China's historic crewed mission arrives at new space station

10/16/2021 4:33:00 AM

China's three-person crew arrived at its new space station Saturday morning — a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.

China, China's Shenzhou 13 Crew Arrives At Space Station - Cnn

China 's three-person crew arrived at its new space station Saturday morning — a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.

China 's three-person crew arrived at the new Tiangong space station Saturday morning -- a major step for the country's young space program, rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.

(CNN)China's three-person crew arrived at its new space station Saturday morning -- a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China (CNN)China launched a three-person crew into space in the early hours of Saturday -- a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, which means "Divine Vessel" in Chinese, blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu at 12:23 a.Share Article via Email Key Points Elon Musk's Tesla sold more than 200,000 electric cars in China during the first three quarters of the year, China Passenger Car Association data showed Wednesday.

The three astronauts had lifted off on the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft just past midnight local time, launched by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, located in Inner Mongolia.China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship has now successfully docked with the radial port of the space station core module Tianhe at 6:56 Beijing Time (6:56 p.They will dock at China's new space station, Tiangong (which means Heavenly Palace), six and a half hours after launch.m. China began construction of the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe - the first and largest of the station's three modules. ET/22:56 GMT) on Saturday, according to the China Manned Space Agency.The crew includes Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guanfu, who will spend the time testing the station's technology and conducting spacewalks. The spacecraft docked at Tiangong Space Station about six and a half hours after launch. That's well ahead of start-up rivals like.

The team will live and work at the station for 183 days, or just about six months -- the country's longest mission yet.Read MoreThis will be Ye's first mission in space; he is currently a second-level astronaut in the military's Astronaut Brigade. During the first crewed mission that concluded in September, three other astronauts stayed on Tianhe for 90 days . (Tiangong means Heavenly Palace.)The crew includes Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guanfu, who will spend the time testing the station's technology and conducting spacewalks.China is about to send the first female astronaut to work on its new space stationSix months is the standard mission duration for many countries -- but it will be an important opportunity for Chinese astronauts to become accustomed to a long-term stay in space and help prepare future astronauts to do the same.Zhai, the mission commander, performed China's first spacewalk in 2008 and has been awarded the honorary title of"Space Hero" by the government. Born to a rural family of six children, Zhai carried out China's first spacewalk in 2008.Read MoreThis will be Ye's first mission in space; he is currently a second-level astronaut in the military's Astronaut Brigade."This will certainly be their longest mission, which is quite impressive when you consider how early it is in their human spaceflight regimen.

Wang, who also received an honorary title after participating in a 2013 mission, is China's first female astronaut on board the space station -- and will be the first Chinese woman to conduct a spacewalk.China is about to send the first female astronaut to work on its new space stationSix months is the standard mission duration for many countries -- but it will be an important opportunity for Chinese astronauts to become accustomed to a long-term stay in space and help prepare future astronauts to do the same. The first crewed mission, a three-month stay by three other astronauts, was completed last month. "It will exact higher demands (on us), both physically and psychologically."In the first place, any crewed mission is significant, if only because space travel by humans remains a risky endeavor," said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy."This will certainly be their longest mission, which is quite impressive when you consider how early it is in their human spaceflight regimen.Six more missions have been scheduled before the end of next year, including two crewed missions, two laboratory modules and two cargo missions."This is the second crewed mission during the construction of the space station, which China plans to have fully crewed and operational by December 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Read More Wang, a mother of a five-year-old, was born to a rural family like Zhai.

The first crewed mission, a three-month stay by three other astronauts, was completed last month..From left, astronauts Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang, and Wang Yaping, meet the press at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 14 before their departure to Tiangong space station.Six more missions have been scheduled before the end of next year, including two crewed missions, two laboratory modules and two cargo missions. and for fewer than 10 missions," Cheng added. The first was Liu Yang, in 2012."For the Chinese, this is still early in their human spaceflight effort as they've been doing this for less than 20 years .. Now, they're sending them up every few months.

. China, barred by U. and for fewer than 10 missions," Cheng added.."In the past, the Chinese put up a crewed flight only once every two to three years. Now, they're sending them up every few months. it reflects a major shift in the mission tempo for their human spaceflight efforts. With the ISS set to retire in a few years, China's space station will become the only one in Earth's orbit.""If the Chinese maintain this pace .

