News
China has completed its longest manned space mission yet, marking an important step toward the goal of building its own space station.

The return capsule of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft touched down safely early Wednesday in China's remote Inner Mongolia region. The three astronauts aboard waved and smiled for the cameras after emerging from the capsule.

During their 15 days in space, the astronauts successfully docked with and carried out other tests on the Tiangong-1 experimental space module. China views the orbiting lab as a prototype for a permanent space station it hopes to build by 2020.

Asia space analyst and author Morris Jones tells VOA that while China's latest mission did not break any major new ground, it showed that its previous accomplishments in space were not flukes.

"Showing that you can do it once is one thing, but showing that the technology works time and time again is where you build up that track record and that confidence in the reliability in the systems and the procedures," said Jones.

Although it remains behind the U.S. and Russia, China's space program has made major breakthroughs in a relatively short time. In 2003, China sent its first astronaut to space. Five years later, it completed its first spacewalk.

Joan Johnson-Freese, an expert on China's space program at the National Defense University, tells VOA that China has been able to use its space program to become seen as one of the world's "technology leaders."

"This has meant a lot to them economically, in terms of political clout regionally and globally, and it's really given them a boost in their scientific and engineering programs in terms of student enrollment," said Johnson-Freese.

Johnson-Freese also points out that 95 percent or more of space technology is dual-use, meaning it has both a civilian and military application.

It is those concerns about China's military-backed space program that have prevented the U.S. from cooperating with China in space, effectively barring Beijing from the International Space Station project.

But many analysts, including Johnson-Freese, say the U.S. restriction is counter-productive, and will not keep China from working harder and faster to achieve its goals in space.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 26, 2013 12:12 PM
Welcome to the space industry, CHINA.

by: Liu Yang from: China
June 26, 2013 12:05 PM
This is a result of US-led arms embargo against China in the last three decades. We have no option but do it ourself. In these sense we're in debt to the US. Thanks.
In Response

by: oldlalmb from: China
June 27, 2013 5:55 AM
Dot'n be arrogant,China is not yet developed as America.I think it would take 40 years for China to overtake US.Because US never stop for waiting China.

by: Babu G. Ranganathan from: Boyertown, PA. USA
June 26, 2013 10:33 AM
SCIENCE SHOWS THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein confirmed that space, matter, and time all had a beginning. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal. Popular evolutionary scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered.

That's not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? God, being infinite, didn't need a beginning or cause, and God is not under the law of entropy. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION
Babu G. Ranganathan*
(B.A. Bible/Biology)
*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.

by: Yang from: China
June 26, 2013 10:18 AM

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