China Space Program Is Half a Century Behind Ours.

On this episode of “Things I Learned Today,” I’m talking about the China space program, and how far they really are behind the United States. I’m pretty sure my uneducated perceptions of that country are off.

I’ve never really realized how far ahead we are in the United States in terms of science and space exploration. In 2008, the United States sorta shelved the whole manned space program bit, never going out to the moon again. But, that doesn’t mean somebody isn’t making progress… China.

One year after the United States sent Armstrong to the moon for the first time while we all watched in awe, China launched its first ever satellite into the air, orbiting for just 26 days. Then in 1999, The Shenzhou 1 was launched, one of a few experimental unmanned spacecrafts that would prepare China for their first ever manned mission into space.

China would later have their first ever man in space in 2003. Think about that for a moment. The United States had a man walking on the moon over 30 years before China even got one into space at all. I knew we were ahead, but I hadn’t figured that far ahead.

In 2007, China launched their first Lunar probe to the moon, and in 2008, China had their first ever spacewalk aboard Shenzhou 7, their third manned space mission. In 2012, China’s first woman went into space.

This week, China launched their first unmanned rover to the moo, and they are preparing for a manned trip in the coming years. Over a half-century after the United States, and over half a decade after we landed a fully-functioning rover on Mars. Awesome.

Your Turn To Share

How long do you believe it will take before we actually have a successful manned-mission to Mars? What’s next after that? Titon? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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