Elon Musk Slammed Online by Chinese – Latest news headlines


Chinese citizens lashed out online against billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk’s space ambitions on Monday after China complained that its space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid collision with satellites launched by Musk’s Starlink programme.

The satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a division of Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21, according to a document submitted by China earlier this month to the UN’s space agency.

“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” China said in a document published on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

The complaints have not been independently verified. SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform on Monday, one user said Starlink’s satellites were “just a pile of space junk”, while another described them as “American space warfare weapons”.

With nearly 30,000 satellites and other debris believed to be orbiting the planet, scientists have urged governments to share data to reduce the risk of catastrophic space collisions.

SpaceX alone has deployed nearly 1,900 satellites to serve its Starlink broadband network, and is planning more.

“The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities,” a user posting under the name Chen Haiying said on Weibo.

US space agency NASA was forced to abruptly call off a spacewalk at the end of November, citing risks posed by space debris. Musk tweeted in response that some Starlink satellite orbits had been adjusted to reduce the possibility of collisions.

China began constructing the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe, the largest of its three modules. The station is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 after four crewed missions.

Musk has become a well-known figure in China, though Tesla’s electric-vehicle business has come under growing scrutiny from regulators, especially after a customer climbed on top of a Tesla car at the Shanghai auto show in April to protest against poor customer service.

© Thomson Reuters 2021




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Latest News Today – China’s Space Station Welcomes First Astronauts as


The first astronauts arrived at China’s new space station on Thursday in the country’s longest crewed mission to date, a landmark step in establishing Beijing as a major space power.

The trio blasted off on a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan launch centre in northwest China’s Gobi desert, and their craft docked at the Tiangong station around seven hours later, where they will spend the next three months.

State broadcaster CCTV showed a live feed from inside the spacecraft during the journey, with the three astronauts lifting their helmet visors after it reached orbit as one smiled and waved at the camera.

Another floated a pen just off his lap in zero-gravity as he browsed the flight manual.

Around seven hours after lift-off, space officials confirmed that the craft had docked with Tianhe, the core module of the country’s new space station.

The Shenzhou-12 craft has “successfully docked with the forward port of the core module” of the Tiangong station, said the China Manned Space Agency, as state TV showed live footage.

At a ceremony before blast-off, the three astronauts, already wearing their space suits, greeted a crowd of supporters and space workers, who sang the patriotic song “Without the Chinese Communist Party, there would be no new China”.

The mission’s commander is Nie Haisheng, a decorated air force pilot in the People’s Liberation Army who has already participated in two space missions.

The two other members are also members of the military.

Space life
The Tianhe module of the space station has separate living spaces for each of the astronauts, a “space treadmill” and bike for exercise, and a communication centre for emails and video calls with ground control.

It is China’s first crewed mission in nearly five years.

Huang Weifen of the China Manned Space Program said the astronauts will perform two spacewalks during the mission, both lasting around six or seven hours.

She also said the trio will wear newly-developed spacewalk suits.

The launch represents a matter of huge prestige in China, as Beijing prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party on July 1 with a massive propaganda campaign.

To prepare for the mission, the crew underwent more than 6,000 hours of training, including hundreds of underwater somersaults in full space gear.

The Chinese space agency is planning a total of 11 launches through to the end of next year, including three more manned missions that will deliver two lab modules to expand the 70-tonne station, along with supplies and crew members.

China’s space ambitions have been fuelled in part by a US ban on its astronauts on the International Space Station, a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe, and Japan.

It is due for retirement after 2024, even though NASA has said it could potentially remain functional beyond 2028.

Tiangong will be much smaller than the ISS, and is expected to have a lifespan of at least 10 years.

China has said it would be open to international collaboration on its space station although it has yet to give specific details.

Zhou Jianping, chief designer for the space programme, said “foreign astronauts are certainly going to enter the Chinese space station one day”.

“There are a number of countries that have expressed a desire to do that and we will be open to that in future,” he said.

Beijing said in March it was also planning to build a separate lunar space station with Russia, and this week the two countries issued a “roadmap” for potential collaboration opportunities.
 




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Latest News Today – China to Send 3 Astronauts to Its Space Station Tianhe


A three-man crew of astronauts will blast off in June for a three-month mission on China’s new space station, according to a space official who was the country’s first astronaut in orbit.

The plans for the station’s first crew were confirmed to state television by Yang Liwei, the manned space programme’s deputy chief designer, as an automated spacecraft was launched with fuel and supplies for the Tianhe station.

Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, is the third and largest space station launched by China’s increasingly ambitious space program. Its core module was launched into orbit April 29.

The Shenzhou 12 capsule carrying the crew will be launched from the Jiuquan base in China’s northwest next month, Yang said in comments broadcast Saturday by China Central Television.

They will practice spacewalks and conduct repairs and maintenance as well as scientific operations.

Yang, who orbited Earth in 2003, gave no details of the astronauts’ identities or a flight date and said the crew will come from the program’s two earliest groups of astronauts.

Asked whether women would be in the crew, Yang said, “on Shenzhou 12 we don’t have them, but missions after that all will have them.”

The Tianzhou-2 spacecraft that docked with Tianhe on Sunday carried 6.8 tons of cargo including space suits, food and equipment for the astronauts and fuel for the station, according to the space program.

The space agency plans a total of 11 launches through the end of next year to deliver two more modules for the 70-ton station, supplies and the crew.

Beijing doesn’t participate in the International Space Station, largely due to US objections. Washington is wary of the Chinese program’s secrecy and its military connections.

China has sent 11 astronauts, including two women, into space beginning with Yang’s flight in October 2003. The first female astronaut was Liu Yang in 2012.

All of China’s astronauts to date have been pilots from the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

Astronauts on the Tianhe will practice making spacewalks with two people outside the hull at one time, according to Yang. China’s first spacewalk was made in 2008 by Zhai Zhigang outside the Shenzhou 7 capsule.

Also this month, the Chinese space programme landed a probe, the Tianwen-1, on Mars carrying a rover, the Zhurong.


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