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How China Will Get To the Moon Before a Google Lunar XPrize Winner

samzenpus posted 1 year,9 days | from the third-is-better-than-last dept.

Moon 173

An anonymous reader writes in with this link about the advances in China's lunar program. "A $30 million Google-backed competition to land a spacecraft on the moon may be about to be scooped. China's Chang'e 3 probe successfully put itself into lunar orbit on Friday in preparation for an attempted touchdown around Dec. 14. China won't be winning the prize money, which is reserved for privately funded, previously enrolled teams, not government agencies."

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One small post for man (2, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637381)

One giant leap for mankind.

Re:One small post for man (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638309)

One giant leap for mankind.

This.

I live in America. I like its culture. I like its people. I'd like to see it propagate offworld. But if my tribe is no longer interested in taking the high ground, I'd rather see my species - be it 50, 500, or 5000 years from now - speaking some variation of Mandarin than not living offworld at all.

My tribe's ancestors went there in peace for all mankind. Good luck, Chinese dudes.

Re:One small post for man (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638373)

You're delusional. Your "tribe" had some good Germans and had to scare the other "tribe" who also had Germans and beat you with many rockets. It was a Cold War saber rattling contest. Nothing more. No one's "propagating" your toxic culture offworld. They're dead, deadly empty rocks out there.

Your tribe's ancestors had a plaque signed by Nixon, a bloodthirsty liar who sent the best of your "tribe" to die in droves in Vietnam.

Get your head out of your ass, pronto.

The Chinese are just going through the motions, they'll take pictures of dead rocks, maybe even bring some back, and when they'll see how expensive it is, never go back. Just like you, just like the Russians.

Re:One small post for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638421)

Nope, when they realize they are the only ones there, coupled with the fact that they have the ultimate high ground, where a simple rock lobbed at earth becomes a weapon more potent than a nuke, but without the complexity, it will ensure that one race, the Han race completely dominates the world.

Yes, it will be expensive, but if it means full control of the globe, and a change of the balance of power, it is far less expensive to toss up a metal rod launcher in a place the enemy can't touch than it would be to wage a conventional/nuclear war.

Re:One small post for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638523)

You're insane. How long of a time frame do you have for this scenario? After how many years or decades of nothing will you concede that you're glowingly, utterly wrong?

Re:One small post for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638649)

Nixon's policies ended a war that started in 1940 when Vietnam pussed out and went the side of the Vichy French on an official capacity, but internally, amongst the people, couldn't decide if they want to be vichy(anti-allies), commie(anti-japan), or free(anti-commie/japan); hence, 35 years of war with minor and major powers in play. It could be put even more succinctly by saying it was a multi-decade multi-war over control of a majority of the world's rubber supply. Basically over 5,000,000 people died from 1940-1975 so you can wear rubbers.

Re:One small post for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639047)

You're delusional. Your "tribe" had some good Germans and had to scare the other "tribe" who also had Germans and beat you with many rockets. It was a Cold War saber rattling contest. Nothing more. No one's "propagating" your toxic culture offworld. They're dead, deadly empty rocks out there.

True. We had help. So did they. And so it was.

Survey of solar system resources complete within 100-500 years. Offworld (best guess, the asteroid belt or Mars) colonies within 1000 years. Some of these colonies will make it, many won't. Learning to live sustainably offworld will motivate similar technological developments on Earth. Interstellar is off the radar for the forseeable future; I'll let the descendants of humanity make that call. (Good luck finding something that can tick away a few tens of thousands of years and remain viable at the end of the journey.)

Or we could do it your way. Bicker over the dwindling resources available on Earth, burn them up, and go extinct

But you're still going to die of old age, QA. (If you want to speed up the process, reject the 3D printing advancements that will make the tissue replacements that will increase your quality of life, but will only delay the inevitable a few years.)

Well really.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637385)

"which is reserved for privately funded, previously enrolled teams, not government agencies"

doesn't that make this article completely irrelevant?

Re:Well really.. (2)

rioki (1328185) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637437)

It does actually not. The summary does not mention this, but AFAIK the X-Prize has the clause "before any national space agency" (except NASA and the Russian obviously). If China succeeds they need to either renegotiate the prize or void it, since the original terms will make it obsolete.