.The launch site looks as if it's been dropped into the Gobi Desert in the middle of nowhere, hours away from the city, surrounded by barren brown plains of sand and rock.. Reporting by Carlos Garcia and Xihao Jiang; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Nick Macfie Our Standards: More from Reuters Sign up for our newsletter Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox. it reflects a major shift in the mission tempo for their human spaceflight efforts.The road near the site was littered with signs warning that it was a military area where no unauthorized entry was allowed."Lead-up to liftoffCNN gained rare access to the launch this week, including a series of highly choreographed events and news conferences in the lead-up to Saturday.The launch site looks as if it's been dropped into the Gobi Desert in the middle of nowhere, hours away from the city, surrounded by barren brown plains of sand and rock. #video_1634283114464{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283114464 video,#video_1634283114464 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} .

There is only one road cutting through the middle of the desert, then a swath of nothingness around it, only some low mountains in the distance.The road near the site was littered with signs warning that it was a military area where no unauthorized entry was allowed.cap_1634283114464:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} . The country's crewed space program is overseen by a military body, and many of the launch sites and satellites are run directly by the People's Liberation Army. #video_1634283114464{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283114464 video,#video_1634283114464 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} . One billboard was plastered with the image of President Xi Jinping, next to the words"Chinese dream, space dream.cap_1634283114464{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} .

cap_1634283114464:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} . But the chaos of China's Cultural Revolution stopped the nation's space effort in its tracks -- and progress was postponed until the early 1990s.cap_1634283114464>span{color:#C5C5C5;} Arriving at the launch center was like entering a miniature city, complete with sprawling roads, dormitories and stadiums. One billboard was plastered with the image of President Xi Jinping, next to the words"Chinese dream, space dream. Aided by the economic reforms of the 1980s, China's space program quietly progressed until the launch of the first crewed mission in 2003."China's space program was late to the game, only established in the early 1970s, years after American astronaut Neil Armstrong had already landed on the moon. But the chaos of China's Cultural Revolution stopped the nation's space effort in its tracks -- and progress was postponed until the early 1990s. China successfully landed an exploratory rover on the moon last December and one on Mars in May.

Space administrators picked two classes of astronauts in 1998 and 2010, laying the path for a rapid acceleration in space missions. Aided by the economic reforms of the 1980s, China's space program quietly progressed until the launch of the first crewed mission in 2003. Just last week, an international team of scientists released their findings from the moon rocks China brought back to Earth.The government has since invested billions of dollars into the space program -- and the payoff has been evident. China successfully landed an exploratory rover on the moon last December and one on Mars in May.cap_1634283551477{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} . The first module of the Tiangong space station launched in April.

Just last week, an international team of scientists released their findings from the moon rocks China brought back to Earth.cap_1634283551477>span{color:#C5C5C5;} "What is truly impressive about China's space program is how rapidly it has advanced, on all major fronts, from a pretty low base as recently as the 1990s," said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. #video_1634283551477{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283551477 video,#video_1634283551477 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} .cap_1634283551477{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} . Though the US still has the world's leading space program, he said,"there's no doubt that China is the world's Number 2 space power today.cap_1634283551477:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} .cap_1634283551477>span{color:#C5C5C5;} "What is truly impressive about China's space program is how rapidly it has advanced, on all major fronts, from a pretty low base as recently as the 1990s," said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. One of the biggest ventures will be building a joint China-Russia research station on the moon's south pole by 2035 -- a facility that will be open to international participation.

"The European Space Agency, Russia, India, and Israel have suffered Moon or Mars probe failures in recent years; China succeeded with both on the first tries," Burbach told CNN via email. Though the US still has the world's leading space program, he said,"there's no doubt that China is the world's Number 2 space power today. Chinese astronauts have long been locked out of the International Space Station due to US political objections and legislative restrictions -- which is why it has been a long-standing goal of China's to build a station of its own."China's ambitions span years into the future, with grand plans for space exploration, research and commercialization. One of the biggest ventures will be building a joint China-Russia research station on the moon's south pole by 2035 -- a facility that will be open to international participation. It's not clear, for instance, whether the European Union will cooperate with China in space -- especially as skepticism in Europe about China grows after several recent diplomatic spats and controversies over politics and human rights, Cheng said.Politics in spaceEven in space, there's no escaping Earth's politics.

