Jump to content


Photo

China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14

  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#26 mich_al

mich_al

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2367
  • Joined: 10 May 2009
  • Loc: Rural central lower Michigan Yellow Skies

Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:41 PM

Landing location in Sinus Iridum is stated at 19.51° west, 44.12° north.


Is that location accurate? My 'Virtual Moon Atlas' show that to be well outside of Sinus Iridum.

#27 The Mighty Mo

The Mighty Mo

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 747
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2013
  • Loc: South of North, North of South, Somewhere on the 3rd Rock

Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:16 PM

Yeah same here. It shows it being just south and east of crater AVL44219N339570, mostly in the northern-middle of Mare Imbrium. Not even close to Sinus Iridum.

#28 Stellarfire

Stellarfire

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1301
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Switzerland

Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:21 PM

Apparently Chang'e-3 did not land at the original target (which was inside the bay of Sinus Iridum), but an estimated 160km east in the frontier region shared between Mare Imbrium and Sinus Iridum.

The preliminary official landing coordinates 44.12°N, 19.51°W (340.49°E) as cited in my previous post above are correct. The landing site is located between Montes Recti and Le Verrier crater, perhaps 44 km south by southeast of Laplace F crater, or 160 km east by northeast of Laplace A.
Source


Stephan

#29 Astrojensen

Astrojensen

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5117
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Bornholm, Denmark

Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:24 PM

It did get down safely, that's the most important part.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#30 mich_al

mich_al

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2367
  • Joined: 10 May 2009
  • Loc: Rural central lower Michigan Yellow Skies

Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

Stephan
Thanks for the update. I hadn't heard that the landing location had changed.
Al

#31 SaberScorpX

SaberScorpX

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4276
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2005
  • Loc: illinois, usa

Posted 14 December 2013 - 09:07 PM

rover rollout and other footage: http://moonandback.com/

chang'e looks back at earth (avi.): http://videobam.com/users/ssx


peace,
stephen

#32 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:56 AM

Apparently Chang'e-3 did not land at the original target (which was inside the bay of Sinus Iridum), but an estimated 160km east in the frontier region shared between Mare Imbrium and Sinus Iridum.

The preliminary official landing coordinates 44.12°N, 19.51°W (340.49°E) as cited in my previous post above are correct. The landing site is located between Montes Recti and Le Verrier crater, perhaps 44 km south by southeast of Laplace F crater, or 160 km east by northeast of Laplace A.
Source

So, they've missed the wrinkle ridges. Maybe someone tipped them off about a monk with a can of petrol waiting at the intended landing site? ;)

Seriously, though, I do respect the Chinese space project.

#33 echoes1961

echoes1961

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 204
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2012

Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:43 PM

Nice...Everything seems to be going as planned.

http://www.xinhuanet...pecial/change3/

I wonder what the icy cold of space with do to the space crafts when the sun goes down? It will be like 250 below zero on the dark side of the moon. I'm sure they're prepared. Of course right now it's 250 F. Just saying.

#34 MawkHawk

MawkHawk

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2009
  • Loc: SE Michigan, USA

Posted 15 December 2013 - 01:39 PM

http://moonandback.com/ is saying that the spacecraft itself chose the final landing site because the original site turned out to not be flat enough. Whether that is true or if was a mistake, who knows... Still, an impressive feat for China, but been there, done that for most of the developed world...

#35 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 01:56 PM

an impressive feet for China, but been there, done that for most of the developed world...

There are a couple of really interesting things about this mission: firstly the ground penetrating radar, which hasn't been deployed anywhere except earth before. Secondly the size relationship of the rover to the lander is peculiar, it's obvious that the same landing platform could cope with a much larger payload. Maybe the Chinese don't have the heavy lifting capability (yet) but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this lander develop into the base for much more serious missions.

As for "most of the developed world": only the Soviet Union has deployed robotic lunar rovers, no-one else except the USA has ever soft landed anything on the moon before & (excluding crashes) this is the first lunar landing of any kind since 1976. I don't think it's fair or reasonable to write this mission off as a "me too"; at a minimim it's demonstrating a capability that we may no longer have, and any any case can't be bothered to demonstrate any more.

I don't know whether I'll live long enough to see it, but I'll be very surprised if the 13th human to set foot on the moon isn't Chinese.

