back to article China goes lunar

China's lunar probe has arrived in orbit around the moon after a twelve day journey. It slotted into place yesterday, after receiving orders to slow down some 200km from its destination. It will spend the next year scanning the surface and reporting back, with images and data, to mission control. The satellite, dubbed Chang'e I …

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Alien

Soopah duper

So, now the USA can prove they finally went to the moon with pics of the bits n pieces they left behind courtesy of those kind Chinese folk?

Or not.

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Alien

Once and for all

I know this has been asked on nearly every China/Moon post, but is there actually any chance that China will look for and photograph the previous US landing sites? I mean, they are there (sort of) and taking photos anyway.

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Independent verification

Surely the most important task for these countries is to provide independent verification of the US moon landings. Let the Chinese resolve this intriguing mystery once and for all.

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Happy

More importantly, can they verfy the existance of a B52 bomber and Red London bus?

Ever since the Daily Sport reported these intriguing stores I've been dying to knpw.

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Resolution

I understand that at the resolution of the Chinese satellite's cameras the remains of the NASA Lunar Landers would cover about 1 pixel.

So even if the Chinese were going to take time out of the lunar program they've spent millions on developing, just to assuage some paranoid fantasists, we still wouldn't be able to see anything useful.

And anyway, if people don't believe NASA's film and photographs, why would htye believe the Chinese either?

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Re: Independent verification

The people who don't think America landed on the Moon with Apollo are hardly going to be mollified by other images are they? Their denials of the totality of the evidence is every bit as absurd as the creationists denial of evolution.

But to answer the question, AFAIK Chang'e I's camera is quite low resolution (c. 100m) and designed for stereoscopic work, so it won't be able to pin-point the landers already on the surface. Japan's Kaguya probe, also orbiting the Moon has a 10m resolution so it could probably pick out the lower stages of the Apollo LMs and the Apollo lunar rovers against the lunar backdrop.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter due for launch in 2008 will be photographing most of the Moon at 50cm resolution. NASA have announced they will be taking images of all the lunar landing sites.

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Unhappy

Misplaced priorities

"Surely the most important task for these countries"

Actually, no. Other countries have absolutely no reason whatsoever to pander to the whims of the uneducated who insist that there even *is* a mystery.

Such people may wish to visit www.clavius.org or www.badastronomy.com if they want "the truth". Or they could continue living in a paranoid/delusional fantasy-world wherein the US govt can keep a 500,000-person conspiracy hidden, but cannot hide a single blow-job.

And AFAIK, neither of these probes have a resolution high enough to spot the landers. The moon is a lot larger than you may suppose, and the landers are very small. Anyway, even should such pictures emerge, it wouldn't matter to the truly committed conspiracy nuts.

Fortunately there is another US probe going up soon (the name escapes me) that will, indeed, have a spectacularly fine-resolution camera, and may well return pictures of the landers. (But not of the cheap, store-bought flags, which will have long-since been destroyed by the decades of UV.).

This may serve to convince a few fence-sitters of the reality of, well, reality. But the lunatics (pardon the pun), and the charlatans making money of this ridiculous urban legend, will decry it as a photo-chop from the eeevil NASA, who are still following the commands of the Illuminati, after all.

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Proof

The reason why no one has bothered to look for the lunar landers, buggy etc is that there is no need. There is concrete proof, in abundance that NASA went to the moon, the most irrefutable being the many samples of lunar rock brought back. Paul is right, If the conspiracy nutters don't believe the proof we have now, some grainy pictures from China or Japan aren't going to make a lot of difference.

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Duh

To all the people who say "we never landed on the moon", the crushing final argument that one deploys is "so how come we're using kit placed on the moon by the astronauts right now?"

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEhelp/ApolloLaser.html

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@supermeerkat

Ah, but remember that the Sunday Sport story "WWII Bomber found on Moon - Picture" was followed by "WWII Bomber disappears from Moon - Picture" showing, indeed, the absence of said bomber!

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Unhappy

Right then

We need Google to sort it out as you can clearly see cars, buses, planes and presumably lunar rovers on those images, anyone got a spare satellite to lend them?

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World has gone mad

Its a shame to note that both the developed and the developing countries are spending billions of dollars on sending such space missions to moon, mars and dont know where else. I have heard justifications thats all is being done to further knowledge and also that it is a far attempt to search for resources that could be consumed when earth runs out of natural resources.

