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Space China Moon

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

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

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  • 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 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 : []

  • 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 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:53PM (#45570921)

    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 [] is Kiefer Sutherland's eye condition.

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

  • by Lotana ( 842533 ) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:14PM (#45571353)

    How many more decades before this "Moon landing hoax" shit will finally die?! It was never even funny for fucks sake. It was always used as an insult to demonstrate how moronic and dumb some americans are!

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!