Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space China Moon

Chinese Chang'e-3 Lunar Rover On Its Way After Successful Launch 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-have-lift-off dept.
savuporo writes "The Chang'e-3 lunar probe, which includes the Yutu or Jade Rabbit buggy, blasted off on board an enhanced Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 1:30 a.m. (12.30 p.m. EDT). Landing is expected on December 14, at a landing site called Sinus Iridium (the Bay of Rainbows), a relic of a huge crater 258 km in diameter. Coverage of the launch was carried live on CCTV, with youtube copies available."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Chang'e-3 Lunar Rover On Its Way After Successful Launch

Comments Filter:
  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:11PM (#45569981) Journal

    While it is true that Asian countries (especially China and India) are playing catch up in the space race, they are catching up pretty quickly.

    It is very very true that what India and China are doing the West (and Russia) had done some decades ago.

    It is also true that what China is doing (and what India is doing also) is nothing new in the Western standard, one shouldn't stay put just because one's opponents are just beginning to do the "old stuff", or else, one day, the opponent may just have passed you by.

    To India and China, congratulation of what you guys are doing !

    To the West, please wake the fuck up !

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They needs them monies to fight turrerists n communisms none of this stupid science garbage.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ganjadude (952775)
        fight terrorists, fund BS health care legislation, either or. forget space m i right?
    • by Shakrai (717556) * on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:29PM (#45570103) Journal

      To the West, please wake the fuck up

      That won't happen until the Chinese do something we haven't done before, preferably something with implications for national-defense. When that happens there will be a massive panic, followed by determined efforts to rectify the situation. What you're looking for is another Sputnik, and it will be a few decades before the Chinese are there.

      For some reason this quote comes to mind: "Americans will always do the right thing, after they've exhausted all other possibilities."

      • by savuporo (658486) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:51PM (#45570211)

        That won't happen until the Chinese do something we haven't done before,

        "West" has never sent a teleoperated rover to the moon. Russians did, 40 years ago.

        • by beltsbear (2489652) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:16PM (#45570337)

          It is much more challenging to do tele-operated rovers on Mars and manned missions to the moon. The west has done both. Nobody else has. I do think the Chinese could beat the US back to the moon, and I hope they go full throttle towards the goal of a manned base on the moon. We need a space race to get us off this rock.

          There are plenty of firsts and (in my opinion) more interesting places to go in the solar system, like Europa and other potentially life and or liquid water containing moons. It would be great to see China or India attempt missions on that level.

          • by savuporo (658486) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:36PM (#45570459)

            It is much more challenging to do tele-operated rovers on Mars

            Nobody disputed that. A rover on the moon however is a different thing than a rover on the Mars. First, its on an entirely different celestial body - hey, there are scientific discoveries there, and potential for development. Second, teleoperated rover on the moon will have substantially different capabilities compared to martian ones - instead of 10 minute signal lag, you have 1-2 seconds, and can actually do things interactively.

            A rover on mars and a rover on moon are different things and one is not "more or less" than another. US, or "west", have done one, but not the other.

            And before you jump back with "but we had men there" - again, men on the moon are a different capability than having a long lasting rover there. Chang'e-3 mission is designed for 3 months, and it will carry out continuous observations with its instruments. Thats a tall order for any human crew for a long time to come.

            • Not to say we shouldn't do better, but really? Comparing Mars rover to a Moon rover is like comparing a Giant apple to a little apple. There are no oranges in this comparison. There are more temperature swings on the moon, but Mars has storms. Other than that -- it's just further and more difficult.

              And the Mars rover lasted longer than 3 months, and had to have software to cope with non real-time commands.

              OK, again, seriously?

          • It is much more challenging to do tele-operated rovers on Mars and manned missions to the moon. The west has done both.

            Ah, but the timing is important. Tele-operated missions are arguably more advanced, taking the position that a manned landing mission is an admission of failure to design adequate remote control systems. So it can be argued the West caught up with the Old East and went further. Now the East is repeating the same advances. How soon before they go further?

        • by joe_frisch (1366229) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:53PM (#45570561)

          That will be the critical point. If someone takes a serous shot at a manned mars mission for example, will the US space race revive, or will we just decide that we could but don't want to. For a while we've been letting the Russians launch our astronauts into space, something that would have been unthinkable when I was growing up.

          • If the Russians can do it safely and cheaply then why not let them do it. Why would we need to spend money to duplicate something Soyuz has been doing for the last 46 years? Ability to put stuff in orbit is of strategic importance, the ability to put humans is orbit is of no major importance.

