×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China Aims To Build World's Largest Rocket

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the one-up-man-space-ship dept.

Space 250

hackingbear writes "Back in March, China revealed it is studying the feasibility of designing the most powerful carrier rocket in history for making a manned moon landing and exploring deep space, according to Liang Xiaohong, vice head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The rocket is envisaged to have a payload of 130 tonnes, five times larger than that of China's current largest rocket. This rocket, if built, will eclipse the 53 tonne capacity of the planned Falcon 9 Heavy from SpaceX. It will even surpass the largest rocket ever built, the 119-tonne Saturn V. China's next generation rocket Long March 5, currently scheduled to debut in 2014, has a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to LEO."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

250 comments

Long Dong Rocket (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842034)

Trying to compensate for something China?

Re:Long Dong Rocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842090)

Nope, just wasting money in propaganda as other rich ones do.

Re:Long Dong Rocket (2, Insightful)

Paracelcus (151056) | about 3 years ago | (#35842846)

The Han Chinese invented propaganda! They've re-written their history over and over since the founding of the Chinese nation by Qin (Chin) in 200 BCE (the Roman republican period/Late post Hellenistic period). Now every time something shows up on the History Channel they will always (regardless of well established facts) claim that the Chinese invented "it" and they will invariably use the "5,000 years of Chinese history" phrase (despite the fact that the Chinese written language only goes back to 1,200 BCE Max, and you can't have a history without a written language) The Greek linear B written language is older, and yet the propaganda keeps on coming! Communist governments find this kind of thing absolutely irresistible! In the 1950's the Russian/Bolshevik propaganda machine would claim to have invented absolutely everything, it was a running gag-line on TV.

Re:Long Dong Rocket (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#35842176)

Nope, but it will be magical [slashdot.org] and have a 500GB USB thumb drive...

Forgive me if I don't trust ANYTHING Chinese anymore, but after that magical chinese hard drive and reading many [slashdot.org] many [slashdot.org] comments [slashdot.org] from other people getting burned I have a hard time trusting anything chinese.

I will believe the rocket exists when I can see it myself

Re:Long Dong Rocket (2)

cpscotti (1032676) | about 3 years ago | (#35842348)

Are you suggesting that IF they do "land" on the moon and broadcast videos from it, you'll be in doubt forever?
Hummm

hummm
I see..

Cost/weight? (2)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 3 years ago | (#35842046)

Anyone know the cost/weight? Absolute capacity is nice but dammit I'm not getting my trip to moon at these prices.

Re:Cost/weight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842102)

It used to be compared to gold but the cost of gold is like a zillion dollars per ounce now, so umm can't tell you. But in China, the cost of sending people into space is going to be a lot cheaper because of all of their available resources and strong economy.

Re:Cost/weight? (1)

killkillkill (884238) | about 3 years ago | (#35842424)

It used to be compared to gold but the cost of gold is like a zillion dollars per ounce now, so umm can't tell you. But in China, the cost of sending people into space is going to be a lot cheaper because of all of their nearly free labor source and expendable astronauts.

and how many China astronauts will die in testing (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 3 years ago | (#35842578)

and how many China astronauts will die in testing and how much will be covered up

Re:and how many China astronauts will die in testi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842614)

Not enough.

Re:Cost/weight? (0)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 years ago | (#35842284)

They are communist. Money has no meaning or value to them.

Re:Cost/weight? (3, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 3 years ago | (#35842412)

I respectfully disagree. The Chinese know how to undercut the US in prices which was often in the form of inferior goods. They also have cheap labor and tax breaks, so companies who want to make a product will typically set up shop there. The Chinese government officials really like money. They like it so much that they don't even care about human rights. Caring about human rights is just a weakness when you're focused on greed and power.

Re:Cost/weight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842420)

As opposed to the United States, which just prints however much money it needs.

Irrelevant (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 3 years ago | (#35842454)

This is not about a paid moon trip but about a states ambitions to power itself from a backwater nation to a world power.