I would have thought with more urgent matters to deal with such as cancer, aids etc government still want to spend so much on sending space shuttles half of which never make it past our outer atmosphere. If it was a communication satellite i can understand the need but a lunar probe???

Most of these countries moan about overburdened public services and lack of funding to improve the infrastructure and raise the standard of living for the middle class individiual. Where they get money for space trips i wonder :(

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Ludicrous comparisons

@ Mike Richards

Quote:Their denials of the totality of the evidence is every bit as absurd as the creationists denial of evolution.

Creationism and evolution are both espoused by religous fanatics neither who can empirically prove their theories ( well over 90% can't).

I'm not pushing any philosophy, however, before you make such a comparison, you must note that Evolution falls when put against even the most basic of mathemtical tests. All theories, e.e. Relativity, are tested rigourously against these tests and somehow evolution continues to fester when it continues to fail said tests.

The lunar landings have passed encyclopaedic levels of tests and yet we still have these furry gizmos who think that they were a hoax.

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Flame

World has gone mad

Its a shame to note that both the developed and the developing countries are spending billions of dollars on sending such space missions to moon, mars and dont know where else. I have heard justifications thats all is being done to further knowledge and also that it is a far attempt to search for resources that could be consumed when earth runs out of natural resources.

I would have thought with more urgent matters to deal with such as cancer, aids etc government still want to spend so much on sending space shuttles half of which never make it past our outer atmosphere. If it was a communication satellite i can understand the need but a lunar probe???

Most of these countries moan about overburdened public services and lack of funding to improve the infrastructure and raise the standard of living for the middle class individiual. Where they get money for space trips i wonder :(

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Stop

Philosophy pushing. Or not.

"...you must note that Evolution falls when put against even the most basic of mathemtical tests..."

I "must" do no such thing. First you have to convince me of the applicability of the test. Tell me what it is testing, and how its outcomes verify or fail to the predictions made by the ideas behind natural selection.

As I see the corpus of knowledege, speciation rates have been correlated quite tightly with rates of mutation in DNA. Simulations of evolution have demonstrated that large numbers of iterations of selection can produce marked and surprising changes in taxonomy.

Rather than vaguely insinuating that evolution is tested, just give us a link so we can judge for ourselves. Elsewise you *are* pushing a philosophy, and using dubious means to do so.

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Resolution

If the resolution reported and the resolution in reality is anything like the camera I just bought from China they'd be better off using a pinhole camera in the middle of Hong Kong City to image the Moon.

Hat Coat, I'll see myself out...

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If US landings were a hoax

there would have been no need to band Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the airwaves. Of course they went. What we don't completely know is what they found.

The reason sundry nations are sniffing around the Moon right now is that they've all realised great swathes of the planet with natural resource are so contaminated with depleted uranium that they cannot be extracted by humans safely. It is conceivable their governments know more than we are being told.

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Happy

Diplomacy

i so love the way they do that.

"We are willing to co-operate with the rest of the world to the benefit of humankind," the BBC quotes Long as saying. "But as to what kind of co-operation, it depends on specific circumstances."

i once heard diplomacy defined as the art of saying "nice doggie!" until you find a rock. this sounds very similar.

it is likely that the cooperation will decrease as the need for it diminishes, like if/when they have the facilities in place for kinetic bolide bombardment. after that, maybe not quite as much cooperation; more like, "who's the superpower now, bitch?"

i, for one, will welcome our new Chinese overlords (but i'll have to learn Mandarin - good thing the wife is already working on that).

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Coat

China and language

Whether or not China does end up ruling us all, it probably is no bad thing to learn Mandarin - after all, they make up at least 1/6th of the world population, do they not?

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Alien

If they want Hi-res pictures ....

Why don't they just point the Hubble telescope at the moon and take pictures? Surely if it can see distant galaxies, it can pick out lunar modules, B-52's and Red buses?? Perhaps it will even find the first-strike complex built by the evil Plutonian dog-bats coming to eradicate all the scientists that voted to demote Pluto from planet status.

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Well, that's me convinced

All these years I've defended NASA and now I've seen the light.

The buggers have outsourced yet another job to China: I reckon they're getting the Chinese to knock up a cheapo Lunar Lander remnant and deposit it on the moon to make iit look like NASA have been already.

Once the Chinese have planted the fake lander, history will have been written.

Obvious, innit?

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