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China launches probe to explore dark side of Moon

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by mr_shadow, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    China on Saturday launched a first probe ever to explore the dark side of the Moon, marking another milestone in its ambitious space program, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

    The probe, the Chang’e-4, is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon, according to Xinhua. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the Moon, but none has landed on it.

    The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth.

    Advancing China’s space program has been a priority of its leaders, with President Xi Jinping calling for China to establish itself as a space power.

    At 2:23 am (1823 GMT Friday), a Long March-3B rocket, carrying the probe including a lander and a rover, blasted off from the satellite launch center Xichang in southwest China, Xinhua said.

    The tasks of the Chang’e-4 probe include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon, Xinhua quoted the China National Space Administration as saying.

    China aims to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

    However, while China has insisted its ambitions are purely peaceful, the U.S. Defense Department has accused it of pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations from using space-based assets during a crisis.

     
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  2. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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  3. Darkmatter Lion's Sin of Pride

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    Guess it's time to solve the mysterious dark side of the moon. :hm
     
  4. blakstealth Moderator

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    Transformers Dark of the Moon already showed us what's there
     
  5. kluang The Cavalry's Here

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  6. Canute87 Nuke Imminent

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    when it comes to china's ambitions one could say there's more than meets the eyes.
     
  7. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    A lot of people prolly know, but the chorus of this song is of course a paraphrase of The Art of War.

    其疾如风 Be swift as the wind
    其徐如林 Be majestic as the forest
    侵掠如火 Fierce as a fire
    不动如山 When still, like the mountain
    难知如阴 Mysterious as the night
    动如雷震 When moving, like a clap of thunder

    There's no "dark side of the moon" because Sun Zi was probably not aware that the Moon was a three-dimensional object that had "sides". I think for the English song they changed it "night" because they needed four syllables to fill out the meter.

    Edit:

    Unfortunately the people who did the Mandarin and Cantonese translations of the song, which was clearly originally written in English, don't seem to have caught the reference. Neither version is close enough to Sun Zi for the average moviegoer to notice, I think.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  8. Nemesis The Sith Lord Moderator

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    There is only one Dark Side of the Moon and this is it.



    Although this is what the far side actually looks like

    Spoiler:
    its model legislation


    But in all seriousness any landing and exploration in space is to be something that needs to be followed and watched due to what can be discovered. I hope they find some discoveries with the Rover once is lands in January.
     
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  9. Overwatch [Yogurt intensifies]

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    Give my regards to Richard Wright.
     
  10. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    It's unfortunate to use "dark" in any technical term because people's minds often run away with it.

    E.g.

    * "The Dark Ages" originally referred to the fact that there were very few books written in Latin during this time, which means it was very hard for Western European scholars (who were used to working mainly in this language) to piece together what the hell was going on during this period of history.

    * "Dark matter" is matter that we know has to be out there in space somewhere but which for whatever reason is not detectible by conventional telescopes or other instruments.

    * "The Dark Side of the Moon" is the side of the Moon not visible from Earth.

    In all three examples "dark" is just meant to signify "unknown", but then Lovecraft fans go thinking that anything prefixed with Dark- must be associated with ancient cosmic evils that are fhtagn-ing under your bed or wherever else you can't see them.
     
  11. Darkmatter Lion's Sin of Pride

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    You mean to tell me that I cannot be detected?! :uwah
     
  12. Jim Normal Person

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    Such a dark story
    Jk
     
  13. Hozukimaru &#32

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    This is great. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US (NASA) is the only country that has demonstrated the ability to use rovers in space.

    China challenged that notion in 2013, when it landed it's own rover on the moon.

    Sadly the Chinese rover was ill-prepared for the harsh lunar environment and lost its ability to move after only 114m/374 feet.

    By design this rover (which is in many aspects almost-identical to the 2013 one) should be able to cover multiple km/miles before breaking down. It would be a great deal if China managed to overcome the technical challenges this time.

    It's definitely worth following, if we consider the very interesting landing site situated on the far side of the moon.
     
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