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Old Sep 9th, 2015, 09:52 AM   #71
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China keeps on pushing forward... while the USA still can't get it's own arse into orbit. Embarrassing!

China says it plans to attempt first-ever landing of lunar probe on the moon's far side



China’s increasingly ambitious space program plans to attempt the first-ever landing of a lunar probe on the moon’s far side, a leading engineer said.

The Chang’e 4 mission is planned for sometime before 2020, Zou Yongliao from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ moon exploration department told state broadcaster CCTV in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

Zou said the mission’s objective would be to study geological conditions on the moon’s far side, also known as the dark side.

That could eventually lead to the placement of a radio telescope for use by astronomers, something that would help “fill a void” in man’s knowledge of the universe, Zou said.

Radio transmissions from Earth are unable to reach the moon’s far side, making it an excellent location for sensitive instruments.

China’s next lunar mission is scheduled for 2017, when it will attempt to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon before returning to Earth with samples. If successful, that would make China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a manoeuvr.
(Globe & Mail)
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 12:45 AM   #72
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Now the Russians are getting in on the lunar action.....

Russia Reportedly Plans To Build A Lunar Base By The 2030s

Decades and decades after they pretended never to be in a “moon race” with the U.S., Russia reportedly plans to land cosmonauts on the moon by the 2030s, according to the news agency TASS. The most recent plans call for up to six launches of the Angara A5V heavy-lift rocket to put enough hardware into orbit for their first mission, which appears to involve establishing a lunar base.

A lunar base, for real. Long the stuff of science fiction, it seems Russia is trying to do this for real, or at least wants to. The BBC reported in October that the Russian and European space agencies are preparing to go to the moon with an eventual settlement in mind.

* * *

Even if it’s modest at first, a permanent lunar base is exactly what would be needed to make this mission relevant, so many decades after people first walked on the moon. New manufacturing methods, including 3D printing, have been developed that can make the use of lunar regolith as a building material possible, and the promise of eventual mining of Helium-3 as a fuel for hoped-for fusion reactors are finally giving lunar bases enough justification to exist.
(Jalopnik)
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 01:11 AM   #73
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You're shut out, USA!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 01:17 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
You're shut out, USA!
A great deal depends on who the next President is, of course, but I suspect this will be the scenario:

China, the Russians / EU, will make some progress, maybe land a few unmanned probes or even get material into orbit, but at a certain point the US will get its back up and take umbrage at the fact that they are imminently going to be quite obviously laggards in the view of their own citizens (nobody else really matters).

Then they'll go all patriotic and throw gazoogles of dollars to leapfrog everyone else, build a massive launch platform (like, tie three Saturn V's together) and just drop a prefab base on the moon, put up a flag and call it a day.

Or they might surprise us and join an international effort.... but given the demonstrated psyche of the US state through history, the former scenario is just as plausible.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 01:20 AM   #75
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No Democrat would put him/herself out to get to the moon alone. Certain Republicans might.

Quote:
Then they'll go all patriotic and throw gazoogles of dollars to leapfrog everyone else, build a massive launch platform (like, tie three Saturn V's together) and just drop a prefab base on the moon, put up a flag and call it a day.
I hope so!

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Originally Posted by CubaMark View Post
A great deal depends on who the next President is, of course, but I suspect this will be the scenario:

China, the Russians / EU, will make some progress, maybe land a few unmanned probes or even get material into orbit, but at a certain point the US will get its back up and take umbrage at the fact that they are imminently going to be quite obviously laggards in the view of their own citizens (nobody else really matters).

Then they'll go all patriotic and throw gazoogles of dollars to leapfrog everyone else, build a massive launch platform (like, tie three Saturn V's together) and just drop a prefab base on the moon, put up a flag and call it a day.

Or they might surprise us and join an international effort.... but given the demonstrated psyche of the US state through history, the former scenario is just as plausible.
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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 12:58 PM   #76
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This was taken two years ago - but I only just found it in a Reddit thread. Photo from China's Yutu rover... Click to see the larger image, it's quite breathtaking.
0thatguy[S]
Context: This image was taken by China's Yutu Rover in 2014. The rock is Loong rock, overlooking a crater which unfortunately doesn't have a name. The rover was part of the Chang'e 3 mission which landed at Mare Ibrium, making it the first mission to soft-land on the Moon since the Soviet's Luna 24 in 1976.

The rover became immobile sooner than expected after part of it broke. However, it unexpectedly survived the harsh cold lunar night and continued to transmit data from its operational instruments to Earth until recently.

The successor to this mission, Chang'e 4, will launch in 2018 and will land on the far side of the Moon, which has never been visited before by a lander. In 2017, multiple companies from around the world will launch rovers to the Moon; competing for the $20 million Lunar-X prize and sending back HD images and videos from the Moon.
.
We are living in a good time for lunar exploration!
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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 01:00 PM   #77
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That rock looks nothing like a Loong.
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Old Jan 30th, 2016, 04:12 PM   #78
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And here are the a whole bunch more photos:

China Just Released True Color HD Photos Of The Moon | TechCrunch
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Old Jan 30th, 2016, 04:32 PM   #79
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For the record, the US sent men to the moon and brought them safely back home four times with less computer power than a modern day iMac.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2016, 12:34 AM   #80
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Direct links to the two pages of China moon photos (Planetary Society mirror):

Chang'e 3 data: Lander Terrain Camera (TCAM)
Chang'e 3 data: Rover Panoramic Camera (PCAM)

There are hundreds of photos in there....
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