As any regular space geek would inform you, America’s favorite frenemy China is envisioning space stations orbiting our home world in the future.
The question everyone is asking however is when are they going to launch it–and will it be friendly?
(Space Daily) We could be less than a year away from the launch of Tiangong-1, China’s first space laboratory. We’ve been expecting this launch for years, but relatively little is still known about this mission. [...]
What do we know for sure? Tiangong seems to consist of a short, cylindrical pressurized module, with not much more internal volume for the crew than a Shenzhou spacecraft. To the rear of this is a service module, containing two solar panel wings, a propulsion system and other gear. The service module has a slightly smaller diameter than the pressurized module.
Although we can guestimate the overall specs of China’s upcoming space station, we probably still do not know whether the new Chinese space station will be friendly or unfriendly (i.e. militaristic or challenging in nature).
China has made incredible strides in space in their attempt to catch up the NASA (as well as the Russians).
But until America can determine China’s overall purpose for embracing the stars, we may see a more confrontational approach later on–which could potentially translate into a second global space race.
(Image Credit: NASA)