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jeanlucriker t1_j1g7ahn wrote

I think for the most part these attempts are all great news. It’s been 43 years since we were last there, 53 since we went for the first time.

A huge difference in technology and understanding from then till now can only help as well as encouraging the general public behind further investment in space travel and such.


GarunixReborn t1_j1g7x6c wrote

And the fact that china is going will hopefully push the US to speed up


Thorhax04 t1_j1h9bqr wrote

It's the only thing that will.


Xaxxon t1_j1nofex wrote

Spacex is already way in the lead and growing that lead.

They don’t need anyone else to push them to go as fast as is seemingly possible.


therealdannyking t1_j1i3g3q wrote

>It’s been 43 years since we were last there, 53 since we went for the first time.

It's been 50 years since we were last there (Apollo 17 in 1972).


cieluvgrau t1_j1i5ye6 wrote

At least put rich in front of people in the title.


rshorning t1_j1hm0se wrote

Every time I see stories like this I shudder to think of what it will take for China to pull this off. China needs to dig in deep to do some basic R&D and start creating new technologies that currently don't even exist in order to be successful with a trip to the Moon. What worked for NASA in the 1960's isn't going to work and besides was so insanely expensive that only the USA could pull that off and even then the USA just barely pulled it off and then subsequently abandoned the technology precisely because it was so expensive.

I also don't see the operational tempo coming from China to be able to pull off off a moonshot. In order to get to the Moon, it will take dozens of flights building up the experience and knowledge it will take to go to the Moon. Going to and from a space station will not be enough. There is a reason why NASA made the Gemini program, which actually did give the NASA astronauts the experience and confidence that they could make a mission to the Moon work not to mention developing the technologies and equipment needed for the trip to the Moon.

I want to publicly encourage China to try. I think it is awesome that anybody might want to do this, but raw hard physics and reality is going to be running this show and not some politically motivated propaganda piece proclaiming the will of Xi and how superior China is over the rest of the world. 2027 or even 2037 would be hugely ambitious for China. I hope they succeed but I wouldn't bet on it in Las Vegas much less anywhere else.


death_or_glory_ t1_j1ipzix wrote

Agreed. If you look into some of the details of what it took to make Apollo work it was some INSANE stuff they did. And all those production methods and know-how are gone with the people who did them.


lennyxiii t1_j1j5wxf wrote

I agree. The production methods they used back then were a lot of practical effects. It’s much easier now to tell when they are just using cgi for the moon landing. Nothing like good old fashioned practical effects imo.


EvilNalu t1_j1jlwwi wrote

I'm really not sure what dozens of flights they would need. They know everything we learned in Gemini and more. They have an operational space station. All the remaining challenges are solved engineering problems that they just need to throw a bit of time, money, and effort at. It'll probably be a bit longer than 2027 but you are talking like they are in their infancy when they have a pretty well developed space program at this point.


rshorning t1_j1jp1rw wrote

No, they don't know everything learned in Gemini and Apollo missions 6 through 10. Yes, some shortcuts can happen from that prior experience but China is still missing so much more too.

Going from orbital spaceflight to the Moon is as bit of a leap technologically as going from suborbital flight to orbital flight. There is a damn good reason why nobody has returned since Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt were last there. It is far harder than just money and theory.

Yes, China's space program is in comparative infancy for such missions. And this is literally going to the ultimate frontier of human existence. The more I learn about what was accomplished on Apollo and how much on a knife's edge they were with all that those Apollo astronauts did amazes me the deeper I go into the details.

Perhaps China doesn't care about the lives of its astronauts. Rushing to the Moon without those earlier test flights will just get people killed and mask other issues that need to be addressed. China also lacks traditions of pushing technology and creating innovation like will be needed on these missions. Simply copying what has already been done will not be sufficient for such a mission to the Moon.


EvilNalu t1_j1k4jrq wrote

I'm not trying to take anything away from Apollo. But there's no reason the Chinese can't basically follow the Apollo playbook while adding improvements from the last 50 years of spaceflight. You keep talking as if they are so far away. They have landed on the moon and returned already. They just need to scale it up to include humans, which involves solved engineering problems. It's not easy or cheap but it's well within their mid term capacities.


rshorning t1_j1k6gp0 wrote

> But there's no reason the Chinese can't basically follow the Apollo playbook while adding improvements from the last 50 years of spaceflight.

Which in turn would require dozens of test flights to get that capability.

> You keep talking as if they are so far away.

NASA is still close to a decade away from being able to duplicate the Apollo 17 mission. And they went to the Moon in 1969. This is not trivial nor easy and even NASA is going to be doing several test flights before actually landing. Why should CNSA be taking even fewer steps and being throwing caution to the wind for what is obviously an incredibly difficult task?

