Every day that the Republican controlled House bickers over nickels, while lavishing trillions on the rich and useless wars, we are ceding the high ground to a former enemy. I guess we can just hope that former enemy stays a friendly banker and business partner:
China’s Tiangong 1 space lab is slated to launch aboard a Chinese Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China. The prototype, which will test docking technology with the country’s Shenzhou spacecraft, is an important step toward China’s goal of constructing a crewed space station in orbit.
The Chinese program is ambitious, it combines the Gemini phase of the US program where crews learned to rendezvous and dock two or more spacecraft with the Skylab portion. If all goes well, Chinese engineers plan to use that knowledge and the same module design to create a scalable space station, illustrated below, similar to the early stages of the ISS.