25 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/25/2007 17:59
CHINA
Beijing happy about lunar probe, pledges peaceful development of space
Strong enthusiasm among ordinary Chinese as technicians and politicians dismiss talk about lunar space race. For them the lunar mission has only scientific purposes. Some note however that more probing should be done on Chinese soil where there is too much poverty.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The blastoff at 6.05 pm (Beijing time) from the Xichang satellite launch centre in Sichuan province went off without a hitch, televised live nationwide and around the world. The moon orbiter, which cost 1.4 billion yuan, separated from the rocket 24 minutes after launch and entered into a 16-hour orbit.

The event was covered by Chinese media wall-to-wall, proudly showing technicians, officials, people on street, national flags and celebration banners raised, spectators flashing the "V" sign for victory, almost as if it were the dawning of a new age.

Planetariums saw many people come to see the probe close-up, discussing the chances of life on the Moon or wondering whether the spacecraft will plant the Chinese flag on the earth’s only natural satellite.

For technicians and officials this is a “crucial step” in China’s space programme, one that is only scientific in nature.

“China will not be involved in a moon race with any other country,” said Mr Luan Enjie, chief commander of the lunar orbiter project.

However, that is not how the United States, Japan, India and even Brazil are seeing things. Each of them has renewed its interest in the moon and is drawing up plans for lunar missions.

Scientists are especially interested in the moon because research might unravel several mysteries about the universe. Also the satellite is rich in helium-3, an isotope that is a non-radioactive source of fusion energy rarely found on Earth.

“In many countries, they needed decades of planning and preparation,” Chen Yongqi, head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics at the Polytechnic University, told the South China Morning Post. “But in China, the process is so fast.”

“Doesn't it look like a dragon?” said Zhu Yousheng, a Chengdu businessman who paid 800 yuan for a ticket to see the event.

Some, with a touch of cynicism, said that at least at one level the blastoff has certainly yielded up some interesting consumer goods. 

Demand for the spacecraft crystal and metal-alloy model—scales 1:50—was so high that it was at first priced at 1,880 yuan and is now sold at 880 yuan each

But not every one is so keen on the aerospace project. Liu Chuanmei, a software engineer in Beijing, said that in her opinion “the state pours so much money into the space project just to show its power.”

For his part, Wu Mingfa, a farmer Chuanxing County (Xichang) near the launch site, is more interested in the injustice perpetrated by local officials.

“If we have the ability to send a satellite to the moon,” he asks, “why is it so difficult to send all corrupt officials to prison?”

Across the Taiwan Strait the authorities were silent on the orbiter's launch but the island's military experts are concerned by the “leap forward” in the mainland’s space programme.

Alexander Wang Chieh-cheng, professor of strategic studies and director of the Graduate Institute of American Studies of Tamkang University, said there was no need for Beijing to use the high-orbit rocket to deal with the island since it had plenty of low-end weapons, such as close to 1,000 missiles pointed at the island nation.

For Sun Jiwen, a rocket expert and a senior People's Liberation Army space security adviser, lunar exploration projects involve the whole of humanity and multinational co-operation on lunar research was inevitable.

By contrast, Teng Jianqun, director of the Research Department of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, believes that “space will become weaponised as more and more nations can afford it. Negotiation on rules in space must start now or it will be too late.” (PB)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/05/2007 JAPAN
Japanese probe in orbit around the moon
10/24/2007 CHINA
Lift off for Chinese lunar probe
10/21/2008 INDIA
India’s first lunar probe to take off, seeking water on the moon
09/25/2008 CHINA
China’s first spacewalk tomorrow
06/11/2009 JAPAN
Japan’s lunar mission a success: the probe touches down today

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.