Tag: The Moon

China’s Space Program Has ‘Outmatched’ Decades of US Space Research and Investment

Article by Eurasian Times Desk                                    October 4, 2020                                (eurasiantimes.com)

• Although it currently trails the United States and Russia in volume of orbiting satellites, China has been expanding its network of military intelligence satellites. Last year, it conducted 32 successful rocket launches while the US executed 21 successful launches. And China is set to launch the core module for its Tianhe space station next year. According to ‘the Center for Strategic and International Studies’, China will become a major space power by 2030.

• The US House of Representatives ‘China Task Force’ has stated that “If the PRC [People’s Republic of China] succeeds in its efforts to launch its first long-term space station module in 2022, it will have matched the U.S.’ nearly 40-year progression from first human spaceflight to first space station module in less than 20 years.” Meanwhile, the China Manned Space Agency announced last month that the first Tianhe module of China’s first crewed space station has passed a final review, and has selected the crew of eighteen astronauts for its planned 2021 launch.

• A US DoD ‘Pentagon 2020 report’ notes that “Beijing has devoted significant resources to growing all aspects of its space program, from military space applications to civil applications such as profit-generating launches, scientific endeavors, and space exploration.” Beijing’s stated defense policy is to safeguard China’s security interests in outer space, electromagnetic space, and cyberspace.

• The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is vocal about plans to establish a human base on the Moon. The US should be concerned about the technological innovations and leadership role for the CCP that could come from missions crewed by PRC-nationals to the Moon,” the Pentagon 2020 report said.

• Analysts believe that the race between the US and China to militarize space increases the risk of war between the two global powers. “China is not the Soviet Union,” Chinese air force major general Qiao Liang warned. “If the United States thinks it can also drag China into an arms race and takedown China as it did with the Soviets … in the end, probably it would not be China who is down on the ground.” “China has little choice but to enhance its own capabilities,” said Qiao. “China’s purpose to develop space capabilities, firstly, is we do not want to be blackmailed by others.”

• Qiao insists that China hopes to use space peacefully. “But if others want to oppress us by occupying the heights of space and opening up a fourth battlefield, China will certainly not accept it,” said General Qiao. China and the US have seen a military escalation in the South China Sea where Washington has deployed several warships along with the B-52 Bomber. Beijing has mirrored these actions and has threatened to take action against US provocations. But China’s space capabilities may provide a strong counter to the US Space Force, and may reduce the risk of war if tensions escalate any further.

 

          AF General Qiao Liang

In recent developments, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) that works under the wing of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced last month that the first module of China’s space station, the ‘Tianhe’ module, has passed the final review.

Moreover, CMSA has selected 18 new astronauts to participate in the country’s upcoming space station project,

         China’s Chang’e 4 lunar mission

said a SPACENEWS report.

Out of 2,500 candidates, 18 were selected consisting of seven pilots, seven spaceflight engineers, and four payload specialists. It includes only one woman. This is the first time that the selection process was open for civilians.

Earlier in 1998 and 2010, only air force pilots were eligible to participate in the process, said the report.

With both the US and China racing to militarise space, the analysts believe is increasing the risk of war between the two global powers. “China is not the Soviet Union,” said Qiao Liang, a major general in the Chinese air force, in an interview with SCMP.

“If the United States thinks it can also drag China into an arms race and takedown China as it did with the Soviets … in the end, probably it would not be China who is down on the ground.”

Beijing’s stated defense policy is to safeguard China’s security interests in outer space, electromagnetic space, and cyberspace. “Beijing has devoted significant resources to growing all aspects of its space program, from military space applications to civil applications such as profit-generating launches, scientific endeavors, and space exploration,” stated the Pentagon 2020 report.

China who is currently trailing Russia and the US is set to become a space power by 2030. It has been expanding its network of military intelligence satellites. Last year, it conducted 32 successful rocket launches as per the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

This puts China on top for the second year in a row, exceeding the 21 launches in the US in 2019.

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The Moon is ‘Rusting’ Say Stunned Scientists

Article by Chris Ciaccia                                  September 6, 2020                                (foxnews.com)

• A study from the University of Hawaii, published in Science Advances, says that the Moon is rusting. “It’s very puzzling,” said the study’s lead author, Shuai Li. The rust may be a result of water discovered on the Moon, but it’s still shocking, given the lack of oxygen and dearth of water on the lunar satellite.

• Li was looking at data from the JPL Moon Mineralogy Mapper when he realized the instrument detected “spectra – or light reflected off surfaces – that revealed the Moon’s poles had a very different composition than the rest of it. The polar surfaces showed spectra that matched the mineral hematite (aka ‘iron oxide’ or ‘rust’), according to the study’s abstract. (see here)

• According to the study, “Our analyses of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper data show that hematite, a ferric mineral, is present at high latitudes on the Moon… and is more prevalent on the nearside than the farside.” But the hematite is not near any of the water ice that has been discovered on the Moon, adding another layer of complexity to the findings. “It could be that little bits of water and the impact of dust particles are allowing iron in these bodies to rust,” said study co-author, NASA JPL planetary geoscientist Abigail Fraeman.

