Chinese People Have Done Something That the Americans Have Not Dared Try

4 Jan, 2019 10:24
source: 香港奇点财经Singularity Financial

January 3, 2019 Beijing local time, China reached a milestone in space exploration, landing a vehicle on the far side of the moon for the first time in history, the country’s space agency announced.


The landing of the probe, called Chang’e-4 after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, is one in a coming series of missions that underscore the country’s ambitions to join — and even lead — the space race.  The Chang’e-4 was launched from Xichang, in southwestern China, early on the morning of Dec. 8 (still midday Dec. 7 in the United States), and it glided into a final, lower orbit around the moon on Sunday, 22 days later.


Although a latecomer by decades to space exploration, China is quickly catching up, experts say, and could challenge the United States for supremacy in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other fields.


“This space mission shows that China has reached the advanced world-class level in deep space exploration,” said Zhu Menghua, a professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology who has worked closely with China’s space administration. “We Chinese people have done something that the Americans have not dared try.”


China now plans to begin fully operating its third space station by 2022, to put astronauts in a lunar base by later in that decade, and to send probes to Mars, including ones that could return samples of the Martian surface back to Earth.


“This is a major achievement technically and symbolically,” said Namrata Goswami, an independent analyst who wrote about space for the Defense Department’s Minerva Research Institute. “China views this landing as just a steppingstone, as it also views its future manned lunar landing, since its long-term goal is to colonize the moon and use it as a vast supply of energy.”

“从技术和象征意义上说,这是一项重大成就,”为国防部密涅瓦研究所(Minerva Research Institute)撰写太空研究报告的独立分析师纳姆拉塔·戈斯瓦米(Namrata Goswami)说。“中国将此次登月视为一个踏脚石,同时也将未来的载人登月视为踏脚石,因为中国的长期目标是月球殖民,并将其作为巨大的能源供应源。”