China sends first Chinese woman into space

Liu Yang

China sent its first woman astronaut into space on Saturday. Liu Yang, the first Chinese female astronaut, was the center of attention. In an age in which we’re experiencing a global economic slump, it’s great to see China pushing ahead with its space program. See NEAAT’s blog post on Liu Yang here: 12 Things to Know About Liu Yang.

22 thoughts on “China sends first Chinese woman into space

  1. This is not a good photo of her. I wish I could go out in space with her. woooo! She’s hot. Lot’s of good photo of her on Google Image.

  2. I understand it’s a prestige club thing, but isn’t that money put to better use here on earth for China’s infrastructure and social development?

  3. Siegfried,

    Do you ever think about anything else? I wouldn’t mind you going into space by yourself. I just hope they don’t have internet access up there.


    Hmm. Well, I think China already has enough basic infrastructure like streets and stuff. All the extra money towards infrastructure might go to ghost cities and the like; at least this is a real project. Maybe this is a good way to inspire people to think big.

  4. “I understand it’s a prestige club thing, but isn’t that money put to better use here on earth for China’s infrastructure and social development?”

    China’s efforts here is very valuable, as the Chinese are essentially picking up the slack from the European and American programs. Space programs all over the world have faced serious funding cutbacks.

    While we figure out how to continue existing on earth without destroying ourselves and much of the world with it, it is progress in space science and the other fields that will help guarantee a (tiny bit) the long term survival of the human race.

    The knowledge that needs to be accumulated and refined into technology is massive. It is moronic story that we will survive in the endless void of outer space in sterile spaceships and with robot helpers. We are an inalienable part of earth’s biosphere. Without the biosphere we will sicken and die. We cannot exist without it. For space colonisation to succeed we will have to bring a little piece of the earth with us.

    Not taking into consideration of course, how an entire civilisation in space, thousands of years old, millions strong, can be wiped out in the blink of an eye by accident or catastrophe. These are the stakes we must bravely face.

  5. I don’t think we can lecture others on “putting money to better use” considering our 2 trillion dollar adventure in the Middle East and Central Asia.

  6. @ Liquid

    Just as an aside. Have you noticed the rapid rate of spontaneous, “grass roots” regime changes in the Middle East since our 2 trillion dollar adventures there.

    Question 2 – Coincidence or something else?

  7. As of this time I think only Egypt has potential to become a true democracy with the deep state brought to heel and the people getting better chances to develop.

  8. I totally understand the $2trillion expenditure: most of it has gone to military subcontractors like Halliburton and the oil fields are completely stable for “exports.”

    So what’s that saying about China’s excesses? I understand that the US has more and more impoverished than before, but honestly I can say that China has way more infrastructure and social development needs than the US does.

    @Raguel – I’m not buying into your sales pitch: why aren’t we solving our problems here on earth first? Even Obama made the sensible thing of focusing on robotic probes rather than human space travel.

    I don’t buy the reasoning of scientific research in space, since they can easily mimic the zero-G conditions here on earth.

  9. lol But that should be the cost-benefit analysis everybody should be looking at. I completely understand why congress killed the US super-collider back in the day, but it’s unfortunate there’s still a large hole sitting in Texas…

  10. mwei:

    Here’s the text and audio of the Kennedy speech back in the day:

    “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

    We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

    Keep in mind that this speech took place in 1962 before the Civil Rights Era, where there was also much work to be done. They didn’t have PCs or internet back then, and TV was black and white. But the U.S. moved on because it was a challenge, PLUS, of course, there was knowledge to be gained.

    I think China is in a similar situation. While there is an argument to be made about prestige, I think prestige isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s part of the reason China also spends a lot on its sports programs–to be leaders in achievement.

  11. but isn’t that money put to better use here on earth for China’s infrastructure and social development?

    Ming Dynasty China considered a similar question regarding Zheng He’s treasure ship fleet approximately 600 years ago. Isn’t all that money put to better use somewhere else?

    The inward-looking Confucian scholar-bureaucrat faction prevailed over the merchants who wanted to build more ships and expand trade routes. China basically handed the Age of Exploration over to the Europeans on a silver platter. This is up there on history’s list of Biggest Fucking Mistakes ever.

  12. @kobukson – To put the analogy in perspective: are you implying China’s government and the US are trying to trade with aliens?

    And from what I read of Zheng He’s story and Chinese history, it was the bureaucratic corruption that did China in. We can get ChineseMom’s expert opinion on this, though.

    @bigWOWO – I completely get it’s the prestige club and “face” is extremely important to the Chinese way of thinking.

    My understanding of the moon race was they wanted to possibly setup a missile base, which stemmed from the armed missiles race. We have a totally different scenario today.

    I agree the transistor was the biggest invention out of that era, but I think it would’ve been invented eventually regardless.

    At the end of the day, all I’m saying is that money could’ve been spent better else where – but it doesn’t matter because the elites don’t care in any country in the world.

  13. 10. She will also help test space equipment designed for women.

    She’s going to test the female toilet compartment.

  14. As kobu mentions, it could be just exploration. Or different forms of energy. Or more efficient use of satellites. Or learning to set up colonies. Or (for China) a missile base. Think of how much China has begun spending on military expenses.

    There are a number of useful possibilities. For those of us on earth, as Kennedy says, it helps organize the best of our skills.

  15. Nuclear missile bases on the moon comes from only the feverish imaginations of science fiction writers and other hacks very far removed from reality.

    The high concept may look impressive, such as in James Bond movies. However in practical terms the benefits of placing nuclear missiles on the moon would be almost farcical. I don’t even know where to begin.

  16. Hey, I didn’t come up with the idea. I read about it in some books. It’s amazing what kinds of idiotic research goes into the military industrial complex.

    But on the other hand, some of the most amazing advanced technologies that came out of DARPA and the DIA have been dreamed up by lunatics. Even NASA has been known to drop a few millions here and there for “zero point energy.” ^_^

  17. If you read about it in books then you have been conned by those same books.

    None of the operational, safety, failsafe, command and control and maintenance functions required for a nuclear arsenal could ever have been put in place on the moon at the time of the signing of those treaties, nor could it be done even now.

    Not only that, but a lunar missile base has near zero strategic advantages compared to alternatives.

    It’s such a blasphemy to even see the responses to this thread. I can’t even tell if the posts here are meant to be serious or snarky. Testing equipment for women means the space toilet? What the fuck?

  18. i dont know what all the fuss is about. I think its awesome that they put a woman in space. Not everyone gets to go.

  19. I can’t believe that they allow hacks like that to write for foreign policy magazine. Is this THE foreign policy magazine published by CFR or is it another hack foreign policy magazine with third rate and sensationalist writers keen on wordplay like “red moon rising” and “china’s heavenly ambitions”?

    That John Hickman tool has basically done little more than re-imagine the colonisation of outer space according to historical behavior and the basis of current and historical treaties.

    He does not look into an even more important factor, the incredibly prohibitive cost of an escalation in outer space. You want to station people on the moon? You can only claim what you can keep. I hit your supply lines and launch facilities, I mine all the viable telemetric routes to the moon with automated high velocity guns. Can you imagine what kind of money and material will be burned by a land grab in outer space especially in the near future? It’s not going to be cheap even in the far future!

    No you tools, space colonisation will be done under the aegis of corporations. Far safer, and allows the exploitation of a slave class of hapless people they can dupe and then ship into the never ending void of outer space.

  20. Thank god, the CFR magazine is “foreign affairs” and not “foreign policy”.

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