Good for them
Up with this kind of thing.
China has let it be known its Chang'e-4 lander will touch down on the dark side of the moon some time in 2018. State-directed organ Xinhua reports that the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has picked the year after next for its landing. Chang'e-4 will land on the dark side and stay …
Hopefully not too similar: the “Jade Rabbit” lander dispatched on Chang'e-3 experienced a mechanical control abnormality and then broke down completely after only a couple of months' operations.
Given that the Jade Rabbit was China's first attempt, I find the tone of the above a bit strange. "broke down completely after only a couple of months" seems to suggest this was somehow a failure.
When you look at how many NASA landers and probes failed to function at all, the fact that Jade Rabbit lasted a couple of months seems to me to be worthy of praise, not condemnation.
玉兔 (Yutu - English translation : Jade Rabbit) did not «br[eak] down completely after a couple of months' operation» While the rover found itself unable to as planned move its solar panels to the insulating position during Lunar nights, thus exposing internal components to the lunar cold, as of the end of October 2015 it was still transmitting and had set the record for the longest operational period of any lunar rover. Is it too much to ask that Mr Sharwood checks the facts of the matter before posting articles to the Reg ?...
That depends on whether you get your "vision" from science fiction, or if you are interested in actual science. Operating rovers on the moon for more than a few days is challenging because of the large temperature variations, and nothing has landed on the far side yet. They will need an orbiter for communications.
Ooh, and do you think Science Fiction is Star Wars and Babylon 5? Good hit!
But, not so much SF as extension of been there, done that. Or did you forget we've shown that people can go to the Moon and camp there for a bit before coming back?
The challenge you speak of is uncontestable, but doesn't detract from the essential boring nature of yet one more luggage trolley in space.
The real challenge that just about anyone on the planet could get behind, either for or against, would be to put people on the far side of the moon.
This Moon Roomba simply oozes Meh.
That's where the Chinese advantage is. Being on the far side of the earth, they can see the far side of the moon.
Consider; we here on the near side of the earth can see the near side of the moon; but we can see neither the far side of the moon, nor the far side of the earth. Obviously the situation is reversed in the case of China.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019