> They have landed on the moon and returned already. They just need to scale it up to include humans

It is not trivial to include crewed spaceflight. You completely miss the technical and engineering problems involved. Nor even really realize what was actually learned from Apollo and some pretty bad mistakes NASA made that could have and should have been fatal except for just plain dumb blind luck. These engineering problems are not wholly solved and really is something akin to creating an epic national monument that will be remembered for millennia to come. Like the Pyramids of Giza.

I am not saying this is impossible, but I am saying that it will take far more than you give credit here and these issues are incredibly daunting simply to return to the Moon by any nation. And China needs to develop this capacity themselves that they simply don't have right now. Copying and pasting engineering plans from another country simply isn't going to cut it here with this particular task.


EvilNalu t1_j1k8y09 wrote

>Which in turn would require dozens of test flights to get that capability.

Of course there will be test fights involved in any program. No reason why it would take dozens. Several, like the Artemis program, is probably what we should expect.

>NASA is still close to a decade away from being able to duplicate the Apollo 17 mission.

NASA is not trying to duplicate Apollo. If they were they would be much closer.

I feel like at this point we are saying fairly similar things. There are engineering challenges that China is likely capable of solving in the medium term. We agree it's not necessarily easy but it also doesn't require any new breakthroughs.


radioli t1_j25gdva wrote

CZ5DY (the currently developing variant of Long March 5 rocket for moon landing) is planned to be launched by 2027. The current public plan is one CZ5DY to send stuff into orbit, then another one to send astronauts.

The Chang'e 5 lunar sample return mission in 2020 went in a similar sequence as an Apollo mission. The coming Chang'e 7 and 8 missions are to build a core base in the lunar south pole, which by 2035 will be developed into a multi-module base to support mid-term manned missions.

All of these have been made public on CCTV news many times for years, not some "secret plans by the Party" as some redditors frequently painted. After all, few of them really reads news in Chinese.

It is true that China has a lot to work to get their lunar mission done, but it is far and far from "infancy" and "propaganda". For the growing nationals in the coming decade, copying Gemini and Apollo program is far from pleasing enough. It has already been a consensus among the Chinese public to set up a long-term base on the moon, do actual research by hand, better mine something valueable and bring them back to earth.

It is not something about "to try with ambitions", but something about "to get the plan done, build a new home and find something new".


rshorning t1_j2diqa2 wrote

A robotic mission is a far cry from sending people to the Moon. It did not follow a similar sequence to an Apollo mission...but rather the Surveyor and Ranger missions. Don't get me wrong, these are impressive technical accomplishments, but there is a whole lot more to get done.

And claiming that China is going to establish a long term base may be a goal, but the technical accomplishments that need to be done is so immense that it boggles my mind to think of what will be needed. Apollo only had people staying on the Moon for three days. Anything longer than about two weeks is genuinely still in the "infancy" stage and you are fooling yourself if you think it is otherwise.

I admire the determination, but isn't it funny that I get so much hate simply by saying China isn't perfect?

I'll also say that CCTV is not really followed because it is propaganda and so biased against anybody but China that it is largely a joke outside of China. I would dare say it isn't credible as a news source other than to see what the official government position of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party happens to be at any time.


radioli t1_j2etrey wrote

What a mis-read. There is NO HATE, just frustration.

  1. In my past comments in this sub, I never said any word like "China (esp. in space industry) is perfect". They are just a fast but decent group of people catching up.
  2. I mentioned CCTV regardless of its propaganda, just to point out that the manned lunar program and moon base plan have been MADE PUBLIC FOR YEARS. And they have been hot topics in the science and tech circle as more details are disclosed. It is not anything "secret" like redditors always brag about. And anyone can find and follow TONS of Chinese sources about what the Chinese did and are going to do, from their gov, industry, academic institutions, space and tech enthusiasts and even social media, and check them out, IF ANYONE READS CHINESE. There is no need to hide or fake such huge space programs now. The more you read, the deeper you know, and the harder it is to fake. It is the lazy, arrogant and lying western media that make everyone blind from what is really happening in other countries. Political lens makes people stupid.
  3. It is true that in the coming decade, for China or other space power, getting human to stay on the moon for half a month is an enormously difficult goal. I didn't expect beyond that. After all, it is planned to be "short-term" or "mid-term" mission at best by 2035, 12 YEARS LATER FROM NOW. As planned their core base in the lunar south pole will come earlier than the manned landing (roughly 2030). It is way more about a series of plans than a cold-war style one-time show-off. Today's Chinese are not Soviet Russians, show-offs cannot please or feed these realistic people. 2030 is not so far away, we will see.
  4. So far China had never lost (or even significantly injured) any astronaut in her space programs. For the public this has become a norm. Space is always highly dangerous, but gov and the space industry has to manage risks, either high up to the space or down to the earth. I don't know where you could get an impression that China or any major space power could (or even need to) risk any astronaut's life just to ram for a cold-war style trophy.

radioli t1_j2fcxwx wrote

You just made a WRONG ANALOGY you probably didn't know.

