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 Chinese Plan a Moon Base
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  06:36:33  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
http://www.guardian.co.uk/spacedocumentary/story/0,2763,719147,00.html

I find this quite exciting! Might this be what our seemingly floundering space program needs? I nice shot of competition. After all, we can't allow someone else to beat us to a moon base!

------------

Truth above pride and ego; truth above all

Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  07:52:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
This plan appears to be a bit to ambitious considering China's current track record of spacemissions. They want to go from close to nothing were they are now to manned space flight and a manned moonlanding within such a short time to eventually outperform even Nasa?

And the worst thing is that currently there is almost no money to be made commercially from space.

I think that it mostly will be big talk with a few military sattelites launched and then budget cuts and nothing. But there is still hope.

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  07:59:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I too, find this exciting, very! And long past due. Let's get a REAL space race going, hammer and tongs. Then, maybe we can take our minds off killing each other for a while.

But, with the world situation being what it is, I wonder if we won't be playing some catch-up with the 'heathen Chinee'.

Whaddya think?

f, the Heathen Mongrel



"He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."

- Albert Einstein
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Mespo_man
Skeptic Friend

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  08:51:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mespo_man a Private Message
quote:
But, with the world situation being what it is, I wonder if we won't be playing some catch-up with the 'heathen Chinee'.[filthy]


Well, of course we'll have to play catch-up. But if we follow them to the Moon, good ol' Yankee Capitalism will prevail. Check this out...

http://www.shopmystate.com/markpis/

Some problems remain to be worked out. The traffic volume may be a bit irregular, for one. Another problem is how do you make "pressed duck" in one-sixth Earth gravity. If NASA isn't up to the task, perhaps private enterprise can fill in the blanks.


(:raig
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Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  09:10:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
quote:

Well, of course we'll have to play catch-up. But if we follow them to the Moon, good ol' Yankee Capitalism will prevail.



The problem is that at the moment it does not look like there is any money to be made by going to the moon. Capitalism only works where there is a profit to be made.

The current Chinese moon-base vision is entierly an prestige project. Not for profit.

The current space tourism is not actually making any money. The tourist we send into space today actually cost the tax-payers more money then they themselves pay.

The technology for setting up a moonbase is mostly there, if there was money to be made building one, somebody would have started building one by now.

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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  12:09:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
I'm hoping that a main goal of the Space Launch Initiative we have undergone here at NASA will be met:

Reduce the cost per pound to send something into space by a factor of 10 within 10 years (or maybe it was 5...hey, I'm just a lowly computer tech! ).

If this goal is achieved it will open the door to making things like a moon base a reality very soon.

------------

Truth above pride and ego; truth above all
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Piltdown
Skeptic Friend

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2002 :  13:55:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Piltdown an AOL message  Send Piltdown a Yahoo! Message Send Piltdown a Private Message
This is an excellent news, a new beginning to the Space Age if the Chinese come anywhere close to pulling it off. It would be the Sputnik from Hell in terms of western reaction. There would be wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington, space-hater Congress-drones would mumble excuses and vanish into the woodwork. The media would gloat and produce dark commentaries about American decline and failure. NASA would go into crisis mode, clear out the clock-punchers and start listening to visionaries again.

Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.
-Robert Lindner
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jec96
Skeptic Friend

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  02:38:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send jec96 a Private Message
Okay, to play devils advocate...why a moon base, and why should the US be in a space race over it? What benefit is there? What can we hope to gain? in most cases, even the most obscure research yields results that assist mainstream life, so what is the case here? Remember, the funding comes from Joe Six-Pack's pocket, so that is who you have to show the need for such a competition. Sometimes it is forgotten wheregoverment agency funding comes from, and you have to think of where it is going, and is it worth it.

-It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Aristotle
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  04:15:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
Jec, I think it was Carl Sagan that originally made the argument that space exploration actually puts money into the general economy by popularizing and refining new and old technologies, such as personal computers. But, that was a long time ago, and I have a notoriously bad memory. Just ask my wife. Maybe someone else could address this issue?

"The Constitution ..., is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society." P. Robertson
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  06:09:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
Off the top of my head, I can imagine huge benefits just from being able to work in 1/6th of earth's gravity.

Launching other missions to various planets, moons, and asteroids would be much cheaper than launching them from earth.

Manufacturing of any number of things in low gravity could provide tremendous benefits.

Having a telescope placed on the [far ] dark side of the moon should fill any astronomer with glee.

And think of the golf! [And the sex! ]

Of course, these are a far cry from a simple moon base, but a moon base is the first step.

------------

Truth above pride and ego; truth above all

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 05/22/2002 10:04:54
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Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  06:47:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
There might not be much direct profit to be had from having a base on the moon, or colonizing different planets, but that should not stop us, beacuse there might be a tremendous payout later on. As Robert A. Heinlein put it:

The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in.




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Donnie B.
Skeptic Friend

417 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  07:19:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Donnie B. a Private Message
quote:

Having a telescope placed on the dark side of the moon should fill any astronomer with glee.


Not to mention the Bad Astronomer. I can't believe you did that!

The far side of the moon would be great for radio astronomy, but would have no practical benefit for visible-light, IR, or UV work. 14 days of sunlight tends to put a damper on astronomical observation.

There might be some craters at the poles that remain in permamnent darkness, and would provide views of most of one half of the cosmos 24/7. But the cost of construction and maintenance would be, er, astronomical. Not to mention the difficulty of building machines to work in airless, extremely cold environments. You could save some change on the mount, though.


-- Donnie B.

Brian: "No, no! You have to think for yourselves!" Crowd: "Yes! We have to think for ourselves!"
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Mespo_man
Skeptic Friend

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  07:53:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mespo_man a Private Message
We'll never recapture the giddy wowzer days of the Apollo missions. Today, you have to contend with the "been there, done that" attitude along with a tepid endorsement of the ISS, NASA budget crunches and layoffs and a whole plethora of projects and priorities vying for limited goverment dollars.

The "go it alone" days are also gone. Capital intensive space projects will be cobbled together by a consortium of nations or they won't happen at all.

The Chinese will probably get to the moon but, I suspect the reaction of many nations will simply be...

"Have a nice trip. Don't forget to email"

And the U.S. will say. "Welcome to space. Here's what we think your contribution to the ISS should be."

On another note, there may be a great marketing coup for the Chinese if they advertise civilian rides around the Moon and back. NASA still doesn't get it. They think space is only for scientists.

(:raig
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  09:56:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
quote:

quote:

Having a telescope placed on the dark side of the moon should fill any astronomer with glee.


Not to mention the Bad Astronomer. I can't believe you did that!




Um, yes, of course I meant radio telescope!

(Making foolish statements every once in a while is good for my character! (I hope))

------------

Truth above pride and ego; truth above all
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Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  10:01:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
Maybe someone should start a rumor that we've discovered a solid gold asteroid floating around the Asteroid Belt.

See ya, Space Cowboy!

------------

Truth above pride and ego; truth above all
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Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2002 :  10:41:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
Hey, something just occured to me:

I really do hope that someone told the Chinese, that the moonlanding was a hoax!


I mean if nobody told them that it can't possible work they, might actually try to do it. Plus, the Chinese can save a lot of money if they buy or rent the old NASA sets for their venture.

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