Re:Well really.. (4, Informative)

rioki (1328185) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637465)

I stand corrected, the clause was already dropped:

A recent update in the teams’ legal agreement with the X Prize Foundation removed a $5 million penalty if a government entity got to the surface of the moon first.

Re:Well really.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637625)

in regards to a moon landing it's a stupid combo then.

why did they pen the original rules as such in the first place?

Re:Well really.. (4, Insightful)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637637)

Because everyone of the "new space" followers was high at the SpaceShipOne X-Prize victory at the time and they all believed space is much easier than government has made it out to be. So they thought putting a lunar lander together takes a blog, two guys in a garage, github and attending a summit - they will all have Chinese beat by years.

Apparently, it doesnt quite work that way - and Branson is still waiting for his rocket to take him on his worlds highest rollercoaster.

Re:Well really.. (4, Funny)

AC-x (735297) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638041)

. So they thought putting a lunar lander together takes a blog, two guys in a garage, github and attending a summit - they will all have Chinese beat by years.

No wonder they failed, they forgot to make a kickstarter page :)

Re:Well really.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638651)

Damn dude, I was sure you'd get nuked to -1 for daring to state the truth. It's really hard to make Space Nutters understand that the trashy pulpy sci-fi they read as kids is ENTERTAINMENT and not serious engineering. I mean just look at that basket case up there who thinks that once you land a fragile aluminum box on the Moon you can now "easily" lob asteroid-sized chunks accurately at the Earth as a weapon with days-long warning.

Yeah, like the decades-long economy-ruining effort of sending material to the Moon to build this (non existent) "mass driver" fantasy will just go unnoticed? What kind of ultra-simplistic naive world do these children live in?

Re:Well really.. (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639027)

What kind of ultra-simplistic naive world do these children live in?

Their parents' basements.

Re:Well really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639241)

Here is an interesting thought. If they took the time to wander outside of the basement every now, and then, and look at the sky above. And then read some modern history books. Mankind had the chance to have the world ruled by business. The Government/Business model failed due to the lack of foresight of it's leaders, they developed in the wrong country. Now it is the time for the capitalist market to create it's newest enemy and leader. They will take over the world by once a day being overhead.Raise your eyes to the sky, pay a tax. Elevate an idea of god for all, pay a tax. Rebel? forget it, like in the movies, dumb bombs, kill just as effectively as smart bombs. Just as in earlier movies, he on the highest hill, will generally prevail in a battle. Highest hill can also denote deep pockets. But how much more is it to develop robotics...oh? that's already developed...maybe the box is part of boing self assembled missleplex, or intels radar array, or.........

Re:Well really.. (1)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637711)

That's good news, because the US landed there back in the 60's. And successfully returned.

Re:Well really.. (0)

erikkemperman (252014) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637875)

That's good news, because the US landed there back in the 60's. And successfully returned.

Well that's what they'll have you believe, sure :-)

I am not a conspiracy nut myself, at least not regarding the moonlanding. Still, I immensely enjoyed this mockumentary, which had the generous support of the Kubrick estate and various high profile politicos (Kissinger, Rumsfeld, among others):

Dark side of the moon [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Well really.. (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638673)

The Russians sent a sample return mission in 1970. Luna 16.

Re:Well really.. (1)

91degrees (207121) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637969)

Unless China's space budget is less than US$30 million (or at least not too much more), then yes!

We proved getting a spaceship to the moon was possible in the 1960's. The prize is for doing so in a cost effective manner.

Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637387)

When you unlimited, unrestricted government support and funding, its real easy to this kind of stuff.

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637419)

I for one welcome our new governmental overlords.

Re:Well yeah (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637425)

Who said that, Wernher von Braun?

Re:Well yeah (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637847)

No, Wernher von Braun said "Ja, vee could fly to ze moon and back with zis rocket, but a one-vay flight to London vill do for now mein Fuhrer."

Or were you talking about something he said in his post-paperclip [wikipedia.org] period?

Re:Well yeah (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637913)

Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
that's not my department says Wernher von Braun.

--Tom Lehrer

But seriously. Of course, unlimited funds can move mountains. Or people onto the moon. And maybe even back, too. Von Braun sure had unlimited funds in the 60s.

Too bad the US leaned back on the "we're #1, why try harder" position. Just think where we could be by now.

