Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chinese land Rabbit on the Moon

Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; (
Luna moonrise as seen from Gaia when Helios is not washing out the sky (akasha)
The Chinese succeeded! Buddhists are back in space -- at least in the form of the Jade Rabbit lunar lander -- to say nothing of the large population already said to reside there (but that's a secret).

Beijing puts Jade Rabbit on the Moon
(CSMonitor, Dec.14, 2013)
Moon (China Stringer Network/CSMonitor)
China joined elite company today with the controlled landing of its "Jade Rabbit" rover on the moon. China follows the US and Soviet Union as the third country with a controlled -- or "soft" -- landing on the moon. This is Jade Rabbit to ground control: A picture from the Chinese lander shortly before it safely touched down on the moon today.
How much do you know about China? Take our quiz.(Beijing) China became only the third nation to soft-land a spacecraft on the moon, as Chang’e 3 -- the first visitor from Earth for over 35 years -- touched down safely on a flat plain facing the Earth today.
A lunar rover, nicknamed “Jade Rabbit,” is due to start exploring the lunar surface by Sunday, burnishing China’s credentials as a space power and bringing it a step closer to putting a person on the moon. “This is a very significant step for their space program,” says Gregory Kulacki, who studies China’s efforts in space for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It’s a prospecting mission, their first real chance to test whether there are mineral resources on the moon.” 
Much of the equipment on the rover, including a radar device that can “see” 300 feet beneath the moon’s surface, is designed to analyze rocks and identify minerals and other potentially useful elements. The prospect of mining the moon still inspires Chinese scientists as it once did American space enthusiasts, though some observers say the scientists are simply seeking justifications for their large budgets.

The 1979 United Nations Moon Agreement bans national ownership of lunar resources, but neither China nor the United States has signed it. The US and the former Soviet Union are the only other two nations to complete successful soft lunar landings; the last was the Soviet Union in 1976. “Jade Rabbit” is named for a pet belonging to Chang’e, the goddess of the moon in Chinese legend. It is expected to transmit information back to earth for several months...

Space race
NASA selects SpaceX spare launch pad
That has not escaped the notice of regional rival space power India. New Delhi’s own plans for a moon rover have run into trouble and are unlikely to bear fruit for several years, according to the government. Instead, Indian scientists have raced to put together a cut-price Mars mission in just 15 months. The Indian Mars probe, dubbed “Mangalyaan,” successfully left earth orbit two weeks ago, in a critical maneuver that put it on course to reach the Red Planet next September.

China’s own Mars probe burned up two years ago when the Russian rocket that was carrying it failed.... Struggling to catch up with US, Russian, and European space researchers, “we have made few contributions” to space exploration, says Prof. Jiao Weixin. “As our economy allows, we should do more to expand human knowledge of space.” More
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