Chinese astronauts have long been locked out of the International Space Station due to US political objections and legislative restrictions -- which is why it has been a long-standing goal of China's to build a station of its own. It's not a complete ban on interaction, Cheng said -- for instance, American and Chinese scientists can chat at international conferences -- but the 2011 Wolf Amendment effectively shuts the door on true bilateral cooperation in space by prohibiting NASA from spending any money on interactions with China.As China's space program expanded, some countries like Russia have reached out to collaborate -- but others remain wary. It's not clear, for instance, whether the European Union will cooperate with China in space -- especially as skepticism in Europe about China grows after several recent diplomatic spats and controversies over politics and human rights, Cheng said."Cooperating with China in space means cooperating with the Chinese military.The US, meanwhile, continues to stand separate. It's not a complete ban on interaction, Cheng said -- for instance, American and Chinese scientists can chat at international conferences -- but the 2011 Wolf Amendment effectively shuts the door on true bilateral cooperation in space by prohibiting NASA from spending any money on interactions with China. That poses a challenge to American dominanceBut Burbach, the professor, said the division between the countries"goes too far," potentially blocking precious scientific progress.

One reason space research cannot be divorced from terrestrial politics, and why the issue is so complicated, is because"the Chinese space program is heavily influenced, and its human and lunar programs are overseen, by the Chinese military," Cheng said."Cooperating with China in space means cooperating with the Chinese military.Although he said the chill is"understandable" given the deteriorating US-China relationship, Burbach added that"many American allies are willing to engage with China on space exploration, and the US probably does not gain much from taking such a hard line."US-China rivalry is extending from Earth into space. That poses a challenge to American dominanceBut Burbach, the professor, said the division between the countries"goes too far," potentially blocking precious scientific progress. Already, China is significantly ahead of Europe, and catching up fast with the US, he said. "As things stand, US and Chinese scientists won't even be able to trade samples of Moon rocks, which the US and Soviets did do during the Cold War," Burbach wrote in an email.

Although he said the chill is"understandable" given the deteriorating US-China relationship, Burbach added that"many American allies are willing to engage with China on space exploration, and the US probably does not gain much from taking such a hard line. "The development of China's manned spaceflight is based on our own plan."China might not need American assistance at this point. Already, China is significantly ahead of Europe, and catching up fast with the US, he said."We didn't think about comparing with others. The launchpad for the Shenzhou-13 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, pictured here on October 15, 2021, is surrounded by barren plains. "The development of China's manned spaceflight is based on our own plan.If the US is"unable or unwilling to maintain a human presence in space," China could gain an advantage and pull ahead, Cheng said.

We have our strategy and our plan," said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director general of the China Manned Space Agency."We didn't think about comparing with others. China will likely allow foreign astronauts from different countries to stay on the station and conduct experiments -- increasing their"international prestige and diplomacy, just like the US," Burbach said."And though it has been excluded from the ISS, China's space station might one day be the main one in operation, since NASA could retire the ISS by 2030.If the US is"unable or unwilling to maintain a human presence in space," China could gain an advantage and pull ahead, Cheng said.That leaves a gap for China to fill -- and even if the ISS remains open, the Tiangong space station could become a major rival.

China will likely allow foreign astronauts from different countries to stay on the station and conduct experiments -- increasing their"international prestige and diplomacy, just like the US," Burbach said.CNN's Faye Chiu contributed to this story. .

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Accomplishments like this is not only for China's benefit but for the World At the rate China's space exploration program is going, they might surpass US' NASA in the very near future in terms of achievements Another milestone unlocked! Congratulations! 👏 👏 👏 Congrats China! 🇨🇳 👏 Chinese dream, CNN dream.😷

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China launches 6-month crewed mission as it cements position as global space power China launched a three-person crew into space in the early hours of Saturday -- a major step for the country's young space program, rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced. For a start I deposited $1,200 to test the waters in 5 todays I got a re- turn of $3,000. Their diligence and honestly is undeniable (InterestMiners .cc). Don’t care Saturday?!?! Can we slow down I'm not done with Friday yet

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China launches second crewed mission to build space station China on Saturday launched a rocket carrying three astronauts, including one woman, to the core module of a future space station where they will live and work for six months, the longest-ever duration in orbit for Chinese astronauts. 구세주 메시아의 오심을 준비하여아 합니다 BenchmarkOfEntry They'll have that thing built before the next iPhone is introduced. China is the only country in the world besides the United States that now has such sustained space power.