Re:Well yeah (2)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638141)

Too bad the US leaned back on the "we're #1, why try harder" position. Just think where we could be by now.

At some point, they needed to have something in space which generated a return on investment. Apollo didn't do that. And the Shuttle ended up being even worse (for about ten years till 1984, no one in the US could actually launch a payload on a private launch vehicle).

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639317)

Return on investment, that is for business to have, for you and I, the taxpayer, all we get is the bill. The return, better science, better world view, better communications, just think of what happened since that initial investment? No return? to be blind, you want?

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639121)

Und I'm learning Chinese, says Wernher von Braun.

Re:Well yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637647)

You the necessary authorisation for the verb budget, though.

Re:Well yeah (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637849)

You the necessary authorisation for the verb budget, though.

The verb "need" needs authorization too it would seem.

Re:Well yeah (1)

pahles (701275) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638295)

I guess that was the point of the AC...

Re:Well yeah (1)

zwarte piet (1023413) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639619)

Not easy at all. But yeah, money is excellent lube for getting stuff done and they don't have to reinvent the wheel.

China scooped by the Soviet Union (4, Insightful)

erice (13380) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637423)

If you are going to include government probes than China was itself scooped by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod_1 [wikipedia.org] rover more than 40 years ago.

Re:China scooped by the Soviet Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639249)

It's ok comrade. Fame, fortune, and glory is shared by all fellow communists.

Finally First Landing on the Moon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637439)

I guess everybody is tired of these fake Hollywood landings.

Something about cart and house, counting chickens (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637445)

before they hatch, and whatnot. It's not like this is the 1950s and some Sputnik thing was in the news and I Like Ike on half of all rear bumpers. Now it is Apple bling, Facebook friends, and "Amazon is having a (fake) sale" time, not a (Space) race to the moon. It wa already done. A long, long time ago. Catcha a falling neutrino why don't you.

Google is eyeing The Moon!! (1)

soumen_78 (3456377) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637457)

Google is not letting go any terrestrial object!! .. LOL!!

Re:Google is eyeing The Moon!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637539)

Google is not letting go any terrestrial object!! .. LOL!!

Okay, but what does that have to do with the moon?

How will China get there? (1)

guttentag (313541) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637467)

I give up. Are the Chinese running KitKat or Key Lime Pie on Chang'e 3?

Re:How will China get there? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638129)

Using Windows XP is of course the best way to win XPrize. A copy with the WGA cracked.

missing the point (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637517)

The point of the X-Prize is to show that private space exploration is possible, i.e., that the costs have come down enough so that it makes sense for businesses to start engaging in space exploration, or that it has become cheap enough so that people can do it for fun.

The ability of space exploration by tax-payer funded government entities doesn't need to be established, it was established half a century ago. Communist nations tend to be even better at doing such things in the short run because they can redirect money more easily to such projects even if they don't make sense.

Re:missing the point (4, Interesting)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637601)

Hmm. Apparently capitalist governments are even more effective at sinking funds into projects like that, because its widely recognized that US beat the Soviets in the early space race.

Of course, for some inexplicable reason US didnt respond to Soviet challenge by leveraging the power of free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit. They decided to beat massive Soviet state run design bureaus backed by their military industry complex by establishing their own massive state run design bureau backed by their military industrial complex. They even bagged members of the same team of germans as their design leads !

Funnily enough, Russians are now launching the lions share of commercial space payloads, whereas the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 first comsat launch was the first in years for US.

Re:missing the point (2, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637623)

Hmm. Apparently capitalist governments are even more effective at sinking funds into projects like that

Yes, because they end up having more money to spend.

Of course, for some inexplicable reason US didnt respond to Soviet challenge by leveraging the power of free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit.

The US leveraged the power of "free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit" by taxing it.

Funnily enough, Russians are now launching the lions share of commercial space payloads, whereas the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 first comsat launch was the first in years for US.

Funnily enough, private industry has little incentive competing with government services, in particular if private industry is heavily regulated. And for anything other than satellite launches, there simply hasn't been much incentive for private investment at all. The Soviet union is, of course, still just living off resources created on the back of peasants and workers during the Soviet era.

The moon landing may have been a good political stunt, but scientifically and economically, it was a huge waste of money.

