China To Launch Space Station Test

The Chinese government will launch a test module next week for the 60-ton space station it hopes to send into orbit by 2020. The unmanned module will be called the "Heavenly Palace".

What's the Latest Development?


By the end of the month, China will launch a test module of the space station it hopes to deploy by 2020. The unmanned module, called Tiangong-1 or "Heavenly Palace", will test autonomous docking procedures and other space operations. "The Chinese Long March 2F rocket set to launch Tiangong-1 has already been rolled out to its launch platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, according to state-run news service Xinhua." China is only the third country to launch a person into orbit. 

What's the Big Idea?

The rise of China is being played out in outer space as well as on the Earth. Many saw the decommissioning of America's space shuttles as symbolic of its declining influence in world affairs. Until the private American space industry is up and running, N.A.S.A. will rely on Russian rockets to shuttle its astronauts to space and back. China plans to launch its 60-ton space station into orbit by 2020, the same year the International Space Station (I.S.S.) is scheduled to be decommissioned, though there remains the possibility of extending the life of the I.S.S. until 2028.

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

Why Lil Dicky made this star-studded Earth Day music video

"Earth" features about 30 of the biggest names in entertainment.

Culture & Religion
  • Lil Dicky is a rapper and comedian who released his debut album in 2015.
  • His new music video, "Earth," features artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheehan, Kevin Hart, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • All proceeds of the music video will go to environmental causes, Dicky said.
Keep reading Show less

After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil. PublicDomainPictures.net.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

Keep reading Show less

Behold, the face of a Neolithic dog

He was a very good boy.

Image source: Historic Environment Scotland
Surprising Science
  • A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog.
  • It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.
  • The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended.
Keep reading Show less