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Moon Space

China's First Lunar Satellite Sends Back Pictures 144

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the new-race-is-on dept.
Fantastic Lad writes "Chinese leaders hailed images sent back from the country's first lunar satellite on Monday, saying they showed their nation had thrust itself into the front ranks of global technological powers. China plans to launch its third manned rocket, Shenzhou VII, into space in October 2008 and may send an astronaut on a space walk, a Shanghai paper said. But a space official downplayed plans to put a man on the moon."There are no plans at the moment to send anyone on to the moon. I've heard of foreign reports which say China will put a man on the moon by 2020, but I don't know of such a plan," said Sun Laiyan, head of the China National Space Administration. "Please don't give us any more pressure. But I'm confident one day we'll put an astronaut on the moon," he told a news conference."
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China's First Lunar Satellite Sends Back Pictures

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  • by onetwentyone (882404) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:03PM (#21479783) Homepage
    Ok, the US put a man on the moon in a really short span of time. We even got a whole flurry to repeat the trip in the following years. So why is it that we can't seem to get anything done with that level of efficiency again? Yes I know there is the lack of money which is a huge problem but you might think that NASA would spend what they could on getting someone exceedingly charismatic to work Congress for the dough.

    If NASA were to start hyping themselves up again (and not relying on past glories), we could really start to see some great achievements coming out of those brilliant people again.

    Which brings us to China. This new endeavor is a point of pride for the country and its government much like it was for us 40 years ago. I'm actually going to root for China in the hope that it will get we Americans to start looking back into space.
  • by AsnFkr (545033) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:04PM (#21479795) Homepage Journal
    And the US was only 5 years behind the Soviets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_3 [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:That's weird (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:07PM (#21479831) Homepage
    The moon has next to no atmosphere and so no wind either. I don't know how long it takes for any of the other effects of basicly being a rock directly exposed to space and the sun take to erode away the flag, but I'm guessing quite some time.
  • Re:That's weird (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Facetious (710885) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:27PM (#21480081) Journal
    Dude, get your joke-meter fixed. One of the we-didn't-go-to-the-moon conspiracy theory pieces of evidence was the flag "blowing" in the "wind" on film.
  • by stud9920 (236753) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:44PM (#21480313)

    2. No cold war. We are not currently afraid of another countries technological abilities, so we have no need to showboat ours. This was a big issue with both Congress and the public in the 60's.
    The Boogeyman changed. Hey! I hear their is a terrorist training base on the moon !
  • Confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lightsaber777 (920815) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:55PM (#21480491) Journal
    We are sending satellites to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond. We have rovers exploring Mars as we speak, which send back spectacular pictures and have performed far beyond the original specifications. We have a telescope in space that monitors distant galaxies. We have intercepted and collected samples from a comet. I fail to see why it is big news when the Chinese replicate a feat that was done nearly half a century ago by two other countries, one of which has sent humans there multiple times using computers less powerful than some people's cell phones. Are they also going to tell their people they were the first ones there and everything else is "Capitalist Propaganda"?
  • Well (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:01PM (#21480545)
    Well, I see the comments section for this story has turned into 'let's laugh at the foreign people' central.

    Where the fuck are you guys when the stories about the one-laptop-per-child plan roll in?
  • Re:Confused (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:09PM (#21480665)
    I was impressed when my child took his first step, even though I have been doing the exact same thing for over 30 years.

    I'm not sure that it's realistic to expect China to send a man on Mars before gaining enough space travel experience. The way I look at it, their lunar satelite could either have failed or succeeded. It worked, so they celebrate. Isn't that fair enough? Or is it "communist propaganda" ?
  • Re:Confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cozziewozzie (344246) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:55PM (#21482189)
    The fact that the US, Europe and the USSR have done it countless times and China hasn't is exactly the reason why this is seen as important news.

    It means that China is catching up very fast with the other space powers. It means China is capable of launching satelites without help, which has military consequences.

    It means their technology is catching up with the West's, which has all sorts of impact on the society. Remember the outsourcing woes where cheap jobs are lost to the third world? If China becomes a technology superpower instead of just a cheap labour superpower, this will have great economic consequences. These projects clearly show that there are people in there capable of great technological feats.

    It also opens possibilities for scientific cooperation in the future, like the one between the NASA and the ESA.

    It could also affect the funding of NASA, ESA, etc, more than their own (interesting and scientifically relevant) missions can.

    There are many reasons why this is interesting. For one, when the first lunar missions were taking place, China was a mostly illiterate country barely subsisting on farming, with no industry to speak of. Now they're sending people into space. There is a new kid on the block, and that is interesting.
  • Re:Yes, they are (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jacekm (895699) on Monday November 26, 2007 @03:26PM (#21482643)
    You obviously have no clue what does it mean to live under communist rule. Your comments are typical whining of the uneducated American young leftist that has no clue what the real world looks like. You clearly have no idea, that spying in the USA is illegal but spying on the citizen in communist China is perfectly legal and massive. You also have no clue who exactly is hold in Gitmo. Since when Arab terrorists become US citizens ? In your stupidity you obviously never heard, that in communist country their citizens are kept in thousnads for years in gulags or jails on their own soil and often executed without trial by their captors. In communist counteris corruption never had any impact on those holding power. Only in democratic country corrupted officials are losing their office. In fact you would never heard cases of corruption in communist countries. Such news are simply unwelcome and forbiden in their media. But how would you know such facts ? This would take to attend universtiy that actually teaches something like history or science instead of polictical correct propaganda and of course it would require one to use his brain. JAM
  • by AsnFkr (545033) on Monday November 26, 2007 @05:33PM (#21484327) Homepage Journal
    A colony on the moon is the first step towards a manned Mars mission as learning how to survive on an alien surface for long periods of time is a major part of learning how to properly execute such a mission. We didn't just launch Apollo 11 in one shot and land; we had the entire Gemini and and four manned Apollo missions to work out all the details (Long term flight, EVA, rendezvous, docking etc) before making the actual moon landing attempt. In fact, the space station(s) have been excellent in educating us on how to have multi-month/year missions which will also be beneficial in a mission to Mars.

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

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