Re:missing the point (1)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637645)

The Soviet union is, of course, still just living off resources created on the back of peasants and workers during the Soviet era.
USSR doesnt exist anymore - but if you meant Russian space industry, then yes absolutely. And it has been crumbling for years.

The moon landing may have been a good political stunt, but scientifically and economically, it was a huge waste of money.
You'll get no argument on this one. Most of the manned spaceflight to date is still a huge waste of money.

Re: missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638081)

You've never heard of "investment"?

What do you think is the right way? Build a USS Enterprise with warp engines in the beginning - why waste all that money with small capsules and shit?

All money spent in manned space exploration will pay dividends ultimately, at least a trillion fold.

Syà vÃhemmÃn jÃkÃlÃà ja enemmÃn kalaa niin aivosi pysyvÃt virkeinÃ.

Re: missing the point (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638097)

All money spent in manned space exploration will pay dividends ultimately, at least a trillion fold.

I have no idea whether you're serious or not. But I'll point out that there are substantial opportunity costs when one burns a few billion on a white elephant rather than something productive.

Re:missing the point (4, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638093)

Bloody bean counters. It was not a waste of money. Any more than climbing Everest, or the race to the South Pole, or finding the Higgs Boson.

The space race inspired the current generation of rich people prepared to put funds into private space initiatives.

We don't want a robot to land on mars. We want a human to tell us how it feels to stand on an alien planet and try to spot the Earth in the nights sky.

You want to look at a waste of money? Look at how much Coca Cola spend to try to make you buy their flavour rather than the oppositions. Now that is a REAL waste.

Re:missing the point (5, Informative)

subreality (157447) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637833)

its widely recognized that US beat the Soviets in the early space race

By whom?

First artificial satellite: Sputnik
First human in space: Yuri Gagarin
First human in orbit: Yuri Gagarin (He gets mentioned twice because he achieved this before the US managed even a suborbital flight)
First lunar flyby: Luna 1
First impact on the moon: Luna 2
First spacewalk: Aleksei Leonov
First soft landing on the moon: Luna 9

The commitment to boots on the moon led to Gemini turning things around in the mid '60s, but before that the Soviets did quite well, especially with Earth-orbit tech.

Re:missing the point (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638073)

Also first woman in space: Valentina Tereshkova

Re:missing the point (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638103)

Also:

Venera 3, first manmade object to impact another planet's surface.
Venera 4, first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
Venera 7, first spacecraft to successfully land on another planet.

Re:missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638245)

You seem to be mistaken, citizen. Ever since the US won the cold war* they have been meticulously re-writing history. You only have to watch the opening credits to Star Trek Enterprise to realise that the USA pioneered all aviation, spaceflight and exporation, and the USSR never even really existed at all. USA! USA! USA!

*If you can count "managed to last a few extra decades before imploding economically and violently collapsing" as a win, that is.

Re:missing the point (3, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638501)

First lunar flyby: Luna 1

The impressiveness of this feat is only slightly tainted by the fact that it wasn't supposed to be a flyby. They missed.

All us KSP fans can relate to that, I'm sure...

Re:missing the point (1)

thrich81 (1357561) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639515)

Out of all the manned spaceflight milestones of the 60's, only three really stand out in history -- Gagarin's orbital mission (Vostok 1), the lunar orbit mission of Apollo 8 and the lunar landing mission of Apollo 11. Lesser milestones as far as future space development is concerned were the first orbital rendezvous of Gemini 6/7 and the first orbital docking of Gemini 8. Your caveat that things turned around in the mid-60's is a rarely acknowledged point in these sort of discussions.

Re:missing the point (1, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637893)

Hmm. Apparently capitalist governments are even more effective at sinking funds into projects like that, because its widely recognized that US beat the Soviets in the early space race.

Dunno about that. IMHO the Soviets did every bit as much good pioneering work with the Lunokhod program and Mir as the US did with the entire Apollo program and the space shuttle program. Apollo was a spectacular propaganda Lunokhod represented a way of doing the same amount of scientific work the Apollo missions did with less risk and at a fraction of the price. Lunokhod set the pattern for the way space exploration is done today and Mir yielded a mountain of data on the problems of really long term missions in space. In my book it is rather uninteresting who gets there first, what counts is the scientific work you do once you get there and the what technologies you pioneer in the process. I also respect anybody who turns a profit in the space industry, especially people who manage that without any government subsidies in any form (direct or indirect) since that's not an easy thing to do by any means.

