China has just gotten back from an historic 15 day training mission in space, marking a series of leaps and bounds in earth's orbit. They say their recent emphasis on space is for economic and military purposes, and the U.S. definitely notices. From USA Today:
BEIJING — China launched an experimental spacecraft on Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country’s first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface.
The eight-day program is a test run for a 2017 mission that aims to have a Chinese spacecraft land on the moon, retrieve samples and return to Earth. That would make burgeoning space power China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a mission.
China is to send its second woman astronaut into orbit on its longest mission yet, space officials said Monday, as the country works towards building a space station. The Shenzhou-10 -- the name means "Divine Vessel" -- will be launched on a Long March rocket at 0938 GMT Tuesday, Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space programme, told a news conference.
Beijing (AFP) - China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious programme to one day land a Chinese citizen on the Earth's only natural satellite.
Three Chinese astronauts on Monday entered an orbiting module for the first time, in a move broadcast live on China's state television network and a key step towards the nation's first space station.The astronauts, two men and a woman, passed into the Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace") module a little under three hours after it docked with the Shenzhou-9 ("Divine Vessel") spacecraft.The Shenzhou-9 took off Saturday carrying the first Chinese woman to go into space, before undergoing the third automatic docking China has ever performed, and the first for a manned mission.
NEW DELHI — India triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars on Wednesday and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers.
What’s even more impressive is that they achieved this feat for $74-million — it cost Hollywood producers $100-million to make the film Gravity.
In scenes broadcast live on Indian TV, scientists broke into wild cheers as the orbiter’s engines completed 24 minutes of burn time to manoeuvr the spacecraft into its designated place around the red planet.
The US space shuttle Discovery successfully linked up with the International Space Station Wednesday, easing into a docking node.Mission commander Alan Poindexter delicately steered his big ship into place at 0744 GMt, 215 miles (344 kilometers) over the Caribbean, NASA said."Houston and station, capture confirmed," the shuttle commander radioed after docking the shuttle to the space station, the destination of Discover's 13-day resupply mission.It was greeted with the sound of bells and the message, "Discovery arriving," apparently radioed from the space station.