#36 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:05 PM

I wonder what the icy cold of space with do to the space crafts when the sun goes down? It will be like 250 below zero on the dark side of the moon. I'm sure they're prepared. Of course right now it's 250 F. Just saying.

Keeping the thing cool is far more of an issue than the extreme cold of the linar night ... electronics like the cold. In any case there's no reason to suppose that the thing isn't using the same sort of technology that has been used on many space probes and landers launched by other coutries, i.e. a Pu238 heat generator.

#37 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:11 PM

http://moonandback.com/ is saying that the spacecraft itself chose the final landing site because the original site turned out to not be flat enough. Whether that is true or if was a mistake, who knows...

They landed "early" implying a commanded change of landing site.

The landing module does have a unique capability to select its landing site if it discovers bad terrain but according to the pre-landing information this only applies in the last few hundred metres of the descent. No lander launched at any target by any other country has had this capability, except the manual overrride mode on the Apollo landers.

Anyhow this is another illustration of a clever technology ... many of the successful US moon & mars landers have had close calls with terrain at the landing site, more than half of the missions could easily have been lost be straddling boulders at the landing site.

#38 azure1961p

azure1961p

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10278
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2009
  • Loc: USA

Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:54 PM

Brian,

All good points. I'm curious though- what is the capability we might not have anymore that the mission from China has shown. I'm enjoying this whole thing quite a lot - and Id love to see an astronaut from there set foot on the moon. I don't see how anything they've done or intend to is beyond our capability though. Curiosity for example.


Pete

#39 MawkHawk

MawkHawk

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2009
  • Loc: SE Michigan, USA

Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:33 PM

Yeah, did not the U.S. just land a car-sized rover on Mars and 2 others previously? And the ESA landed Huygens on Titan not too long ago.

#40 contrailmaker

contrailmaker

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1240
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2009

Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:44 PM

+1 Pete. Although I seriously doubt China is going to spend the few trillion it would take to put people on the Moon.

CM

#41 jgraham

jgraham

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13695
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:15 PM

Actually, Chang'e 3 landed within the eastern edge of the target area. This is because they proceeded with the landing on the first candidate orbit to attempt a landing. The target zone stretched westward to allow them to use later orbits if needed. Too bad, getting it right the first time put them quite a ways east of the Bay of Rainbows.

Neat stuff.

#42 azure1961p

azure1961p

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10278
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2009
  • Loc: USA

Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:35 PM

I can actually see them landing people there. Beyond prestige, I don't know why though. They ARE big on pride however even in peculiar instances like ordering a US Destroyer to stop in international waters. (We didn't).

:question: :question: :question: :question: :question:

The real achievement for China though would not be doing it at trillions if dollars but on the cheap in some modular repeatable way. THAT would be the real success of their l program that could have them stand alone in space exploration - if they can do it.


Pete

#43 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:41 PM

I'm curious though- what is the capability we might not have anymore that the mission from China has shown.

Well, we (USA + Europe + Russia, individually or collectively) could build a lunar soft lander ... but we haven't bothered to do so for such a long time that all the people with the knowhow are retired, so we'd effectively be starting all over again ... and that business of decelerating from orbital velocity without the help of aero braking involves some technologies that we haven't exercised for 40 years (throttleable engines for one).

Most of what we did in the 60s & 70s was a technology demonstration. We gave up just when we were getting good at it, and just when the scientific payback was starting to become effective. Kudos to the Chinese for developing the technology AND going for new & interesting science from the first.

Sure, other places may be more interesting ... but for practical purposes we have to master the Moon before we go to Mars, let alone Europa or Titan.

#44 contrailmaker

contrailmaker

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1240
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2009

Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:04 PM

There's nothing easy or cheap about sending people to the Moon. I don't think China, or anybody else for that matter, is going to do it for a long time to come.

CM

#45 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:10 PM

The real achievement for China though would not be doing it at trillions if dollars but on the cheap in some modular repeatable way. THAT would be the real success of their l program that could have them stand alone in space exploration - if they can do it.

Well, their allegedly communist but in practice hyper capitalist economy is raking in huge sums of (our) money, they simply don't know what to do with the stuff. So they can probably afford what it takes at least as easily as the US afforded Apollo ... especially if they don't spend 50 times as much on losing the war in Vietnam at the same time.

