back to article China's loose Chang'e: Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media

China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft has touched down on the Moon, state media reports, making it the first-ever probe to set down on the far side of Earth's natural satellite. The spacecraft, which blasted off into the heavens on December 7, was in an elliptical orbit around the Moon, swinging within 15 kilometres (nine miles) of the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All your dark base are control by us

    Good job China

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

      It's quite an achievement, hoping to see some human boots back there within my lifetime.

      In the meantime I'm looking forward to Wish selling me moon rock jewellery for a quid.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

        Might it not be a good idea to find out what's actually there before planning to colonize that rock? My guess is that what's there is nothing worth spending impressive amounts of money on in order to put humans up there. Robots can do the exploration better and cheaper.

        Probably in future centuries some combination of need and reduced costs will justify humans in space. AFAICS, men on the moon or, worse, Mars, aren't likely going to happen in this century. At least not for more than an incredibly expensive photo-op. For that matter, why are substantial resources being wasted on the more or less pointless ISS? My opinion. Go back to the Skylab concept of a manned lab that is occasionally used when enough meaningful experiments that require direct human overersight are ready to be run. Spend the money instead on unmanned probes like this one, and on exploring the largely unexplored 70% or so of our planet that is permanently under water.

        Congratulations to the Chinese for doing something in space that is actually cost effective.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

          >why are substantial resources being wasted on the more or less pointless ISS?

          Boeing looked like it would be in trouble if defence spending was cut at the end of the cold war.

          Fortunately Boeing had invested heavily in politicians.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: All your dark base are control by us

      Has the probe run its cheese detector yet?

      Wensleydale?

      Stilton?

      It's like no cheese I've ever tasted.

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  4. Cavehomme_
    Alien

    Nanu nanu shazbat!

    I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords and their alien lunar base friends who they’re paying a visit to. Perhaps they’re pleading with them to have Trump abducted?

    1. joeW

      Re: Nanu nanu shazbat!

      Can we not have one comment thread that doesn't devolve into 'merkin political poo-flinging?

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Nanu nanu shazbat!

        Nah. Why spoil a good thing? It's such fun!

      2. VikiAi Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Nanu nanu shazbat!

        No, we can't have nice things.

  5. Herring`

    And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too ...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

      1. Ken Shabby

        I think it's marvelous!

      2. Adrian Midgley 1

        Dark {side||Ages}

        The darkness alluded to is in our minds.

        As with the Dark Ages. The sun rose, but the records fell apart, and we can't see what happened.

        1. aqk
          Childcatcher

          Re: Dark {side||Ages}

          Well, things fall apart, and the centre cannot hold.

          And some rough Chinese beast is slouching on the Moon.....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dark {side||Ages}

          Yep, the whole thing must have been faked because lets face it, how you going to see it from here?

      3. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Well, the sun will shine on the dark side when the side we can see is dark.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Lunar "nature" pics.

    "With luck the Chinese will share their detailed views of the Moon's backside"

    I thought that kind of thing was sent to the bit-bucket by the Great Firewall.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Lunar "nature" pics.

      Oh they'll share, if only because it is a massive "see what we can do" to the world and especially to the USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lunar "nature" pics.

        Landing a probe there is not such a great achievement. It was difficult in the 60s when you had little or no automation (Lunakhods were remotely operated). We put a probe on Titan....

        All Mars probes have to land and operate automatically at its very high speed as it is too far for any kind of remote control. New Horizons has to perform all encounter operations automatically.

        It's a great propaganda tool, though, as China can't go beyond Moon, it's still fifty years behind.

        BTW, what's the Star Trek like logo on the left? Another breach of copyrights and IPs by Chinese?

        1. AndyS

          Re: Lunar "nature" pics.

          Ignoring your dribble about how anyone could do this thing that nobody has done before, here is a good response to your accusation of unoriginality in the CNSA logo. TLDR: the US, Russia, China and Star Trek all have strikingly similar logos.

        2. aqk
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Lunar "nature" pics.

          > ...as China can't go beyond Moon, it's still fifty years behind.

          lol.

          Really? India has sent probes to Mars. And Japan has gone to asteroids. I am sure China could easily land on Mars, but they seem fascinated by Selene.

          While Elon Musk et al mutter about Mars, the Chinese are pragmatic. They know what is quickly attainable.

          Too bad the USA petulantly kept them off the ISS. So? They understandably said "Fuck YOU, USA! We will build our own space station!"

          Expect the next Moonwalker to be Chinese. And the next, i.e. the FIRST permanently-manned moonbase to be (mostly) Chinese.

    2. David Given
      Coat

      Re: Lunar "nature" pics.

      So, what you're saying is, they're mooning us?

  7. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Let's hope Uranus gets explored as deeply

    1. aqk
      Unhappy

      I can't be bother deciphering your ASCII text, but... "URANUS" HA HA HA!

      Really? Up yer anus, 12-year-old.

  8. Wellyboot Silver badge

    CNSA has a nice logo

    I'm sure Roddenberry would approve

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: CNSA has a nice logo

      I'm sure Roddenberry would approve

      We will see. It is a textbook example for a trademark lawyer. I suspect Rodenbery junior phone will be ringing off the hook once USA wakes up with volunteer sharks to take the case.

      1. AndyS

        Re: CNSA has a nice logo

        As I posted above, it's interesting how similar the logos of some of the worlds main space agencies are. Don't get too excited.

