Cost of China’s space station

On Sept 29, China launched its first Tiangong 1 Space Lab onto orbit. According to Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s manned space program, the total cost of its rendezvous and docking mission is about 12 billion yuan (1US$ = 6.3813 yuan). The earlier space walk from “Shenzhou 7” mission cost about 3 billion yuan. As for the future space station, Zhou said that they haven’t gone to the details for cost estimate.

According to Wu Ping, a spokeswoman for China’s manned space program, the central government approved the manned space program in 1992. By the launch of “Shenzhou 6” spaceship in 2005, the program has cost to about 20 billion yuan (3.13 billion dollars). From 2005 to current, it has cost about 15 billion yuan (2.35 billion dollars).

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6 Responses to “Cost of China’s space station”

  1. beaufortninja Says:

    Seems like they could save a lot of money by joining the international effort. But this has never been about furthering the understanding of space. For China, it’s all about national pride and proving that the CCP is still relevant.

    • paviavio Says:

      You are right. Even if they are allowed to join the ISS, they will still make their own space station.

    • pdx Says:

      They wouldn’t have tried building their own station if the US hadn’t rejected their ISS request.

      Besides, being part of ISS would be a huge financial obligation and they wouldn’t be able to afford building another one even if they wanted to.

      • paviavio Says:

        My feeling is that they would learn lessons from the ISS and then still build their own space station partially because the uncertainty future of the ISS. But they might skip some steps such as Tiangong-1 to save money. Are you still following me?

      • pdx Says:

        No, they wouldn’t build their own if they were part of ISS. They might be prepared. However, they wouldn’t do anything for real until they were certain that ISS wouldn’t work out.

        ISS requires all members’ commitment. Do you think the others would be happy if a member built her own station at the same time? A few years back, Russia was merely sending tourists to ISS. Do you remember the US’s reaction?

        Cost is an issue too. Let’s use Japan as an example. According to Wikipedia, Japan’s annual cost on ISS is about 400 billion yen, which is over $5 billion A YEAR, enough to cover the complete China’s Human Space Flight program up to now since 1992. China has money, but definitely not enough to have two space station projects at the same time.

      • paviavio Says:

        I guess you have more sources of information. You might be right. Thanks for sharing with me.

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