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echoes1961
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China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14
      #6237165 - 12/06/13 11:31 AM

I find this very exciting! China will try and land a rover on the surface and feed back live video once there.

ABC news

This will be only the third rover from another country to land on the moon. The url link tells the rest of the story.


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Rick Woods
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6237764 - 12/06/13 05:11 PM

Good for them! I'm glad to see someone taking an interest in the Moon again!

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echoes1961
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6237923 - 12/06/13 06:49 PM

Exactly Rick....It's good to see some spacecraft's landing on the moon again, no matter what country does it. looking foreword to the work they do and live video feeds. Should be a good show. Hope they share most of it with us?

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Astrojensen
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6239254 - 12/07/13 02:45 PM

Oh, they'll share it, no doubt. Hopefully, they'll do some interesting science.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6239993 - 12/07/13 10:46 PM

Quote:

Exactly Rick....It's good to see some spacecraft's landing on the moon again, no matter what country does it. looking foreword to the work they do and live video feeds. Should be a good show. Hope they share most of it with us?




I agree - this is a great thing. I doubt they'll keep it a secret and it'll be more of a "look what we can do" kind of pride. The Rover is made by Synta by the way.

Pete
(Kidding)


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kcb
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6240090 - 12/08/13 12:18 AM

hi, thanks for info, will keep an open ear for news on dec.14,kevin

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Astrojensen
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6240208 - 12/08/13 03:16 AM

Quote:

The Rover is made by Synta by the way.




Really? Well, they do have lots of experience with GOTO. Now they can truly say that their GOTO mounts can go to the Moon...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6240258 - 12/08/13 04:53 AM

Now that'd be a selling point.

Pete


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Rick Woods
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6240532 - 12/08/13 10:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The Rover is made by Synta by the way.




Really? Well, they do have lots of experience with GOTO. Now they can truly say that their GOTO mounts can go to the Moon...





I wonder if it'll try to acquire the other rovers up there...


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echoes1961
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Reged: 09/14/12

Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6241746 - 12/08/13 10:35 PM

Ha ha...they just might, the other rovers were abandon in place or AIP...lol

I have a feeling they will find much more then any before on the moon on this journey! Wishful thinking perhaps.

Seinfeld's on...got to go.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6241812 - 12/08/13 11:18 PM

I wish we were going back to the moon - even if it were robotic. The ISS is a long expensive yawn to me. I miss the magic of our early space program. Wish there were compelling enough reason to return but alas robotics and such is so much more feasible and long lasting.

Its no secret I miss the Apollo hoopla.

Ehhh.

Pete


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echoes1961
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6242171 - 12/09/13 08:42 AM

Well said azure. I too miss the Apollo program. I remember one of the first things as a kid in the mid 60's was seeing the moon during the day time and thinking we are going to the moon. Everything was about space back then, we had space toys (major Matt Mason) and space food sticks and of course Tang. Plus tv shows like Lost in Space, Star Trek, The Jetson's,etc....Good times

If China wants to show off by sending robot rovers to the moon then that's okay with us, Because you're right, the ISS is old hat.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6243473 - 12/09/13 07:48 PM

ISS - its as exciting as Skylab was . I get the philosophy of the reasoning behind the station but its such a dead issue to me. I think we all looked up back then at the moon different than kids today. It wasn't that long ago I recall reading about a teacher who didnt understand what causes phases to the moon.

Id love to come up with a great reason to go back to the moon - but none seem in the coming other than / hey lets make a lunar ISS. We know too much to invest the billions needed to pull off another moon program with any pay off at the other end . This time around we need more than so many rocks, great photos, Barbara Eden and so many TESTERS Saturn V models. Well that and the technology funneled into our ICBMs.

I wish we could invent a new imperative for the moon but I don't think its in the radar.

A pity.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (12/09/13 07:51 PM)


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star dropModerator
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6243525 - 12/09/13 08:15 PM

The Chang'e-3 probe is in lunar orbit.

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seawolfe
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6244204 - 12/10/13 08:12 AM

Quote:

The ISS is a long expensive yawn to me.




You have to remember that in those times Apollo was "old hat" by the time Apollo 12 had landed. We had been there, done that.... By the time Apollo 15 was on it's way, NASA's ambitious budget was being gutted. Apollo 18 & 19 were cut, that left the Apollo / Soyuz and Skylab. People weren't even watching television coverage of Apollo missions by the time Apollo 16 was on the moon. When Apollo 17 was on the moon, there was hardly ANY television coverage. I believe that Viet Nam got more news.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6244678 - 12/10/13 12:32 PM

Apollo 17 was actually paid programming by NASA it was so unpopular at that point. Soap Opera programming was actually airing simultaneously with the lunar telecasts. Its sad testament to a science- diiscovery numb pop culture.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (12/10/13 12:40 PM)


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Tom and Beth
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6244857 - 12/10/13 02:06 PM

Ahh yes. The Moon program. Back when making long range goals was not "square".

And yet, I for one still have that little boy in me that looks at the night sky with awe. Replaced my push along "Lunar Rover" toy scope with ...errrr....bigger toys.