            • All depends on your goals. If you goal is manned exploration of space, then I believe that putting people in orbit is vital. If you goal is improving the standard of living on earth, or even doing space research, then it isn't.

            • by Lotana (842533)

              Because of national pride. But seeing how people of USA absolutely, passionately HATE their government, I guess there isn't much of pride left.

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:37PM (#45570139)

      While it is true that Asian countries (especially China and India) are playing catch up in the space race, they are catching up pretty quickly.

      Catching up pretty quickly???

      Hmm, first satellite to first unmanned lunar lander (USA): 5 years.

      Also USA, first satellite to first manned lunar lander: 12 years.

      First satellite to first unmanned lunar lander (China): 43 years.

      China is catching up, but it's not doing it quickly - it's doing it at a glacial pace....

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:44PM (#45570171)

        Anyone can pick arbitrary milestones to make a point, but that doesn't make it meaningful.

        I think the more informative numbers would be the cost (in inflation adjusted dollars) for the various projects. I don't know what they are, but I suspect China and India are doing their missions for a fraction of what it cost the US to do it, which means they will probably be doing more in the near future.

        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:11PM (#45570307) Journal

          Anyone can pick arbitrary milestones to make a point, but that doesn't make it meaningful.

          I think the more informative numbers would be the cost (in inflation adjusted dollars) for the various projects. I don't know what they are, but I suspect China and India are doing their missions for a fraction of what it cost the US to do it, which means they will probably be doing more in the near future.

          The biggest differentiating factor does not come with a number attached.

          What India and China have, and what the West is sorely lacking, is the DETERMINATION to make their country more technologically advance.

          England used to be one of the top country in the world in term of technology, and what happened ?

          They taught their children how to use Microsoft Word in school, rather than how to program.

          America is still (one of the) top country (countries) in the world in term of technology, but technology is far from being what the average American is interested in.

          The Americans are wasting their time debating the never-ending pro and anti-abortion issue.

          The Americans prefer to watch Netflix, to vote for their next American Idol, than to encourage and lead their children towards learning the how-tos in technology.

          In other words, the Indians and the Chinese have much more curiosity than the people in the Western countries, and their curiosities are propelling onwards in strengthening themselves and their respective countries in Science and Technology, while the West, still sitting in their comfortable Lazy-Boy watching the latest flix from Hollywood.

          • In other words, the Indians and the Chinese have much more curiosity than the people in the Western countries, and their curiosities are propelling onwards in strengthening themselves and their respective countries in Science and Technology

            I think you are projecting your own biases onto them. Most of this stuff is about national pride, not "curiosity." If it were curiosity they would be doing something new, not repeating what others have already done.

            • by savuporo (658486)

              If it were curiosity they would be doing something new

              They are doing something new. They have scientific instruments on that mission that have never been used on lunar surface before, enabling completely new discoveries. See other links in the thread here.
              Chang'e-3 ( just as its predecessors ) is both a technology development mission, but also a scientific mission. Parts of their technology are same old and even based on previous Russian tech ( RHUs ) , parts are completely new. The science they will be doi

            • by cusco (717999)

              It's pretty much impossible NOT to do something new on the Moon. All the astronauts combined, both with and without rovers, explored an area smaller than Central Park in New York. Do you think that a geologist, no matter how competent, supplied only with a scoop and a rock hammer would think that he had adequately explored even Manhattan Island?

              • It's pretty much impossible NOT to do something new on the Moon.

                You and the other guy made basically the same point are missing the fact that while all that is technically true, it isn't significant to anyone beyond the scientists who are involved. More rock samples, more roving about, etc that's not new in the way that inspires. It is incremental work. Build a permanent base, take core samples from a thousand feet below the surface, etc. That's the kind of thing that makes headlines. But so far all their headlines are nothing new.

                • by cusco (717999)

                  You can't do either one of those things without a whole frack of a lot more data than we currently have about, well, anywhere. Ask a builder if they would consider pouring a foundation when their only information about the job site is a few photos and maybe a single scoop of surface soil. This is a rover that can actually get answers as to whether a base can be built on a specific site, whether the chemical composition of the regolith is amenable to making it into concrete or glassification, whether the s

                  • You can't do either one of those things without a whole frack of a lot more data than we currently have about, well, anywhere

                    And once they get to that point, THEN Taco Cowboy can honestly claim how superior they are (note he's admitted to being chinese in another post in this discussion, so...). Until then, his hypothesis is unsupported by the evidence.

                    • by cusco (717999)

                      Why do you think this particular suite of instruments was selected for Chang'e? It's in part so that they can get to that point, at which point they'll be well ahead of anyone else who might think seriously about colonization. Again, this is an evolutionary step. They're not as interested in making headlines as they are at making useful measurements. Stop thinking in terms of the next news cycle or the next election cycle, and take a long-range view.

