The question is "Why?"
Aren't they going to have enough hydroelectric power generated by damming the Yangze? Are they looking to corner the H3 market?
They could probably mine H3 from the Moon at a small fraction of what it would cost us, although the loss of human life would probably be higher.
You say that like Beijing would have a problem with it.Originally Posted by genebujold
It could have the potential the start a new space race, which can only be a good thing for space exploration.
If the Chinese aren't careful, they might end up with their own private ISS on the Moon. Of course, going back to the Moon would be exciting, but...
China's space program serves pretty much the same purpose as the Soviet one did. Although there are may be good economic reasons for pursuing an aggressive manned space program (though they're not easy to find) the main purpose for going to the moon is so the centralized communist government can use it as a symbol for the greatness of their system and country.
Heck, that was the main reason why America was first to the Moon. If there had been no space race in the '60s, do you think we would have landed on the Moon in 1969? I doubt it.
The Chinese government will argue that they have enough resources to go to the Moon while solving grinding rural poverty and their other problems. Whether or not they are right, the leaders probably believe that a Chinese Moon landing will be worth it for the propogranda they can use it for both at home and abroad.
and we can only hope that useful technology and science will come from the space program. Oh, and enjoy the pictures.
China Building Large Radio Telescope For Space Observation
Shanghai (XNA) Jan 04, 2010
Construction of a 65-meter-diameter radio telescope started Tuesday in Shanghai, an official from one of funders said Wednesday. The telescope, a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy, will be used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes including Chinese astronomical projects like Chang'e lunar probe, YH-1 Mars exploration and other deep space explorations, said Zhan Wenlong, deputy dean of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The facility is also capable of receiving data for Jupiter and Saturn exploration, said Hong Xiaoyu, head of Shanghai Astronomical Observation, which will run the project after it is expected to be fully completed in 2015.
There's no logical reason to mine H3 on the moon since their are no fusionn power plants and theirs already enough uranium in seawater to fuel fission reactors than could power our entire civilization-- forever!
Marcel F. Williams
Building satellites on the moon would require creating a massive infrastructure there. There are a lot of parts in a modern satellite and you'd need to build most if not all of them there. Satellites are built in clean rooms and you'd need them, too (not easy in a highly dusty environment). There is talk about specialty devices that can replicate almost any part, but until those devices become operational reality, it'd be extremely difficult to set up something as complicated as satellite manufacture in space.
Newpapyrus has been going on about building satellites on the Moon for quite some time:
He is convinced that initial cost of setting up the manufacturing will be more than offset by the lower cost of launching them.
Questions to Newpapyrus:
1. How many satellites do you think must be built and launched before your lunary manufactury breaks even?
2. How many satellites do you think Earth needs?
3. How many satellites do you think can simultaneously exist before they start colliding with each other?
I wonder how much real progress China has made towards a moon landing in the five years since the original article? I mean yes they've had a couple fo manned orbital flights but I don't see any signs of the kind of intensive program, like Gemini, to develop the skillset needed for lunar landing mission, never mind the hardware that goes with it.
Order of Kilopi
With those anti-satellite missiles they can take out our GPS capability and cripple everyone of our military divisions (Air Force, Navy, Army...)that depend on GPS for navigation. Maybe I'm being paranoid but at this moment I'm very concerned.
EDIT: Found the article http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0912/28china/
Last edited by Craigboy; 2010-Jan-06 at 07:18 AM.
They have accomplished some of what Gemini accomplished. In particular, spacewalk, which is a good test of the spacesuit technology needed.
They have plans for their "cheap" spacestation which will perform the rendezvous functionality of Gemini.
Besides, Gemini was only 3-4 years before the moon landing, while we are talking another 10 for China.
Yes; I agree that we see little progress, but it's hard to tell if its because of problems, or because they just aren't sinking a lot into it like we did. I really am not that sure what progress they need to do and in what timeframe.
They do have the advantage that spaceflight is "relatively" evolved since Gemini.
Regardless of the point of view, my comment was more to point out that I don't know of any technical issues that is slowing NASA down.
Where's the Ranger, Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter equivalents? Where's the super heavy lift booster?
As for super-heavy lift, theres the question of whether it it necessary at all. I was the solution of choice for the 1960s because you wanted to establish a lunar presence quickly, in one shot.
There is no reason at all why a manned moon shot has to carry the return vehicles and the outgoing crew/equipement in the same rocket, and thus no reason why a Saturn V class booster is strictly necessary.
China doesn't have to relive the 1960s if they want to send humans to the moon. The Gemini program served to develop the essential technologies and skills needed to go to the moon such as EVA, rendezvous and docking. China doesn't have to reinvent those technologies but they do need to practice the skills. They don't need to recreate Ranger, Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter because that data already exists. They have proven they're capable of sending an orbiter to the moon.
One of the things that China does need to accomplish before going to the moon is building a skilled and experienced cadre of people, not only for spaceflight but for mission control. Stuff breaks in space and you need people who have experience at solving problems. I don't know of a single Apollo mission that didn't have malfunctions with Apollo 13 being the worst. NASA had a cadre of experienced mission controllers and engineers capable of working through the problems. They got much of their experience through the earlier Gemini missions. China is only flying a manned mission every year or two so it seems difficult to build that kind of experience.
The US needed the Saturn V to go to the moon because we decided to go with the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) approach. That required a big rocket to send everything in a single go. China could forego that requirement by using a hybrid Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) and LOR approach. They'd use multiple launches of smaller rockets to assemble everything they needed in Earth orbit, then fly to the moon. Part of the mission would stay in lunar orbit - the part needed for the return trip - while a separate lander would go to the surface. There wouldn't be a need for a heavy lifter at all with this approach.
Yes, and that's why I believe claims of China landing on the moon by 2020 are optimistic unless the launch rate picks up.
Putting aside my opinions of the Chinese government (which are inappropriate here anyway) - I really do hope they fulfill their ambitions in space. With Japan already established as a space power and India hoping to start a manned programme soon, we could see a new space race in Asia.
I personally find this prospect more promising for a future human presence outside Earth than the activities of Western nations; the UK has a space agency but is slicing science funding to pay for bankers mistakes, France is considering replacing Ariane 5 with a smaller launcher which might be more viable for commercial satellites but will is going to drastically reduce European capabilities beyond that and the US is faffing around endlessly with the VSE and seems unable to commit to and pursue a large scale exploration programme.
I think the West in general is going to get schooled in the next few decades by nations such as India and China, which we still condescendingly refer to as 'developing'
The second part may very well be correct. But as to the first part it will be they who will be schooled. I think they are likely to find the same things we did. Then the money allocators will turn off the spigot.I think the West in general is going to get schooled in the next few decades by nations such as India and China, which we still condescendingly refer to as 'developing'
Might China and India dominate space in the next few decades? Perhaps but I can remember people confidently predicting similar global dominance for Japan in the 1980's. No one foresaw their economic difficulties or the rise of China. Such predictions are little better than crystal ball gazing.
The word 'replace' is being kicked around in relation to the proposed, smaller payload, booster.
As for UK space science: I do not know anyone who feels positive about the future of science here. The current state of affairs has even been described as a 'war on science'
No doubt India and China will encounter roadbocks and it is uncertain if they can overcome them; however what seems pretty certain is our decline in the immediate future.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Chinese program over the next couple of years, especially if there will be that upturn in the launch rate that seems to be a precondition for a serious manned lunar program.
Wasting money resources and talent in dick contests will be never productive for space exploration.
Nobody is returning to the moon,nobody will, there is no use for that