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NeilMac
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #6245993 - 12/10/13 10:59 PM

Will look forward to any info provided when if they land.

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SaberScorpX
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: NeilMac]
      #6251403 - 12/13/13 05:37 PM

here's the plan:

Landing in the Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows) near 31.05 west, 43.07 north.
The time is exactly one circuit of the Moon earlier than was indicated in Chinese news reports when Chang'e arrived. The change may have been driven by orbit dynamics in the intervening time.
Moonrise over eastern China is around 06:00 UTC so the Moon will be visible to tracking stations, including a mid-Pacific ship, for several hours prior to the event.
Chang'e will start from its 15 x 100 km, polar inclined orbit. About one hour before commencing the landing sequence, and while behind the Moon as seen from Earth, Chang'e will fire its engine to reduce periselene to 2km above Sinus Iridum.
Chang'e will approach the landing zone from the south and at perigee, final descent will begin using the throttleable 1500 - 7500 Newton engine. Landing will occur after a descent program lasting for 750 seconds.
It will hover for a few seconds 100 metres above the surface while an intelligent onboard system determines the safest touch-down point. The descent engine will switch off at 4 metres altitude and Chang'e will drop to the surface.
The lander is expected to operate for about 12 months on the Moon. Equipment includes a detector operating in the extreme ultra violet region of the spectrum capable of 'seeing' the glow caused by energetic particles in the Earth's ionosphere, and a 150mm astronomical telescope. http://www.zarya.info/Calendar.php

update: According to numerous Chinese news reports, Chang'e 3's landing on the Moon is now scheduled to begin at 21:40 Beijing time on December 14, which is 13:40 UT or 05:40 PT. That's about two hours earlier than previously stated.


mission animation: http://news.qq.com/a/20131129/013396.htm

and possible live coverage link: http://english.cntv.cn/live/p2p/index.shtml


peace,
stephen

Edited by SaberScorpX (12/14/13 09:08 PM)


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: SaberScorpX]
      #6251515 - 12/13/13 06:41 PM

The 150mm telescope is an onboard Nexstar 6SE



Pete


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Astrojensen
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6252089 - 12/14/13 03:24 AM

Quote:

The 150mm telescope is an onboard Nexstar 6SE




Really?


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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mhilscher
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6252205 - 12/14/13 07:36 AM

thank you stephen..great update

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Stellarfire
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6252347 - 12/14/13 09:49 AM

Update - Chang'e-3 has landed.

The unmanned Chang'e-3 spacecraft successfully landed at just before 9.15pm Beijing time, according to Chinese state media. It landed on the Moon, state media announced in a live broadcast on Saturday night.

See here for the news in The Telegraph.

The Planetary Society shows first pictures & video frames (b/w and colour).
Landing location in Sinus Iridum is stated at 19.51 west, 44.12 north.

Congrats to China for soft touchdown on Moon!

Stephan

Edited by Stellarfire (12/14/13 10:41 AM)


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btb
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China Spacecraft Landed on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6252407 - 12/14/13 10:27 AM

It was interesting to watch.

Edited by btb (12/14/13 10:28 AM)


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photonovore
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Re: China Spacecraft Landed on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: btb]
      #6252668 - 12/14/13 01:19 PM

I'll be looking forward to the data they gather. (Oh, yeh...nevermind, they're Chinese, not NASA.)

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mich_al
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6252703 - 12/14/13 01:41 PM

Quote:

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.


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The Mighty Mo
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: mich_al]
      #6252762 - 12/14/13 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.

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Stellarfire
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: mich_al]
      #6252774 - 12/14/13 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 44.12N, 19.51W (340.49E) 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


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Astrojensen
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6252777 - 12/14/13 02:24 PM

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


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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mich_al
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6252839 - 12/14/13 02:54 PM

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


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SaberScorpX
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: mich_al]
      #6253432 - 12/14/13 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


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6253892 - 12/15/13 05:56 AM

Quote:

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 44.12N, 19.51W (340.49E) 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.


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echoes1961
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6254426 - 12/15/13 12:43 PM

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

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/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.


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MawkHawk
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6254531 - 12/15/13 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...

Edited by MawkHawk (12/15/13 06:24 PM)


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #6254559 - 12/15/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

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.


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: echoes1961]
      #6254567 - 12/15/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

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.


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #6254577 - 12/15/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

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.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6254931 - 12/15/13 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


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MawkHawk
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6254997 - 12/15/13 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.

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contrailmaker
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6255018 - 12/15/13 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

Edited by contrailmaker (12/15/13 06:49 PM)


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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: contrailmaker]
      #6255048 - 12/15/13 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.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: jgraham]
      #6255082 - 12/15/13 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).



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

Edited by azure1961p (12/15/13 07:39 PM)


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6255094 - 12/15/13 07:41 PM

Quote:

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.


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contrailmaker
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6255123 - 12/15/13 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


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6255140 - 12/15/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

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.


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azure1961p
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6255387 - 12/15/13 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


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brianb11213
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Re: China Spacecraft to land on Moon Dec-14 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6255679 - 12/16/13 05:07 AM

Quote:

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.


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