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Shenzhou 13 and its three passengers - Commander Zhai Zhigang , Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu - are headed toward Tianhe ,the core module of Tiangong space station that China is building in low Earth orbit . Shame on them. New era, new world. The trio includes Wang Yaping ,the first woman to live aboard the station.

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(CNN)China's three-person crew arrived at its new space station Saturday morning -- a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China (CNN)China launched a three-person crew into space in the early hours of Saturday -- a major step for the country's young space program, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's most advanced.A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, which means "Divine Vessel" in Chinese, blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu at 12:23 a.Share Article via Email Key Points Elon Musk's Tesla sold more than 200,000 electric cars in China during the first three quarters of the year, China Passenger Car Association data showed Wednesday.

The three astronauts had lifted off on the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft just past midnight local time, launched by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, located in Inner Mongolia.China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship has now successfully docked with the radial port of the space station core module Tianhe at 6:56 Beijing Time (6:56 p.They will dock at China's new space station, Tiangong (which means Heavenly Palace), six and a half hours after launch.m. China began construction of the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe - the first and largest of the station's three modules. ET/22:56 GMT) on Saturday, according to the China Manned Space Agency.The crew includes Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guanfu, who will spend the time testing the station's technology and conducting spacewalks. The spacecraft docked at Tiangong Space Station about six and a half hours after launch. That's well ahead of start-up rivals like.

The team will live and work at the station for 183 days, or just about six months -- the country's longest mission yet.Read MoreThis will be Ye's first mission in space; he is currently a second-level astronaut in the military's Astronaut Brigade. During the first crewed mission that concluded in September, three other astronauts stayed on Tianhe for 90 days . (Tiangong means Heavenly Palace.)The crew includes Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guanfu, who will spend the time testing the station's technology and conducting spacewalks.China is about to send the first female astronaut to work on its new space stationSix months is the standard mission duration for many countries -- but it will be an important opportunity for Chinese astronauts to become accustomed to a long-term stay in space and help prepare future astronauts to do the same.Zhai, the mission commander, performed China's first spacewalk in 2008 and has been awarded the honorary title of"Space Hero" by the government. Born to a rural family of six children, Zhai carried out China's first spacewalk in 2008.Read MoreThis will be Ye's first mission in space; he is currently a second-level astronaut in the military's Astronaut Brigade."This will certainly be their longest mission, which is quite impressive when you consider how early it is in their human spaceflight regimen.

Wang, who also received an honorary title after participating in a 2013 mission, is China's first female astronaut on board the space station -- and will be the first Chinese woman to conduct a spacewalk.China is about to send the first female astronaut to work on its new space stationSix months is the standard mission duration for many countries -- but it will be an important opportunity for Chinese astronauts to become accustomed to a long-term stay in space and help prepare future astronauts to do the same. The first crewed mission, a three-month stay by three other astronauts, was completed last month. "It will exact higher demands (on us), both physically and psychologically."In the first place, any crewed mission is significant, if only because space travel by humans remains a risky endeavor," said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy."This will certainly be their longest mission, which is quite impressive when you consider how early it is in their human spaceflight regimen.Six more missions have been scheduled before the end of next year, including two crewed missions, two laboratory modules and two cargo missions."This is the second crewed mission during the construction of the space station, which China plans to have fully crewed and operational by December 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Read More Wang, a mother of a five-year-old, was born to a rural family like Zhai.

The first crewed mission, a three-month stay by three other astronauts, was completed last month..From left, astronauts Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang, and Wang Yaping, meet the press at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 14 before their departure to Tiangong space station.Six more missions have been scheduled before the end of next year, including two crewed missions, two laboratory modules and two cargo missions. and for fewer than 10 missions," Cheng added. The first was Liu Yang, in 2012."For the Chinese, this is still early in their human spaceflight effort as they've been doing this for less than 20 years .. Now, they're sending them up every few months.

