GDB
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China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:16 am

Not only is this the first probe to land on the Moon's far side, it is in the Southern Polar region.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciXXj0Tj7zk

So already this year we have the flyby of the most distant Solar System object by a probe but also a landing on an area of the nearest, in an area unexplored and of great interest. And also a leading contender to send humans again.
 
parapente
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:38 am

2019 is going to be a busy one for space - particularly the Moon love it.Congrats to China,not an easy thing to pull off.There are ( I believe) simply loads of craft going to the moon this year.Many from the Ansari prise competition.3/4 of them? But there are others too.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:46 am

That might get a bit of a space race going on again.

Considering that national pride is unfortunately one of the few things that push the public to encourage expensive space programs, I suppose it's a good thing. It's good for science and engineering in any case.

I'd rather like to see the West and China start cooperating on more space programs to allow for more ambitious missions and projects. One can dream,

Well done to China's CNSA for this mission. Now bring on the hi-res pics.
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DigitalSea
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:32 pm

I'm personally hoping for a China & Russia vs USA competition for the first humans on Mars (and back). It's well within our capability at this point, and as stated above, just need that national pride push.
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:00 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
I'm personally hoping for a China & Russia vs USA competition for the first humans on Mars (and back). It's well within our capability at this point, and as stated above, just need that national pride push.

There is no way China will team with Russia for something like that. They will do it on their own if/when they do it.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
GDB
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:00 pm

Despite China not being allowed to co-operate with NASA, by US law (for some understandable security reasons), this probe and rover is carrying some instruments from other agencies, in Europe for instance.
So it's a closed space program, except for some areas, which happen to be all about the science.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:18 pm

Tugger wrote:
There is no way China will team with Russia for something like that. They will do it on their own if/when they do it.

Tugg


Maybe, maybe not.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:17 pm

China just has quadrupled the number of species that have ever visited moon.

USA: Homo sapiens.
China: Silkworms, arabidopsis and potatoes. Presumably highly trained ones.
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:21 am

Congrats to the Chinese and other teams involved.

Shame all the news about this leaks out so slowly. A side effect of how things are done in China. :(
 
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keesje
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:27 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Congrats to the Chinese and other teams involved.

Shame all the news about this leaks out so slowly. A side effect of how things are done in China. :(


The Chinese don't have the drive to proudly make every know their achievements. There is no need / no rewards for it. They just do it.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Revelation
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:34 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
I'm personally hoping for a China & Russia vs USA competition for the first humans on Mars (and back). It's well within our capability at this point, and as stated above, just need that national pride push.

I'm definitely a sci-tech nerd and have been on something of a space kick lately (both historical and current) and I'd rather see the money spent on unmanned probes.

Personally, I don't see cost of all the things we do to make a spacecraft support human needs to be worth it when machines can do so much of what we'd do on a space mission.

Spending the money on the unmanned probes results in (far more) science per dollar, IMHO.

But as is being implied here, the best way to get funding is to engage the human ego, so it seems we're going to go down that path.
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parapente
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:39 pm

No doubt robotics are the way to go.just look at what's been achieved in the last 50 years.We have been to just about everywhere in the solar system ( and there's a lot of it) and often more than once.We have of course now gone beyond the solar system and into the atmosphere of our very own star.And all at a cost fraction of manned space flight.Humas were not evolved to go outside our atmosphere.
But yes 'Buck Rodgers' rules the heart.
There may be as many as five robotic missions to the Moon this year many as a hang over from the Ansari prize, but no matter ,as long as they get there safely.But will only be a precursor to man 'going back' we know it can be done so no doubt it will be done again.
This is what Mr Trump wAnts NASA to waste their money on ( even if they don't) so I guess it will happen.The SLS is big enough to get men to the moon or moon orbit --but so is Spacex's Starship. The 'go round' has already been announced by Elon.But Landing ( and taking off) in the Starship will require a space 'gas' refill.Thats never been remotely tried.
But you can't get to Mars either without perfecting this trick so I guess it's high on Elon's agenda for manned space flight.A couple of articles I read suggest that his Starship 'rush' is to replace the SLS ( and it's funding).Due to politics I can't see this happening but you never know.The SLS is a misguided project imho.But we will see.
Not in my lifetime but.I couldn't help noticing that the Russians have dusted off their Nuclear Thermal Engine project ( cancelled in 80's after working fine).In response NASA is dusting off their Nuclear thermal Engine project from the 70's it also worked fine - but no doubt they could do an even better job now.
If one is hell bent on taking humans to Mars this imho is the 'only' way.Not for taking off from Earth or landing on Mars that's best for chemical engines.But for going there and back ( in a reasonable time) Nuclear propulsion is the only practical way.So one day perhaps.
 
