General Question

ragingloli's avatar

Will this prompt a new space race? Or will the western decline continue?

Asked by ragingloli (35011 points ) December 14th, 2013

China lands on the moon, 37 years after the last soft landing by the Soviet Union.
Will this slap into the colonial face wake them up, or will they continue to slumber until they die?

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30 Answers

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kritiper's avatar

If a turd was colonized, would everyone want to go there? It’s too expensive to go to the moon. Let ‘em have it.

ragingloli's avatar

@kritiper
It is not about going to the moon, it is about going to the moon.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.*
*T shirt made in China.

All kidding aside, I do think it is exciting that they’re revisiting!

johnpowell's avatar

This is interesting

Qian Xuesen, a former Caltech rocket scientist who helped establish the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before being deported in 1955 on suspicion of being a Communist and who became known as the father of China’s space and missile programs, has died. He was 98.

ETpro's avatar

We can’t do big things anymore. China, they can do big things. Russia can do big things. Leaving it that way helps prove the failure of communism.

You see, our cons don’t live in a fact based universe, so the facts of what goes on around them have absolutely no impact on their thinking. Only ideology matters. We’ve got an ideology of American exceptionalism. What more could we need?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is there any reason for us to go back to the Moon?

Rarebear's avatar

Moon, meh. We’re on Mars! Take that bitches!

glacial's avatar

I wasn’t aware that the moon was US property. More Terrans have reached the moon – yay!

LuckyGuy's avatar

They’ve been there for a couple of hours now.
Has China claimed the airspace over the Bay of Rainbows yet?

CWOTUS's avatar

LOL @ “airspace”. Don’t you mean the spacespace?

stanleybmanly's avatar

It would appear that our days of big things are behind us. You see, big things require BIG GOVERNMENT. Ours was supported by a thriving healthy middle class. That’s also behind us. In order that the rich here get richer, the money formerly in the hands of our middle class has been transferred to China where it’s now been utilized to go to the moon. I suppose we should be happy for them. And perhaps it’s a good thing, as I watch all of my friends with degrees in the arts depart to tutor the children of Chinese millionaires.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Call me when they put PEOPLE there.

johnpowell's avatar

I would think building a robot that can cruise around and do tests while being controlled from earth is a hell of a lot harder than getting a man there.

And like ragingloli said. Getting to the moon isn’t a huge deal. That they have and seem interested on going further is the big deal.

Imagine what we could have done with NASA if we didn’t spend Trillions on Ships and planes and bombs.

But the job is pretty much done here. 10% have 90% of the money. I would make a joke about Rome if it wasn’t so very sad.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@johnpowell. It is much more difficult to place men on the moon and get them home safely. A remotely piloted robot is monkey simple by comparison. Let’s see if it returns to earth. Manned space flight requires a much greater level of sophistication and cost. I estimate the cost to be on the order of 10 times. Maybe rocketguy can chime in with additional info.
By the way China is well on it’s way to concentrating the nation’s wealth into the hands of the top 1%.

johnpowell's avatar

@LuckyGuy : I don’t think putting a human there is that difficult. The blueprint has petty much been laid out. It wasn’t that technical compared to everything else needed in such a mission. I’m sure they could have put a man down and brought them back if they wanted. It is just that we now know there is no reason to do it unless you like playing in sand in the dark.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@johnpowell Manned spaceflight is by its nature more difficult and expensive than sending robots up. For one thing robots don’t require systems for life support, waste disposal, etc. For another thing robots don’t have to be returned to the Earth.

CWOTUS's avatar

False dichotomy.

Just because the West chooses not to aggressively compete with China in additional lunar exploration ‘right now’ does not signal that ‘we give up; go ahead and bury us now’. Do you suppose that their citizens take the perspective that ‘since we can’t launch a Martian rover, we will always be secondary to the Americans’? Because Chinese citizens by and large feel the same about their government as many of us feel about ours: it’s too big, too expensive, too corrupt, doing the wrong things and wasting incredible amounts of human capital and talent.

This place definitely needs new blood.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@johnpowell You wrote:“I don’t think putting a human there is that difficult”. You severely underestimate how difficult it is. That difficulty, and cost, is why it has not been done in 37 years. No other country has managed to bring Moon rocks home – and made them available for the world to study. I can assure you if the “blueprint is laid out ” others would have done it. Especially the Chinese. Walk into WalMart and see all the products they copied from the blueprint.
They were recently caught trying to steal genetically modified seeds. They wanted the blueprint.
A manned return mission is extremely technical. The job would be much easier today with electronics almost a million times faster, weighing 1/1000, and drawing 1/100 of the power of the Apollo controls. But every part, every piece of metal, every kg of water, oxygen, every wire, every part of the pressure vessel is more complicated than it looks.
Bringing something home is not just 2x the effort and requirement of getting there. It makes the mission 10x more complicated! If it was easy SpaceX would have been there already selling moon rocks for $10,000 per gram.
The rover driving on the the moon is piddling along. Please watch this video for 3 minutes. Driving on the Moon The car with instruments moved at 10km/hr. Just imagine how wonderful it would be if they had a US designed (Chinese stolen and copied) iPhone for the brains. Awesome.
Finally, the moon is 200,000 miles away. Heck even I can hit and bounce radio signals off it. The US has rovers on Mars! 30,000,000 miles away 100 times the distance!!!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@johnpowell Come on, you play KSP, you should know how much easier it is to just send a probe somewhere and not have to worry about recovering the damn kerbal :P

ETpro's avatar

@CWOTUS We can’t do big things is not just about moon exploration. It’s about our rabid right’s race to deconstruct government and end all investment in out future so a few billionaires can have a whole lot more right now.

ragingloli's avatar

@uberbatman
who says you need to retrieve the kerbal?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ragingloli I generally don’t. That however tends to be frowned upon IRL.

mattbrowne's avatar

Western decline is a common misconception. Western progress continues with some non-Western countries catching up quickly. NASA and ESA should cooperate more intensely in my opinion. We should send rovers to the Jovian moons like the ones on Mars.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I would love to see a rover on Europa, Titan or elsewhere. So much has yet to be touched by us. @ETpro You know that it’s not just the right who are de-constructing our infrastructure. It’s always those darn republicans ruining everything. If only they would go away so the democrats can fix everything and make the world perfect.

kritiper's avatar

US astronauts were first to put golf balls and cars up there. How can the Chinese top that??

El_Cadejo's avatar

@kritiper PING PONG! duh :P

ragingloli's avatar

@uberbatman
Now that is just razy lacism.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ragingloli fair enough, just watched gravity a couple days ago and the Chinese space station had a ping pong paddle and ball floating around. I definitely think it would however be great fun to play ping pong in zero g.

Mamamia55's avatar

Our country just isn’t at the top for technology and smarts. It’s way to expensive to but the effort.
I’m sure they will have so something in the future to get us there more often.

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