The lunar gravity is 0.166 times that of planet Earth (it actually fluctuates significantly) and...
I may be old but I don't forget much, especially what the subject of a post is when its' right in front of me like,"Is the western media
"playing" with China?". You may wish to consider not forgetting to think and read before you embarrass yourself with exuberant ignorance.
Not that it is what my post was about but, I have been following all known space programs like an eagle in a dive for prey since I saw in person the
launch of Alan Shepard's first American sub orbital "Friendship 7" Mercury flight in May 1961 (it rained in Cocoa Beach that afternoon).
Two tons is monster large for a rover - this thing'll be BIG with or without its' descent stage - The US lunar buggies were only 200 Kg (441 Lbs) on
earth - link as proof below - read the payload stuff too - I dislike explaining things more than once. That's approx. 4 times more massive than the
Apollo buggy. When I say "think US lunar rover" I mean it - think about it, find out about it - it's 441 lbs. Noise, you said,"a rover the size of
a dune buggy ", I said,"think US lunar rover". - the chinese rover will be a ton or more. Big. Have you ever actually watched the US lunar rover
footage sequences? Definitely VERY unstable - on all 3 missions with rovers; Apollo 14, 15 and 16.
Now about the dead "weight" - let's say that the "Chang'e-l" mission rover is only 1 ton OK - that's still over twice the mass of the US rovers
[it'll be significantly more massive probably 1.25 - 1.5 tons (Earth weight) but humour me on this point for the sake of simplicity]. Using the US
rover "rock" payload figures (listed in the above Apollo document) of 490Kg (1080lbs) or 2.45 times greater than the the mass of the US rover
unladen - on Earth we can conservatively estimate the mass of the Chinese rover as 1 ton plus 2.45 tons payload totalling 3+ tons. Remember mass
equals weight only on earth or when accelerating at 9.8 meters per second per second (an Earth gravitational constant). This thing is heavy and has a
high centre of gravity.
OK let's assume using even using obsolete 1970's US rover level technology that the 1 ton "Chang'e-l" mission rover could potentially carry 2.45
tons - perhaps more (no humans on board as in the US rover) on Earth... and using current 21st century Chinese tech the dead-mass payload could be
even higher and the vehicle mass lighter. Fully loaded with return payload this thing is gonna handle like a limo on stilts or a monster truck on
skinny tall tires - very tippy.
That's a top heavy load - moon gravity or not, the mass (not the weight) is identical to that of Earth and the only factor that matters - look it up
or any elementary school age child will confirm this. Moving and controlling the mass of the rover requires the same energy on Earth as it does on the
moon. Try this link to understand the difference between weight and mass and why in this case that difference matters so much:
Now the Chinese are telling us they're gonna drive around selecting and collecting rocks with robotic attachments for 3 years, driving either
autonomically or tele-operated on delay with HIGH ground clearance [(large diameter wheels so as to NOT get hung up on the belly) and quite likely 2
times to 3 times the wheel diameter of the little US rover's measurement of 81.8CM or 32.2 inches] and a mass-high centre of gravity payload of as
much as 2.45 tons of DEAD MASS and not be at risk of getting stuck or tipping over? Give your head a shake, then go drive a dune buggy or a 4wd with
big diameter skins say 35 inchers with only 2 times its' unladen mass as payload over any rough uneven terrain and you'll see what I'm talking
about. I'd suggest one of the TVA's more challenging trails some are quite beautiful and rugged (I liked the Buzzard's Roost Trail) - and wear a
helmet and seat belt.
Nope it's not just rocks - they want something else - something that no one else has yet and they wish to bring whatever "it" is back to this
planet - and maybe in significant quantity. NASA has 382Kg of moon rocks and they are all unremarkable except for the one "Genesis" rock of the
primordial regolith that Harrison Schmidt found on Apollo 16 - read about it (it is only special because of its' extreme age (4.5 billion years) and
not so much its' anorthosite mineral assay) - try any search engine using "Apollo Genesis Rock". The rocks are so very, very unremarkable as rocks
go that NASA lends the samples out to other countries.
Noise, you said,"Despite what has been said about the moon rocks in the past, there is a lot we can learn from them" - maybe you can - I've
actually read and understood the assay and analysis report sheets from Ames and Los Alamos National Labratory samples back in the early 1980's and
I'm darn sure after 35 or so years of study that NASA has zip-zilch-zero to learn from them. They don't study them any more - all the possible tests
have been done and many, many times over - they are rocks, no more and no less - no magic dust - no unobtainium locked away - just rocks. Wake up
noise and get with the latter portion of the last half of the LAST century at least.
