back to article Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON

In the week that New Horizons snapped its snowman, China took its rover out for a spin on the lunar surface and SpaceX fired up another Falcon 9. Keep rollin', rollin', rollin' China continued stoking the fires of space fanbois desperate for an Apollo-style space race as its rover trundled off the Chang'e 4 lander and on to …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    Test Article

    Construction is well under way on the first test article of the rocket

    Need more caffeine, my brain parsed that as testicle on first read, which surprised me...

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Test Article

      It's the first crew to actually ride in one of them that need to be working on those to make sure they're steely enough...

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: Test Article

      If there are two and the rocket what will that look like?

  2. Tony Paulazzo

    Did the Chinese find the secret nazi base yet?

    I wish we (as in the Brits), had a space program, rather spunk a billion quid on that than the DUP. I wanna check out Triton (ammonia lakes) far more than I wanna break up with the EU.

    1. karlkarl

      Trust me, if there was major money in Space exploration for England, we would be doing it.

      The as*holes that the British people have no choice but to vote in are still in the mindset that money is the *only* important thing in this world.

      Britain is a little bit pathetic and we need to grow the hell up before we will ever get to do cool space stuff.

      Also, has the rest of the EU done much space travel? Not really so its not like keeping in with them is our best shortcut to spaaace :/

      1. phuzz Silver badge
      2. MajDom

        "Has the EU done much space travel?"

        Hell yes! The EU neatly planted its flag on Titan. That's a moon of SATURN, not the low-hanging fruit that the Earth's moon is. It also has its flag sitting on a comet. Try and hit that softly as a target.

        ESA, unlike the other agencies, is not into propaganda. It's into hard science. Also, you can't beat the European launcher Ariane in reliability.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's a moon of SATURN, not the low-hanging fruit that the Earth's moon is.

          While you're busy with your victory lap, ruminate over the following:

          - The time difference between the majestic Titan landing and that pathetic Moon landing was 35 years, 5 months, 25 days.

          - The time difference between the majestic Titan landing and that worthless Titan fly-by made by Voyager 1 was 24 years, 2 months, 2 days.

          What took so long? Asking for the giants upon whose shoulders you're standing a friend.

          1. MajDom

            The Moon certainly wasn't low-hanging fruit 50 years ago. It is today.

            The Voyager missions were/are awesome. Sad you find them worthless.

            What took what whom so long? Cassini-Huygens, a NASA/ESA collaboration, didn't get launched until 1997.

            And what giants are you talking about? Wernher von Braun? NASA? Are you talking about the US? I am talking about the UK vs ESA.

            Be precise, anonymous coward.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Are these poor times for irony or are there too many Americans in here?

            2. Big John Silver badge

              > "Sad you find them worthless."

              That was clearly sarcasm. Even AC's are capable of it.

            3. werdsmith Silver badge

              The Moon certainly wasn't low-hanging fruit 50 years ago. It is today.

              It seems Space agencies are able to plonk little robots on all sorts of space bodies these days.

              What would be impressive would be to bring it back safely.

              Or even more impressive, send humans and "return them safely back to earth". That remains the single greatest technological achievement to date. 50 years unsurpassed. Still mind blowing, to build a vehicle capable of lifting 100 tonnes to low earth orbit. Then blast out of that orbit to another orbit round the moon. Detach a lander to the surface, humans get out and walk, drive a car that they brought along, play golf, pick up some rocks.

              Then they get back in their little lander, and take off to meet their orbiting vehicle. Transfer to the orbiting vehicle and then blast out of orbit on a trajectory that takes them back to earths orbit. Then re-enter the atmosphere like a meteorite. Do that several times without losing a life on the actual missions.

              Top that. Anybody.

      3. War Puppy

        "Trust me, if there was major money in Space exploration for England, we would be doing it."

        England can go 'brexit' itself. Meanwhile, Scotland, with its satellite know how centred in Glasgow, will sail away - ending the UK - I assume your English arrogance is strong.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          England can go 'brexit' itself. Meanwhile, Scotland, with its satellite know how centred in Glasgow, will sail away - ending the UK - I assume your English arrogance is strong.

