by Jacopo D. Cordero
At the dawn of the XXI century the social and political bonds that shaped the world in the last century are moving, creating new dysequilibriums, relocating the political alignments, opening some frontiers and closing other ones.
last hundred years saw the American uncontested predominance. Nowadays
perhaps US came to their political, military and economic apex. In the
short term we cannot doubt, if history well taught, that the great
North-American colossus will bear a fall.
and when nobody can say, but two competitors are already waiting to
redefine their roles in the international scenery. While the European
Union expands itself and bureaucratically forges its own identity in a
slow motion, trying not to upset the over Atlantic neighbour, China is
emerging quickly, claiming a space and taking its own destiny in its
hands. Such aspect clearly emerges in the space exploration domain, more
than in any other sector.
decades the most populous nation of the world lived in an auto-imposed
isolation, but now it came up to challenge the world as an economic power,
not neglecting the cultural, and inevitably military, sides. As the Cold
War accelerated the run to space, bringing men on the moon, so' now the
space competition contest is rushed by the desire to get – and to
preserve – the military advantage
on what is defined the "higher ground." But not only.
Chinese space run begun late but in less than two five-year periods it
made and it will complete some giant footsteps. These the principal
15th 2003 - Yang Liwei, first Chinese astronaut, brings
Shenzhou 5 in orbit.
12th 2005 - around 21.00 Beijings Time, China sends two
taikonauts in space, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, from the Jiuquan
Satellite Launch Center in the North-West of the Slope to complete
"orbital maintenance operations".
the two astronauts were still in orbit, on Earth they were already
planning the next two launchs.
the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, is the engineer who
designed the propulsion system. He affirms that, before putting a space
station in orbit, China will make some targeted experiments, as in the
next Shenzhou 7 mission, in 2007. Two astronauts will perform a space
walk. Shenzhou 8, instead, will make an experiment
of hookup with a space target to be defined.
designer of the Chinese aerospace system,
affirms that the vehicle of the
Shenzhou 8 mission will be the final one, for all the future missions. If
changes will occur, to face specific requirements of each mission,
they won't notch the form, the control systems and the data communication
crème of the Chinese engineering of all disciplines is employed in
the aerospace sector: a recently publicated news states that the most
powerful Chinese computer, Dawning4000A, located in Shanghai, will be
employed for aerospace purposes. It will be used to simulate the first
docking module, a fundamental wedge for the future space station to build.
Li Genguo, a manager of the Shanghai Supercomputer Center, states that Dawning4000A can perform calculations to test airplanes in very short time: if before such work took months, now it’s matter of hours. But the operations to simulate a space docking are decidedly more numerous and complicated in comparison to the ones of an airplan, despite Dawning4000A can complete 11 trillion calculations per second. A normal computer, as the commonly used desktops, would take one month to complete even only the simplest operation.
Some articles on the Chinese Astronautics topics
[002.JC.TDF.2006 - 08.01.2006]