                    • It's in part so that they can get to that point

                      Why do you think that?

                      Either way, my point was that Taco Cowboy's headline-level claims are unsupported by the evidence.

          • I would disagree - there are a lot of Americans that watch Netflix or Idol, but they are not necessarily lacking the will and ability to advance technology. There's still very much a startup culture in America, and thankfully even a strong hardware startup culture is coming around thanks to Kickstarter.

            The U.S. is still on a good curve as far as technology creation goes.

            • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

              I would disagree - there are a lot of Americans that watch Netflix or Idol, but they are not necessarily lacking the will and ability to advance technology

              I do not have any statistic to prove it, what I am going to say is solely based on my personal, anecdotal experience.

              When I was doing my post-graduate research I was the only Chinese in the entire research complex (and it is huge).

              Over there there were few other "foreigners" like me. Most other researchers (whether they be the "regulars" or "post-grads") were born and bred Anglo-Saxon Americans.

              Nowadays if you walk into any research facility located inside the United States you would see a lot of "foreign

          • by grumpyman (849537)
            I agree to most but one observation is that, the reason why they are more inclined now to be tech savvy is because they want to sit and watch Netflix all day (or whatever other unproductive activity) :)
          • The Americans prefer to watch Netflix, to vote for their next American Idol, than to encourage and lead their children towards learning the how-tos in technology.

            And guess what? That's been true since roughly forever.

            In other words, the Indians and the Chinese have much more curiosity than the people in the Western countries, and their curiosities are propelling onwards in strengthening themselves and their respective countries in Science and Technology, while the West, still sitting in their comfo

          • by TheSync (5291)

            The Americans prefer to watch Netflix, to vote for their next American Idol

            Avatar and Titanic did over $1 billion dollars in movie business in China.

            China Central Television does $2 billion in advertising per year, and has "China's Got Talent" whose premiere drew 400 million viewers, produced by...FremantleMedia...who also produces...American Idol, X-Factor, and America's Got Talent.

            People are the same all over the world.

      • by ArbitraryName (3391191) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:17PM (#45570343)

        Catching up pretty quickly???

        Considering the United States has no capability to put humans even in orbit, let alone other celestial bodies, one could say China has surpassed the US.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The US government has chosen not to have any man-rated launchers.

          You can deplore the decision there, and the political reasons for it, but none of it represents any technological incapacity. Notice our lack of a Great Wall, it isn't because we could not build one. We just don't want one.

          • by savuporo (658486)

            but none of it represents any technological incapacity.

            Exactly in the same way as any middle class family man always knows he could buy a Porsche. Except that he does like his two SUVs in the family, has two kids college funds and a very nice house to take care of, and he is a responsible, sane man. So he is quietly and slightly envious of his yuppie neighbor, but he finds comfort in that he _knows_ he can buy the Porsche when he wants to. Whenever that happens.

        • If the US needed someone in orbit I am pretty sure they could make it happen without to much trouble. They have used the unmanned X-37B in operations for nearly 2 years and the manned version is already being tested. Let someone else be responsible for the taxi and delivery services to the space station and let the US concentrate on developing more advanced technology. The type of technology China can steal once all the R&D has been conducted by others.

    • by savuporo (658486) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @05:43PM (#45570163)

      are playing catch up in the space race, they are catching up pretty quickly.

      Chang'e-3 is not playing catch up - its doing many things that "west" has never done. First, only two space agencies have sent probes to land on lunar surfacce before. US never sent a teleoperated rover. Russians did, but 40 years ago with much older set of instruments.

      It also carries multiple scientific instruments that have never been used on the lunar surface before ( obviously, because it has been 37 years since anyone bothered to go there ) . Namely, it has a radar underneath it that is intended to scan deep under the surface - this has never been done before. Second, it carries a telescope, which will for the first ever telescope landed on another planetary body.

      See here for details : http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3.html [spaceflight101.com]

      • by simonbp (412489) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:02PM (#45570625) Homepage

        Actually the Apollo missions did deploy a few UV telescopes on the lunar surface. They weren't much better than Earth-orbit telescopes, and so noone has bothered since. The radar is more interesting, but probably of limited utility given the power requirements to actually penetrate deep enough to see the layered mare deposits.

        Where China is decades behind the US, Europe, and Japan is that they don't really release their science products. US missions legally must release all raw and processed data after a short proprietary period (typically a year). Europe and Japan take longer, but still do usually release all their raw data. China does not, and often waits until after the mission is over before releasing even highly processed versions of the data. The lack of raw data (and opacity of how it is processed) means that it is hard to compare to other sources, and belies any claim to actual scientific motivation.

