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China Space Science

China's Chang'E 2 Succeeds In Thrilling Asteroid Flyby 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-a-good-look dept.
Zothecula writes "China has now joined the very select group of countries to have succeeded in carrying out an interplanetary probe mission. According to reports from China's official news agency Xinhua, the Chang'E 2 probe passed a mere 3.2 km (2 miles) from the near-Earth asteroid Toutatis at 8:30:09 GMT on December 13, making it the closest asteroid flyby to date ... and resulting in some remarkable photographs."
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China's Chang'E 2 Succeeds In Thrilling Asteroid Flyby

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  • by medcalf (68293) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:16PM (#42315751) Homepage
    China is an interesting problem, and I don't just mean geopolitically. On the one hand, China indisputably has been making incredible strides on applied science and engineering in space and in military matters, as well as economic progress and progress in controlling diseases. On the other hand, they've also lied through their teeth about each of these things, and so it's very hard to trust Chinese assertions without independent verification. Thinking about how far China has come since beginning liberalization just a scant couple of decades ago, the potential is enormous, and overall likely quite positive for mankind as a whole. In order to get there, though, China's self-confidence will have to improve to allow them to admit mistakes, and to get over some of the racial tics they have. I think, too, that it's likely that somewhere in the next thirty years, the Communist Party will lose its monopoly on power. That has to happen as they transition to a relatively free market, which is a path they are already on. In essence, I see China now as basically S. Korea in the 1970s, in political and socio-economic terms. Once they get to where S. Korea was in the 1990s, it's going to be amazing to see what China can do.

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