This doesn’t bode well for China’s nascent space program:
BEIJING (AP) – China might not have a permanent presence in space yet, but the country’s rocket men are already thinking about setting up a Communist Party branch in the outer reaches.
Now 14-strong, the Chinese astronaut corps more than meets the party’s minimum requirement of at least three members for a branch, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday.
China’s space communists would “carry out the regular activities of a Communist Party of China branch in space in the way we do on Earth,” Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to fly into space, was quoted by Xinhua as saying on the sidelines of the national party congress.
Does China really want “regular” Party activities carried out in space? I sure wouldn’t want to fly in a ship whose spare parts had all been sold off by the local boss. And those lead-painted zero gravity food packages just wouldn’t be safe.