      2. Herring`

        Re: CNSA has a nice logo

        The Federation logo from Blake's 7 has a bit of a resemblance to the Starfleet logo. I don't recall any fuss them. But it probably wasn't worth suing a show where the SFX budget was £4.50 per episode.

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: CNSA has a nice logo

          The Federation logo from Blake's 7...

          I loved Blake's 7 and watched it religiously when I was younger. I tried going re-watching it recently... there are some things you just can't go back to. I wanted to at least like it, but could not manage even that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: CNSA has a nice logo

            > watched it religiously

            Whenever I see that phrase I think: 'on your knees with your eyes closed'.

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: CNSA has a nice logo

            @Robert Helpmann: " I tried going re-watching it recently..."

            Yeah, same here, it dawned on me I'd never seen the final episode,.... as in 'seen'. I'd heard it, but the tube on our Telly stopped working, so I listened to the final episode back in the day.

            So before Xmas I sought it out on YouTube.

            Wow,.... the 'special' effects, the 'acting', sad it doesn't suffer the test of time as well as a Gerry Anderson puppet show.

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Next up - send some colonizers to the Moon...

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Just be sure they don't store nuclear waste on the far side of the moon.

      1. aqk
        Thumb Down

        Nah... nothing nuclear. Just all that PLASTIC garbage that the "West" keeps sending to China, and they have finally smartened up, and are resusing any more of it.

        So get used to dumping your plastic crap in the ocean again.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Next up - send some colonizers to the Moon...

      The moon is a harsh mistress you know...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The moon is a harsh mistress you know..."

        It can be a funny place Mike. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  10. I&I

    Reassert our (humanity’s) potential. Partly quenches thirst of this Apollo child.

  11. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "Probe lands on far side"

    That really calls for a Gary Larson cartoon.

  12. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Joke

    I hope that they got some pics of the helium3 tanks on the way down :)

    1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

      ...for novel Chinese fusion cooking

  13. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Free Postage

    I expect that eBay and Amazon sellers will be drop-shipping from there by the end of the year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free Postage

      They would just burn up in the Earth's atmosphere - or create a minor explosion as they landed. Not much different from some of the current courier deliveries.

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    More and more impressive

    The next human on the Moon may well be a Taikonaut... the first on Mars may come from China too.

  15. T-Bo

    Ranger 4

    The US tried in 1962 with the Ranger 4 probe, though boffins lost control of the spacecraft and it slammed into the surface.

    Pretty sure all the Rangers slammed into the moon... ISTR they were sent for rough photo recon, never intended to soft-land ...

  16. Nightkiller

    You already have the Register observing that the EU knows China is stealing IP https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/21/eu_steps_up_china_ip_snaffle_battle/

    Congratulations China for doing this all on your own.

  17. Banksy

    Conspiracy theory........

    Will they be able to use the rover to travel to the US moon landing site on t'other side of the Moon and confirm if there is a flag planted there, lunar rover, footsteps, etc? Or have they used the same place on Earth to film this? ;)

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theory........

      Or have they used the same place on Earth to film this? ;)

      Yes, but they snuck in at night. Hence the new claim.

  18. John Sager

    Spot the 'deliberate' mistake in the video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2609MUWbFg at 1:30. The CGI shows the lander just landed, but the Earth is in the sky! So is the video maker going for 're-education'?

    1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

      Re: Spot the 'deliberate' mistake in the video

      You know this isn't a video of the landing, but a pre-construction of how it is going to happen, right?

      No-one is going for re-education on this one.

      1. John Sager

        Re: Spot the 'deliberate' mistake in the video

        I'm well aware that it's a CGI extravaganza (at least that bit of the video), but you would expect them to get the physics right for a worldwide audience. The Chinese take the concept of 'face' very seriously and this just makes them look cheap. I guess they don't pay the CGI guy as much as the rocket scientists...

    2. Adrian Midgley 1

      Re: Spot the 'deliberate' mistake in the video

      Was this the Chang'e 3 simulation?

    3. aqk
      Trollface

      Re: Spot the 'deliberate' mistake in the video

      Now tell us your 9-11 theory about how steel will not melt at 800 degrees!

      (yawn)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more time to experiment without some idiot bouncing about

    Is the dark side dark or does it spend 50% of the time in blazing sunlight? Best send a probe.

  20. Nifty

    "Congratulations to China's Chang'e 4 team for what appears to be a successful landing on the far side of the moon. This is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment!" NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

    Had this been a USA landing the 'what appears to be' would be omitted.

    Was the bias unconscious or official?

  21. RunawayLoop

    Is that photo at the top of the article supposed to be the dark side of the moon? Because it looks awfully bright there. Perhaps the Chinese managed to bring along a 150 million lumen light to get a good pic or two...

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html?

      The sun is shining-

  22. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Is this the year of the Soup Dragon?

  23. mhenriday
    Pint

    «Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media»

    Why thanks, Ian, for reminding us that it was those notorious Chinese state media who first reported this achievement, and thus it is to be taken cum grano salis until El Reg - or the New York Times - reach the far side of the Moon and can ascertain the facts of the matter ! Otherwise, we might have deluded ourselves into taking those Chinese reports at face value....

    Henri

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: «Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media»

      it is to be taken cum grano salis until El Reg - or the New York Times - reach the far side of the Moon and can ascertain the facts of the matter

      Given the tragic failure to get LOHAN off the ground, I fear it may be quite some time before an El Reg moonshot is a reality :-(

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