• “At first, I totally didn’t believe it. It shouldn’t exist based on the conditions present on the Moon,” said Fraeman. “But since we discovered water on the Moon, people have been speculating that there could be a greater variety of minerals than we realize if that water had reacted with rocks.”

• With no atmospheric oxygen on the Moon and the Sun’s solar wind delivering hydrogen – which should act as a “reducer” to prevent oxidation – scientists are baffled where the rust is coming from. However, they believe it could stem from Earth, given the Moon does have “trace amounts of oxygen” thanks to Earth’s magnetic field.

• According to a study published in March 2019, the Moon actually loses water when meteoroids smack its surface. NASA’s ARTEMIS mission revealed that solar winds greatly impact the lunar surface and expose it to radiation from the Sun, leaving scars on the surface, akin to a “sunburn,” due to the Moon’s weak magnetic field. (see here)

• A study published in August 2019 suggested the Moon was 100 million years older than previously believed, basing their findings on analyzing the lunar rocks taken by the Apollo astronauts. (see here)

• And a study published in January 2019 suggested that a 4.1-billion-year-old chunk of Earth may have been found and dug up on the Moon by Apollo astronauts. (see here)

[Editor’s Note]  The Moon is rusting, and scientists don’t know why? Could it be because the Moon is an ancient artificial construct that is hollow or honeycombed, and was parked next Earth for some reason? And now its superstructure is rusting?

 

                     Shuai Li

A newly published study notes that the moon is “rusting,” leaving experts perplexed by the discovery.

          Abigail Fraeman

The research, published in Science Advances, notes that the rust may be a result of water discovered on the moon, but it’s still shocking, given the lack of oxygen and dearth of water on Earth’s celestial satellite.

“It’s very puzzling,” the study’s lead author, Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii, said in a statement. “The moon is a terrible environment for hematite to form in.”

Li was looking at data from the JPL Moon Mineralogy Mapper when the researcher realized the instrument detected “spectra – or light reflected off surfaces – that revealed the Moon’s poles had a very different composition than the rest of it,” the statement added.

The polar surfaces showed spectra that matched the mineral hematite (Fe2O3), according to the study’s abstract.

“Although oxidizing processes have been speculated to operate on the lunar surface and form ferric iron–bearing minerals, unambiguous detections of ferric minerals forming under highly reducing conditions on the Moon have remained elusive,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “Our analyses of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper data show that hematite, a ferric mineral, is present at high latitudes on the Moon, mostly associated with east- and equator-facing sides of topographic highs, and is more prevalent on the nearside than the farside.”

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Japan Vows to Work Closely on Lunar Exploration With the US

Article from Kyodo News                            August 26, 2020                              (english.kyodonews.net)

• In August 26th, US and Japanese officials met in Tokyo to further discuss Japan’s role in the NASA-led joint lunar exploration project culminating in a return to the Moon in 2024, actual exploration of the lunar surface beginning in 2028, and ultimately the international ‘Artemis’ lunar habitat project. This will be the first time that humans walk on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

• The meeting was attended by Scott Pace, executive secretary of the US National Space Council, Gen. John Raymond, chief of Space Force, and Japanese government officials from the Cabinet Office, Defense Ministry and other Japanese agencies.

• Pursuant to a lunar cooperation accord signed in July 2020, the US and NASA acknowledged opportunities for “Japanese crew activities” on the ‘Gateway’, a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon, as well as participate in activities on the lunar surface.

• US officials also acknowledged Japan’s new ‘Space Operation Squadron’, an Air Self-Defense Force space unit monitoring threats to Japanese satellites in outer space. Japanese officials acknowledged the significance of the US Space Command and Space Force.

• Tokyo and Washington also touched on “growing concern for threats to the continuous, safe and stable use of outer space,” a veiled reference to the growing space capabilities of countries such as China and Russia.

 

                       Scott Pace

Japan and the United States on Wednesday pledged to work closely on a lunar exploration project led by

           Gen. John Raymond

the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration after Tokyo joined it last month.

In a joint statement issued after a meeting in Tokyo, the two governments said they “reaffirmed their commitment to Artemis,” the multilateral project intended to return humans to the Moon by 2024 and establish sustainable lunar surface exploration with NASA’s commercial and international partners by 2028.

The two sides “also acknowledged opportunities for Japanese crew activities” on the Gateway, a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon, as well as on the lunar surface, as highlighted in a lunar cooperation accord they signed in July, the statement said.

The last humans to walk on the Moon were American astronauts from the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

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