So money is not counted in a way that makes sense on a small individual scale. It is not like if the claim is made that it costs 1 billion dollar that Bill Gates could buy 6 rocket developments. And as to what it is worth. Well, what is GPS worth? The US launched it with tax payers money and the research leading up to it also was payed by the tax payer, but at what total cost and for what total benefit? Even foreign benefit?

The press likes to print big numbers because simple people think money at this level still is real. But government has one advantage business doesn't have. It gets to take back a lot of your salary right at the start and then often also a large portion whenever you spend. So even a simple salary isn't exactly the same as it is for normal business.

Suffice it to say, a lot, no it won't break China's bank and no, you can't fly on it. But the real cost to the US will be that China has a manned space program and the US won't. And that is something the Chinese might find very amusing.

Re:Irrelevant (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35842810)

Cracking down on the massive academic fraud and rampant plagiarism would probably go a long way towards earning a reputation for innovation. As would ending the practice of locking up academics for saying things that the government doesn't want heard.

Right now, we in the US are mostly coasting, but if the American exceptionalists and the conservatives could lighten up and allow things to sort themselves out we could still retain our leadership position on technology. Of course that would anger the creationists and the climate change skeptics.

"manned moon landing" (0, Troll)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842088)

What's the point ? All you can do on the moon is walk around, and then leave again.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842140)

SHUSH! You'll wake the Space Nutters! They'll earnestly tell you that we'll be mining the Moon for helium-3 for our fusion reactors. Never mind the fact that we have no fusion reactors and no space mining capabilites. Then they'll talk about space elevators, despite the fact that we don't have a shred of evidence that materials are even able to withstand the stresses of such a colossal structure. The fact that we've never built anything so big won't stop them either!

The simple fact that we're still building rockets, and that barely surpassing what we built 4 decades ago DESPITE all the vaunted "technology" we supposedly have, doesn't ring any "hmmmmm" signals in Space Nutters's minds. Nope, on the one hand they confuse software progress and electronics progress with the raw, brute power they'd need (which we just don't have), and on the other hand they completely ignore the fact that IF we COULD build any of these delusional sci-fi technologies, well, we wouldn't NEED space!

But yeah, the Moon, as Vannevar Bush has stated, is just a stunt. That's all it'll ever be.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#35842382)

You left out the best part, only 0.05 ppm of the upper lunar regolith is helium-3, not like there is a concentrated "ore" to mine. However, we do have two materials with tensile strength sufficient for space elevators, carbon nanotube and boron nitride nanotube, the trivial difficulties in fabrication into space elevators are left as exercise for student 8D

Re:"manned moon landing" (-1, Troll)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842602)

The Space Nutters will just mod it down as 'Troll', rather than coming up with any real arguments why we need to be on the moon.

Re:"manned moon landing" (3, Insightful)

xMrFishx (1956084) | about 3 years ago | (#35842144)

Ah yes, but this might be what the US needs in the way of a kick up the arse to improve it's space programs. We should have been on Mars ten years ago. A new space race should be healthy for the world again. I want to see an orbiting construction station or something considerably bigger than the ISS. We have the technology, but no real desire/need to do it.

Re:"manned moon landing" (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 years ago | (#35842188)

What's the point of going to Mars? All you can do is walk around and then, if you're lucky, leave again.

Re:"manned moon landing" (3, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842296)

Exactly. There's no point in sending people to Mars either.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842652)

Exactly. There's no point in living while we're at it.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842328)

The point of Mars is: it is the only planet in the Solar System we can easy reach and basically terraform for free with our current technology.
With current technology level it is less than 30 perhaps 50 years to live there under a free sky with no breathing devices.
angel'o'sphere

Re:"manned moon landing" (3, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842366)

The Earth is already terraformed, so we might as well stay here.

