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Moon China

How China Will Get To the Moon Before a Google Lunar XPrize Winner 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the third-is-better-than-last dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with this link about the advances in China's lunar program. "A $30 million Google-backed competition to land a spacecraft on the moon may be about to be scooped. China's Chang'e 3 probe successfully put itself into lunar orbit on Friday in preparation for an attempted touchdown around Dec. 14. China won't be winning the prize money, which is reserved for privately funded, previously enrolled teams, not government agencies."
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How China Will Get To the Moon Before a Google Lunar XPrize Winner

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  • Re:missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by savuporo (658486) on Monday December 09, 2013 @04:22AM (#45637601)

    Hmm. Apparently capitalist governments are even more effective at sinking funds into projects like that, because its widely recognized that US beat the Soviets in the early space race.

    Of course, for some inexplicable reason US didnt respond to Soviet challenge by leveraging the power of free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit. They decided to beat massive Soviet state run design bureaus backed by their military industry complex by establishing their own massive state run design bureau backed by their military industrial complex. They even bagged members of the same team of germans as their design leads !

    Funnily enough, Russians are now launching the lions share of commercial space payloads, whereas the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 first comsat launch was the first in years for US.

  • Re:missing the point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Monday December 09, 2013 @04:30AM (#45637623)

    Hmm. Apparently capitalist governments are even more effective at sinking funds into projects like that

    Yes, because they end up having more money to spend.

    Of course, for some inexplicable reason US didnt respond to Soviet challenge by leveraging the power of free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit.

    The US leveraged the power of "free markets, private industry and entrepreneurial spirit" by taxing it.

    Funnily enough, Russians are now launching the lions share of commercial space payloads, whereas the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 first comsat launch was the first in years for US.

    Funnily enough, private industry has little incentive competing with government services, in particular if private industry is heavily regulated. And for anything other than satellite launches, there simply hasn't been much incentive for private investment at all. The Soviet union is, of course, still just living off resources created on the back of peasants and workers during the Soviet era.

    The moon landing may have been a good political stunt, but scientifically and economically, it was a huge waste of money.

  • Re:I when wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday December 09, 2013 @06:12AM (#45637873)

    It will explode from using low quality components.

    Many of the quality product you associate with "american-made" or "european-made" are in fact made in China, part or whole.

    If you still think China churns out shite copies of good products like in the 70s and 80s, you need a reality check. Many, MANY China products are brilliant, quality made and innovative. Granted, many are still shite and copies too, but that's changing fast.

  • Re:missing the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by khallow (566160) on Monday December 09, 2013 @07:23AM (#45638123)

    Lunokhod represented a way of doing the same amount of scientific work the Apollo missions did with less risk and at a fraction of the price.

    It didn't. The scientific output of Apollo was quite remarkable. And there's two simple reasons why. First, they had the best machines of the day, people (which incidentally are still the best machines of the day) gathering samples and running experiments on the surface.

    And second, they returned 380 kg of lunar material to be studied for the past few decades. Do you really think a 60s vintage lunar rover is going to get better data on lunar material on location than generations of Earth-based scientists do with a sample return?

  • Re: I when wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @07:53AM (#45638203)

    I work in China. Even the Chinese don't believe that their products are any good. Their manufacturing skills are sketchy. Their design skills are weak. Raw materials are sub par. Their key asset is low cost. Not quality.

  • Re:missing the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Monday December 09, 2013 @09:17AM (#45638501) Homepage

    First lunar flyby: Luna 1

    The impressiveness of this feat is only slightly tainted by the fact that it wasn't supposed to be a flyby. They missed.

    All us KSP fans can relate to that, I'm sure...

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