Saturday, October 13, 2007

First Japan, now China . . .

China Moon Launch Expected from Xichang Spaceport Oct. 26

The "Chang'e One" lunar probe is now on the launch pad and is expected to make its bid for the moon before the end of October.

"Chang'e I has already reached the launch site in Xichang of Sichuan Province, and is ready for launch due before the end of the year," said Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration in remarks to the Chinese national media.

(Via Universe Today.)


Elan said...

Like the bespectacled man watching the Mercury astronauts climb to the stars in the movie adaptation of “The Right Stuff,” I say, with whispered hope, “Go, gooooo….!”
This is a wake up call to America: OCD does not stand for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – it is Our Cosmic Destiny. It is time for America to re-claim its status as a leader in the exploration of the cosmic ocean…and I say this, as a Canadian.
Nationalism aside, humans are going back to the moon and if it is the Chinese, so be it…

ralph moonie said...

I would guess American astronauts will be on the moon in a more productive and semi-permanent way before the Chinese land other humans, or astronauts on the moon.

They still have a long way to go.

A Chinese rover? Great, if we can get the pictures! We have another probe, and lander, on the way to Mars at the moment, and I think we are still relatively ahead of the capability of either the Soviets, Chinese, or others, but the more the merrier, as it will also engage with and develop links between government and private interests, like the few developing orbital "space hotels" out of inflatable modules, or other private launch interests which could deign to cooperate and pool engineering and financial resources to put something together like the private rover on the moon launch contest with $40 million in prize money for the private combine and probable winners, $30 million of that from Google alone. But we need a 5 to 1 and maybe 8 or 9 to 1 reduction in the cost per pound to orbit for things to really take off. Maybe another 10 or 15 years or so.