Also, I don't buy your claims that we can easily reach Mars, and/or basically terraform it for free. And even if we could, there's not much to be gained in doing so.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842440)

Then read here: http://www.marssociety.org/ [marssociety.org]
Or read the red mars, blue mars green mars novels.
Or: just think about how you would do it, lol. It is *that simple*
angel'o'sphere

Re:"manned moon landing" (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#35842636)

Then read here: http://www.marssociety.org/ [marssociety.org] Or read the red mars, blue mars green mars novels. Or: just think about how you would do it, lol. It is *that simple* angel'o'sphere

That simple? If you actually looked at "Red Mars" carefully, he lives in a "Star Trek" world of virtually infinite resources. Need a nuclear reactor? Just drop ship a Rickover. Need compressed gasses? Just drop ship a 737 with a bunch of compressors. It's great science fiction - it broad brushes little details like money, and especially later, the ability to create extremely complex high technology items from robotic factories. It would probably work out better if we figured out those little issues here as opposed to there. Hell, we aren't really at the level of technology that we would need to be to bolt the Ares together. Construction in outer space is slow, tricky and dangerous.

Yes we can get better. If the Chinese are trying to do it then great, we can come from behind like usual (insert tasteless joke here). But the Mars Trilogy is not yet an instructional video.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842504)

Why bothering going to Mars when man is busy Marsiforming Terra.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#35842742)

Earth is being slowly de-terraformed. It is also overpopulated, and it is in humanity's nature to expand.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Animats (122034) | about 3 years ago | (#35842530)

The point of Mars is: it is the only planet in the Solar System we can easy reach and basically terraform for free with our current technology.

Terraform Mars. Yeah, right. Mars barely has an atmosphere, less than 1% of Earth's pressure. It's mostly CO2. Enough to blow sand around, not enough to be useful.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#35842680)

The point of Mars is: it is the only planet in the Solar System we can easy reach and basically terraform for free with our current technology.

Terraform Mars. Yeah, right. Mars barely has an atmosphere, less than 1% of Earth's pressure. It's mostly CO2. Enough to blow sand around, not enough to be useful.

The main problem is the lack of a magnetosphere, isn't it. Actually, now that I say this I have a distinct memory of googling this, and getting a bunch of 'internet ideas' on how to make one for Mars. In other words : nonsense.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842776)

The main problem is the lack of a magnetosphere, isn't it.

No, that is an internet myth or in other words an urban legend.
Yes, Mars has only a neglectible small magnetosphere, but that has nothing to do with the atmosphere, hint: see Venus.

Actually, now that I say this I have a distinct memory of googling this, and getting a bunch of 'internet ideas' on how to make one for Mars. In other words : nonsense.

I fail to parse this sentence, you googled and found nonsense? I'm sorry for you.

angel'o'sphere

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842822)

While this is correct, the main problem is only temperature. Raise it by a few degrees and all the CO2 frozen at the poles is released.
Melt the water and you have even more pressure. Start producing hydro carbons and you easy get the pressure to 10% earth level. THEN: you automatically have effects releasing the bound O2 from the "soil" and at that pressure levels you dont need an 28% oxygen atmosphere to breath but only like 12% - 15%.

See: http://www.marssociety.org/ [marssociety.org]
Dr. Robert Zubrin is working on ways how to perform this since over 50 years.
Albeit not very well known all majour problems are solved, "Earth" only lacks the will to do it. No problem in 50 years the Chinese will start without us.

angel'o'sphere

Re:"manned moon landing" (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 3 years ago | (#35842430)

<1492>
What's the point of going to America? All you can do is walk around and then, if you're lucky, leave again.
</1492>

Re:"manned moon landing" (2)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842526)

Going to America was a billion times cheaper, and you didn't have to leave. Instead, you could claim a piece of land, and live there more comfortably than the place you came from.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#35842604)

In 1492 sailing to America from Europe was about like going to the moon, today...

Re:"manned moon landing" (3)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#35842688)

In 1492 sailing to America from Europe was about like going to the moon, today...

Except America had abundant resources, shared the same atmosphere, gravity, and temperature?

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | about 3 years ago | (#35842708)

Yeah, exactly like goin to the moon. There was no food or water there when you got there and you would be killed by radiation.

Re:"manned moon landing" (2)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#35842770)

Yeah, exactly like goin to the moon. There was no food or water there when you got there and you would be killed by radiation.

