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[Others] To the moon and back: Lunar mission to test China's space program [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-10-23 21:17:56 |Display all floors

China says it will launch an experimental spacecraft between Friday and Sunday that will orbit the moon before returning to Earth, in a first for the country's ambitious space program.

The unmanned spacecraft will be launched by a Long March 3C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, western China, state media said.

It is China's first lunar module capable of returning to Earth and the mission's main technical challenge will be making sure the spacecraft slows down enough to re-enter the earth's atmosphere safely.

Too fast and it could overheat or become difficult to track and control, Hu Hao, chief designer of the lunar exploration program, told The China Daily.
  
China Lunar Walk   

China launches first moon mission
It is expected to take around a week to fly around the moon and will then land on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia.

The mission tests technology that will be used in a more ambitious launch, scheduled to take place in 2017, when an unmanned lunar probe will go to the moon, collect soil samples and return home.

Chinese astronauts have made five manned space flights on a series of Shenzhou "Divine Vessel" modules, with the latest mission in 2013 completing a successful manual docking with the Tiangong-1 space station.

Last December, China put a lunar rover -- known as the Jade Rabbit -- on the moon but it has been plagued by mechanical troubles, the China Daily said.

On course for the moon?

Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said the lunar orbiter marks a step forward in the capabilities needed for a potential manned lunar program, which while under discussion hasn't been officially approved yet.

"It's significance is not only in demonstration of technical abilities, but in a continued political will to achieve its space goals over long periods of time — which is what China has that the U.S. currently lacks."

While the U.S. has pulled back its space program, other countries are trying to match or surpass China's accomplishments in what some observers have called an Asian space race.

In September, India became the first Asian country to send an orbiter around Mars.

Political symbolism

China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003 and has made rapid advances in the intervening decade.

Despite this, its space program is still yet to achieve capabilities reached by the U.S. and then Soviet Union decades ago, says James A. Lewis, director and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

With little economic or military advantage, its value, he says, lies in how the space program shapes China's perception of itself -- a conspicuous display of national power and wealth that asserts China's return to confidence and authority.

"We could ask if China is following an outdated recipe for superpower status," he writes in a blog for the University of Nottingham in the UK.

"In terms of the global effect of the manned program, there might be some truth to this. But for the domestic audience that is the chief concern of China's leaders, the space program produces invaluable results."

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Post time 2014-10-24 09:03:38 |Display all floors
USA gave China a moon rock 30 years ago for free.

China spends billions for crazy stuff like this and at the same time millions are uneducated, fail to get proper treatment for cancer or other sickness and nature is being polluted.

Priority is totally wrong.

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Post time 2014-10-24 09:22:09 |Display all floors
China will sing a proud song of flying to the moon and back.

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Post time 2014-10-24 10:00:57 |Display all floors
mixamixa Post time: 2014-10-24 09:03
USA gave China a moon rock 30 years ago for free.

China spends billions for crazy stuff like this  ...

dont waste the pricious resourece to public this kind of critique  beckoning for applause.
sci-tech level is a driving force for country. dont you understand? why can you use the gps on mobile phone so conveniently? that is the example of the advanced tech using in civil life.

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Post time 2014-10-24 22:38:59 |Display all floors
volkswagen360 Post time: 2014-10-24 12:00
dont waste the pricious resourece to public this kind of critique  beckoning for applause.
sci-tec ...



I guess there are many that have no power of foresight.

The launch was a success, Chang'e 4 is on its way to the Moon.

This launch is a multipurpose launch, the third stage booster has an experiment on it called 4M,
turning it into a spacecraft on its own.

This experiment has involved many people from around the world to monitor the transmissions as the pair of objects head for the Moon and return to Earth.

I am one of those lucky enough to be having my name and radio license broadcast from the third stage back to earth.

I was shown some telemetry from the spacecraft today.

100400 4 -20 2.8 11 3 * KEVIN-VK3UKF

I know I can say this on behalf of the other couple of thousand radio license holders also included in the 4M part of this mission, "Thanks to the China National Space Agency and Luxspace for allowing us to take part and be involved".

The day I stop learning will be the day I die. Maybe.

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Post time 2014-10-27 16:17:15 |Display all floors
vk3ukf Post time: 2014-10-24 22:38
I guess there are many that have no power of foresight.

The launch was a success, Cha ...


It is a pride to be one of them. Good luch, talented man!

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Post time 2014-10-29 19:11:20 |Display all floors
bluenoser Post time: 2014-10-27 18:49
Well done China.!!!

AND
a U.S. military test rocket, designed to fly up to 10 times the speed of sound and attack targets anywhere in the world in under an hour, failed spectacularly this week just after taking off from a site on Alaska’s Kodiak Peninsula.
Reuters reported. Alaska radio station KMXT cited witnesses as saying the rocket started a nosedive before it exploded.
Well done America

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