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  • Chinese moon rover launched successfully

    I have mixed feelings about this. It's a good thing for mankind, not so good for national prestige.

    Chinese moon rover launched successfully

    (CNN) -- China's first lunar rover deployed successfully from the unmanned spacecraft Chang'e-3 that landed on the moon Saturday.

    Jade Rabbit (called Yutu in Chinese) is a six-wheeled lunar rover equipped with at least four cameras and two mechanical legs that can dig up soil samples to a depth of 30 meters.

    The solar-powered rover will patrol the moon's surface, studying the structure of the lunar crust as well as soil and rocks, for at least three months. The robot's name was decided by a public online poll and comes from a Chinese myth about the pet white rabbit of a goddess, Chang'e, who is said to live on the moon.

    Weighing 140 kilograms, the slow-moving rover carries an optical telescope for astronomical observations and a powerful ultraviolet camera that will monitor how solar activity affects the various layers -- troposphere, stratosphere and ionosphere -- that make up the Earth's atmosphere, China's information technology ministry said in a statement.

    The Jade Rabbit is also equipped with radioisotope heater units, allowing it to function during the cold lunar nights when temperatures plunge as low as -180°C (-292°F).
    Ah, well, the moon belongs to all mankind, right?
    But scientists in the United States have expressed concern that the Chang'e-3 mission could skew the results of a NASA study of the moon's dust environment.

    The spacecraft's descent is likely to create a noticeable plume on the moon's surface that could interfere with research already being carried out by NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), Jeff Plescia, chair of NASA's Lunar Exploration Analysis Group told news site Space.com in November.
    Oh, no. Not a plume.
    Enjoy.

  • #2
    Well, the moon is no longer the last place in the universe that is General Tso Chicken free.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, it seems like they're going to share data. I was wondering about that.

      Yutu also sports a belly-mounted ground penetrating radar.

      The rover's radar is believed to have a piercing depth of 100 feet to nearly 330 feet (30 meters to 100 meters). It apparently can operate in two wavelengths, giving it very high resolution at shallow depths to penetrate through the moon's topside called regolith. The other radar wavelengths can probe through the regolith and into the mare basalts.

      Titanium-rich site

      "The landing site for Chang'e 3 is in an area of basalt flows that are rich in Titanium similar to those returned by the Apollo 11 and 17 missions," saidClive Neal, a leading lunar scientist at the University of Notre Dame's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences.

      "These are potentially younger than those returned by Apollo and investigating the compositions of the basalts in this region will add to our knowledge of the evolution of the lunar interior and history of volcanism on the lunar surface," Neal told SPACE.com.

      Neal said that the data returned from the ground penetrating radar system on Yutu could allow scientists to estimate the thickness of the mare fill around the landing site, he said, and at least the depth of the lunar regolith.

      "I am really looking forward to the data returned by this mission," Neal said.

      Lawrence Taylor, director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, is a veteran Apollo lunar scientist. He, too, had high praise for China's Chang'e 3 mission.

      "We Apollo lunatics salute you and your country in this marvelous event in becoming the third soft-landing nation. May your success, as initiated by your glorious 'Jade Rabbit,' be the catalyst to spur on all lunar exploration and be a bond to unite all people," Taylor said.
      Enjoy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
        Well, the moon is no longer the last place in the universe that is General Tso Chicken free.
        And if there were Elephants there they would be poaching the shit out of them for their ivory.
        If it pays, it stays

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