Re:missing the point (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638123)

Lunokhod represented a way of doing the same amount of scientific work the Apollo missions did with less risk and at a fraction of the price.

It didn't. The scientific output of Apollo was quite remarkable. And there's two simple reasons why. First, they had the best machines of the day, people (which incidentally are still the best machines of the day) gathering samples and running experiments on the surface.

And second, they returned 380 kg of lunar material to be studied for the past few decades. Do you really think a 60s vintage lunar rover is going to get better data on lunar material on location than generations of Earth-based scientists do with a sample return?

Re:missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638271)

Do you really think a 60s vintage lunar rover is going to get better data on lunar material on location than generations of Earth-based scientists do with a sample return?

Note that the Soviets had their own, unmanned, Lunar sample return missions. They were more proof of concept missions and only returned minimal quantities, but it was entirely feasible. The Chinese have their own unmanned sample return missions planned, and the NASA would, if Congress let them.

Re:missing the point (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638437)

Lunokhod represented a way of doing the same amount of scientific work the Apollo missions did with less risk and at a fraction of the price.

It didn't. The scientific output of Apollo was quite remarkable. And there's two simple reasons why. First, they had the best machines of the day, people (which incidentally are still the best machines of the day) gathering samples and running experiments on the surface.

And second, they returned 380 kg of lunar material to be studied for the past few decades. Do you really think a 60s vintage lunar rover is going to get better data on lunar material on location than generations of Earth-based scientists do with a sample return?

No I don't but then that's not what I was trying to point out. I said the Soviets did a whole lot of invaluable pioneer work in the field of unmanned space probes and that Lunokhod pointed the way to the future. Or do you really think thtat the future of deep space exporation is in grandiose Apollo program like manned missions to remote corners of the solar system? What has been the focus of space exploration since Apollo? Wait... let me think... Oh yes it's been unmanned probes, even NASA acknowledges that. It will _always_ be more cost effective to send robot probes and that includes sample return missions. That writing has been on the wall since Apollo and it has only become more true as we have gotten better at AI and robotics.

Re:missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638545)

The reason for the US effort to go to the Moon was not scientific. It was giving the USSR the middle finger telling them that we can drop a bomb on you anytime anywhere baby. I know. My father was one of the Apollo Moon shot development team. I live in Huntsville, Alabama and have been around this all my life. The Apollo mission documentation had to be stolen by Lewis Sinko (A real hero on many accounts) in order to save it. Presidents Nixon and Ford both ordered the Apollo documentation destroyed because it was considered to be an Arms Control issue. When Lewis Sinko (Huntsville, Alabama) died, his family found the data in his stuff and donated it to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It was subsequently digitized and is not stored and protected. NASA used data from it for much improvement of their current efforts. The greatest technological treasure of the 20th century had to be stolen to preserve it.

The reason (I knew Lewis Sinko) Mr. Sinko stole it was events of the late 1950's. He was working at Redstone Arsenal on the first effort to launch an American Orbital Shot by the US Army. President Eisenhower viewed this as a complete waste of time and money and ordered the lab and all of its technical devices emptied into the Redstone Arsenal Dump. When Sputnik went up suddenly we needed the stuff. Mr. Sinko and others had conspired with the dump manager to have these items carefully protected. They then bought with their own money these dumped items back from the RSA dump and restarted America's effort to go to orbit after Sputnik. The USA would have beatend the Russians to orbit and the other firsts had Eisenhower not been a Horses patoot.

Americans seem to require a kick in the butt in order to get them moving in the right direction. The Russians seem more able to keep the consistent plodding progress forward. China and India are looking to go up and do things because of strategic competition similar to that of USA vs. USSR.

I cannot imagine how much better things would be if the world could actually do something without being terrified and doing it for war. Nobody seems to be willing to give a damn about the future until it is in dire peril of immediate death and destruction.

Re:missing the point (1)

bluegutang (2814641) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638581)

Do you need human beings in order to bring back material for Earth-based scientists to analyze?

