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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 3 2010, 02:23 AM   #1
Alpha_Geek
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US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

How embarrassing for the US. Thanks, Nobama!

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Old February 3 2010, 05:58 AM   #2
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

The Chinese space agency could land its first astronauts on the moon within a decade in a move that would mark the beginning of a new age of lunar exploration, experts said today.
Even if Constellation had gone forward, it's unlikely we would have gotten back to the moon within 10 years.

Maybe if Constellation had been funded to the necessary level from its inception (2004, was it?) that might not have been the case, but it wasn't.
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Old February 3 2010, 04:27 PM   #3
Argus Skyhawk
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

As long as humans get back to the moon, I don't care whether those humans are American or Chinese. I just want us humans to get back there and hopefully set up a permanent base.

I just hope that with several other countries competing to get to the moon, techniques and technologies will be found to make space travel less expensive. If we could eventually bring the costs down to the point where corporations can get into the act and make space exploration profitable, then it will really take off.

Yeah, I know that point might still be centuries away, dangit.
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Old February 3 2010, 04:52 PM   #4
iguana_tonante
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Yeah, those smelly commie chinks. How dare they! The Moon is American!

Seriously, guys, get over yourself.
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Old February 3 2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Alpha_Geek wrote: View Post
How embarrassing for the US. Thanks, Nobama!

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Why is this embarrassing for the US? It's actually embarrassing that China cannot feed its entire population and is poisoning its environment through shoddy mining and manufacturing processes.
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Old February 3 2010, 06:33 PM   #6
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

What I said in the other thread... assuming that the Chinese will even get to that point, a manned moon landing by China is perhaps the only event that would make a manned U.S. mission to Mars actually possible. Just like Apollo only happened because of Sputnik/Vostok.

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Old February 3 2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

I wouldn't want to be going to the moon in a Chinese-made craft.
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Old February 3 2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

More like Chinese made with stolen Western technology.
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Old February 3 2010, 06:49 PM   #9
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Geckothan wrote: View Post
I wouldn't want to be going to the moon in a Chinese-made craft.
Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
More like Chinese made with stolen Western technology.
The Shenzhou was actually derived from the Russian Soyuz, using the most reliable spacecraft design constructed so far.
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Old February 4 2010, 12:13 AM   #10
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

^And from what I have seen, they updated it quite nicely!
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Old February 4 2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Sensationalism aside, the article does make a good point about how much more awesome a landing today would be, media-wise. That's the sort of thing we'd need in order to rejuvenate interest in space, no matter who does it.
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Old February 4 2010, 09:02 AM   #12
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Even if Obama gets 8 full years (yes, I voted for "change", but not this kind), the next prez could do a 180 and restart the program.

It's not like they've sunk that much money into the current program that an 8 year gap would be such a big deal.

And just maybe there are bigger things to deal with right now other than moon landings and those of us who want the future to happen in our lifetimes are out of luck.
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Old February 4 2010, 10:48 AM   #13
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

I can't see how China getting to the moon in 2020 would be embarrassing for the US. America got there in 1969. The space race is over, America won.

Obama's decision to cancel Constellation was a good one. According to an independent review board, Constellation was both over budget and behind schedule. There had been a consistent lack of development of new technology, and the entire endeavour was diverting time and resources from other projects.

As I understand it, Constellation as planned was inadequate for the task of establishing a permanent manned base on the moon. Essentially it was an attempt to recreate the Apollo project. Now there is no denying that great scientific discoveries were made by Apollo. But there is little more that can be learnt by such short visits that cannot be achieved using unmanned probes, at a much lower cost.

By cancelling Constellation, and increasing the NASA budget by $6bn over the next five years, Obama has opened the door to a great number of scientific projects.
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Old February 4 2010, 01:47 PM   #14
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

The Badger wrote: View Post
I can't see how China getting to the moon in 2020 would be embarrassing for the US. America got there in 1969. The space race is over, America won.
It was almost two generations ago though.

I don't see it as the same race. It's either a new race, or it's not a race at all, but the ambitions and skills of the current generation. The ground we stand on may still have the same names, but it's all new people. What can these new people achieve?


When our offspring are grown up, they'll look back and say..

Our great grandparents achieved space flight and walking on the moon.
Our grandparents created the microcomputer, the internet and mobile phones.
What did our parents achieve? A level 80 death knight.


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Last edited by Jadzia; February 4 2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old February 4 2010, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Jadzia wrote: View Post
What did our parents achieve? A level 80 death knight.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
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