Print 22 comment(s) - last by chick0n.. on Sep 10 at 12:00 AM

Artist rendering of Chang'e I orbiting the moon  (Source: Xinhua)
The search for moon cheese is on!

The Chinese space program has a number of neat scientific space experiments planned for the future, but one of them really grabbed my attention.

The country wants to measure every square inch of land on the moon's surface, said a Chinese space official.  One goal of the project will be to be able to learn how much helium-3 -- a non-radioactive isotope crucial for nuclear fusion research -- is located in the moon's soil.

It was reported earlier in the year that China's first lunar orbiter, the Chang'e I, will hopefully launch sometime in the later part of 2007.  The Chang'e I will be responsible for taking the majority of pictures that Chinese scientists will use to put together the map.

China previously announced its three tiers of space exploration: first satellite and manned spacecraft launches, then the ambitious moon probe project.  The country has successfully put three taikonauts into space, with more launches planned for the future.

Speaking of the expanding China space program, a senior official said the the country is not competing with other space nations.  The Chinese lunar program will continue at its own pace -- no matter what other space nations are doing, according to Hao Xifan, Lunar Exploration Center of Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Strong progress of the Chinese space program likely means more concerns over a possible space arms race between China, Russia and the United States - the fears reached a new level after China successfully destroyed an old satellite in orbit.

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This is is going to be Awesome
By GrandMareg on 9/7/2007 1:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
Now that we have some competition we may be able to see advancement in technology similar to years ago.

Who's with me on creating a business in mining the Moon?

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By DigitalFreak on 9/7/2007 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 1
If the Chinese ever colonized the moon, they'd starve. There's no cats on the moon.

By mdogs444 on 9/8/2007 11:59:27 AM , Rating: 1
As much as i personally dislike cats (yes im a dog person), that is a really wrong and distasteful thing to say.

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By chick0n on 9/10/07, Rating: -1
RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By chick0n on 9/10/07, Rating: 0
RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By therealnickdanger on 9/7/2007 2:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm not sure there really is any competition. We went to the moon several times 40 years ago and brought back actual pieces of the moon. I'm pretty sure that we already know vastly more than the Chinese about the Moon's composition.

Moon-mining is great, but you need to have something to support the need and distribution of whatever we mine. First step is to get a moon base, then hopefully make it self-sustaining, then expand, explore, and MINE!!!! :P

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By smitty3268 on 9/7/2007 3:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
Do we actually have any secret information on the moon that wasn't shared decades ago? I doubt it. I also doubt this will start up any competition, as the American people simply don't care about it anymore.

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By LogicallyGenius on 9/7/07, Rating: -1
By SiliconAddict on 9/9/2007 3:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
You sir are a dumbass.

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/7/2007 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 1
Don't know about that, but I'd like chip makers to build CPU fabs in the moon.
The performance of that kind of chips would be "out of this world", for sure.

By S3anister on 9/7/2007 5:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
no. just, no.

By Combatcolin on 9/8/2007 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
The Joke police will be round soon to administer justice.

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By mikeyD95125 on 9/8/2007 3:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
That was bad.

Is this "helium-3" not found on Earth? OR is it just extremely rare?

By lompocus on 9/8/2007 9:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's on Earth, but it's just extremely rare and hard to find.

It's used for cold-fusion I believe, which produces amounts of power equivalent to what our Sun produces.

By lompocus on 9/8/2007 9:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the thing: Russia lacks the economy to do 'anything' on the moon right now, China is making a map no different than Google Earth, but smaller, and Japan and Europe lack sufficient capacity to reach space without NASA or Russia or one of the AMERICAN civilian corporations.

In fact, if there's any other reason to prove the United States will forever be unparalleled in space, its the civilian corporations, of which I think 1 can reach space and another 2 are quite close to reaching space for quick travel across earth....oh, and 0-gee rollercoasters (yay!)

Plus, we have the only planned BASE that will be MANNED and be used as a fuel depo and such for further missions to Mars and others, plus have the only plans for settings up a system of 'stations' from here to mars (you know, such as 1 on the moon, one on L1, L2, L3, etc. I think).

RE: This is is going to be Awesome
By 9nails on 9/8/2007 11:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
Who's with me on creating a business in mining the Moon?

Don't F' with my tides! Leave my moon intact! :)

i do not agree
By omyg0t on 9/7/2007 3:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
the moon belongs to all of us, why divide it?

the real question outa be

what would they do with their slice of it.. ?

RE: i do not agree
By Etsp on 9/7/2007 4:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'd probably have someone make me some cheesecake out of it =P

RE: i do not agree
By Fnoob on 9/7/2007 10:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, watch out for the spacecake.

RE: i do not agree
By jconan on 9/8/2007 3:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
if mines were on the moon there definitely will be lots and lots of holes. wonder who china will send up there to mine anyways they have a lot of people to send up there to turn the moon into cheese with numerous mining holes. just wonder who'll enforce mine safety up since china doesn't have msha department and their safety records are easily refuted.

By mthomas on 9/9/07, Rating: 0
By lompocus on 9/9/2007 3:17:40 PM , Rating: 1
dude, everyone has already known about that for years.

:P. joo fa1l at trying to l00k smRt.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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