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Old 12-14-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
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The Chinese successfully landed their rover on the moon. Will this inspire their young to do great things in science and technology and be a source of national pride similar to what the race to the moon did for our country in the 60s?

China safely soft-lands rover on the moon
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
The Chinese successfully landed their rover on the moon. Will this inspire their young to do great things in science and technology and be a source of national pride similar to what the race to the moon did for our country in the 60s?

China safely soft-lands rover on the moon
It's indeed a very significant achievement, and one that's been long overdue for the world as a whole. The rover is in an area no one has ever been to before. That alone will be a wealth of knowledge for everyone, not just the Chinese. China has every right to feel proud of this accomplishment.

That said, China has a gigantic population, many of which are generally rural. I don't doubt it will be an inspiration for a lot of young people as well as a sense of national pride. But I don't know if it'll be quite the same as the race to the Moon was back in the 60s. Alhough various achievements in space are truly remarkable advancements, it's become so routine that it's kind of taken for granted. The first efforts to get to the Moon was significant because no one had ever been to another world before. After the first few manned Moon landings, public interest seemed to wane a bit, probably because it was pretty much the same kind of views, people bouncing around on the surface, picking up rocks, driving the Moon buggy, etc. Nothng new. The same thing happened with the space shuttle. Launches were so routine that it was nothing new. Even though the media covered the launches, it just wasn't headline news anymore that stimulates the same sense of wonder.

What I think will be interesting will be to see photos of the lunar surface. They should be much more clear than any that have ever been taken from the surface in the past. While China has every right to feel proud, it doesn't seem to be generating any widespread thrills or tickertape parades across the country. But maybe that's okay because it means things like this are becoming more commonplace, that people and machines are traveling off the surface of the Earth on more of a regular basis.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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This is good for them but I can't get excited over this as we have the same thing on Mars.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
This is good for them but I can't get excited over this as we have the same thing on Mars.
Sure we have rovers on Mars, but those are late-comers. The first rover on Mars was Pathfinder's Sojouner Rover on July 6, 1997. There have been 4 rovers on the Moon before Sojourner.

- November 1970. Lunokhod 1, by the Russians.
- December 1972. Lunar Roving Vehicle (Moon Buggy), That was the last one sent to the Moon by the US with Apollo 17. It was human operated.
- January 1973. Lunokhod 2, by the Russians. That was the last for anyone, until now.

It's been 40 years since the last rover landed on the lunar surface. Now that China has successfully put a rover on the Moon, scientifically and technologically it's a pretty big deal. That's not underestimating the missions to Mars though. But the Moon is a very important location, if for no other reason than it's the closest large celestial body to Earth and there's still much to learn about it.

Personally, I'm very impressed with this major accomplishment of the Chinese, especially considering that the Chinese don't have the same degree of experience in space exploration under their belt as the US and Europe does.

Still, I can understand the Moon may not hold the same kind of public awe and fascination as much anymore as it did decades ago and as the missions to Mars do today. Mars has a lot more interesting features, it's more colorful, and it's geological features look more Earth-like in comparison, albeit like a barren desert covered with craters. People usually seem to be more interested in seeing something new.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
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Great, we now have something "Made in China" on the Moon too!
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