Surveyor was a series of flyby + orbiting + landing missions.

Ranger was a series of flyby + orbiting + crashing missions.

None of them brought sample back home. The first pile of lunar sample was brought by Apollo 11 astronauts. Chang'e 1, 2, 3 (2007, 2010, 2013) had probably done much more than the Surveyors and Rangers. After all, they are late-comers.

Chang'e 5 was a lunar sample return mission in 2020. It was a combo of 4 modules, a lander, an ascender, an orbiter and a returner. It worked like this:

  1. After reaching the lunar orbit, the lander+ascender seperated from the combo and landed on the surface.
  2. After collection the samples were carried by the ascender, which lifted off from the lander and docked with the orbiter+returner.
  3. The ascender transferred the samples to the returner in orbit and left.
  4. Then the orbiter+returner accelerated and returned.
  5. The returner seperated from the orbiter and landed on earth.
  6. The orbiter passed Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point and then entered the lunar DRO for VLBI tests. It is still working in orbit now.

Step 1-5 was a robotic miniature of the sequence of Apollo 11 mission. It was surely not an equivalent, but enough as an experiment to develop the pattern of crewed missions and further lunar mining projects.

The information above are all in ENGLISH, as accessible as a few clicks on Wikipedia.

As currently disclosed, the 2030 lunar crewed mission won't need some behemoth like Saturn V, but two or more CZ5DY launches to dock a crewed ship, a lander and some boosters together in LEO. Then the combo will bring astronauts to the moon and return like Chang'e 5. There are still 8 years to get this plan done. And this is just part of the moon base project.


alternative5 t1_j1gaeqe wrote

Imagine if we werent at our throats 24/7 on this planet and we cooperated in our efforts to become a space fairing civilization(I know most Western societies do but I was referring to great powers). Fuck it would cool seeing every country contribute to a massive orbital platform larger than the ISS and a massive moonbase designed to launch mission throughout the solar system. SpaceX launches happenings all over the globe to send up resources and people depending on what the optimal launch profile was at the time and a sharing of resources for optimal manufacturing and management of global and extraterrestrial security. I guess competition is good in racing to establish bases on the moon but man would I prefer cooperation.


DagerNexus t1_j1h0w95 wrote

A skyhook/space elevator would probably be more viable since most of the expense is just escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull.


alternative5 t1_j1h11vb wrote

What about a mass driver? Seems like a Mass driver could be optimal if we were a united planet so we could have a launch platform at every optimal position on the planet.


saltywalrusprkl t1_j1h82kc wrote

  1. Mass drivers only really work for light payloads and still need a chemical rocket to get it most of the way because of the atmosphere
  2. There is only one optimal launch point on the earth; the equator.

alternative5 t1_j1h9ive wrote

Wouldnt the orbital hook still require propulsion systems to remain in orbit and yeah a line of Mass Drivers ringing the planet along the equator set up by all global powers was my thinking. This so there is always an optimal launch profile to hit the moon or any established orbit sought.


saltywalrusprkl t1_j1h9ls1 wrote

You’re definitely never getting a direct transfer to the moon using mass drivers. You just need one that can rotate to adjust its inclination, launch payloads into orbit and then perform a TLI burn to get to the moon.


alternative5 t1_j1h9u98 wrote

Yeah, but this would be for efficiency memes. Less fuel to burn in getting to orbit would mean greater payloads. Thats what I thought the benefit of mass drivers would be.


saltywalrusprkl t1_j1hc1o4 wrote

It is, but you don’t need the mass driver at a specific point on the equator to gain launch efficiency bonuses


BlackHunt t1_j1is8hd wrote

I get your point, but if war or infighting never existed it's also very possible humanity would be technologically way less advanced then we currently are.


alternative5 t1_j1iv646 wrote

I see your point, there have been a considerable amount of human advancement born through conflict.


William_mcdungle t1_j1jff0a wrote

I sure hope we start moving away from nationalism if we decide to start expanding throughout the solar system and beyond.

I hope that one day everyone is talking about how "humans destroyed the galaxy" instead of Americans or Chinese.


Klondike2022 t1_j1jly80 wrote

China chooses to go to the moon before this decade is out not because it is easy but because it is hard.


capt-jean-havel t1_j1j282n wrote

We’ve already been there twice with tech from the 60s. Surely they can do it before then


Goodtenks t1_j1jqjsv wrote

I believe this just about as much as I believe anything else the CCP has to say…


Marionboy t1_j1i64ae wrote

Imagine all the hazardous junk and large debris they will recklessly strew across the globe.


Starchild20xx t1_j1gmpkv wrote

They left out the part where it's a one way trip.

You see? That's where you get you.