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China Mars Moon Communications Earth Space Transportation

China Plans To Land Probes On Far Side of Moon, Mars By 2020 (phys.org) 115

China has revealed some ambitious plans for space domination in the 2020s. On Tuesday, China set out its plans to become the first country to land a probe on the far side of the moon, in around 2018, and launch its first Mars probe by 2020. Phys.Org reports: "To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly," read a white paper setting out the country's space strategy for the next five years. It says China aims to use space for peaceful purposes and to guarantee national security, and to carry out cutting edge scientific research. The white paper released by the information office of China's Cabinet points to the growing ambitions of China's already rapidly advancing space program. Although the white paper doesn't mention it, China's eventual goal is the symbolic feat of landing an astronaut on the moon. The white paper reiterated China's plans to launch its first Mars probe by 2020, saying this would explore and bring back samples from the red planet, explore the Jupiter system and "conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life." The paper says the Chang'e-4 lunar probe will help shed light on the formation and evolution of the moon.
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China Plans To Land Probes On Far Side of Moon, Mars By 2020

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  • by Camembert ( 2891457 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @03:14AM (#53564521)
    These are ambitious plans (esp bringing samples BACK from Mars) showing the commitment to become a premier space industry country. I think China will do everything to make it happen. Living now in Hong Kong and often visiting mainland china for business, I think they will succeed - the general engineering quality AND available quantity is high.
    The one thing that is a bit a pity, and I realise it sounds naieve and wishful, I expect for humanity to be truly succesful in space exploration and possibly having otherworld bases, we would really need a maximum of international cooperation, which would include the Chinese.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @03:30AM (#53564553)

      we would really need a maximum of international cooperation

      Remember the ESA lander that crashed on Mars this year? Initially they were partnered with NASA for their landing system, but NASA's budget was cut so they backed out and the intellectual property that had been shared up to that point was not usable. Hence an untried landing system when others have worked on Mars in the past.
      It would be nice to have international cooperation but congresscritters have other ideas.

      • It is not all about congress critters. We already saw that when we helped Chinese space program, it was turned into weapon PRIOR to doing 'civilian' work.
      • we would really need a maximum of international cooperation

        Remember the ESA lander that crashed on Mars this year? Initially they were partnered with NASA for their landing system, but NASA's budget was cut so they backed out and the intellectual property that had been shared up to that point was not usable. Hence an untried landing system when others have worked on Mars in the past.
        It would be nice to have international cooperation but congresscritters have other ideas.

        One of the most impressive space missions I feel is the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, and it's rendezvous and orbiting of the comet 46P/Wirtanen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]. The Voyagers are in a class of their own.

        Landing seems their weakness, surmounting all obstacles and a redundant landing system (to prevent rebound) placed Rosetta's Philae lander in the shade where the batteries shortly died.

        So close.

    • Nice in theory.

      In practice, they'll build an island on it and claim they own it.

    • What if we had international cooperation, yet China decided to turn down these gestures of cooperation

      And demonstrate what leading the space race means

    • If all of China were Hong Kong, yes. But Beijing will have to become a better global citizen before it can lead humanity.

    • Commitment is sort of a funny word to use seeing as none of the world space programs have really done anything in the last 45 years.

      These unlimited press conference facades make headlines so easily.

      No one is talking themselves to the moon. You have to more than blow smoke.
    • The one thing that is a bit a pity, and I realise it sounds naieve and wishful, I expect for humanity to be truly succesful in space exploration and possibly having otherworld bases, we would really need a maximum of international cooperation, which would include the Chinese.

      In that respect shouldn't we share what we know with them,

      The paper says the Chang'e-4 lunar probe will help shed light on the formation and evolution of the moon.

      That the Moon is the result of a Mars size planet colliding with the early Earth?

  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @03:33AM (#53564559)

    China set out its plans to become the first country to admit to landing a probe on the far side of the moon

    • by stud9920 ( 236753 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @04:32AM (#53564639)

      What advantage would you have in landing a probe on the far side and concealing it ?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      How would you land a probe on the far side of the moon without anyone noticing?

