Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by DarthTom, Aug 28, 2013.
I guess we continue to fall behind
I wouldn't say fall behind yet, but we will if we don't start moving forward again.
So the Chinese will be the first ones to get HD moon images, I guess. At that range streaming is even within the realm of possibility.
I didn't realise China had purchased Land Rover...
We recently landed a rover on Mars. I'm not sure why the Moon is more impressive? In both cases, we're talking about unmanned rovers.
We falling behind more quickly than ever. The Russian Security Council might ban export of the RD-180, which powers the Atlas V that put our Mars rovers up and is supposed to launch the Orion multipurpose crew exploration vehicle.
If they put a Land Rover on the moon I'll be impressed.
Maybe it will provide incentive to the US space program.
It would make one hell of a TV commercial.
I really don't see us falling behind. We've sent several rovers and orbiters to Mars, and we've also sent many orbiters to the Moon recently. Just because we don't have a rover on the Moon doesn't mean we've fallen behind, not by a long shot. In fact, I'd say China still has a long way to go before they catch up.
If we were really that far ahead, we could whip up a moon rover of our own and beat them to the punch. We can't.
Well, the things cost money and time to build. If we had wanted to for some reason, we could have sent the rover we sent to Mars to the Moon instead. We didn't because it would have been a waste and we wanted to send it to Mars.
Let's put it this way. Can China just whip up a Mars rover and beat us to Mars?
Well at the moment the US cannot even put a human being in low earth orbit to the ISS, whereas the Chinese are sending people into orbit and now a rover to the Moon.
By my calculations while they may not be technically ahead of the US in terms of advancements in space they sure are structurally ahead of us currently.
China is doing all kinds of things these days
They are even talking about their own HLLV, the CZ-9
BTW it looks like there will be an RD-180 ban
It looks like the Chinese did their homework on the CZ-9. From what I've seen they're developing a LOX/RP-1 engine similar to an RD-170 in thrust, and probably performance. Using a large tank diameter and RP-1 gives them performance on par with the SLS in a package that's a hundred feet shorter, giving them a lot of room to launch large payloads like their planned space station, or include both a capsule and a lunar module like Apollo. Adding large kerosene fueled side boosters completes the package, with 11 million pounds of thrust instead of Apollo's 7.5 or the SLS's 9, and of course they're going cryogenic on the upper stages.
The Russians aren't slowing down either
Their's look a bit taller, but height doesn't concern them apparently. I think David Christiansen wanted RD-180s under an ET derived SLS/Direct tankage, but filled with hydrocarbons...
I really hate to hear that about the potential RD-180 ban. That is going to kill Dream Chasers ride, the Atlas V, but they do have rights to start production--it will just take time.
We had a chance to test the Soviet Energiya equivalent to SSME, the RD-0120, which was actually trouble free, as compared with RD-170, what with burn throughs, etc.
The RD-0120 used channel wall. I really wish we had been allowed near those, to see them and work with them.
Falling behind? Until China lands a person on the moon, I won't consider them to have caught up with where we were four and a half decades ago. In the mean time, I think it's neat that more countries (and even private companies) are getting into the spaceflight business.
Lots of observers felt that Russia far surpassed the heady days of landing a man on the Moon, with regular, numerous, reliable launches to a near permanent manned space station: Mir back in the 80s. The Moon is great, but simply the idea that we have permanent people in orbit above us at all times these days would have amazed me in the 70s when I was a kid.
The SLS may keep us neck and neck with other countries, but it's the private space industry that is the real driving force these days.
A rover on the moon? Pfft.
Now, if China were going to put a dune buggy on the moon, well ... wait. Didn't we do that like 40 something years ago?
It won't matter, though. If those moon Nazis found our flags they'll be ready. It'll be Chinese instead of the Japanese, but (insert here the WW2 racial stereotype you know you're already thinking).
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