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Taiwan Building Lunar Lander For NASA Moon-Mining Mission (blastingnews.com) 84

MarkWhittington quotes a report from Blasting News: According to AFP, the Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taiwan is building a $47 million, 3.7 metric ton lunar lander on behalf of NASA. The vehicle is designed to carry a rover called Resource Prospector, which would roll about the lunar surface searching out deposits of oxygen, hydrogen, and water. The Resource Prospector mission is still being formulated but is envisioned to be a joint project with several national space agencies and commercial companies. The lunar lander is the first vehicle of its type to be built in Taiwan. "The Resource Prospector would take samples from about a meter beneath the lunar surface and then heat them in an oven to ascertain what the materials are that comprise it," reports Blasting News. The mission is part of the second stage to NASA's Journey to Mars program called "Proving Ground." "Should the Resource Prospector prove to be successful, the moon could be used as a base for space journeys into Mars," says Han Kuo-change, the head of CSIST's international cooperation program.
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Taiwan Building Lunar Lander For NASA Moon-Mining Mission

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  • by quenda ( 644621 )

    the moon could be used as a base for space journeys into Mars

    It would be nice to use the moon as a fuelling station on the way to Mars, but that only makes economic sense if there are lots of high-payload missions.
    And why would anyone do that? Science is getting smaller. The Chinese might want to do a few manned missions to show the world they are no longer stagnating in the 16th century. But once they've proved it, they'll be going back as often as the US goes to the moon.

  • Save China the trouble of planting spies and hacking computers just give it to them directly.

    You have to wonder if this was a parting deal for Obama or ongoing relations with the Clinton Crime Family(TM)(C)

    • Save China the trouble of planting spies and hacking computers just give it to them directly.

      They have already stolen that . they just don't have the money or need to build it. They 'd be happy if you give them a contract though ..

      • You're likely right about the theft. Sooner or later Mainland China will gobble up Taiwan so they will have the contract as well.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          China will not "gobble up Taiwan". You can't take over Countries anymore, that's grounds for War; in this case WWIII. I seriously doubt anyone wants that due to the fact that Nuclear Weapons would surely be used and the Human race would need to start all over again; not a bad thing however. I can Guarantee that WWIII would involve Russia and China verses everyone else no doubt. There would be no winner.

    • What the hell are you talking about? What spies? What computer hacking? So one company got a lander contract. Big deal, that one. ESA bought a martian lander from Roscosmos. No spy planting or computer hacking was involved in that one, either. And the political remarks are the epitome of being off the rocker. What does that have to do with anything? Have you taken your meds yet? Take care of yourself, you'll need it.
      • What the hell are you talking about? What spies? What computer hacking?

        Been taking a vacation under a rock ?

      • by tohoward ( 78757 )

        Learn some history, your ignorance of international espionage (both corporate and government--which are often one and the same) and the resulting consequences is telling.

        It's very likely that Crashmarik was referring to the Clinton era missile technology transfer to China that resulting in a generational improvement in their missile and rocket technology overnight. Google gave me this as the first result:

        http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/11/world/clinton-approves-technology-transfer-to-china.html

        Many countrie

        • Why are you blindly assuming that I'm unaware of historical industrial espionage? I just don't see what it has to do with this case, not to mention the ESA precedent.
        • BTW, I've read that article now, and your inference is hilarious. THIS is your argument? An obsolete Iridium sat launch is "missile technology transfer" to you? First, just because ITAR is anal to the level of requiring background checks for SpaceX's chefs and janitors doesn't mean that being handed in a comm sat to launch on behalf of its owner and operator will teach you how to build a modern missile (which the Chinese already knew by then - when do you think they got nukes, anyway?) Nor do I see how it c
          • BTW, I've read that article now

            And now you understand everything, what a precocious little one you are. And what do you know it confirms what you thought when you knew nothing. Amazing.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2016 @07:08AM (#52539873)
    So who gets the mineral rights? Or is this like Milo Minderbinder: 'we all get a share'?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      No country can lay claim to the moon, so it's pretty much "whoever can get their mining equipment up there".

      • any country can lay claim to the moon, if they have the military might to keep it

        words on paper won't stop a government that decides to pursue that path

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Might kinda screw them back on earth though. Sanctions, inability to sell those minerals to most nations, starting an expensive space race... And realistically, who can defend the entire moon from other countries, especially when kinetic kill weapons are cheap and effective.

          • wrong, "kinetic kill weapons" of the types human could use have very low yield, heinlein for example miscalculated horribly.

              a government with global projection of power and on the path of empire building factors in sanctions since they'll be making wars of choice for resources and power. hmmmm, sound like the current path of any superpower you know?

  • Why did NASA offshore it? Why not build it *here*... or are they saying that "we're not good enough any more", or was it, "they're cheaper, so we'll give them our tax dollars and technology".

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2016 @12:14PM (#52541757) Journal
    NASA is NOT paying taiwan to develop this. THis is a partnership with Taiwan in which Taiwan is paying for their half of this. Basically, they are supplying part of this mission, while NASA is putting it and other items on the ground.
    IOW, this does NOT take away from American jobs.
  • A "metric ton"? So that would be a tonne then. Come on, really.

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