China lands on moon -wants to build a base (1 Viewer)

guidomerkinsrules

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hmm:

China completed the first-ever landing on the “dark” side of the moon this week. It was a technical achievement and a coup for the country’s ambitions to outshine the U.S. space program.

...

“It’s a very, very symbolically and technologically significant development, and it shows to the world that China’s space program has arrived and can do original feats on its own,” says Goswami (@namygoswami), who’s working on a book about “expansionism, territoriality and resource nationalism” in space.

China’s long-term goal is to establish a base on the moon, which it can utilize for researching deep-space exploration and asteroid mining, Goswami says. That contrasts with U.S. goals, which are primarily focused on Mars.

Goswami says China’s efforts in space come amid a loss of American momentum.

“In the last 20 years, the U.S. has lost focus — especially under the first two Bush administrations, and to an extent under Obama,” she says. “Under President Xi Jinping, space is one of the top-most priorities of the Communist Party of China, and they have committed resources for the next 20 years.”


https://www.wwno.org/post/china-wants-establish-base-moon-space-program-expert-says
 

Saint_Ward

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Good for them. Honestly, if they can get their human space flight operations figured out better, I'd rather have our guys hitch a ride with them than the Russians. At least, until SLS is ready.

I think having a rover on the moon is a cool thing. I'm all for more and better data. Would have been cool if they landed near the US landing area, to prove to the crack pots that we were there 50+ years ago... with people.

We have rovers on Mars, we have probes around Saturn, deep space, etc. We just had a probe go by Pluto for the first time to get real images.

Don't make this a "omg, the US space program is doing horrible". It's not. It just was refocused and Manned Space Flight took a step backwards, but that was a very long time coming. The Shuttle program was old. There was a growing dislike for the design of the Orbiter and the safety issues, post Columbia. NASA really wanted a vehicle back on top of the stack and the orbiters were hitting their useful design life.

I liked the concept of what ARES was supposed to be, a vehicle based on existing Shuttle Technology and equipment, so it would minimize the time to re-design, prove, test. To get us flying a new vehicle faster. It didn't pan out for various reasons, even though SLS isn't a drastic re-do. At least, for the new capsule, that is. The first Moon Orbit launch is now set for Mid 2020, with a crewed flight two years later.

We have a SLS flown rover that is going to head to the moon Europa in 2023.

Personally, I had wondered why we don't just strap these things (or people) on an Atlas V rocket vs developing the SLS... this shows one reason.

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guidomerkinsrules

guidomerkinsrules

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Don't make this a "omg, the US space program is doing horrible". It's not. It just was refocused and Manned Space Flight took a step backwards, but that was a very long time coming. The Shuttle program was old. There was a growing dislike for the design of the Orbiter and the safety issues, post Columbia. NASA really wanted a vehicle back on top of the stack and the orbiters were hitting their useful design life.
but there was no reason and no benefit to mothballing manned space flight
but NASA particulars aside, i do think this is a 'tip of the spear'
in what ways are we forward looking in this country
transportation? infrastructure? energy? education?
how's puerto rico? how about Flint's water? etc etc
we as a nation seemed content with only fighting cultural wars that were won in the 60s
 

Saint_Ward

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but there was no reason and no benefit to mothballing manned space flight
but NASA particulars aside, i do think this is a 'tip of the spear'
in what ways are we forward looking in this country
transportation? infrastructure? energy? education?
how's puerto rico? how about Flint's water? etc etc
we as a nation seemed content with only fighting cultural wars that were won in the 60s
This isn't the PDB, so I don't want to get into many of those discussions, as they are too intertwined with politics.

I agree about the mothballing of manned spaceflight. We needed the next program up and running before the Shuttle Program was ending. Orion was the only one to survive and get worked on during that time. The rockets got screwed.

However, there was a clear reason to ending the Shuttle program. There's a lot to get into, but you can read the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report from August 2003. It's about 230 pages long. I read the whole thing back in the fall of 2003 and I still have my original sticky notes marking various pages with questions and comments. One such part is that with completing the ISS, there wasn't a clear mission.

Or you can just look at their Recommendation R9.2-1

"Prior to operating the Shuttle beyond 2010, develop and conduct a vehicle re-certification at the material, component, subsystem and system levels. Re-certification requirements should be included in the Service Life Extension Program."

So, the program had to end, because no one really wanted to get into the re-certification. Also, with Orion and ARES I and ARES V being in the works, there wasn't a lot of pressure to have a solution having the Shuttle around. Then, when that was changed, and the mission changed, different rockets were needed, it pushed everything back.
 
