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Chinese lunar rover lands on the moon

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Chinese lunar rover lands on the moon Reply with quote

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Don't look now, but China has landed a rover on the Moon — and not just the boring old side that NASA astronauts tromped around on! They landed on the far side, where the Nazi base is located! Shocked

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China lunar rover successfully touches down on the far side of the moon

By Matt Rivers, Helen Regan and Steven Jiang, CNN

Beijing (CNN) In an historic first, China has successfully landed a rover on the far side of the moon, Chinese state media announced Thursday, a huge milestone for the nation as it attempts to position itself as a leading space power.

China's National Space Administration (CNSA) landed the craft, officially named Chang'e 4, at 10:26 am Beijing time on Thursday, in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the moon's largest and oldest impact crater, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

It made its final descent from an elliptical orbit 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) above the moon's surface, making a "smooth" and "precise" landing, according to the general designer of Chang'e 4, Sun Zezhou, who added the probe pulled off a "bulls-eye."






_ Why Did China Send a Probe to the Far Side of the Moon?


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China moon landing video: 'Jade Rabbit' rover lands on lunar surface


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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only real question is....How did it communicate during the landing from the farside? Radio waves will not go through the body of the Moon and would require a communication satellite, or more, to make contact with Earth.

Still an awesome accomplishment from a nation who is dedicating more money to it's space program than the US and Russia combined.

The Moon will be Red.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord Green wrote:
My only real question is....How did it communicate during the landing from the farside? Radio waves will not go through the body of the Moon and would require a communication satellite, or more, to make contact with Earth.

Good point. In fact, if the rover is below the lunar horizon even slightly, the Chinese ground controllers won't be able to receive signals from it or drive it around by sending signals to it.

But the Chinese were clever.

Watch the first video again, Gord.

At the 2:50 mark it says the Chinese launched a satellite that is now positioned at the Moon's Lagrange point (a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of the Earth and the moon equal the centrifugal force exerted on a object), and this satellite serves as a relay for the signals going to and from the rover.

It's like a point in space where a satellite can orbit right behind a moon or planet without actually orbiting around it! (Weird, eh? Shocked)










This means the Chinese have done something truly remarkable. They've coordinated the efforts of three different sophisticated mechanisms — the rover, the lander, and the relay satellite — to explore an area of the Moon that wouldn't be possible without this collaboration.

Hey, wait a minute! An interesting thought just occurred to me! Why did the Chinese choose to land the rover so close to the Moon's southern pole? Confused

The relay satellite would work just fine as long as the rover wasn't over the lunar horizon in relation to the satellite. Based on the jpeg above, that means the rover could have landed well inside the region known as the Far Side of the Moon.

But placing the rover near the lunar south pole means the Chinese can scout locations for a future lunar colony that would be positioned to receive constant sunlight, because the sun constantly travels around the horizon, never setting and never rising higher.

A large area at the lunar southern pole is in permanent shadow, which means a colony located there would not suffer the harsh temperature changes which the surface of the Moon has to endure everywhere else (except at the lunar northern pole).






However, the lander has to be in an area that is not in permanent shadow, because the spacecraft and the rover need the sunlight to power the solar panels. I think the Chinese might want to study the terrain near the pole and sample the minerals in that area to determine if mining operations conducted by a lunar colony would be productive.

Let's be realistic gentlemen. Does anyone believe the Chinese are spending billions of dollars to send rovers to the Moon for purely scientific reasons?

I think this Chinese lunar rover is scouting the region near the lunar south pole in connection with their plans to establish a lunar colony! Shocked




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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beijing is planning to send another lunar lander, Chang'e-5, later this year to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.

It is among a slew of ambitious Chinese targets, which include:

A reusable launcher by 2021,

A super-powerful rocket capable of delivering payloads heavier than those NASA and private rocket firm SpaceX can handle,

A moon base,

A permanently crewed space station,

and

A Mars rover.

We really have to get our butts in gear! Not since Sputnik have we had such a challenge!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Ah-ha! I just KNEW it!

By the way, it occurred to me that even thought the far side of the Moon is incorrectly called "The Dark Side of the Moon", the southern pole really IS permanently dark because that area is parallel to the rays of the sun, and it's shaded all the way around by a combination of mountains and crater walls.

Therefore, there really IS a "Dark Side of the Moon". It just happens to be at the south pole, not on the far side.

Notice that the photo of the southern pole below is actually a montage of images taken during different times during the 28-day lunar "day". The sunlit parts of the crater's interiors are all on the portions closer to the center of this region.






That means this region never gets direct sunlight, regardless of which direction the sunlight is coming from.

However, if an array of solar panels were arranged in a circle and raised up high enough to be above the lunar features that would otherwise shade them, 50% of the array would receive strong, unfiltered sunlight constantly.

And wouldn't it be wonderful if that entire region in the 12:00-to-3:00 o'clock region (the big dark part) was covered with a thick sheet of ice that had collected there over billions of years from comet impacts which caused the icy fragments to rain down over the lunar surface.

The fragments would melt if they landed in areas that received direct sunlight, but the fragments that landed in that permanently shade area would remain there, and the area would accumulate more as other comets struck the area.

Wikipedia has an article about this which includes an image that illustrates the evidence already collected, showing water ice at the south pole.






The article says this.
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In November 2009, NASA re-confirmed water on moon with its LCROSS space probe which detected a significant amount of hydroxyl group in the material thrown up from a south polar crater by an impactor; this may be attributed to water-bearing materials – what appears to be "near pure crystalline water-ice".

In March 2010, it was reported that the Mini-SAR on board Chandrayaan-1 had discovered more than 40 permanently darkened craters near the Moon's north pole that are hypothesized to contain an estimated 600 million metric tonnes (1.3 trillion pounds) of water-ice.

Further analysis by Chandrayaan-1 published in 2018 revealed evidence of water ice patches near the surface of both poles, acting as cold traps for any water on the moon.

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Sounds promising, eh? Let's hope the Chinese aren't there chillin' their baijiu (also known as shaojiu) before we finally arrive! Shocked



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