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The first pictures of the Moon will be relayed in late November. The mission is scheduled to continue for a year.
The "Orbiting (Chang’e-1)" phase of the program has four major goals:
1. Drawing "pictures" of the Moon and obtaining three-dimensional images of the lunar surface. Dividing the basic landforms and structures of the lunar surface and initially making outline graphs of lunar geology and structures, so as to provide a reference and basis for later soft landings. The orbit of Chang'e 1 around the Moon will provide complete coverage, including areas near the north and south poles not covered by previous missions.
2. Probing useful elements on the Moon surface and analyzing the elements and materials, primarily making maps of the distribution of various elements on the Moon's surface. China hopes to expand the number of the useful elements to 14 (potassium (K), thorium (Th), uranium (U), oxygen (O), silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), tellurium (Te), titanium (Ti), sodium (Na), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), and lanthanum (La)), compared with the 10 elements (K, U, Th, Fe (iron), Ti, O, Si, Al, Mg, and Ca) previously probed by the NASA's Lunar Prospector, and will conduct an overall prospect evaluation on some useful resources on the Moon's surface.
3. Probing the features of lunar soil and evaluating its depth, as well as the amount of helium-3 (³He) resources.
4. Probing the space environment between 40,000 km and 400,000 km from the Earth, recording data on the primitive solar wind and studying the impact of solar activity on the Earth and the Moon.
Originally posted by Zemouk
... China has sent the Chang'e 1 Satellite out which will have a lot better image technology on it, they plan to get a full picture of the moons surface over the next year (much like Google Earth?)....
Threatening US in various ways.. care to elaborate, how ? Is China not allowed to defend herself ? Why is the United States of America, claiming military dominance in China's door step, and says that China is a threat and destablising her own region. Even flying Spy planes off the 12 mile line (They still does it today), and saying it is a peaceful transit thru their EEZ. All US allies in the region, have better and more sophisticated arms, AC and ships, and has a higher defense budget for decades than China... and military bases ? Only in this couple of years did China increased her Budget to upgrade and replace vastly out-dated equipment and vehicles. Financing insurgency in XinJiang and seperatist in Tibet.
Originally posted by NGC2736
Right now, politically, China is mildly threatening the US in various ways. It's in their best interest to make America look bad or less than competent. I think if they found anything at all that could make it look like NASA did a cover up, they would trumpet it long and loud.
And because of this, we have a window of opportunity to gain useful information, if it's there.
While I agree that US and China economy is interwined, but in a business point of view. Why would China hold on to the huge and ever increasing amt of depreciating fiat dollar in their reserve? Many countries are doing/thinking of doing the same thing ? I would too. Euro is the in-thing these days.
Originally posted by NGC2736
reply to post by mobydog
Without getting too far off topic, I meant that China is Talking of dropping a lot of US dollars, which is threatening economically to the US. But really, China and the US need each other too much for one to harm the other too bad, IMO.
But, giving the US a black eye by releasing something that NASA either missed or covered up, would be a big point for China. And we would really be the winners here.
[edit on 13-11-2007 by NGC2736]
One of Chang'e 1 mission is to map the moon surface.. I'll be surprise if they couldn't pick out past human activities on a patch of moon's real estate, not just the flag, rover or lander... resolution not withstanding.