I see you've read my novel "Christopher Columbus and the Hordes of Radioactive Zombie Indians", then?

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#35842524)

In the event you're lucky enough to be on Mars when an extinction level event happens on Earth, you have the benefit of getting to continue to live (if self-sufficiency has occurred by then).

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842576)

It would be simpler and cheaper to protect yourself from such an extinction event right here on earth, than to build a self-sufficient society on Mars.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#35842618)

Sir, I think you're overly optimistic to think we can defend ourselves from everything. We can't even fix our own damn problems (i.e. climate change).

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#35842720)

Sir, I think you're overly optimistic to think we can defend ourselves from everything. We can't even fix our own damn problems (i.e. climate change).

Sir, worry not! I have a diamondonium sphere which will defend you from any attack. Also a gun of some sort.

yrs, etc

gilleain

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842764)

Adapting to the climate change on Earth is easier than adapting to the climate of Mars.

And defending against huge extinction events (assuming we'd even care), isn't going to be easy, but I'm pretty sure it's easier than trying to escape to Mars. Don't forget we don't have to defend everybody. Put a few thousand people in a big bunker inside a mountain, for example. No doubt that's cheaper than putting the same people in a self-sufficient habitat on Mars.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0, Troll)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842206)

That's because there's is also no point in (people) being on Mars, or making endless circles in low earth orbit.

Re:"manned moon landing" (5, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | about 3 years ago | (#35842256)

There's no point in people being on earth either. We just are.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842288)

There's no point in people being on earth either. We just are.

People have a fear of death, which stops us from eradicating ourselves in spite of the obvious lack of meaning in our existence and the pointlessness of everything we do. As the human race progresses, it might be worth trying to modify the human brain so that this fear of death disappears. At some point, we will be able to tranquilly cease to exist, thus finding a way out of our misery.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842448)

Awww...

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842490)

Whether there is a point or not is unknown, and maybe unknowable. Lets figure out the laws of physics, Conquer the universe, etc etc, because, you know, our purpose is to replace god. Humanity certainly is heading in this direction.

Have fun readin... (3, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | about 3 years ago | (#35842196)

Re:Have fun readin... (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842240)

None of the reasons make any sense. You can do the same things on Earth, for a fraction of the cost.

Re:Have fun readin... (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842410)

for a fraction of the cost.

That term is always irritating me.
What you mean with a fraction of the cost? The one who is "buying the rocket" or "doing the stuff" or the society / government funding it?
If you mean the first it is likely true.
However if you talk about a hugh program it usually has side effects that can not be predicted and it might be beneficial to spend the big money instead of spending nothing.
angel'o'sphere

Re:Have fun readin... (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842472)

If you're aiming for 'side effects that can not be predicted' then why not aim for a reasonable main target at the same time ?

You could invest in nuclear fusion research, for example, which would probably also lead to all kinds of useful spin-off knowledge, while at the same time doing something useful in solving our future energy crisis.

Spending trillions of dollars doing something silly, in the hope that you may accidentally stumble on something useful isn't very productive.

Re:Have fun readin... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#35842718)

Spending trillions of dollars doing something silly, in the hope that you may accidentally stumble on something useful isn't very productive.

Sorry for reversing the order of the two quotes ... but WTF in what world do you live?

You could invest in nuclear fusion research, for example, which would probably also lead to all kinds of useful spin-off knowledge, while at the same time doing something useful in solving our future energy crisis.

We are spending trillions of money in fusion research since decades.
However it does not bring us closer to the stars nor does it solve energy problems and certainly not future problems, unless perhaps there are break throughs in cold fusion research.
angel'o'sphere

Re:Have fun readin... (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842800)

In order to get closer to the stars, you'll need a better energy source first. It makes sense to start there. And fusion was only an example. Feel free to substitute any range of research projects that involve energy, medicine, or something equally useful.

We can make cheap low gravity here on Earth? (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 3 years ago | (#35842536)

Cheaper than on the Moon? Using Phlebotinum I presume? [tvtropes.org]

Re:We can make cheap low gravity here on Earth? (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#35842674)

Not on earth, but there's plenty of low gravity in low earth orbit, which is much more accessible than the moon.