        • by savuporo (658486) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:30PM (#45570789)

          Actually the Apollo missions did deploy a few UV telescopes on the lunar surface. They weren't much better than Earth-orbit telescopes, and so noone has bothered since.

          See the link i posted.

          The LUT instrument is the first long-term observatory to be deployed on the Moon. The Apollo 16 mission brought a far-UV telescope to the Moon for short-term observations, collecting nearly 200 images of quality that is considered very poor by today’s standards.

          Telescopes are not really instruments for a short-term observation, or their utility and potential for discovery is severely limited.

          The lack of raw data (and opacity of how it is processed) means that it is hard to compare to other sources, and belies any claim to actual scientific motivation.
          Chinese space program has become progressively more open over the last years, the live coverage and the amount of detail released in conference papers about Chang'e is unprecedented. They have also extended an open invitation to every space scientist for collaboration ( which US will ignore due to politics ).

          We'll see if and how much data they will provide in the open - but no , other players do not often release raw data from instruments either until the researchers have had time to publish their papers or even years later.

      • Apollo 16 brought a UV telescope along with them...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Ultraviolet_Camera/Spectrograph [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Thanks. That site is much better. I finally feel that I don't begrudge China's success when they do wonderful things like this. This is very positive. I like the suite of instruments they opted for, and I wish them all the best with this. I plan to follow this closely. I'm also interested in India's mission to Mars, but I think it's China that has really caught my attention as they're deploying a lander.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A lot of China's ruling class have engineering degrees (vs law business backgrounds for US critters) as they are deemed "safe". They also don't worry about the next election as they play long term. So do expect they would be more interested in science, technology and anything that would make them money in the long run.
       

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      wake up? do you even realize the long list of Western space projects in progress?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Re To the West, please wake ... up
      India is really the neat way to space - you get all your staff doing theoretical work and basic science for decades. When super computer cost, materials science and your own staff are ready you build on what you can do. Never outpace your own staff. No overpriced super computing, never have to over import fancy costly materials or trust expensive outside experts.
      China did the same for its domestic nuclear power.
      France shows what can be done out of national pride, ski
    • Yeeeeah...they stole all our technology for rockets and everything related to space. I wouldn't consider that catching up.
      • by cusco (717999)

        So do you think they should have to reinvent the airfoil if they want to build an airplane? Of course they're using pre-existing technology, they're not as stupid as the Pentagon. Just look at that darling of the techno-libertarians, SpaceX. They're using Soviet rocket engines and NASA-developed materials and Japanese-developed communications.

  • At least China are interested in the moon. America are only interested in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope that China land men on the moon and send back photos and video of the lunar lander. That would shut up the conspiracy theorists.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I hope that China land men on the moon and send back photos and video of the lunar lander. That would shut up the conspiracy theorists."

      Err, seeing how how they are acting right now in the pacific - nudge nudge- I think they might not. And then claim the moon theirs.

    • I hope China gets there and sends back word that there is no lunar lander.

      Just for the lulz

    • by speedlaw (878924)
      If the landing were a hoax, don't you think the Russians and others would have busted us years ago ? You can't fake a transmission from high orbit. Morons. The same sort that burn witches....
  • Chinese government officially announces that the Moon is not made of cheese!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Latin for rainbow is "iris"; "iridum" is the genitive plural ("of rainbows"). "Iridium" is a shiny metal whose name also derives from "iris". And just to make sure you're still paying attention, heterochromia iridum [wikipedia.org] is Kiefer Sutherland's eye condition.

    [My captcha is "furious". RIP Paul Walker.]

    • My Rand McNally map of the Moon has it labeled Sinus Iridium, so maybe you should give them a call to complain.
  • Chang'e-3 is not playing catch up.While it is true that Asian countries (especially China and India) are playing catch up in the space race, they are catching up pretty quickly. http://www.mvwotches.com/ [mvwotches.com]
  • I also hope this will be a wake up call for the West. Telerobotics is routinely used for sea bed operations (e.g. titanic), remote surgery e.g. famous case of doctor n US operating on patient in France and so on. With modern equipment on the Moon operating a rover there will be hugely different from experiences in the Apollo era. It will be almost like being there. Also of course hugely different from Mars missions where the time delays mean that normally you download images one day and use it to plan every
  • Really ... will you believe any imagery coming from a supposed Chinese moon rover? Remember the Olympics? And they were faking something that was totally easy to do.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

Working...