Those Daring Chinese and Their Flying Machines

Okay, as you know, I love to examine the latest speculation about the state of the Chinese human space program (if you didn’t know that, then you just don’t read Universe Today enough… or maybe I don’t write it enough… on second thought, don’t answer that). Since the Chinese are generally so tight-lipped about the whole process, it gives journalists and kooks a lot of room to speculate (I won’t say which sources are which). There’ve been a whole series of speculative articles pumped out in the last couple of days so I thought I’d tie them all together for you into one perplexing vision of the future of human spaceflight.

Reuters and the Associate Press are reporting that the Chinese are training fighter pilots in secret for their first generation of astronauts (secret’s out now). Speculators anticipate these lucky flyboys will see space by 2005. CNN is carrying the Reuters article while has the AP article.

What about their plans for the Moon and Mars? Apparently the Chinese have designs on putting a base on the Moon and eventually traveling to Mars? but officials deny those rumours.

Here’s my prediction. At some point in the near or far future, the Chinese are going to do something space related. You heard it here first.

Fraser Cain
Publisher, Universe Today