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https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Preparing_for_the_Future/Space_for_Earth/Energy/Helium-3_mining_on_the_lunar_surface

The idea of harvesting a clean and efficient form of energy from the Moon has stimulated science fiction and fact in recent decades. Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, since it is not radioactive and would not produce dangerous waste products.

The Apollo programme's own geologist, Harrison Schmidt, has repeatedly made the argument for Helium-3 mining, whilst Gerald Kulcinski at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is another leading proponent. He has created a small reactor at the Fusion Technology Institute, but so far it has not been possible to create the helium fusion reaction with a net power output.
Many think it's the future of energy.
 

Rickboy

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2019 is going to be an awesome year for spaceflight. It's already off to a great start with the Ultima Thule flyby. China deserves a nice slap on the back for what they've done but while they finally reach the moon, we have private US companies about to fly passengers to the ISS. Jan 17th is the scheduled test flight of Dragon 2. Then in March Boeing does a test flight of their Starliner capsule. If those go well, SpaceX will send their first manned flight up in July.

I'm still not 100% convinced that SLS ever flys. Even if it does, I think SLS will end when they run out of Space Shuttle engines. VP Pence has shown that he is more and more interested in having SpaceX's Falcon 9 heavy, Starship, Blue Origin's New Glenn conduct lunar missions. Also, SLS lost it's biggest political supporter in Congress when Bill Nelson was booted. SLS would not even exist if not for President Obama's need to comprimise him. We would have already seen Boeing and SpaceX doing manned missions if not for his interference in their funding. The national space strategy has been refocused to get us to the Moon first, and then on to Mars later. It's a better plan than we had IMO but only if we go to the Moon to stay. Oh, but we need a lunar lander first.

However, IMO, the real game changer for space exploration is going to be the SpaceX Starship. Hopper flights this year and maybe we'll get real manned space flights by 2022. It's not the Mars mission that makes this a game changer either. It's the ability for a reusable vehicle to put a large number of people or 300Tons of cargo into LEO that is going to enable real colonization and industrialization. I don't think we will colonize Mars in any time frame that Musk has but the moon is VERY doable. We also have Bigelow's inflatable modules just itching to get to orbit to build a private space station. The only thing that was holding it back was the lack of a way to send people there. Dragon and Starliner will be changing that this year. I think we'll see Bigelow get his space station in a few years.
 

Taurus

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If the Chinese build a permanent Moon base before we do, I hope Robert Heinlein rises from the grave and punches the current President in the throat.
 
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guidomerkinsrules

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http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/15/c_137745115.htm

CHONGQING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- A cotton seed, carried to the moon by China's Chang'e-4 probe, is the first ever to sprout on the moon, according to scientists of a mini biosphere experiment on Tuesday.
After making the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, China's Chang'e-4 mission pioneered the first mini biosphere experiment on the moon.
The Chang'e-4 probe carried the seeds of cotton, rape, potato and arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere, according to a team led by scientists from Chongqing University in southwest China.
Images sent back by the probe showed that a cotton sprout had grown well, though no other plants were found growing.
 

Rickboy

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http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/15/c_137745115.htm

CHONGQING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- A cotton seed, carried to the moon by China's Chang'e-4 probe, is the first ever to sprout on the moon, according to scientists of a mini biosphere experiment on Tuesday.
After making the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, China's Chang'e-4 mission pioneered the first mini biosphere experiment on the moon.
The Chang'e-4 probe carried the seeds of cotton, rape, potato and arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere, according to a team led by scientists from Chongqing University in southwest China.
Images sent back by the probe showed that a cotton sprout had grown well, though no other plants were found growing.

We must not allow the Chinese to maintain Lunarian Cotton superiority over the U.S.
 

tenordas

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“In the last 20 years, the U.S. has lost focus — especially under the first two Bush administrations, and to an extent under Obama,”

Revisionist history much? It was Obama who cancelled the efforts to return men to the moon, and most in Texas considered it political backlash against the state's mostly Republican Congressmen (whether or not that was true, it still set back NASA at least five years, probably more).
In 1989, Bush, Sr. laid out plans for NASA to build Space Station Freedom, put a base on the Moon, and then get men to Mars. Clinton scuttled those plans when he took office. Bush, Jr, didn't do much that was useful (IMHO), but he was the one who re-initiated the effort to return men to the moon and beyond with the CEV (crew exploration vehicle)/Constellation program that Obama scuttled. The CEV eventually was reinstated as the renamed Orion, but most of its development was removed from the Texas NASA sites., another apparent political slap. Talk down about the Bush administrations if you like (I won't argue much because I wasn't much of a fan of either during their tenures), but both supported and were committed to revitalizing NASA and the U.S. space program.
 

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