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LEO is about to get a lot more crowded

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:03 pm
by JamesG
The Chinese are putting together their own LEO manned station, and now a consortium of Russian aerospace companies are planning on putting up a "CSS" for Commercial Space Station.

Ah... Good old Soyuz soldiers on...

So we may soon have three manned facilities in LEO with perhaps up to a couple of dozen humans in space on a permanent basis from now on. 8-)

Re: LEO is about to get a lot more crowded

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:25 pm
by RickLewis
Great link, and great picture. But maybe that should be FOUR space stations in LEO rather than three? I noticed that in the article you linked it says:

A US-based company, Bigelow Aerospace, has also been planning to construct a commercial space station using expandable habitats. They launched prototypes in 2006 and 2007, and in 2011 plan to launch a larger 180,572 square ft. module, which they tout as “fully operational.”

“What competition do we see on the horizon?” said Robert Bigelow, founder and president on the Bigelow Aerospace website. “Nobody.”

So the four would be the ISS, the CSS, the Chinese one and the Bigelow one.

Do you have any link about the proposed Chinese space station?

Re: LEO is about to get a lot more crowded

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:36 pm
by JamesG
Not really. The Chinese are playing their space program very close to the vest. Most of what we find out about it comes from their vague press releases, our DoD tracking of launches and orbits, and the observations from amateur astronomers.

Re: LEO is about to get a lot more crowded

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:24 pm
by JamesG
Case in point:

Second Chinese lunar probe set for launch tonight

The Chinese space program is marking new milestones even as those in the U.S. and elsewhere face tight budgets, although its close links to the military have limited cooperation with other nations — including the International Space Station.

The Xinhua News Agency said Chang'e II would circle 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the moon before moving into an elliptical orbit just 9 miles (15 kilometers) above its surface.

It will film the anticipated landing site for the Chang'e III probe with its super-high resolution camera before returning to its higher orbit and carrying out an analysis of the lunar surface and surrounding space environment.

After its six-month mission, Chang'e II will either land on the moon as an experiment for future probes, fly further into outer space, or change its course and begin orbiting the Earth, Xinhua cited chief designer Huang Jiangchuan as saying.

The decision will be based on how well the satellite performs during its original mission and its condition when it is over, Huang was cited as saying.

I seriously doubt, "Maybe we'll land on the moon, maybe we'll go somewhere else." was written into their mission plan or technical specs. LOL.