georgiabill
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:33 pm

I am surprised by NASA'S lack of interest in luna exploration with rovers or orbiters. Congrats to the Chinese for their successful mission.
 
WKTaylor
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:58 pm

georgiabill... RE USA Lunar exploration... 'been-there, done-that'.
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:02 pm

WKTaylor wrote:
georgiabill... RE USA Lunar exploration... 'been-there, done-that'.

And brought back a lot:
Between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions brought back 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. The six space flights returned 2200 separate samples from six different exploration sites on the Moon.

https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

Tugg
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neutrino
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:55 pm

WKTaylor wrote:
georgiabill... RE USA Lunar exploration... 'been-there, done-that'.

But not to the far side, so that's not entirely true. :roll:
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:24 pm

neutrino wrote:
WKTaylor wrote:
georgiabill... RE USA Lunar exploration... 'been-there, done-that'.

But not to the far side, so that's not entirely true. :roll:

Is there that much different on the far side?

I could see going there for a specific reason but not to just explore. It would be a great location to set up a space telescope but the "exploration" would be very specific. Related to setting up the site. No, there is no real reason to go to the far side of the moon since so much has already been done there along with the additioanal planetary exploration that the USA has done.

For the Chinese it makes total sense though. It tests all sorts of systems for them in a relatively easy and close target. They test relayed messaging, satellite coordination, launch systems, rover systems, landing systems, etc. The whole space and planetary explorations process, all on one mission. A very good idea.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
parapente
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:20 pm

Far side is completely different geology than the near side.Far older and no basaltic plains.So of interest.
Beyond this they have landed in a very special crater ( the largest outer ring) was caused by a humongous asteroid smashing into the moon.So Hard that it is felt that it went right through the crystal exposing the mantle layer.Something they also hope to investigate.

Finally working out how to land and communicate 'home' on the 2 poles is of interest in itself.This is where previous orbiting sat's have spotted ice in perminant shadow.
Ice is water to drink,oxygen to breath and of course -fuel.
So yup interesting spot to land ( beyond the unique geology) if you have a manned plan in the back of your mind.The feeling is that China has.
 
wingman
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:40 pm

Leaving the competitive aspect out of the equation this can only be a good thing with the presumption that at some point in the future we may all be faced with an "urgent" need to get off this planet or move some excess number of gobbling humanoids to a new location. With any luck "urgent" will be a decades long time-frame. Either way having 5-6 separate nations or blocs with critical capabilities to undertake such a massive effort will be useful.

Now if China starts setting up mineral mining ops on the far side and declares that crater part of its nine dash boundary then we'll have to do something about that.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:35 pm

Did they find the Helium3???

Image
 
parapente
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:03 pm

I believe if you mine in an area in permanent shadow ( the best area - but Uber cold) you will get on average one gram for every 150 tons processed.Best of luck!
 
WKTaylor
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:50 pm

With the 'value added' from a long-list of unmanned/manned lunar landers and orbiters... and assuming the lunar activities of other nations will continue expanding knowledge of the moon...the USA has opted to expanded the knowledge of the solar system and universe by expending funds/energy/ambition on...
Communications and military satellites of various unique technologies.
Lofted most modules for the International Space Station [Space Shuttle] and has crew members on permanent rotation at the station.
Studying mother-Earth in intense/microscopic detail thru numerous earth-sciences satellites.
Studying the Sun with multiple solar observatory spacecraft... including one that is the closest to ever approach/study the sun.
Employs an orbiting constellation of state-of-the art space telescopes... which study the solar system and Universe in-detail, in-various radiation frequencies ... and is now preparing to loft the [gigantic] 'James Webb' space telescope.
Accomplished multiple orbital/landing missions to Mars
Accomplished Orbital missions to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and several large asteroids
Accomplished Fly-by Missions to the outer-planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.. and now, an Ort-Cloud object. NOTE: As a 'by-product' of these 'fly-by' missions, spacecraft have-begun or will soon begin their infinite journeys into 'interstellar space'
Is planning to launch Orbital/landing missions to the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and possibly Neptune.
Need I go on?
 
