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China's First Mars Probe Ready To Launch

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  • by PatrickThomson (712694) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:04PM (#28237203)

    The story is showing in red on the main page - perhaps reflecting the fear of a red mars in all of us. Oh, wait...

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:09PM (#28237245)

    China's first Mars probe Yinghuo-1 was the main attraction. The newly completed probe will soon be sent to Moscow for some further testing, before a joint launch with Russia's own probe Phobos-Grunt

    A probe to Mars, made by China, tested and then launched by the Russians with their effort called 'Grunt'.
    What could possibily go wrong?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Our two glorious socialist motherlands will teach you yankees yet. Mars is the red planet and naturally belongs to us.

    • Re:Sounds fine to me (Score:5, Informative)

      by ethogram (1094021) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:41PM (#28237433)
      I believe Grunt is Russian for Ground and will be a sample return mission from Phobos. The Planetary Society is flying something as well: a long term biological exposure project called Life. I think the idea is to see whether cells can survive long term exposure to the radiation environment of interplanetary space (as opposed to low earth orbit).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CrazyJim1 (809850) *
      I sense DOOM.
    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:49PM (#28237477)

      I have no idea why this is modded as funny. I am not Russian, nor Chinese, but Western (grew up in Europe, Canada, and the States). And jokes like these is what made us inferior. Remember those jokes in the 1970's regarding Japanese cars! What could wrong! HA! We know what went wrong...

      I am not saying let's be confrontational. I am saying don't laugh since the last laugh might be on us!

      • "jokes like these is what made us inferior." [Citation needed]

        Way to be a killjoy.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by icebike (68054)

          And of course, there are no "jokes like these" in China or Russia. Why? Because they are not "inferior".

          The fact that the GP feels obligated to define himself as "Western" suggests to me that he is, in fact, NOT.

          • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:17AM (#28240605)

            Excuse me? You are saying that I am not a Westerner?

            Give me a freaken break! Want to see my passports? Want to see where I have lived? (Canada, US, Germany, Switzerland, France, UK, and Austria)! I am a Westerner!

            Want to know why I am pissed about the joke and your attitude? Because my brother who is a born Canadian is living in Russia! My sister who is a German Canadian is living in Ecuador! And they live pretty good lives...

            The jokes are actually an insult because they have a better functioning cellular network than most places in North America!

            Here is a joke on the Westerners! My brother bought his iPhone legally in Kazakstan and he complains about the lack of reception in the US, and Canada. He tells me he can be in butt-ass Kazakstan and still surf. YET be about 100KM from any civilization in North America and nothing works!

            This is why people better smarten up because he is laughing at how bad things are in North America!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JordanL (886154)
        That's awfully unique grammatical syntax for someone who grew up in the States.
        • Helo sir! I see your post and hope u comprehend that I gro up in NY and agree with OP. Stop hating on my felo nu yorkers. China Rules!

        • Are you saying that I didn't?

          Could it maybe be I was born in Germany, lived in Ontario, North Carolina (Salisbury), New York (Middletown), Quebec, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, and that I speak multiple languages?

          If you want to say that I am not a Western then you have been reading one too many conspiracy theories!!!

          • by JordanL (886154)
            No, I was just trying to collect some +1 Funny karma. ;)

            All that aside, pretending the Chinese could NEVER produce a quality product is silly. Pretending they can do it now is equally silly.

            Quality is EXPENSIVE, and the Chinese are not building wealth in their country very effectively... you need that to improve some of the finer points on a large scale.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
        Did you drive a Japanese car in 1970? They were crap, and rightly ridiculed. They became popular for 2 reasons: the oil embargo and the beginning of the end for American carmakers (finally finished last week). When the workers are pushing defective products out the door to show their contempt for the company, the competition's cars are going to look good.

        In addition, because something happened to Japan doesn't mean the same will happen to China. Making assumptions like this is the worst sort of racism

        • Re:Sounds fine to me (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:22AM (#28240633)

          Excuse me? Racism? What political correctness argument are you trying to construct?

          The Japanese car makers blew the doors off the American car makers because they laughed at the Japanese. But the Japanese kept at it and produced an excellent product.

          Want to know what the real joke here is? The quality assurance techniques used by the Japanese was developed by an American! Deeming in fact. He showed that you could build quality at a low cost. YET nobody in America used it. They mocked it. American's just kept on laughing on the "garbage" that came out of Japan.

          Then one day Japan overran the Americans! I know about this because I worked in the automotive industry. And when the automotive industry did catch on it was too late. And I remember how the jokes like the one that was made about the Chinese space ship were made.

          BTW in the past little while it has been the Russians that have been doing the work to the ISS! Not the Americans... Why? Because the space shuttle is having problems. Yet the Russia system keeps on ticking!!!

          We should be kicking ourselves in the arse for looking like idiots!

          • So...China is set to follow the path of Japan. Because all those yellow people look alike, eh? This is like saying that Botswana will follow the path of Ukraine, they have nothing in common and Asian appearance is the only thing they have in common. Hence, the racism that everyone seems to have no problem with.
      • I have no idea why this is modded as funny. I am not Russian, nor Chinese, but Western (grew up in Europe, Canada, and the States). And jokes like these is what made us inferior. Remember those jokes in the 1970's regarding Japanese cars! What could wrong! HA! We know what went wrong...