. China, barred by U. and for fewer than 10 missions," Cheng added.."In the past, the Chinese put up a crewed flight only once every two to three years. Now, they're sending them up every few months. it reflects a major shift in the mission tempo for their human spaceflight efforts. With the ISS set to retire in a few years, China's space station will become the only one in Earth's orbit.""If the Chinese maintain this pace .

.The launch site looks as if it's been dropped into the Gobi Desert in the middle of nowhere, hours away from the city, surrounded by barren brown plains of sand and rock.. Reporting by Carlos Garcia and Xihao Jiang; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Nick Macfie Our Standards: More from Reuters Sign up for our newsletter Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox. it reflects a major shift in the mission tempo for their human spaceflight efforts.The road near the site was littered with signs warning that it was a military area where no unauthorized entry was allowed."Lead-up to liftoffCNN gained rare access to the launch this week, including a series of highly choreographed events and news conferences in the lead-up to Saturday.The launch site looks as if it's been dropped into the Gobi Desert in the middle of nowhere, hours away from the city, surrounded by barren brown plains of sand and rock. #video_1634283114464{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283114464 video,#video_1634283114464 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} .

There is only one road cutting through the middle of the desert, then a swath of nothingness around it, only some low mountains in the distance.The road near the site was littered with signs warning that it was a military area where no unauthorized entry was allowed.cap_1634283114464:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} . The country's crewed space program is overseen by a military body, and many of the launch sites and satellites are run directly by the People's Liberation Army. #video_1634283114464{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283114464 video,#video_1634283114464 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} . One billboard was plastered with the image of President Xi Jinping, next to the words"Chinese dream, space dream.cap_1634283114464{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} .

cap_1634283114464:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} . But the chaos of China's Cultural Revolution stopped the nation's space effort in its tracks -- and progress was postponed until the early 1990s.cap_1634283114464>span{color:#C5C5C5;} Arriving at the launch center was like entering a miniature city, complete with sprawling roads, dormitories and stadiums. One billboard was plastered with the image of President Xi Jinping, next to the words"Chinese dream, space dream. Aided by the economic reforms of the 1980s, China's space program quietly progressed until the launch of the first crewed mission in 2003."China's space program was late to the game, only established in the early 1970s, years after American astronaut Neil Armstrong had already landed on the moon. But the chaos of China's Cultural Revolution stopped the nation's space effort in its tracks -- and progress was postponed until the early 1990s. China successfully landed an exploratory rover on the moon last December and one on Mars in May.

Space administrators picked two classes of astronauts in 1998 and 2010, laying the path for a rapid acceleration in space missions. Aided by the economic reforms of the 1980s, China's space program quietly progressed until the launch of the first crewed mission in 2003. Just last week, an international team of scientists released their findings from the moon rocks China brought back to Earth.The government has since invested billions of dollars into the space program -- and the payoff has been evident. China successfully landed an exploratory rover on the moon last December and one on Mars in May.cap_1634283551477{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} . The first module of the Tiangong space station launched in April.

Just last week, an international team of scientists released their findings from the moon rocks China brought back to Earth.cap_1634283551477>span{color:#C5C5C5;} "What is truly impressive about China's space program is how rapidly it has advanced, on all major fronts, from a pretty low base as recently as the 1990s," said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. #video_1634283551477{margin:20px 0;} #video_1634283551477 video,#video_1634283551477 img{margin: 0; position: relative; width: 100%;} .cap_1634283551477{-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased;padding:0 0 5px 5px; font-size:16px; color:#595959;} . Though the US still has the world's leading space program, he said,"there's no doubt that China is the world's Number 2 space power today.cap_1634283551477:before{content:"";display: block;height: 1px;margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px;width: 80px;background-color: #C5C5C5;} .cap_1634283551477>span{color:#C5C5C5;} "What is truly impressive about China's space program is how rapidly it has advanced, on all major fronts, from a pretty low base as recently as the 1990s," said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. One of the biggest ventures will be building a joint China-Russia research station on the moon's south pole by 2035 -- a facility that will be open to international participation.

