09 March 2007

Above is the satellite that China is launching into orbit around the moon later this year, named Chang’e One, after the goddess of the moon, Chang’e. The satellite, among other things, will broadcast 30 Chinese songs, including Who Doesn’t Say Our Hometown is Good《谁不说俺家乡好》 and Love My China《爱我中华》. No word on whether “One Night in Beijing” will be included. After the satellite, China plans to land a moon rover, which by all rights ought to be named Jade Rabbit. A recent article said that there are 13 designs competing to be the actual rover. Some of the possible competitors spotted online:

Rover entry by the Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)

Shanghai Communication University, Harbin Industrial University projects

And then there’s the plans to follow the rover; the “third phase when a module will “drill out” moon material and bring it back to the earth”; the fourth is a manned lunar landing by 2017. And then? Well, the Chinese press is dragging out what look like classic Space Age illustrations to make their point:
I’m sure this illustration is from some American space race literature - the moon rovers look like something from the more recent NASA moon rover art concepts. And there’s other times NASA art has been lifted:

From the NASA gallery

Ah well, at least it’s not like some Russian space race illustrated books:

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