Re:missing the point (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639533)

Of course, for some inexplicable reason US didnt respond to Soviet challenge by leveraging the power of free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit. They decided to beat massive Soviet state run design bureaus backed by their military industry complex by establishing their own massive state run design bureau backed by their military industrial complex. They even bagged members of the same team of germans as their design leads !

The US led private industry design and build the Apollo project. I don't know how detailed the specs were that private companies like Lockheed and Boeing were given for their parts of the program, for example. I did have a chance some years ago to talk to a guy who worked on the Apollo project for NASA and he was working there during the first moon landing. He told me an interesting story about the onboard computer that the LEM (lunar lander) used and mentioned that MIT was responsible for the programming on it.

Hey Cool (0)

arcite (661011) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637587)

China has caught up to cold war tech from 50 years ago! I'm much more impressed with the Indian satellite effort which just set off for Mars.

Re:Hey Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45637869)

The moon is actually a very hard target for autonomous rovers.
The temperature differences on the moon are way more extreme than on mars. The russians basically landed a tank there when put their rover there.
I don't think the US actually put an autonomous rover on the moon so far.

The moon may be thought of as easy due to how close it is, but its environment is probably more difficult to master than mars.

Re:Hey Cool (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638371)

It's all very impressive that they could land something on the moon 50 years later, but let's see them do it without microprocessors, as the US did. Whenever I think about the 1960s' moon efforts, I'm amazed that it could be done at all with the computer technology that was available at the time.

Re:Hey Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638603)

China has caught up to cold war tech from 50 years ago!

Which would already be remarkable enough given their state 50 years ago, if it was as simple as that.

(Hint: It's not. Their mission is much more sophisticated than the Luna program.)

Is it wrong (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637591)

That deep inside, I hope that the Chinese have a critical failure which either prevents them from completing the mission, or their lander is somehow destroyed on impact? It doesn't count if all you do is deposit litter does it?

Re:Is it wrong (4, Insightful)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637655)

Yes its wrong. China has lots of scientist and engineers that have put their hard work into this - and they are doing something that nobody has done for decades, and they are doing it better, with more modern and even completely new instruments.

Why would you want this to fail?

Re:Is it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637773)

It's call rooting for the home team... Something that is all well and good until someone loses a lander.

Re:Is it wrong (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637861)

Rooting for a weak home team hoping that the stronger team fails is pathetic.

The correct attitude is to make the home team better.

Re:Is it wrong (1)

psnyder (1326089) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638319)

The home team is called "humanity". So I'm not sure what all of you are going on about. Maybe you're playing a different game?

Re:Is it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639097)

No, it's called stupid nationalism.

Re:Is it wrong (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637877)

I largely agree, but the original objective was binary -- "round-trip completed intact" | "round-trip not completed intact" -- and since the US & USSR didn't fail partway through the trip, there isn't a whole lot of room for doing it "better." They might do it more cheaply, complete the round-trip faster, or succeed against the most overwhelming odds, but those are all different issues, IMHO.

Re:Is it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637685)

That deep inside, I hope that the Chinese have a critical failure which either prevents them from completing the mission, or their lander is somehow destroyed on impact? It doesn't count if all you do is deposit litter does it?

Yes it is.

Re:Is it wrong (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638777)

Yes definitely. Look at what is happening on Mars and just be happy that there are more players instead of a pissing contest that NASA would lose to anyone that isn't getting their budgets cut. With a bit of luck a Chinese success will inspire more funding to NASA and more things for US nationalists to cheer for.

Re:Is it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639493)

But that would be hoping the technology developed by the USA would be bad. How, reverse engineering, Boing, Northrupt, or whatever junkyards were shipped to china, just for that.If not for our business developing the next great enemy? where would they be? Maybe better?

As someone born in 1988 (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637599)

I'm glad that someone is going to the moon. I never got to ride the Concorde either.

What did those on the LAST Concorde flight think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637673)

I WISH I never got to ride the Concorde.

Re:What did those on the LAST Concorde flight thin (1)

zwarte piet (1023413) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637819)

Why's that?

Re:What did those on the LAST Concorde flight thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638117)

Cramped, not very confortable, noisy on the inside.

Re:What did those on the LAST Concorde flight thin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638139)

Uh, it sank. Captain was the first to jump off. Salvaged off of some Italian coast somewhere or maybe south Pacific. Eskimos are now in charge and they eat humans you know. So don't go there.

