12 October 2005
News - Vehicles (Good)
China Launches Five-Day Space Flight
Capitalists one; communists two
by Carol Pinchefsky
by Carol Pinchefsky

China launched its rocket and capsule, Shenzhou 6, into orbit on October 11, 2005. Along for the five-day ride are two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, who will carry out scientific experiments.

This is China's second manned mission; the first took place in 2003 and lasted less than a day.

The first country to have a manned space programme was the former Soviet Union, and the second, the United States. Although Israel, Switzerland, Japan, France, and other countries have sent people to space, China is the only the third country to have a manned space programme.

China also plans to build an unmanned lunar probe and a space station. However, the People's Republic should strongly consider devoting its efforts toward space tourism: it would create greater prestige. And why be merely the third country to have a manned space program, when it could have the world's very first state-sponsored space tourism industry?

For more information, see the USA Today article.
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Carol Pinchefsky 12 October 2005
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