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caoimhin
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:19 am

keesje wrote:

The Chinese don't have the drive to proudly make every know their achievements. There is no need / no rewards for it. They just do it.


Sorry, this isn’t at all correct. I haven’t a clue why you think this, but the Chinese are indeed very quick to “proudly make every know their achievements”.

What’s more, they ostentatiously purchase naming rights at all sorts of high profile m international events just for the sake of it. Have a look at the recent “sponsorship” of the US New Year’s Eve celebration in New York.

The Chinese often do things for the explicit purpose of international recognition.
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:36 pm

Pretty awesome footage of the landing of Chang'e 4 landing:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 24421.html

Tugg
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Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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keesje
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:28 pm

caoimhin wrote:
keesje wrote:

The Chinese don't have the drive to proudly make every know their achievements. There is no need / no rewards for it. They just do it.


Sorry, this isn’t at all correct. I haven’t a clue why you think this, but the Chinese are indeed very quick to “proudly make every know their achievements”.

What’s more, they ostentatiously purchase naming rights at all sorts of high profile m international events just for the sake of it. Have a look at the recent “sponsorship” of the US New Year’s Eve celebration in New York.

The Chinese often do things for the explicit purpose of international recognition.


There are 385.000 electrical busses in the world, 99% are in China. They churn out 9500 every 5 weeks and growing. Nobody knows & cheers for Tesla.

Image

If the Chinese openly sponsor or promote, it is remarkable.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 pm

I'm hoping to see the Space Elevator

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/co ... ncna915421
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:22 pm

keesje wrote:
There are 385.000 electrical busses in the world, 99% are in China. They churn out 9500 every 5 weeks and growing.

Off topic so I'll keep it brief but the big problem in China right now is that while production has soared, the ability to recycle or even deal with the batteries when then finish their life cycle has not kept pace. There are millions of tons of batteries headed for end of life and the ability to deal with them is not there yet in China. (And oddly Lithium batteries were not listed as hazardous waste)
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china ... KKBN1CR0Y8

But this is a global issue really, with the increasing use of electric based systems. It really deserves its own thread.

The Chinese are very innovative and technologically capable, they have been throughout their history. That they can land on the moon and produce equal to the most advanced countries in the world should be of no real surprise to anyone.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
majano
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:42 pm

Tugger wrote:
keesje wrote:
There are 385.000 electrical busses in the world, 99% are in China. They churn out 9500 every 5 weeks and growing.

Off topic so I'll keep it brief but the big problem in China right now is that while production has soared, the ability to recycle or even deal with the batteries when then finish their life cycle has not kept pace. There are millions of tons of batteries headed for end of life and the ability to deal with them is not there yet in China. (And oddly Lithium batteries were not listed as hazardous waste)
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china ... KKBN1CR0Y8

But this is a global issue really, with the increasing use of electric based systems. It really deserves its own thread.

The Chinese are very innovative and technologically capable, they have been throughout their history. That they can land on the moon and produce equal to the most advanced countries in the world should be of no real surprise to anyone.

Tugg

But it is to some. Additionally, Keesje's point that the Chinese are more results orientated is validated by his example, which, to your credit, you do not seem to be refuting.
 
parapente
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:04 pm

I noted today that their cotton seeds have propagated on their lander.They are part of a micro 'biosphere' to see what's possible to grow/rear etc.Very sensible project if there is a strong desire ( it appears there is) to have a permanent human presence on the Moon.
What should really be happening is that all major countries should be collaborating as one.No more space races!God knows it's expensive enough.
Perhaps Elon's Starship could come in handy here.I am sure he would be happy to 'rent out' his big bird!I say this in all seriousness.For China or Russia ( they have tried and failed once already) to build the giant chemical rockets required. (With no guarantee of success) three times over would be utter madness.
Musk will have the only affordable solution because the SLS certainly isn't!
 
