I know the Chinese did some to their own space station, but were there missions like the repair or retrieve missions the Space Shuttle did with for example the Hubble telescope?

  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it depends on whether or not you count suborbital flights $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2017 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ Only spaceflights into orbit $\endgroup$
    – MrHorse
    Feb 22, 2017 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesHughes: Were there any manned suborbital flights? SpaceShipOne flew its last flight while the Shuttle was still operating; AFAIK SpaceShipTwo never crossed 100km; BlueShephard didn't have any manned flights. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Feb 22, 2017 at 12:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ oh, and besides that - the whole China Space Program! $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Feb 22, 2017 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ @SF Ahh, I didn't realise the shuttle was still running when SS1 crashed. I was also planning on checking how high they got if the OP indicated that suborbital flights counted. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2017 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Since STS-135, landing 21 July 2011, the only non-ISS flights were three Shenzhou missions (9, 10 and 11), two first to Tiangong 1, third to Tiangong 2. source

The situation will likely change in upcoming years, with developments of Dragon 2, Starliner, SpaceShipTwo, Blue Shephard, ISRO Orbital Vehicle, and Orion spacecraft on top of sustained China space program and upcoming retirement of ISS.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure we have to wait for more than a few years for Isro's orbital vehicle. $\endgroup$
    – neptune
    Mar 3, 2017 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @neptune: ISRO has pretty good launchers already, and the development began in 2006; the first unmanned suborbital test launch was successfully performed in 2014 - it seems if they wanted to rush the program and got the funding, they could have a launch within a year or so; currently the progress depends primarily on funding which is a big unknown, and so the actual manned orbital flight date is hard to estimate, but I don't think "a few years" is overly optimistic. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Mar 3, 2017 at 15:17

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