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Picture of the Week: Festival Coming Soon October 5, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Chang'e, China, Helium-3, Mythology, Picture of the Week.

That is that first Chinese photo of the Moon, taken by their Chang’e-1 (嫦娥一号) Lunar orbiter craft last year, as part of an imaging/exploration mission (including for concentrations of helium-3).

Check out this really interesting look from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) at the Chang’e-1 program and its goals, from the Chang’e project leader, Luan Enjie. He’s exceptionally well-spoken– here’s a great interview where he talks about his take on the differences from this space race (that I refer to as the “Base Race”) and the space rae of the 1950’s and 60’s.

The Chang’e program is named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, who (notably) only lives on the moon.

“The U.S. is the leader in deep space exploration.”
-Luan Enjie, opening statement of his description of the Chang’e-1 program

The way the Chinese space program has been rolling along in the past year, I think we could be seeing a ‘chang’e’ to that fact in the very near future ;)


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