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bikerthai
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:00 pm

keesje wrote:
There are 385.000 electrical busses in the world, 99% are in China. They churn out 9500 every 5 weeks and growing. Nobody knows & cheers for Tesla.


We've had electric busses here in Seattle for decades. The only difference is Seattle busses runs of overhead power lines. The difference in technology with the Chinese busses is the battery. So the development of the battery what makes Tesla and the new Chinese busses possible.

So what is important with the Chinese venture to the moon is not just to get there. It's to prove the technology. We all talked about having hydroponics on the moon. Well, they are first to germinate a seed and see it grow . It only stepping stone for the rest of us to follow, but they will always know to have done it first.

In the long run, it's not so much as who gets there first. It's who can get there with enough mass (organic or otherwise) to make a difference.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
GDB
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:20 pm

China plans, they say, to follow up with a sample return mission by the end of the year, presumably to a similar region to the current probe and rover.

An image of seed propagation, maybe it's me but I am reminded of the sequence in the 1971 film, The Andromeda Strain, when the Scoop satellite interior is being scanned in the Lab!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-46873526
 
WKTaylor
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:18 pm

One thing I have noted about the Chinese space program is that it releases enough 'press' that it's scientific activities are publicized and found notable/laudable... but the 'hard science data' [especially raw data] and 'technology data/specifications' are rarely if-ever release in public/world forums.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:36 pm

Well apparently they didn't plan to well. The plants that sprouted all died.
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:24 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Well apparently they didn't plan to well. The plants that sprouted all died.

Actually it was planned that way. The plants were expected to not be able to survive the lunar night. They had a two week window (lunar day) to land, deploy the rover, test the systems, and then run the plant growing test process (which involved allowing sunlight into that chamber) . And they did that, which is darned good.

And then as planned for the lunar night, the probe entered “sleep mode” on Sunday to conserve power and survive −170℃ and two weeks without sunlight to power its solar arrays and systems.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/21 ... nar-night/

Now the next big test is to wake up after the night (which the first probe failed to do).

Tugg

.
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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trpmb6
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Hmm, I thought the goal was to essentially create a little biodome where the fruit flies ate the yeast generating carbon dioxide to help the plants grow beyond sprouts. But it seems you're saying they only planned on a two week experiment (at most considering the window is only two weeks and includes landing etc). So the experiment, therefore, must have been about proving the concept of a bio dome, that each portion of the spectrum needed to grow plant material worked - generate carbon dioxide - adequate humidity and temperatures etc. In that regard they were quite successful.
 
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Revelation
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:01 pm

parapente wrote:
But you can't get to Mars either without perfecting this trick so I guess it's high on Elon's agenda for manned space flight.A couple of articles I read suggest that his Starship 'rush' is to replace the SLS ( and it's funding).Due to politics I can't see this happening but you never know.The SLS is a misguided project imho.But we will see.
Not in my lifetime but.I couldn't help noticing that the Russians have dusted off their Nuclear Thermal Engine project ( cancelled in 80's after working fine).In response NASA is dusting off their Nuclear thermal Engine project from the 70's it also worked fine - but no doubt they could do an even better job now.
If one is hell bent on taking humans to Mars this imho is the 'only' way.Not for taking off from Earth or landing on Mars that's best for chemical engines.But for going there and back ( in a reasonable time) Nuclear propulsion is the only practical way.So one day perhaps.


Going to Mars is a bad idea, here's five reasons why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESQ1bKd7Los
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:05 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Hmm, I thought the goal was to essentially create a little biodome where the fruit flies ate the yeast generating carbon dioxide to help the plants grow beyond sprouts. But it seems you're saying they only planned on a two week experiment (at most considering the window is only two weeks and includes landing etc). So the experiment, therefore, must have been about proving the concept of a bio dome, that each portion of the spectrum needed to grow plant material worked - generate carbon dioxide - adequate humidity and temperatures etc. In that regard they were quite successful.


Yes, I haven't read that they were successful on the "bio-dome" aspect (in fact one article that I can't seem to find again indicated it was not) but the plant obviously grew.