      To be useful the probe has to send back some telemetry via radio. Otherwise how do you know it landed? And anyone can receive that telemetry, so you can't really do a sneaky moon landing, or for that matter fake landing there in a TV studio.

      Say you do somehow land a robotic probe there for no reason at all, how would you conceal it from orbiting satellites that are photographing the surface? We can see the Apollo and Surveyor and

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The problem with receiving this telemetry data is that you have the moon blocking your line of sight for transfer. So only those who have a satellite that can relay data will be able to observe the communications. That's a lot less likely to happen...

      • To be useful the probe has to send back some telemetry via radio. Otherwise how do you know it landed? And anyone can receive that telemetry, so you can't really do a sneaky moon landing

        Not to feed the conspiracy theorists, but the Lagrange L1 and L2 points [nasa.gov] lie outside the Earth-Moon system and see the back side of the moon half the time. They are/were occupied by SOHO [nasa.gov], WMAP (first link), and Planck [esa.int]. The James Webb Space Telescope [nasa.gov] is going to be parked at L2 as well.

        Theoretically, any of them could be

    • The Nazis have had a colony there since the forties.

  • More evidence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @03:54AM (#53564575)

    If you haven't realized, the US is losing its place in leading the world, and China is about to take over as the primary political superpower. And while the EU may rise as the primary economic hub if they can get their fractured budgets and banking in order, their political influence is dubious when it comes to contentious issues as the EU is unable to speak as a single voice.

    Two reasons for this:
    * A historic one - The UN permitting China to retain veto power after the Chinese Civil War. even when they don't use their veto power, it is a major factor in UN agendas.
    * A pathological one - The US, both its government and its people, not recognizing their dominate position in the world is not guaranteed and they must continue to work to maintain it.

    The results are:
    * An increasingly belligerent China that is a palatable threat to the sovereign nations in the South China Sea.
    * The American people elect a President that who is unwilling to represent the US's international obligations.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      * The American people elect a President that who is unwilling to represent the US's international obligations.

      1992 was a long time ago.

    • Re:More evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kiuas ( 1084567 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @07:02AM (#53564903)

      And while the EU may rise as the primary economic hub if they can get their fractured budgets and banking in order, their political influence is dubious when it comes to contentious issues as the EU is unable to speak as a single voice.

      As a European I wholeheartedly agree with this. This is also the reason Russia likes nothing more than to see the rise of age-old nationalism in the Union countries, and they're in fact funding - directy or indirectly - many nationalist media and pseudomedia (ie. propaganda) outlets. They've been trying to fund Le Pen in France [bloomberg.com] but the problems faced by Russian banks seem to be preventing that for the moment.

      The fact that the nationalists are blindly going along with this, some of them even openly embracing putin as a model of leadership, without realizing that especially for bordering states favoring nation-states instead of a strong unified Union essentially means they're trying to roll back the clock to the era of the Cold war, when Finlandization [wikipedia.org] was going strong and even the countries not directly in the soviet union had to essentially make sure their actions would be agreeable to Russia/CCCP.

      Now, with a lot of the former soviet satellites now in NATO the board looks slightly different than it did 50 years ago, but with Trump's stance on the role of NATO and hence the future of the entire alliance still unclear, right now the primarily right-wing nationalist uprising happening across the continent benefits Russia the most, and China as well.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Trump's stance on the role of NATO and hence the future of the entire alliance still unclear

        He's an isolationist that was bankrolled by Russian banks. He's also said he'd like NATO to just go away. Normally that would make things very clear, but it's Trump, he'll do all kinds of shit to get attention.

        • Just curious, does it matter that NATO member states are not paying the agreed 2% of GDP? Should the US continue to be the shield for Europe while broaching bankruptcy with a current 20 trillion debt if NATO member states are not paying their agreed upon fair share with increased threats to European security and market stability?