          English Germany/Dutch owned Airbus Defense and Space including SSTL makes Scotland's Swedish owned Clyde space look a little bit wee.

          Careful with that arrogance, it's bites back.

    2. Brangdon

      We do build a lot of satellites, and there are moves to launch them ourselves, eg from a site in a desolate part of Scotland.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44841123

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Joke

        "a site in a desolate part of Scotland"

        Aberdeen?

      2. imanidiot Silver badge
        Joke

        You mean there's a NON desolate part of Scotland?

    3. SolidSquid

      Currently we're part of EU wide space programs rather than specifically British ones, but depending what happens with Brexit there's talk about doing our own launches. Most likely we'd build satellites but send them up on SpaceX or something rather than launching ourselves

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Therein lies the problem - the bean counter agreed to this idea on the basis that we "do our own LUNCHES". The only thing launched would the the crusts off the cucumber sandwiches towards the local MP's duck palace on the moat ...

    4. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Pint

      don't spread conspiracy theories

      The only things there are an old London bus and Elvis

      1. Pete4000uk

        Re: don't spread conspiracy theories

        Don't forget the WW2 bomber.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Nah

          The bomber FOUND ON THE MOON disappeared a few months later. Strange that.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: Nah

            Don't forget there are some knitted pink animals called "Clangers" and some rarely seen reptilian drinkers of soup whose name eludes me.

            1. TechDrone
              Happy

              Re: Nah

              You mean the soup dragon and baby soup dragon? Although they lived on a small blue planet rather than the moon.

              <whistles: sod it, the bloody thing’s stuck again>

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Check out THE BRITISH INTERPLANETARY SOCIETY

      https://www.bis-space.com/

      They have been going for decades. The UK has had a lot of important and impressive scientists working on such technology. It was never a technical problem. Rather it was, as it always is, the management that decided no, we will hand this over to the US. Or keep it secret as with HOTOL. The guiding principle seems to be to kill off all British space research and endeavour.

      Dan Dare remains pretty good, though.

      1. gbru2606

        It was all handed over to the US to prevent the tech ever getting into the hand of the Belgians...of course.

  3. Flywheel Silver badge

    I can just imagine the timeline

    2019 - Chinese mission lands on the Dark Side of the Moon - High-fives all round etc

    2020 - China launches 3 more missions to establish small colony for "scientific research"

    2022 - China announces scientific discovery of vast precious metal mineral seams and claims squatters rights to Dark Side of the Moon. International outcry and condemnation follows. China ignores the problem and sets up first Lunar mines.

    2023 - US opens first Lunar McDonalds

    1. rsole

      Re: I can just imagine the timeline

      I am being pedantic, but the dark side of the Moon is whatever side is currently not facing the Sun. The far side is where the Chinese craft has landed.

      1. Graham Cunningham

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        Dark side of the moon is where you find crazy diamonds, if I am not mistaken.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: I can just imagine the timeline

          So what shines on them?

          Or is that only the pink ones?

        2. David Given
          Coat

          Re: I can just imagine the timeline

          Yes, they're next to Lucy's house.

      2. Dr Who

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        There is no dark side of the moon really. As a matter of fact, it's all dark.

        1. MajDom

          Re: I can just imagine the timeline

          "It's all dark"? No, it isn't. The side currently facing the Sun is actually pretty bright. No blue skies, though.

        2. rsole

          Re: I can just imagine the timeline

          Whether it is all dark or not does not change my assertion that it should be referred to as the "far side" at least when referenced from the Earth.

      3. Symon Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        https://www.dictionary.com/browse/dark

        Definition 13. hidden; secret. Cf. Dark ages.

        Also, as a matter of fact, it's all dark!

        https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/the-dirtiest-lunar-mystery-of-all/

      4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        Just out of interest, where does Moonbase Alpha fit into this?

        Also, are the SHADO interceptors based on the far side of the Moon?

        Or to really confuse your TV scifi tropes - what happens to this Chinese rover when the lunar egg hatches?