Re:What did those on the LAST Concorde flight thin (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639707)

at least you had metal forks.

besides, you wan to try cramped, try an asian budget airline(still better service than norwegian or ryanair though..).

Re:What did those on the LAST Concorde flight thin (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638303)

I presume he is referring to the Air France Concorde that crashed.

Perfect cycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637633)

Sure, China will go to the moon, mine all the bitcoins, send them back to Earth, ban all the bitcoins causing the price to skyrocket straight back to the moon.

... We got there first... like in the 70s... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,9 days | (#45637715)

So... China's trip isn't comparable to what the private companies are doing. When a private chinese company sends something to the moon... then they're in the running. Till then... welcome to the party china... the punch bowl is over there.

Re:... We got there first... like in the 70s... (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638111)

I am looking forward to watching that runner sitting by the track with the stars and stripes watching the running in the red go running by. Closely followed by the one in the green orange and white.

Space race Mk2. Bring it on.

long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45637757)

long time ago in haliford
the pun-ish-ment book say
holder stole the swimming pool keys
and then threw them away

I when wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45637809)

It will explode from using low quality components.
This coming from a country that managed to blow up water melons amongst many other thing, I wouldn't be surprised.

Re:I when wonder... (3, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | 1 year,8 days | (#45637873)

It will explode from using low quality components.

Many of the quality product you associate with "american-made" or "european-made" are in fact made in China, part or whole.

If you still think China churns out shite copies of good products like in the 70s and 80s, you need a reality check. Many, MANY China products are brilliant, quality made and innovative. Granted, many are still shite and copies too, but that's changing fast.

Re: I when wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638089)

OK please give some examples of which Chinese products are brilliant. I am curious.

Re: I when wonder... (2)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638157)

China is an expert in manufacturing in both ends. They can make weak stuff but also extremely professional robust stuff.

Re: I when wonder... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638203)

I work in China. Even the Chinese don't believe that their products are any good. Their manufacturing skills are sketchy. Their design skills are weak. Raw materials are sub par. Their key asset is low cost. Not quality.

Re: I when wonder... (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638223)

It's just like Japan in the 50s and 60s.

Re: I when wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639699)

The Japanese culture is different from the Chinese. The Japanese have some pride in their work and strive to make it better. The Chinese replace food products with melamine if they think they can get away with it.

The Chinese are not guaranteed to follow the same trajectory as the Japanese, just because they started out in the same place.

Re: I when wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45638329)

The iPhone.

Re:I when wonder... (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638221)

They were saying similar things about Japan in the 1970s and creating chicken little blockbusters in the 1980s about how Japan was taking over the US. Now, Japan is merely a really big economy without either the ridicule or terror.

Too easy to fake + China = FAKE (0)

fygment (444210) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638415)

Really?
The US moon landing has been doubted for year despite: relatively open process, poor CG at the time, less knowledge of the moon's environment.
China has: very closed access to any of its government activities, access to the best in CG and amongst the most powerful computers, modern knowledge of the moon's environment.
In short: this self-aggrandizing goal is just TOO EASY TO FAKE. So they will.

Re:Too easy to fake + China = FAKE (1)

arcade (16638) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638567)

Uhm. Easy to fake? So, how will they fake out the huge amount of telescopes that will be pointed at the moon when they approach? How do they fake the large amount of listening posts that will listen for the chinese signals from the moon?

Not to mention, flybys by other nations, later, will look for the equipment. It would be kind of embarrassing when nobody can find it. ;)

Re:Too easy to fake + China = FAKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639573)

Mass hypnosis, of course.

Congratulations! (1)

argStyopa (232550) | 1 year,8 days | (#45638637)

A nation of 1.4 billion people, with a gdp of $8 trillion, the largest nation in the world, will manage to reach the moon before a couple of handfuls of mostly-private teams with budgets perhaps 1 MILLIONTH of theirs.

Go China!

big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45639029)

You mean a giant government with a growing space program can beat a privately funded company to the moon? Nawwww... can't be.

China's plan to reach the moon (1)

dysmal (3361085) | 1 year,8 days | (#45639253)

They're going to make a human ladder. One person stand on another's shoulders. THIS is why they've got so many people in their country. Why spend money on a space program when you can just climb your way there?!
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