China trying to bring moon rocks back

We didn’t hear much about it here in the US (at least I don’t recall hearing it), but the Russian space program sent an unmanned probe to the moon that brought back soil samples. In 1970.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_16#:~:text=Luna%2016%20was%20a%20landmark,27cm%20was%20sent%20to%20Britain.

They did it two more times in 1972 and 1976

I think this would be the first returned lunar samples by anyone since then.

This will serve no direct practical benefit whatsoever. We’ve learned as much as we can from moon rocks.

But I wish them luck, because efforts like this spur scientific and technological development, and if nothing else, it’s not actively destructive like the other big driver of technology is.

Besides, everyone knows that ground-up moon rocks make a great portal conductor.

Well, nobody should be surprised if we find this mission establishes a man made Chinese territory of piled rocks in the South Sea of Tranquility.

People are saying that the actual purpose of the trip is to build the Luna-side portal then bring rocks back to Terra so the Terra-side portal is not just made of moon rocks but is also entangled due to using the same rocks; this will result in an efficiency of nearly 300 vreebles and perhaps more if the Potrzebie effect can be reduced within the Cowznofski parameters.

I wish China all luck in their endeavor. The more countries have an advanced space program, the better. I have heard India is planning a lunar rover - more power to India too.

One thing that never fails to amaze me is that the US did all this back in the 60s and 70s. With today’s technology, many countries are still struggling to put a lander on the moon, much less put people there or get rocks back. NASA was (and remains) truly prodigious.

The US are sending people to the moon in 2024. They started assembling the rocket this week.

As also reported in the other thread I’m desperate to popularise: The Great Ongoing Space Exploration Thread

What practical benefit did the Apollo moon rocks or Russian ones serve? It seems like your second paragraph would apply equally to the China program. Your 3rd paragraph is interesting but will not result in a working nether portal.

The discovery of water on the moon is of recent origin, and to my understanding the Apollo moonrocks told us nothing about the presence of water on the moon. Indian Chandrayaan discovered polar water on the moon. The Chinese also recently discovered a “gel-like substance” that too was never seen before. It is not like the Apollo rocks have told us all there is to know about the moon.

Can we really say that with such confidence? We’ve only sampled a tiny fraction of the moon’s surface. We’re still learning plenty from Earth rocks in our own backyard.

SLS is going to be an enormous boondoggle. It’s made from Space Shuttle parts with Space Shuttle management and 1960s acquisition models, and is getting quickly obsoleted for all but the heaviest lift missions by Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy (though the latter is not human rated. But it could be.)

I find it depressing that, after 50 years, we’re still at the “bringing back moon rocks” stage of manned space exploration. Really?! How exciting. :disappointed:

You know what they say: if you volunteer for a Mars mission, and if you make it there alive, your reward is you have to live on fucking Mars.

What an incredibly, profoundly stupid thing to say.

Yeah, but those 9 dashes are going to be some of the biggest things ever drawn on a map. Far yuger than the USA could manage.

In all seriousness, the Chinese are embarked on a great voyage of many missions to interact with the Moon. They’ll invent a lot of tech, do a lot of great deeds, and at least their part of humanity will gain a lot of science. And they’ll suffer their fair share of expensive failures and probably fatalities along the way.

We managed to have the last Space Race during a Cold War but much shared good came of it. Here’s hoping humanity can pull that off at least as well this time around.

True. We don’t yet know why moon rocks take longer to fall to the surface of the moon than similar sized rocks do on earth. Earth needs more moon rocks! :wink:

They’ve also got an orbiter and lander on it’s way to Mars. That is bound to be more interesting than some more moon rocks.

During their launch webcast, they actually made their plan fairly clear: the rocks they’re collecting are from a region that Apollo didn’t sample, and they were hoping to trade rocks with NASA. Both space programs then get something they didn’t have before.

China did get a small goodwill lunar sample, but I’m not sure it was enough for scientific work. If they can return kilograms, it may mean they can trade for comparable amounts of Apollo samples. NASA itself still has hundreds of kilograms of pristine samples.

You do realize you’re talking to an actual genuine scientist in the relevant field, right?

I struggle to understand the point of this. It is totally ‘been there done that,’ unless the idea is to do it again with much more high-definition video footage this time, or something.

Mars be waiting.

What the hell are you talking about? No disrespect to Chronos, but I’m talking to a smallish-town middle-school substitute math teacher. Who–judging from that comment–knows exactly jack shit about what can be learned from lunar rocks. THESE are genuine scientists in the relevant field:

https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/sampreq/requests.cfm

Recent articles:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-selects-teams-to-study-untouched-moon-samples