Besides, you have to ask yourself what kind of product you would be able to manufacture on the moon, that would benefit from low gravity, and high vacuum, and where the profit would pay for the huge setup and shipping costs.

Most likely, this product can be replaced by something that's a little easier to make.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842264)

What's the point ? All you can do on the moon is walk around, and then leave again.

Call us if you find a monolith.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35842816)

You can press Lunar soil into photovoltaic cells, and beam the power back to the Earth over a satellite network. You can use some of the power to harvest deuterium from the Far Side, and a nuke plant to blast it into more energy beamed back to Earth. And beamed all over the Solar System, pushing probes and miners around the new frontier.

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842304)

you forgot about grabbing your balls and screaming like a girl.

Re:"manned moon landing" (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 3 years ago | (#35842730)

Ah, but it's the CHINESE doing it this time. They will fly up, and then paint the moon red with cheap labour.

Then the US will HAVE TO resurrect the lunar program, to go up and write "Coca Cola" on the red moon.

*** Recycling old Jokes since 1970 ***

Re:"manned moon landing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842802)

What's the point - why even post that comment?

Jackass.

Wake me up when they create... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842104)

a rocket so big that it's cheaper to launch the Earth in the other direction.

NASA and SpaceX studying super heavy lift (3, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | about 3 years ago | (#35842126)

SpaceX and NASA are studying the possibility of a 150 ton payload class heavy lift launcher, based on SpaceX Falcon technology. NASA Studies Scaled-Up Falcon, Merlin [aviationweek.com]

All the shit you buy from Wal*Mart (3)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 3 years ago | (#35842190)

that's made in China.... is funding this rocket

Re:All the shit you buy from Wal*Mart (0)

Threni (635302) | about 3 years ago | (#35842224)

Good - let them waste their money. People only go into space these days to make a point. 50 years ago it was a big deal. Now ever India can launch rockets. China too? Wow, very exciting. A rocket you say...into space? Who's got the remote?

The space program was a cover for spying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842560)

The Soviet Union and the United States wanted orbiting spy space stations. The manned space programs stagnated when unmanned spy satellites became feasible. Notice the United States had more advanced IC technology.

JFK's 'because it is there' was just a giant cover. Politicians were smarter back in those days.

Re:All the shit you buy from Wal*Mart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842298)

Do you know what? I buy China products (I'm in America) [*]

I don't buy US products because they're funding the next Republican president who will attack who knows where; oh, sorry, it will bomb an enemy which probably has WMDs. Maybe.

[*] Before you call me traitor, and in case you don't know, America is far bigger than the US.

Re:All the shit you buy from Wal*Mart (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842508)

There is no such geographical entity as "America" outside of the USA. There is North America and South America (which are collectively referred to as "the Americas"), and then there is the United States of America (commonly referred to as "America").

It's rather cute that you want to ride the USA's coattails, but the harsh reality is that the rest of you third-world "Americans" simply don't matter. So go ahead... call yourself "American", say you live in "America". We don't care.

Re:All the shit you buy from Wal*Mart (5, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 3 years ago | (#35842406)

To which I say, "Great! I'd rather the US get into space, but I'll settle for damn near anybody!"

Wonder what it'll look like? (4, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 years ago | (#35842258)

A Soviet design or a US design?

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842374)

Mod parent up. I'm yet to see anything original coming from China. Not saying they don't have the capability to create new designs because they do. It's just that they always deffer to some one else designs.

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842626)

That's called "form follows function". How else would a rocket look like? A cube? A sphere? The limits on the strength of materials, the limits of propulsion technology really shape what technology looks like. Do you think Airbus copied Boeing because their planes all follow the same plan? It's called ENGINEERING REALITY. I don't expect to find much of that in a Space Nutter thread, but Jesus wept dude, things look the way they are for good reasons, not some conspiracy or laziness.

You're probably a software idiot too, aren't you?

