Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

China Soars into Space

China put astronauts in orbit. So what, right? The U.S. has been doing it since 1962. Here's what: The Chinese launched their first manned mission in 2003, their second in 2005 and their third this year. They began with a one-person ship, then a two-seater, then a three-man version, and during that last mission they completed a successful spacewalk. By all spacefaring measures, that's impressive — going from a standing start to a sprint in five years. What's more, China's unmanned Chang'e spacecraft is currently orbiting the moon and Beijing wants to have humans on the lunar surface by 2020. Think it can't pull off something that big? Then you didn't see the Olympics.