China’s Space Bill

This screen shot taken on June 26, 2012 shows the Chinese astronauts who are conducting scientific tests in Tiangong-1 space lab module waving hands in Tiangong-1. Chinese President Hu Jintao came to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Tuesday and talked with the astronauts. (Xinhua)

China will have spent 39 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) on its manned space missions between the program’s launch in 1992 and the end of next year, according to Wu Ping, a space program spokesman quoted in the Beijing Times. Half of that was spent in the period up to 2005, the year of the Shenzhou-6 mission. The rest has gone on the subsequent flights that will culminate in Shenzhou-10′s mission next year. The photo above shows the three astronauts on the current mission, Shenzhou-9, aboard the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module following docking.

By way of comparison, the U.S.’s Apollo program, the one that put Americans on the Moon and first docked a spacecraft  in 1966, was estimated in 1973 to have cost $25.4 billion, which is $135 billion in 2012 dollars. China is making great strides in space, but the numbers suggest how far it still has to go to catch up the U.S. and Russia as space powers.

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under Space

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s