Print 20 comment(s) - last by Darkskypoet.. on Nov 12 at 7:10 PM

The Chang'e 1 is orbiting the moon, as expected

China's first lunar orbiter successfully entered the moon's orbit after blasting off from Earth just 12 days ago, Chinese space officials confirmed.  The Chang'e 1 is the first official step of a three-stage exploration campaign which China hopes to further accelerate by launching a moon rover and astronaut to the moon over the next 20 years.

The lunar probe was given directions to slow down by firing its retro-rockets once it was almost 200 km away from the moon, allowing it to be picked up by the moon's gravity.  The probe was moving around 2.3 km per second when it received directions to begin slowing down before entering the moon's gravity field -- slowing it down too early would have made it float away from the moon, and it could have crashed into the moon if it slowed down too late.

Two more braking sessions are planned by engineers over the next two days, if everything goes according to a predetermined schedule.  Another braking will take place tomorrow morning, scheduled to help slow the Chang'e 1 down to 1.8 km per second -- the third brake session will occur on Wednesday, Nov. 7, slowing it down to 1.59 km per second.

"So far, each step in the lunar probe project has been completed almost perfectly," said Sun Laiyan, deputy head for the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The first images Chang'e 1 capture will be sent back to Earth later this month.

With the Chang'e 1 and JAXA SELENE project launching so close to one another, some space enthusiasts are quick to point out a growing space war, but Chinese space officials have been quick to point out that it does not believe an Asian space race is in the works.  Japan and China both have launched a lunar orbiter, while India plans to launch a similar mission sometime next year.

"We are willing to co-operate with the rest of the world to the benefit of humankind, but as to what kind of co-operation, it depends on specific circumstances," Long Jiang, deputy commander of spacecraft systems.

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Blofeld has to be stopped!
By SunAngel on 11/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: Blofeld has to be stopped!
By CRimer76 on 11/5/2007 5:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's cool. I'm stocked up on tin-foil hats, and I bought a time machine just in case.

Got the crystals and everything.

RE: Blofeld has to be stopped!
By aebiv on 11/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: Blofeld has to be stopped!
By lennylim on 11/5/2007 6:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
I assume he's referring to the James Bond archvillan Blofeld?

RE: Blofeld has to be stopped!
By rudy on 11/5/2007 5:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather have one up there then down here.

By dustinfrazier on 11/5/2007 8:32:37 PM , Rating: 3
So, you'd rather have one up there now, then have another one down here as well later? Or did you mean than?

RE: Blofeld has to be stopped!
By cheetah2k on 11/6/2007 11:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
Give this man a gun and a plane ticket

Lets see how far he gets


I need proof!
By oldman42 on 11/5/2007 11:34:38 PM , Rating: 4
I'll wait til the photos arrive before I start believing that they actually succeeded. Even then, I'll still be a little supspicious that they just bought some stock photos from Russia. The Chinese government's word means as much as a six year old's who says his dad can lift a schoolbus.

RE: I need proof!
By wordsworm on 11/6/2007 4:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
Skepticism is healthy. On the moon, if the girl's father happens to be Vasily Alexeyev in his prime, he will be able to lift a small school bus.

I'm curious, are you also a skeptic over the lunar landing, or are you just stating that you don't believe the most important culture to science is capable of attaining the technology required to conquer space?

RE: I need proof!
By Darkskypoet on 11/12/2007 7:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
As the technology has been around to make lunar orbit for over 30 some years, why is it such a stretch that a country willing to dump money at it is able to make orbit?

Agreed with wordsworm, china has a long long history of technological and scientific prowess... Unfortunately for them, their leadership (from emperors to Secretaries General) tend to take breaks from this path, and do stupid things. (burning the largest fleet in the world in the 15th or 16th century for instance)

By Vim on 11/6/2007 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they're just trying to take the attention off of Chinas negative issues. The possible economy burst, bad hosts for the Olympics, toy recalls, etc... O_o

The reason for my crazy assumptions is that, as far as I'm concerned didn't the US win the moon race YEARS ago? Now suddenly countries have enough cash to fund said projects and they think they can stake a claim?

Somebody help my ideas... I feel confoozled.

RE: Maybe
By cheetah2k on 11/6/2007 11:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if you pull the knobs off the control panels in Chinese made lunar modules and eat them, they disolve into the "date rape" drug that the beads on a china made toy just recalled in Australa do?

So now we have to stop our kids from sucking on their toys?

Maybe we should starting exporting Arsenic laced produce to China?

Screw their space program!

I'm more worried about what other potential time bombs are being imported from China, that will affect our beloved next generation....

RE: Maybe
By Darkskypoet on 11/12/2007 7:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well then quite honestly don't buy your kids super cheap f***ing toys, and instead buy local and prop your own country's economy up.

I don't like swearing here, but God damn it, take some personal responsibility. Boycott the American firms outsourcing production, etc. The majority of Chinese products recalled thus far (not all of them) were due to bad design by parent company somewhere other then China.

In reality, it is raw unregulated capitalism that is causing this grief. On top of that consumers too cheap to buy something decent, too apathetic to raise a stink, and to lazy to change their buying habits.


RE: Maybe
By Darkskypoet on 11/12/2007 7:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
At least, by your reckoning, China is only facing a possible economic downturn... (have proof?) Rather then horrendously deficit spending themselves into bankruptcy like other possible current and/or future Hegemons.

Don't forget to...
By grath on 11/5/2007 5:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
"...keep a close eye for the bunny girl."

RE: Don't forget to...
By EndPCNoise on 11/5/2007 5:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
and the search for mooncakes continues...

RE: Don't forget to...
By fk49 on 11/5/2007 6:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
My grandfather does aerospace consulting in Beijing...Gotta love hearing those old Chinese tales about Chang E and her bunny ..and her tree ..and her flower ..etc

Chinese Delivery...
By Fnoob on 11/6/2007 9:42:19 AM , Rating: 2
OK, who ordered the General Tso's?

Wonder if it was still warm.

By Mikronz on 11/6/2007 11:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still a lunar landing skeptic, sorry. =P
And I'm pretty sure the Chinese are skeptic anything American.
So you think they'll take pictures in orbit of the Apollo landing, surely it's not hard to do?
Prove once and for all whether we were all conned by our government's Cold War "In-your-face-Commies" mantra ... or not ... :]

Breaking too late is broken?
By delibes101 on 11/6/2007 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
slowing it down too early would have made it float away from the moon, and it could have crashed into the moon if it slowed down too late

Are you sure that's the right way round? I'm no astrophysicist, but I think if they slow it down to early the satellite won't make a full orbit around the moon, hitting the surface instead. Equally if they slow down too late then it won't enter orbit at all but would continue out past the moon and into the solar system.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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