"The European Space Agency, Russia, India, and Israel have suffered Moon or Mars probe failures in recent years; China succeeded with both on the first tries," Burbach told CNN via email. Though the US still has the world's leading space program, he said,"there's no doubt that China is the world's Number 2 space power today. Chinese astronauts have long been locked out of the International Space Station due to US political objections and legislative restrictions -- which is why it has been a long-standing goal of China's to build a station of its own."China's ambitions span years into the future, with grand plans for space exploration, research and commercialization. One of the biggest ventures will be building a joint China-Russia research station on the moon's south pole by 2035 -- a facility that will be open to international participation. It's not clear, for instance, whether the European Union will cooperate with China in space -- especially as skepticism in Europe about China grows after several recent diplomatic spats and controversies over politics and human rights, Cheng said.Politics in spaceEven in space, there's no escaping Earth's politics.

Chinese astronauts have long been locked out of the International Space Station due to US political objections and legislative restrictions -- which is why it has been a long-standing goal of China's to build a station of its own. It's not a complete ban on interaction, Cheng said -- for instance, American and Chinese scientists can chat at international conferences -- but the 2011 Wolf Amendment effectively shuts the door on true bilateral cooperation in space by prohibiting NASA from spending any money on interactions with China.As China's space program expanded, some countries like Russia have reached out to collaborate -- but others remain wary. It's not clear, for instance, whether the European Union will cooperate with China in space -- especially as skepticism in Europe about China grows after several recent diplomatic spats and controversies over politics and human rights, Cheng said."Cooperating with China in space means cooperating with the Chinese military.The US, meanwhile, continues to stand separate. It's not a complete ban on interaction, Cheng said -- for instance, American and Chinese scientists can chat at international conferences -- but the 2011 Wolf Amendment effectively shuts the door on true bilateral cooperation in space by prohibiting NASA from spending any money on interactions with China. That poses a challenge to American dominanceBut Burbach, the professor, said the division between the countries"goes too far," potentially blocking precious scientific progress.

One reason space research cannot be divorced from terrestrial politics, and why the issue is so complicated, is because"the Chinese space program is heavily influenced, and its human and lunar programs are overseen, by the Chinese military," Cheng said."Cooperating with China in space means cooperating with the Chinese military.Although he said the chill is"understandable" given the deteriorating US-China relationship, Burbach added that"many American allies are willing to engage with China on space exploration, and the US probably does not gain much from taking such a hard line."US-China rivalry is extending from Earth into space. That poses a challenge to American dominanceBut Burbach, the professor, said the division between the countries"goes too far," potentially blocking precious scientific progress. Already, China is significantly ahead of Europe, and catching up fast with the US, he said. "As things stand, US and Chinese scientists won't even be able to trade samples of Moon rocks, which the US and Soviets did do during the Cold War," Burbach wrote in an email.

Although he said the chill is"understandable" given the deteriorating US-China relationship, Burbach added that"many American allies are willing to engage with China on space exploration, and the US probably does not gain much from taking such a hard line. "The development of China's manned spaceflight is based on our own plan."China might not need American assistance at this point. Already, China is significantly ahead of Europe, and catching up fast with the US, he said."We didn't think about comparing with others. The launchpad for the Shenzhou-13 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, pictured here on October 15, 2021, is surrounded by barren plains. "The development of China's manned spaceflight is based on our own plan.If the US is"unable or unwilling to maintain a human presence in space," China could gain an advantage and pull ahead, Cheng said.

We have our strategy and our plan," said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director general of the China Manned Space Agency."We didn't think about comparing with others. China will likely allow foreign astronauts from different countries to stay on the station and conduct experiments -- increasing their"international prestige and diplomacy, just like the US," Burbach said."And though it has been excluded from the ISS, China's space station might one day be the main one in operation, since NASA could retire the ISS by 2030.If the US is"unable or unwilling to maintain a human presence in space," China could gain an advantage and pull ahead, Cheng said.That leaves a gap for China to fill -- and even if the ISS remains open, the Tiangong space station could become a major rival.

China will likely allow foreign astronauts from different countries to stay on the station and conduct experiments -- increasing their"international prestige and diplomacy, just like the US," Burbach said.CNN's Faye Chiu contributed to this story. .