Please read and consider this - bringing back moon rocks is NOT important because we have lots already and have studied them to the point where THEY
STARTED GIVING THEM AWAY IN 1973 - to scientific powerhouse superstar nations like HONDURAS and MALTA. Even a Texas MIDDLE SCHOOL now has one
permanently. All Apollo astronauts and their familial survivors are given them too. Yup, oh yeah - tons of secrets hidden in them there lunar rocks -
that's why we give them away - Shh! its' a matter of national security - see look - it's a piece of basalt just like Earth basalt except this
basalt is hyper-extra-super-special because it's from the moon - NOT IMPORTANT.
You said,"A major problem we have to overcome when establishing a permanent settlement on the moon will be how to get the materials we need from
natural sources." I never offered anything about this but I do not disagree - ANY problem on the moon is potentially a MAJOR life-threatening problem
when considering a manned lunar presence. The Chinese are not sending a manned mission, nor do they plan to.
You also said,"Scientists think we can gleen water and building materials from the soil and rocks there. Same thing for mars.", well scientists
don't just think that - they KNOW that. Then you opine,"So ... bringing back moon rocks is important." Your logic is flawed at best - a
non-sequiturial argument (I'd argue that it follows that you may wish to look the term up).
I won't go into the lack of logic or efficiency in the Chinese mission timetable or the operational logistics profile as announced or the minimum
three Earth launches or the return mission "holes" including Earth orbit rendevous and the required terrestrial hard-ground soft-landing of a
significant mass. I'll do this later on the correct thread.
No, we aren't getting the whole story - just the "hole" story.
Next time please try and use facts; think a bit - do some research before you make me do it for you - I won't anymore. Please don't assume that
everyone in this online community is stump stupid - it's so, well, American. I do love healthy debate - with folks using their critical thinking
skills - not negativism and demeaning lazy slothfullness that is so prevalent in folks on many sites. Particlarly when replying, try and respond to
what the post is about.
If you have any constructive positive views I'd be only too happy to listen to what you think - try to do it on the actual Chinese Moon Mission
thread though (the moderators have it tough enough on ATS as it is).
I do really want to know what the Chinese are after. Helium 3 (which is thought to occur in relative abundance on the moon is deposited on the surface
by solar winds and solar coronal mass ejections but is exceedingly rare and prized for physics application in fusion power research on Earth) or
pehaps artifacts - evidence of something for some purpose or goal not yet disclosed?
You close by saying,"Is it sooo far out that China actually wants to accomplish a scientific mission to the moon?" - Uh, is there any other kind of
mission to the moon other than SCIENTIFIC? Maybe MAGICAL? How about RELIGIOUS? LOL.
Now on to what I was actually posting about - to show how "out of wack" western media outlets like Reuters and CNN are, that is, reporting 9 month
old Chinese stuff as current "news"... Read my post and the title - and read it again if you need to - the moon stuff is just incidental to the
discovery of the story - Absolutely no comment from you on what the post was actually about I noticed.
I asked,"Why was this chosen to be released via this channel at this time? Hmmm. This is old news - either they're incompetent journalists or...
they wanted it in the news at this time to fulfill another purpose. You decide." - If you may have any views on this subject that you'd wish to
share I'd like to hear them.
Listen, Knoxville is a nice place to live - I used to fly our little Cessna 150 and later our DeHaviland Twin Otter into the island airport before
your country became a police state - TVA was and still is one of my software clients. I'm sure it's still beautiful - I just don't go there by
choice anymore - no American's ever gonna fingerprint me or Iris scan me or DNA profile me; I wouldn't even let a Canadian fingerprint me unless I
committed a crime.
If you are truly interested there is another ATS thread about the Chinese Moon Mission - mostly just cheerleader type stuff congratulating the Chinese
(9 months late) and whining about perceived NASA shortcomings but no real info or meaningful discussion so far. I remain hopeful of quality
Anyway thanx tho' and watch for news of the 2nd manned Shenzhou orbital launch in October - apparently the launch and some of the spacewalk will be
televised in the West on tape delay according to CCTV.
[edit on 20-8-2005 by highgroundsys0p]