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (3, Informative)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | about 3 years ago | (#35842646)

How else would a rocket look like? A cube? A sphere?

...says the guy who thinks all rockets look alike just because of superficial similarities in their shape.

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (2, Interesting)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 3 years ago | (#35842378)

Why choose?
How about a Chinese knockoff of a Soviet copy of an American design?

I mean, C'mon, the Chinese certainly have the engineering talent to match that of the US and Soviets in the middle of the last century, and technology that's vastly superior to last-century technology. They have 50 years of There is a world of "free trade" that means they can buy anything they can't make - even the US and Russia would be happy to supply them. (Imagine the Soviets attempting to buy oxygen turbopumps in 1959 from a US supplier). They have money coming out the wazoo. There is no doubt that they could do this.

Sometimes, though, copying someone else's work makes things cheaper, quicker, and with fewer dead astronauts.

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 3 years ago | (#35842396)

ooops.
"They have 50 years of watching and learning from aerospace efforts of other countries. "

Re:Wonder what it'll look like? (4, Informative)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#35842798)

Why choose?
How about a Chinese knockoff of a Soviet copy of an American design?

You forgot that basically all rocket designs come from German engineers [wikipedia.org].

America's next "Sputnik moment"? (1)

Endimiao (471532) | about 3 years ago | (#35842270)

Kind of reminds me of Obama's state of the union 2011. The new "sputnik moment [slate.com] may not be that far off... can you say "permanent self-sufficient moonbase", and maybe with a good deal of ingenuity and ambition a dockyard for deep space exploration using moon resources?

If they actually manage to pull such a feat despite naysayers just watch the US struggle to catch up.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842422)

Been there, done that. The place sucks.

Signed,

The USA

PS. Go to Mars and you'll impress us you nouveau riche assholes.

Is a single big rocket the best solution? (3, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 3 years ago | (#35842588)

Is is better to have one big launch vehicle (man rated), or is it more cost effective (and safer) to use multiple launches and then leave from earth orbit? Although the Saturn V worked using 60's technology, things have changed a lot since then. Maybe a different approach would be better now.

Of course, just like the first race for the moon, much of this is about national pride, so maybe the Chinese want the biggest booster just for bragging rights. Some things never change.

Re:Is a single big rocket the best solution? (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35842780)

These giant boosters are for launching weapons. Including nukes with a global reach. But also space-based weapons platforms. It's not the bragging rights - it's the military superiority.

What a waste. Better to establish and protect the telecommunications superiority. And use it to explore and exploit the Solar System scientifically and industrially, rather than militarily. More bragging rights for everyone - and more money and power, too.

This was inevitable. (2)

SgtXaos (157101) | about 3 years ago | (#35842700)

They had to have a project to use the money they saved from the (now illegal) time machine program..

Beating the Soviets (5, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35842756)

The Soviet Union produced th biggest rocket ever, bigger than any the US ever produced (and bigger than SpaceX's new "biggest ever"). Financing its space race in competition with the US was the final stroke that killed the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the US is devolving launches into what will be a healthy industry serving global customers, but by US rules.

I like the way this story looks to develop. Because I'm an American who wants to beat China in a race that takes us all into space.

And I helped pay for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842762)

One small bolt at at time when I shop at Wal-tar-depot. How about you?

I wish them succcess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35842774)

I really hope they set a new benchmark in lift efficiency. However I must admit I have a guilty pleasure of hoping to see some great new footage of an unmanned rocket failing spectacularly.

Other news: China confounded by SpaceX prices (2, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | about 3 years ago | (#35842866)

China's space program makes pronouncements like this all the time, but they don't yet have the ability to make things like this happen. Heck, just the other day personnel from China's aerospace organization said that they were confounded by SpaceX's price/kg and unable to compete with it:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/04/15/11.xml&headline=China%20Great%20Wall%20Confounded%20By%20SpaceX%20Prices [aviationweek.com]

Heck, SpaceX has designs for both 125 and 140 tonne vehicles [wikipedia.org], but it doesn't mean it plans on building them before it makes economic sense.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...