      5. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        No problem - Fake moon: Could China really light up the night sky

      6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: I can just imagine the timeline

        The dark side of the Moon is currently facing us. As is clear from the above photos, the Chinese have landed on the light side of the Moon - otherwise they wouldn't be able to see anything.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can just imagine the timeline

      Admit it - You just copied that from the latest Peter F. Hamilton book.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why that Chinese image is so bad in 2018?

    A lot of vignetting, little details.... looks only slightly better than a Russian 1970 image. Is that a problem with the Huawei phone, or the Gobi desert set is just too small?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Why that Chinese image is so bad in 2018?

      Why pick on a Huawei phone? I'll bet the camera in your phone is made in China, whatever make it is.

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Why that Chinese image is so bad in 2018?

        Dunno about the camera module, but the phone made in China? Not necessarily.

        http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=8785

        "50% of Samsung Mobile Phones Made in Vietnam","The two factories in China have a maximum capacity of 150 million phones. However, Samsung is looking to cut their production by approximately 40 million in view of the high labor costs in China."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "? I'll bet the camera in your phone is made in China, whatever make it is."

        Who knows? Maybe it's made in Japan....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what would be cool is if they landed by the old Apollo sites that buzz etc walked around on. Would be good to see the stuff left behind all those years

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Joke

      private enterprise

      maybe recover some of it and send it back to Earth to auction off?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: private enterprise

        Wouldn't it be mildly radioactive by now, sitting in direct sunlight with no atmosphere to protect it?

    2. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Chinese rover pootles about.

      I agree that it would be nice to see new photos of where Neil and Buzz landed but, IMO anyway, it would be wrong to take anything away from the site or have somebody else's grubby tracks stomping over the Apollo 11 bootprints. IOW put up a barrier 50m outside the places they wandered round and add a few frikken lasers to emphasize KEEP OUT: THIS MEANS YOU.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Chinese rover pootles about.

        "put up a barrier 50m outside the places they wandered round and add a few frikken lasers"

        And sharks, you've got to have sharks too.

    3. MajDom

      What would be even cooler is if Elon got his Starship ready for flight, flew to the far side of the Moon and had his picture taken by that Chinese rover. Or maybe just take it home and have it auctioned off?

  6. Jay Lenovo
    Paris Hilton

    The search continues

    China goes to the Far Side and still no evidence of where Gary Larson found his material.

  7. Aqua Marina Silver badge

    Beam me up Scotty!

    Musk “Aiming for 4 weeks, which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues”.

    No no no Elon. You quote 16 weeks then deliver in 8, establishing your reputation as miracle worker in spaceship engineering!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Beam me up Scotty!

      He's likely referring to the shutdown of various US government departments, some of which are required for permissions etc.

    2. David Given

      Re: Beam me up Scotty!

      Yeah, but Scotty could cut in the Hofstadter compensators and make things happen on schedule.

      (Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you think, even when you factor in Hofstadter's Law.)

  8. ratfox Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    How does communication work?

    I assume that it's impossible to send radio waves through the moon? Is there a subsidiary in orbit to act as relay?

    1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

      Re: How does communication work?

      Yes

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e_4#Queqiao_relay_satellite

  9. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Why is the far side of the Moon so red?

    The near side has always been shades of grey; and the Apollo 17 crew got all excited when they found any traces of colour at all.

    Now the Chinese have landed on the far side, and all the images are distinctly shaded red.

    Insert Red = Communism jokes here...

  10. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    The other thing worth celbrating...

    The far side of the Moon has been far-too-often been incorrectly referred to as the "dark side" of the Moon. Idiots.

    With this landing, most reporters have recently been very careful to refer to it as the "far side".

    It's suddenly (and thankfully) gone from worse than 50% "dark side" nonsense to nearly 95% "far side" correct.

    That alone makes this a highly successful mission.

    Thank you.

  11. David Glasgow

    Wait a minute!!

    ...where are the flags not waving in the breeze that wouldn't be there??

    I call FAKE!

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    If they were on the Moon, there'd be stars. That's a stage blackout curtain in the background!

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