As for "going it alone" - at present they have little choice, having been frozen out of the International Space Station. (That might actually be something of a bonus from the Chinese point of view - politically, economically and practically - the ISS may look nice & be a symbol of political cooperation, but it's been really expensive & is really struggling to produce anything useful from the scientific point of view - I think the early Skylab missions did more useful science as well as using up some of the leftover hardware from cancelled Apollo missions.)

The Chinese aren't rushing but that doesn't mean they aren't interested - there is no political reason for them to go faster. True they're launching far fewer missions than the US did in the 60s but then they're accomplishing more with each mission - after only three manned flights they're already about up to the capability shown by Gemini.

The only thing that China seems to be lacking at the moment is a good launch site. The issue with their existing one is that booster components tend to fall in populated areas (they tend not to publicise the fact, but it happens) & a launching a Saturn V class heavy lift vehicle would magnify this issue more than somewhat.

#46 azure1961p

azure1961p

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10278
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2009
  • Loc: USA

Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

Hi Brian,

I'm trying to find anything useful coming out of ISS. As much as every part of me wants to see a moon base (old dreams die hard) I have tough time seeing what we could get out of it to justify the cost and so in that respect I see the prospect somewhat like ISS on the MOON . I kno the issues about frozen water at the South Pole, extracting oxygen and all - but again I have a hard time seeing the return for the dollar would be to make all that worth it.

Then there's those fantastic discoveries awaiting - Europas under ice seas and the potential for life. Rovers on Venus and Titan, ice from Mercury - the list goes on. In the face of programs like this the moon redux seems like science without a cause. And yes it has cause but again to what meaningful end?

These are the things I mull over to myself . Europa is frustratingly distant, pricey and complex to even consider drilling for life. Still Id rather see that than an American hitting a golf ball on mars. Like the moon - I have difficulty seeing the return on that investment.

I guess I'm more inline with exploratory robotics. My heart likes the idea of humans occupying distant solar system outposts but my sense of practicality and discovery makes me lean heavily on remote control robotic astronauts.

I liked (and agreed) with your take on China political and financial take here.

CM, It'll be interesting to see how it plays out . I will say though if it were another country to do it, China would be at the top of the list. They definately are taking in the money .

Pete

#47 brianb11213

brianb11213

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9047
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2009
  • Loc: 55.215N 6.554W

Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:07 AM

As much as every part of me wants to see a moon base (old dreams die hard) I have tough time seeing what we could get out of it to justify the cost and so in that respect I see the prospect somewhat like ISS on the MOON . I kno the issues about frozen water at the South Pole, extracting oxygen and all - but again I have a hard time seeing the return for the dollar would be to make all that worth it.

The frozen water just makes a base a lot more feasible.

As for "why" - if we want to build really large telescopes, the moon is a good place to do it (no atmosphere, low gravity, local materials for construction) - in particular positioning a radio telescope on the far side of the moon makes sense, shielded from the pollution generated by myriads of broadcast stations, radars & general electronic noise on & near earth by a couple of thousand miles of rock.

But there are other reasons, and the Chinese are very probably interested in these. (We might be too if we didn't have the handicap of having four or five year electroral cycles.) Raw materials: there are huge supplies of rare earth elements lying on the lunar surface, and these are becoming severely depleted on earth. Eventually (and probably not too far into the future) the Chinese will have reduced Tibet to a smoking pit & they'll have to look somewhere else. Helium 3 fuel for nuclear fusion power planets is fairly abundant on the moon but essentially non existent on earth (in fact we've almost used up supplies of He4 by frittering the stuff away in party balloons). Commercial mining on the moon will become economically viable sometime in the next century & those powers with lunar bases are going to be in a position to control this. And the Chinese - with massive capital & knowhow together with the capacity that comes from the remnants of the old centralised command system - are in prime position here.

It's the established Western economies that are at fault here - "can't afford" just doesn't make sense - we must afford something that we can't predict the full benefit from; just have faith that some unpredicted benefit will accrue. We got far more than a few hundred kilogrammes of lunar rock samples from the Apollo programme, and it returned to the economy something like $14 for every tax dollar spent. A lunar base would inject enthusiasm into the economy, would hardly be much more hostile than the Antarctic scientific bases and could well prove self sufficient in the medium term. Finally a lunar base would be an ideal launch pad for robotic missions to the outer planets and their satellites ... smaller, cheaper, faster ... as well as being an almost essential capability for any manned expedition to Mars.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics