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China Successfully Launches Second Moon Probe

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the space-race-redux dept.

Moon 86

China launched its second unmanned Moon mission on Friday, sending the Chang'e II probe on a five-day journey to reach lunar orbit. "The probe plans to test technology in preparation for an unmanned moon landing in 2012, with a possible manned lunar mission to follow in 2017. China's other space plans include the launch of the first module of a future space station next year followed by the dispatch of manned spacecraft to dock with it. ... After its six-month mission, Chang'e II will either land on the moon as an experiment for future probes, fly further into outer space, or change its course and begin orbiting the Earth, Xinhua cited chief designer Huang Jiangchuan as saying." The Planetary Society blog has pictures and video of the launch.

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86 comments

Manned lunar mission? (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769240)

manned lunar mission doesn't have to mean a landing. It could just be their normal orbital vehicle on a figure eight trajectory around the moon.

Re:Manned lunar mission? (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769262)

Yes, what annoys me is that the US news media keeps talking about China's plans to put humans on the Moon but they never provide any references. It's never "the Minister Of Space said," or some other quote from a respectable source, it's just stated as fact.

Whenever official Chinese sources are quoted as talking about a human spaceflight program they say their plans are to build their own LEO space station, not lunar missions. As far as I'm aware there has never been any official statement of a human lunar program - and currently they simply don't have the boosters to do it and so far they haven't announced any plans to build launch vehicles capable of taking humans to the Moon.

There's simply no Asian space race to the Moon, despite how much the US media wants one.

Congratulation (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769300)

Before this thread is filled with vile racist posts, let me first congratulate China on the launch of its 2nd moon surveyor, Chang Er 2.

I know that this message will be modded down because a lot of people hate China for some reasons.

Re:Congraturation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769394)

I can't really recall Slashdot being a forum for overt racism in the past.

I know that this post will be modded down because I am invoking the Principal of Reverse Psychology.

Re:Congraturation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769520)

You're going to be modded down because it's 'principle', not 'principal', you oaf.

Re:Congraturation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769524)

I'm drunk and alone. Cut me some slack.

Re:Congraturation (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769994)

Being as there are more women on the planet than men I would say that is a self inflicted injury. So no need to cut you some slack.

Re:Congraturation (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770742)

Polygamy my friend, when some Arab sheik has 9 wives that cuts the available women down for the rest of us. Plus he is posting on /.

Re:Congraturation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770012)

I'm sober and married. You lucky bastard!

Re:Congraturation (1)

Moniker3 (1913952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772082)

Actually, principal is also a legitimate spelling. In fact, I found principal in 82 online dictionaries, and principle in only 49. http://onelook.com/?w=principal&ls=a [onelook.com] http://onelook.com/?w=principle&ls=a [onelook.com] Oaf.

Re:Congraturation (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772132)

Both are valid words, but they mean different things.

Re:Congratulation (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769412)

What happened during the last year? I seem to be under the impression that it intensified to silly levels only during the last year...

Anyway, here's hoping that when anybody puts a lander on the moon, there will be a webcam with live view provided (hey, it won't change much, image once every few minutes will be more than enough). And when some rover - the video stream used for teleoperation will be likewise available on the web.

Re:Congratulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33772180)

>What happened during the last year? ... under the impression that it intensified to silly levels only during the last year

Yep, about a year or so ago /. broke the metamoderation system so that work-a-day /. readers can no longer punish crap moderators by directly rating their moderations as unfair. That's when the quality of moderations began to decline and the downward spiral of /. conversations in general started. Hope is beginning to fade that it will ever be corrected.

Go ahead, assholes - mod this down. I never log in any more anyway.

Re:Congratulation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769436)

Note that China is a nation, not a race -- is it possible that some China-haters might actually hate China not because OMFG THEY R TEH YELLLOOWWWW!!!, but because of things China has done/continues to do that they find morally repugnant?

Re:Congratulation (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770058)

is it possible that some China-haters might actually hate China not because OMFG THEY R TEH YELLLOOWWWW!!!, but because of things China has done/continues to do that they find morally repugnant?

Nope. Xenophobia and righteous indignation are both factors, but not they main ones. If so, there would be just as much angst over less powerful nations where people look and think differently. And also, we wouldn't be discussing China's moon program; we'd be discussing how to use our diplomatic and economic influence to redeem China from their moral failings, which we're not.

No, mostly China phobia is just naked fear at the rise of an economic and military competitor.

Re:Congratulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33773502)

is it possible that some China-haters might actually hate China not because OMFG THEY R TEH YELLLOOWWWW!!!, but because of things China has done/continues to do that they find morally repugnant?

Nope. Xenophobia and righteous indignation are both factors, but not they main ones. If so, there would be just as much angst over less powerful nations where people look and think differently.

And there is quite a bit of that -- you just don't see it online, or especially on /., because those nations don't come up much.

And also, we wouldn't be discussing China's moon program; we'd be discussing how to use our diplomatic and economic influence to redeem China from their moral failings, which we're not.

Well, we're discussing this on a news site, and China's moon program is what made the news today. As far as discussing reform/redemption, that's a lot more effort than simply calling them evil bastards -- hatred, even when motivated by "good" reasons, doesn't turn an internet full of dicks into serious thinkers bent on genuinely bettering the world.

No, mostly China phobia is just naked fear at the rise of an economic and military competitor.

Ok, you're not American, are you? Being an economic and military competitor is in the eyes of many (including your typical China-hater) one of those morally repugnant things China does. Yeah, some of it is fear (which requires having your head far enough out of your ass to know it's possible for American supremacy to end), but most of it, IME, is simply because China is so arrogant as to dispute our God-given place. Remember Superman (from 1950s on); "truth, justice, and the American way"? Cold war's over, but a whole lot of folks are heavily influenced by old propaganda.

Trying to best America economically is right up there with being nominally socialist/communist, shooting up student protests with tanks, oppressing Tibet, and being the source of 80% of the attacks on our servers...

Re:Congratulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781258)

It's OK to hate based on country, not OK to hate based on race.

It's really an implicit threat to convert to Amercianism, and your poor Chinese souls will be redeemed.

I think that's still OK, as I think of the poor Muslim Americans who must have had it much worse.

It's Communism WE can BELIEVE in! (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769452)

Never mind half their population live on $1 a day!

Re:It's Communism WE can BELIEVE in! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769568)

[citation needed]

anonymous coward needs a citation? (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770478)

google it.

Re:anonymous coward needs a citation? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33776402)

Agreed.

There are certain pieces of information that are common knowledge in certain groups.

For example, everyone in the slashdot audience knows that the RIAA is a lawsuit factory, that Iran is renowned for human rights abuses, and that TCP/IP is the language of the internet.

The rudeness of demanding citations rises in direct proportion to the product of the commonality of said knowledge and its obviousness, and in inverse proportion to the square of its incredulity.

Re:It's Communism WE can BELIEVE in! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769880)

Never mind half their population live on $1 a day!

Yes, and there are beggars in every country on this planet, let all countries stop their space program right this moment.

Nevermind that the entire Chang'e space program cost less than a single Space Shuttle launch.

But go ahead with the China bashing, you will get modded up no matter what.

Re:It's Communism WE can BELIEVE in! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770110)

Yes, because having a space program has no positive impact on the research and manufacturing in China. High tech industries won't help improve conditions for at least some Chinese workers. Those people would be better off if they had not bothered getting an education and gone to work in some textile factory or assembling iPods instead.

Exchange rate? (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770448)

Never mind half their population live on $1 a day!

True or not, it doesn't matter.

The real question is what does that buy? I know many Americans who make $100 a day and still can't make ends meet.

Re:It's Communism WE can BELIEVE in! (2, Insightful)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33774558)

Big bloody deal. There are places on earth where the people's incomes are so low they aren't measurable. They still appear to eat, sleep, clothe themselves and appear happier in general than us poor wage slaves. Plus, if civilisation was to collapse some of them wouldn't even notice.

"Chinese" is a nationality, not a race. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769490)

"Chinese" is a nationality. It is not a race. There are people of many races who are Chinese.

Racism can't arise when we aren't dealing with a race!

Re:"Chinese" is a nationality, not a race. (2, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770190)

"Chinese" is a nationality. It is not a race. There are people of many races who are Chinese.

Quite true, but many racists in America use "Chinese" to mean "any o' them thar yellar people."

Re:"Chinese" is a nationality, not a race. (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771356)

"Jew" is not a race either. Historically, the term "racist" had a broader and somewhat incorrect meaning, but this is English we're talking about, not Lojban.

Re:Congratulation (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770436)

Before this thread is filled with vile racist posts, let me first congratulate China on the launch of its 2nd moon surveyor, Chang Er 2.

I know that this message will be modded down because a lot of people hate China for some reasons.

Strawman much? Most criticism of China these days is culturally and politically motivated, and whether you agree with any of it or not, has nothing whatsoever to do with race.

Re:Congratulation (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772010)

The atrocities of racism in the past would have been explained by the dominant society as "culturally and politically motivated".

History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771666)

The current chinese authoritarian regime is the *direct* political descendant of a regime that massacred/killed/genocided FIFTY MILLION people.

We vilify the Nazis for killing MUCH less than that, so much so that even memorabilia is illegal in some European nations. but china seems to get a free skate on everything they have done in the past because they supply cheap crap to everyone at walmart or your equivalent local megamart.

Now some of us do not give FUCK ONE that they are now pseudo capitalist, they are still totalitarian jerks, just with a lot more money and power. You REALLY want the chinese to be the world's topdog and power? You think the USA is bad, just watch once those guys take over. Just stop and think how they treat animals, female children and dissidents there, now contemplate how they will treat the rest of the world once they are invincibly strong and need, want and will take ALL the world's natural resources.

Re:History (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772648)

But Americans also seem to say there is no shortcut to greatness, meaning they don't really believe China will become a real superpower any time soon. And isn't Japan the one who gets a free skate, because, well, it's living under the thumb of USA.

Re:History (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781328)

massacred/killed/genocided - Citation Needed?

If you're counting civil war casualties, economic failures, etc., then yeah, probably not *just* 50 Million.

The Amercian cold-war propaganda would like you to believe that they are all caused by an "evil mind" behind the communist regime. Drink your koolaid as you please.

And what would you want the direct descendants to do for their past "crimes", suppose the allegations are valid? Commit seppuku?

Who hates China? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772062)

a lot of people hate China for some reasons

Who hates the PRC? If America were to offer me the world on a silver platter, I'd take it, too; the PRC is just doing what nations do. Now those Americans who are lining up to give everything America has away? Those Americans who are sacrificing the future of the American people and our country to make a fast buck today?

Them I don't like.

The truly infuriating thing is that those particular Americans - Corporate America's owners and operators - are "the right", and our right claims "patriotism" as one of their primary characteristics. Judging by their actions and their negative consequences upon America and the American people, I am forced to conclude that there is an inverse relationship between their patriotism and profit potential.

What a waste...to successfully revolt from England, only to become a rerun of "Great" Britain, upon whose empire the sun once never sat. People should read the Wikipedia entry on Theories of New Imperialism [wikipedia.org] to see if the part about Britain reminds them of anybody.

I don't like being in the position of having nothing left but the "hope" that the PRC will play nice with the rest of the world's people once they attain true global supremacy.

Re:Congratulation (1)

BraksDad (963908) | more than 3 years ago | (#33776476)

(in the voice of Eric Idle) Besides gun powder, what have the Chinese ever really done for us?

Re:Manned lunar mission? (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769402)

With perfecting automatic rendezvouz, one doesn't really need large/rarely used/exceedingly expensive (vs. almost assembly-line manufactured, efficient in "kg to LEO per cost", not launch) booster. Also, chief scientist of their lunar exploration program is an outspoken supporter of manned exploration.

Re:Manned lunar mission? (4, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769634)

While there may be no official word. The fact that they created a copy of the Vehicle Assembly Building indicates that they are prepared to work on lunar capable, Saturn V sized boosters when the need arises.

Re:Manned lunar mission? (2, Informative)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769754)

The article below, while saying China is pulling away from India, still lists china as only getting a moon rock sample in 2017. That is an unmanned mission. China has pledged to put a man on the moon by 2025.
But I suspect China and India are racing for 2020.

http://www.peopleforum.cn/viewthread.php?tid=40438 [peopleforum.cn]

I think China is on schedule:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1653384&cid=32219866 [slashdot.org]

Chang'e 2 - 2010, second lunar orbiter
Chang'e 3 - 2013, lunar lander
Chang'e 4 - 2017, return lunar sample to earth
Chang'e 5 - 2020-2025 - manned mission

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Lunar_Exploration_Program [wikipedia.org]

Re:Manned lunar mission? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769832)

Yes, it seems the manned mission is 2020. Articles refer to China state media.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/195665/china-to-launch-next-lunar-space-mission [bangkokpost.com]
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/3747/moist-moon-hinders-chinas-lunar-telescope [cosmosmagazine.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100910/sc_afp/chinaspacemoon [yahoo.com]

It's questionable whether that is a landing mission or whether the landing missing is 2025.

Re:Manned lunar mission? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770044)

Quant, I have seen multiple new statements DIRECTLY FROM CNSA, as well as CPLA (their bosses), around 2004-5. Griffin went to CHina because of those. I am not going to bother to google for them, since I KNOW that they were there. The problem is, that neo-cons started saying that we were in a space race with CHina, so Chinese buried their statements and stopped saying them.

leaping ahead (4, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769270)

Thanks to self-interested politicians like Utah's Orrin Hatch [nasawatch.com] and others who'd rather fatten up on pork [nytimes.com] , China has a viable space program, while the US just has a money sink that keeps corporations flush in fat lobbying budgets.

Re:leaping ahead (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769582)

"Auf deutsch und auf englisch
kenn' ich den Countdown.
Jetzt lern' ich chinesisch!"
sagt Wernher von Braun.

Re:leaping ahead (1)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770456)

"US just has a money sink..."

Obama recently cancelled a big chunk of Nasa's human space exploration program. Does that make you happier?

The space program, like most big budget government programs, is by definition a lobby-driven money sink and always has been. However, it has accomplished some great things nonetheless.

What's more, how is it somehow OK to budget a trillion or two we don't have for corporate bailouts and healthcare entitlement pork, yet we can't afford $5B/year to keep Constellation going?

Good for them! (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769274)

I love it when any nation does ambitious explorations like this, to progress and promote their general state of science and technology.

I just hope they release any findings freely - I do dislike the idea of scientific projects where most of the results end up state/company secrets.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Good for them! (2, Insightful)

TheNucleon (865817) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771024)

"July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind."

If Mankind can return during my lifetime, I'll be delighted. I don't particularly care which section of Mankind leads the way - I'll rejoice with them when we venture out again.

Think what we could accomplish if we all worked together? Maybe someday we could get out of our own back yard.

Pre-emptive posting (2, Insightful)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769284)

To pre-empt the inevitable sino-phobic scare mongering posters, let me get the shitposts out of the way:
  1. OMFG, China is making a lunar land grab.
  2. Great job China, you're just 50 years late (smug).
  3. We've done this before. Nothing to see here. Move along (more smug).
  4. Socialist!
  5. Not content with polluting the Earth, China is now throwing junk on the moon.
  6. We must stop the expansionist Godless pinko commie heathens.
  7. Meh, China's economy is doing too well, so it is bound to crash and their space program will cease.

Anything I missed?

Re:Pre-emptive posting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769320)

Yes, you missed the iconoclastic, exhaustive list of possible objection vectors.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769334)

Yes you missed the well known "Communist Lies!" line from the 50s.

NASA, oh NASA why can't you be more like China. Oh wait you have a stupid president that likes to waste 10 times more money than needed on trivial solutions available almost everywhere(Universal Health Case) but in the US.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770232)

Oh wait you have a stupid president that likes to waste 10 times more money than needed on trivial solutions available almost everywhere(Universal Health Case) but in the US.

You may consider that a waste, but he probably considers that money well spent to please his corporate masters.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770414)

NASA, oh NASA why can't you be more like China. Oh wait you have a stupid president that likes to waste 10 times more money than needed on trivial solutions available almost everywhere(Universal Health Case) but in the US.

You've got to think like the aspiring future head of a global tyranny. If you go and advance space exploration by the US, that will only serve to engender hope among America's people that escape and/or better days may one day be possible. Hopes and dreams are powerful motivators and must be crushed at every opportunity. Complete demoralization, hopelessness, and resignation to their fate is the preferred state of mind for slaves, after all.

Strat

Re:Pre-emptive posting (0, Flamebait)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769614)

Great job China, you're just 50 years late (smug).

I'd laugh my ass off if China went to the moon, kicked down the American flag and put up their own.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769890)

I hope that they do, and show it on TV. As it is, the US is headed into a trade war with China.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770034)

        Great job China, you're just 50 years late (smug).

I'd laugh my ass off if China went to the moon, kicked down the American flag and put up their own.

They can do that?

manned lunar mission doesn't have to mean a landing. It could just be their normal orbital vehicle on a figure eight trajectory around the moon.

Which puts it in retrograde orbit suitable to launch plastic or sand at existing satellites.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770222)

I'd laugh my ass off if China went to the moon, kicked down the American flag and put up their own.

So would I, but for a different reason: a stunt like that would guarantee the restart of the US manned spaceflight program. We'd have a moonbase by 2015, fully implement Zubrin's Mars Direct vision by 2020, and would strap a pusher plate and a few thousand nukes onto a near-earth asteroid in order to send the first generation-ship to Gliese 581 by 2050.

Re:Pre-emptive posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770666)

How about we add: China will get to the moon, send a lander, drive around and then go no further, having reached the limits of IP to steal?

Re:Pre-emptive posting (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33774568)

Anything I missed?

We have to attack them now as they are weaponising the moon.

Where's the competition? (2, Interesting)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769308)

Manned mission to the Moon? A new space station? Even if these are just rumors I'm sure it should make the US a bit uneasy. Come on guys I want to see another space race!

Re:Where's the competition? (2, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770908)

Considering that its taken NASA 30 years to get over the first one, and we're still recovering, the last thing we need is another one.

Space races lead to expensive one-off architectures that achieve their goal but are too expensive to be used for much else. NASA needs to learn how to develop flexible systems that can be revised and re-purposed with minimal modifications, short time-frames, and within the historical post-Apollo budget.

I fear if we got in another space race with China, we'd achieve more flags and footprints, and be saying 'If only it were like the 2010s again' until 2070.

Re:Where's the competition? (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771982)

I don't see it happening. I recall a video where there current NASA Administrator stated that, "It doesn't matter if China makes it back to the moon first."

that's great (2, Interesting)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769338)

I'd like to live long enough to see a manned mission to moon or maybe mars. I don't care who does it, as long as they will share the experience with the rest of the world.

Re:that's great (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769862)

It has already happened. The USA sent a number of men to the moon. And they regularly share not just the experience, but we brought back so much rock, that we have shared some with just about every nation on this planet. In addition, you can pick up a DVD of it. Heck, new footage was just released in Australia and will be coming here soon.

Re:that's great (3, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770524)

It has already happened. The USA sent a number of men to the moon.

And a great many of us were not alive when this happened. Along with GPP, I'd like to see another man on the Moon. Yes, the United States did it. Yes, we Americans briefly touched greatness. Yes, we took our first baby steps out into the next great frontier and the only real long term future for humanity. And then, like frightened or chastised children, we fled back to the safety of our mother's skirt and have remained there ever since.

I am not discounting at all the greatness achieved by unmanned exploratory missions. I think they are some of the finest achievements of humankind (We've sent probes out of the solar system!). But, I can't help but feel a thrill that some humans somewhere on the planet are actively working towards once again stepping away from our mother. And I wouldn't be able to help feeling some measure of pride to see that happen again. And I would be even more proud to see humans take further steps out into the solar system.

And, I couldn't care less if they are speaking Chinese when they do it.

Re:that's great (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770722)

It has already happened.

1) I wasn't even born then. It's completely different experience being able to follow the whole endeavour - live - from the beginning, I imagine.
2) Now we have way better AV equipment.

Re:that's great (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33773388)

I'd like to see it, too, but for different reasons.

The U.S. ventured out to the Moon in the late 1960s. Afterwards, they got hung up in Earth orbit with Skylab and the Space Shuttle, doing scientific experiments and hoping to find something interesting to get private industry involved ("make pure crystals in zero G!"). Generally speaking, private industry didn't care except for some of the medical research. But since the Apollo missions, NASA hasn't done much with the Moon.

Hopefully, someone else will. It's a big hunk of rock orbiting our planet. I imagine that you could build some useful things there. As a U.S. Citizen, I'd rather see the U.S. do it. But if someone else does it, that works, too.

bah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769398)

old news, let me know when they send probes to uranus...

Second moon probe? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769404)

They finished probing the first moon already?

Re:Second moon probe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33771116)

When are they probing Uranus?

Second moon ? (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769438)

Is that the one with the likeness of a jumping mouse on? (The Freman call it Muad'dib)

Lindsay Lohan: In-And-Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33769448)

Perhaps China could provide Lindsay Lohan with a trip to the moon. I hear there's a lot of dust on the surface.

A Kick in the Pants? (1)

peripatetic_bum (211859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769654)

I hope this is the kick in the pants the US needs to restart out space program. I was saddened when NASA got 'demoted.' It felt like we lost something. I dont know.

Re:A Kick in the Pants? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769792)

I disagree, they're more private companies doing space in the US today you can't just look at NASA and come to the conclusion that space travel in the US is dead.

Re:A Kick in the Pants? (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770550)

Not to discount the efforts of such companies, but I will be ready to get really excited about them and see the hope they offer when they actually put a person into orbit.

I'm sure it's coming, and I'm waiting, but I have a hard time getting excited about it until it happens. There won't be much, if any, profit from space for quite some time, and it's kind of hard to imagine modern corporations, with their short-sightedness and desire for immediate return, to actually commit and go through with such a huge investment.

If it happens, then GREAT. Seriously. But, for me, this is more of an "I'll believe it when I see it" situation. :-/

Re:A Kick in the Pants? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769874)

I know. Thankfully, we killed constellation and have pushed harder to get multiple archs. going via private fixed costs space, rather than cost plus space, which leads to huge prices. Once we start having low cost launches combined with multiple destinations (say several PRIVATE space stations), then we will see private fixed costs companies going to the moon. Yes, times are looking up for NASA.

Big Boost in their Program (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 3 years ago | (#33769970)

With all the engineers NASA has laid-off expect a big boost to their space and defense program.

Firefly... (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770008)

...here we come! [wikipedia.org]

Seriously though, doesn't it worry anyone that most of the other big countries are more interested in space-related projects than the United States or Europe is? With all of China's plans, and the United States cutting it's space programs, you have to wonder where this will take us in the long term. Space is humanity's final frontier, yet Americans seem to be wholly uninterested in space travel, as do Europeans. Talking to most people on either side of the pond usually results in a "Space travel? Whatever." conversation. The only people that seem interested in space travel anymore are sci-fi fans. It's all the Asian nations that seem to be still focused on space exploration more so than anyone else now.

We keep looking and finding Earth-like planets [slashdot.org] , yet what is the point if we don't try to obtain the technology and experience to visit them?

Yeah and I successfullstarted up my time machine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770126)

Yeah, and I successfully started up my time machine.

No knowing whether it will actually go back in time though.

I hate these pointless press releases.

Big Red Button (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770154)

How quaint...

My God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33770522)

They'll be were we went almost half a century ago! Wow! And like us, they'll never go back when the mission has accomplished its goal; political showmanship.

It hasn't been this exciting since Apollo (2, Interesting)

purplemecha (1823386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33770960)

Good for China for picking up the slack. As a space addict, I'll get my heroin anywhere I can. It's sad though that we still don't have a true international space agency. I like to fantasize sometimes about all the nations coming together to pool all their resources into a single collective of cooperation. Hmm does that make me a communist.

Re:It hasn't been this exciting since Apollo (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33771662)

The ESA is a true international space agency, just not a world-wide one.

Re:It hasn't been this exciting since Apollo (1)

purplemecha (1823386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781300)

With the loss of the shuttles, we might have to rely on ESA and the Russian FKA. So ESA might get a little more global hopefully.

Oh yeah? So what? (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33772594)

Let's see them try to fake THEIR moon landings with cameras from the 1960s! That's how a manly country would do it.

Will they share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33774982)

Will they share what they find? Maybe they'll finally put this "fake moon landing" conspiracy theory to rest. I'd be happy if they proved or disproved it. Just get us an answer please?

My hope (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33776304)

Honestly, my hope is that the strides being made by China and India into space will spark the US into action to become competitive again. However, I am fully aware that given the current state of US politics and politicians that is so incredibly unlikely. Things like this spurring the US into action reminds me of Merry and Pip trying to spur the Ents into action in LOTR... except that with the USA there won't be a sudden realization that the battle needs to be fought until Mordor is already long since lost.

Re:My hope (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33784558)

And that's what I get for posting without sufficient coffee in my system... I meant of course Middle Earth ;)

of course OR on course (1)

BraksDad (963908) | more than 3 years ago | (#33776448)

Let me get this straight. The space craft will either attempt to land on the moon, go further out into space OR return to Earth.

What other options are there? Disapear into anoher dimension? They could just let it ride and manage one of the three no matter where the thing goes. If their calculations or timing are wrong or if they experience mechanical failure, they will at least hit their target.
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