        Oh come on, I don't think people actually believe this now; it's just joking around using caricatures. Most people know that USA-made goods are just as crappy as other ones (perhaps moreso), and that most of it is made in Ch

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SerpentMage (13390)

          While I would like to agree with you. Read what the other posters have wrote. And while many will think USA made goods are crappy, the stuff from other countries is crappier.

          Call me sensitive, but I was part of the car industry during the times when North American's laughed at the Japanese cars. I never laughed, and neither did my father (he was a German VP in Magna during those days) If you really want to get an eye opener of how times were rent Gungho

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091159/ [imdb.com]

          These days it is ve

  • by TheCreeep (794716) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:18PM (#28237303)
    If it's going to Moskow for testing, it's not fucking ready to launch now is it?

    Slashdot editors: Read the damn summary at least!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573)

      You are looking at this all wrong and you have to look at it from their POV. Since the recent "updates" to Slashcode are ready for launch even though everything is fucked up, by that logic, so is the Chinese probe.

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @08:17PM (#28237665)

      I'd guess (having no real experience with international space missions) that as far as the Chinese government is concerned it's ready, but the Russians probably want to check it themselves before launch since its riding with their own probe. Hate to have it fall apart at Max Q and destroy everything on board.

      Assuming the Chinese agency developing the probe was competent and the Russian group has no axe to grind, then it probably is really ready, in the same way a manuscript is "done" before a final proofreading.

      But, again, I have no actual experience with this kind of thing, thats just my instinct.

      • by tftp (111690) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @10:51PM (#28238581) Homepage

        the Russians probably want to check it themselves before launch since its riding with their own probe. Hate to have it fall apart at Max Q and destroy everything on board.

        The probe will be integrated with the rest of the payload in Moscow, and then tested again. And then shipped to the launch site. And then tested again. Then it will be installed onto the rocket and tested again. Tests will only stop for a while when the rocket lifts off. Nobody in rocket business is insane enough to say "Well, they tested it in China 6 months ago, so we just assume that the batteries are good and all cables are hooked up right, and nobody damaged anything, so just launch as it is!"

    • The Chinese recycled an older public statement draft about a rocket ready to lauch at Moscow, but forgot that this time it was not to be a nuke.
  • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @07:42PM (#28237439) Homepage
    In space, no one can hear you grunt.
  • by VonSkippy (892467)

    Hard to get too excited. We are after all talking about the oh so NOT transparent China. Who knows what, if any of the data will be accurate or even real. The state run PR dept. of China is famous for their Science Fiction.

  • Post again after it launches.
  • by Garbad Ropedink (1542973) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @08:13PM (#28237631)

    I heard about this probe. It's really a marvel of engineering. Looking at it you can see it's the next phase in Chinese innovation. The probe they're sending is designed to go to mars, steal the American probe, then bring it back to China. After reverse engineering the American probe, the Chinese then launch their new probe back to mars.

  • How much of this probe was Chinese-designed, and how much is from the Russians? The Chinese have made a lot of progress in their own tech, but most is based heavily off old Soviet/Russian technology.

    The probe itself also doesn't seem very ambitious- more of a test run, before attempting landers or anything more complicated. Anyone with the knowhow care to educate us on the difference in difficulty of landing a probe on Mars vs. doing atomospheric experiments?

    • by Eugene (6671)

      getting there is tough enough, if you look back at the history of the Mars exploration...

      Mars Observer, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Climate Orbiter, Deep Space 2, Planet-B/Nozomi, and probably a few more I can't remember (Russians failed a few too I remember)

  • But... but... then MARS will be RED!

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Not to worry, our California governor has extensive experience dealing with political problems on Mars.
  • ...in communist China, Mars probe launches you!

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Communist Mars probes you!

  • I bet they would like to take out the "opportunity" to be the only ones working properly on the surface of mars
  • ...important archaeological sites? I mean, what if they upset Viking? or interfere with either of the two NASA probes that are already up there and working? That would be AWFUL! WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
  • According to Wikipedia the name Yinghuo means "firefly".
    Does Joss Whedon know?

    • by rnws (554280)
      Yeah, I saw that and it made me smile. Especially after a certain space-station module could have been named "Colbert" and NASA wussed out on "Serenity" and went with "Tranquility" (the EIGHTH-placed vote!) instead.
  • This is actually quite interesting. With China putting a lot of prestige in being "better than the west", they may actually be able to pull of something good with this one (and hopefully, later missions). There is nothing like a bit of competition to get the party started. Their Changâ(TM)e 1 probe was a sucess, so why not this one ? they have at least proved themselves capable of space exploration, and the more space exploration, the better!

  • If... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Blankw (1571367)
    ...everything else China's produced (product wise) is anything to go by... can we expect this probe to be primarily made of plastic, and not fit for the intended use?
  • The US was planning to send its fourth rover to mars- The Mars Science Lander- recently renamed Curiosity- during the once every 26 months Mars launch window (Oct 2009). But Curiosity turned into a bloatware monster, a billion over budget. Its as large and minivan and required new technology like retro-rocket lander and nuclear power energy which went over time and over budget. They've reconfigured it for the 2011 launch window.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

Working...