Sunday, March 7, 2010
Report: China Studies Moon Rocket
China launches a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 15, 2003.
Aviation Week reports that "China is studying the design of a Moon rocket in the class of the Saturn V, as the Obama administration proposes canceling the U.S. successor to the Apollo launcher, Ares V."
"Studying" is a long way from "going."
The article concludes:
"... [T]he payload of the Moon rocket has not been defined, which seems to suggest that the achievable launcher technology will determine the scope of the mission, rather than the desired mission determining the performance of the rocket."
Aviation Week also notes that, "The Chinese government has not authorized a manned Moon mission, but it is clear the country’s space sector is at least being allowed to prepare for one."
So the next time someone tells you that Obama has turned over the Moon to the Chinese, you can respond that China hasn't even authorized a Moon program, much less built the rocket. It's all theoretical.