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            Why did you phrase those leading statements as questions? We are all behind handles instead of real names here so there is no need to play weasel games like the politicians and shock-jocks do - just write what you think.
            • Leading statements as questions? I wanted your opinion on NATO members not paying 2% of GDP to defense as agreed to be an alliance member. Nothing I said was false or leading. Saying it's leading doesn't make it so unless you show me where and what made the statement leading. Do you think that those alliance members should not have to pay their fair share as agreed to be an alliance member?

              Some facts:
              NATO members agree to 2% GDP spending on defense.
              Only a few NATO countries are fulfilling their 2% spending

              • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                I wanted your opinion on NATO members not paying

                I obviously did not have one until you told me what opinion I should have in the form of a question. Has that made things clearer? It's a very annoying trick/tactic. Just be honest and tell me what your opinion is instead of emulating weasels.

                If you can't answer the question then you shouldn't be making statements

                Oh do grow up.
                This high school debating shit is getting old. I thought it was pathetic when I was a kid, and now decades later I must admit that

                • lol, I didn't realize asking you a simple question was too difficult for you. I know high school seems like it is getting old but don't worry little buddy you will get out of it eventually. It's only 4 years!

                  Although, why your parents would give you their /. account is beyond me. There are strangers online! You know how to deal with strangers, right little buddy? Remember, if the van is unmarked that means the candy is free.

                  • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                    Work on that reading comprehension.
                    • It's okay, when I was your age I pretended to be older too. Good luck little buddy!

                    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                      It wasn't a question fuckwit, it was a fucking annoying little game where you were changing the subject and shoving irrelevant propaganda down our throats by pretending it was a question. The "not qualified" shit was another stupid trick that treated us all like mentally retarded hicks - how fucking insulting.
                      Are you one of those little turds that does that "social media worker" trolling shit for a living?

                      The own goal on kids was kind of funny, but the rest is fucking annoying noise.
                    • I think you sounding a little upset little buddy. Did you miss your nap? I can tuck you in if you'd like. Remember, I can be whatever you want me to be. ;)

                      Your temper tantrum makes me moist.

      • The EU's lack of popularity and impending collapse is entirely self-inflicted. It's caused by wildly impopular policies (immigration), the disregard of democratic values (Ukraine referendum, Brexit), the abandonment of cornerstone treaties at the first hiccup, and the lies of its leadership (Juncker - "when it becomes important you have to lie"). Russia did not do any of these things; the EU did all of those itself.

      • but with Trump's stance on the role of NATO and hence the future of the entire alliance still unclear,

        Wouldn't the member nations not fulfilling their alliance obligations make NATO's future more unclear than the politician criticizing those members? I am having a hard time believing that one politician talking about the lackluster commitment of certain members is more a danger to the alliance than those lackluster member states forfeiting their obligations.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      A historic one - The UN permitting China to retain veto power

      It was the USA that pushed for a veto power in the first place, and it was the USA that accepted that if they were going to have a veto then China and the USSR had it as well. Don't go blaming the UN for that deliberate breakage of the UN process.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sorry, I forgot that so many people have so little background on world events. Let me start over and give you enough context so you can understand.

        * The UN permitting the PRC to retain veto power after the fall of the ROC.

        The US opposed the PRC joining the security council, and the ROC and PRC could not both peacefully exist on the council at that time because each considered itself to have domain over all of China. (the so-called "One China Policy"). It was the UK, France and other American allies that per

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          It's not really interesting, it's just that I cared more about the veto situation than about someone picking the wrong faction in China in WWII and still being hung up about it today. I really don't see the hair splitting as relevant, the most populous country in the world was going to get a veto if anyone else was.

          Thus cementing communist China's place in the world as a major political power.

          Seriously? You think being on a commitee in the U.N. made China a major political power? You've got it backwards,

  • For saying the FAR side of the moon, and not the DARK side of the moon... People would have to respond: "There is no dark side of the moon, it's actually all dark"
  • Cool, now maybe we can finally put an end to the "large structures on the far side of the moon" conspiracy.

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