Future plans that I have read all have any base located on the lunar pole so the sunlight can be available all the time. For both redirecting sunlight down for "bio" elements and most importantly for power generation.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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Tugger
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:11 pm

Revelation wrote:
parapente wrote:
But you can't get to Mars either without perfecting this trick so I guess it's high on Elon's agenda for manned space flight.A couple of articles I read suggest that his Starship 'rush' is to replace the SLS ( and it's funding).Due to politics I can't see this happening but you never know.The SLS is a misguided project imho.But we will see.
Not in my lifetime but.I couldn't help noticing that the Russians have dusted off their Nuclear Thermal Engine project ( cancelled in 80's after working fine).In response NASA is dusting off their Nuclear thermal Engine project from the 70's it also worked fine - but no doubt they could do an even better job now.
If one is hell bent on taking humans to Mars this imho is the 'only' way.Not for taking off from Earth or landing on Mars that's best for chemical engines.But for going there and back ( in a reasonable time) Nuclear propulsion is the only practical way.So one day perhaps.


Going to Mars is a bad idea, here's five reasons why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESQ1bKd7Los

Well of course it is but so is cars (I mean really, it required development of so much infrastructure to support it is utterly ridiculous, from manufacturing to roads to refining to environmental damage, to deaths they cause.... it was and is a bad idea).

But that has never stopped humans before. We love overcoming the "bad" part of any idea with our ingenuity and inventiveness.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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Revelation
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Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:07 pm

Tugger wrote:
Well of course it is but so is cars (I mean really, it required development of so much infrastructure to support it is utterly ridiculous, from manufacturing to roads to refining to environmental damage, to deaths they cause.... it was and is a bad idea).

But that has never stopped humans before. We love overcoming the "bad" part of any idea with our ingenuity and inventiveness.

Tugg

You should watch the video.

Making roads was a known art before the automobile. Dealing with Martian issues such as intense radiation, toxicity, lack of gravity, lack of food due to lack of oxygen/soil/water etc are far bigger challenges with far smaller payoffs than the challenges related to automobile transportation.

The video goes through what a big failure the Biosphere project was, yet it was supposed to prove out so many technologies we need to work to consider colonizing Mars. In the end the humans emerged emaciated and deeply conflicted. The colony had split into two factions, and the two were not on speaking terms with each other. It's a whole different ball game when you have to struggle to survive versus the ISS where all your needs are met by a stream of delivery vehicles.

Going to Mars gets all the hype because it's just cool and dreamy, but in reality it is just a bad idea.

I'm all for human ingenuity but I'm also for picking your battles, and Mars IMHO doesn't deserve the federal funding it is already getting. Same for all human space exploration, IMHO.

I'd rather see our speculative R&D money go in to something that might actually improve life on Earth, such as fusion research.
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parapente
Posts: 3045
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: China Lands On Moon's Far Side.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:02 pm

Sadly I have to agree that in general going to Mars is indeed a bad idea for all the reasons above and more - and yes I think the biosphere project spoke volumes.Not that they would live very long anyway having taken the radiation doses they would most likely receive both on the way and there!
Having said that ....
Humans have always wanted - needed to know. What's round the next corner - it's hard wired.So we will go there I have no doubt.If for no better reason ( and there isn't) than - we can.
Nuclear thermal engines are a practical way to get there and back with some degree of safety - and of course it will vastly cut down radiated travel time.But it will take time for the US and Russia to crack up the programmes they stopped in the 70's and 80's but they did get them functioning well.
I guess the question is whether 'we' will do a Moonshot type programme using chemical engines.Trained Astronauts ( right stuff) only.
If Elon is determined to do it then I guess it might happen and it's possible NASA will try ( but I can't see both frankly and I am sure neither can Elon).
Perhaps he is trying to force the governments hand.Ie ' I am going to do this with or without you'.Right now it's 'without us mate',but presidents come and go.Somehow I can't see them letting a privateer going solo on this one.Can you?

But- before any of that happens what Elon is really trying to do with this BFR is launch literally thousands of Starlink Satellites and make a load of wonga.
He may also fancy putting a fly in Trumps ointment by landing on the moon ( or at least threatening to do so before the government darlings of Boeing and Lockheed.)Will be interesting all round.

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