back to article China pretty chuffed with lunar probe

China's president Hu Jintao today described the country's Chang'e 1 lunar probe, which has successfully beamed back images of the Moon, as a "landmark achievement", Reuters reports. Same area of the moon as captured by Clementine and Chang'e 1 Chang'e 1 reached lunar orbit at an altitude of 200km on 7 November. A subsequent …


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  1. Liam Johnson

    Pretty chuffed

    Surly he is over the moon with it?

  2. Andy S
    Black Helicopters

    go on China

    release pictures of the US flag stuck up there, or a picture of where its supposed to be.

    If I were running the probe, even if I found it, i'd be sorely tempted to photoshop the lander and flag out before releaseing the pic.

  3. Mahou Saru

    Lunar Landing...

    I wish they would swing by the Lunar landing site and put all the stories to rest. Of course if there was nothing on the site, I bet Nasa would just claim it is a commie attempt at destroying their achievements :p

  4. Slaine


    maybe the'll find those pesky CD's instead.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    New Crater?

    Look at the US picture.

    Start at the upper right corner.

    Travel down the edge about 50 % of the image height.

    Traverse left about 20% of the image width.

    There's a crater with a smaller crater within. The smaller crater is located at about ten o'clock.

    Now look at the Chinese image at the same crater. There seem to be two craters in that location on the Chinese photo vs. one crater at that location in the US photo. Does anyone else see that? No?

    Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop drinking coffee....

  6. Andrew Listochkin
    Paris Hilton


    It was the first thing I've noticed before reading the page! BTW, which photo is supposed to be newer?

  7. TeeCee Gold badge

    Just proves.

    If you've got a softish, dusty surface and no atmosphere, you're going to gain a few extra holes in a decade.

    Looking at the positioning related to the surrounding bits of terrain, I'd say that the upper one was the new one and that the impact appears to have slightly altered the profile of the pre-existing crater, it's difficult to be sure with the shadow angles being different. The smaller, internal crater still seems to be visible at the same 10 o'clockish point though.

  8. Joe Cooper

    A photo?

    A photo of the landing site would be the single worst piece of evidence you could possibly get. It's 100% fakeable. People would just claim the Chinese are in on the conspiracy.

    Unfortunately, the good hard evidence the US already brought back is over your head, Saru ;)

  9. Slaine

    @TeeCee (just proves)

    But surely that's just the houses of parliament your talking about mate?

    ...a softish, dusty surface and no atmosphere

    ...a few extra holes's difficult to be sure


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well, let's name the new crater!

    Soliciting suggestions from the English Speaking World on this Young, Dusty Hole. The discovery was made here on El Reg, afterall! Let fly!

    (This ought to be good....)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Has everyone gone mad?

    Presumably the Chinese chose to release this image to allow easy comparison between their (clearly vastly superior) imaging with that of Clemantine. The newer image is sharper and provides far more detail. It is also illuminated from a different angle. Does anyone really seriously believe it to be "fake"?

    The "extra" crater is a stitching artifact, obviously.

    @ Joe Cooper: WHAT "good hard evidence"? I've always found there to be suspiciously little good or hard evidence. You're not referring to those silly photos are you?

  12. Mike Richards

    @Anonymous Coward

    '@ Joe Cooper: WHAT "good hard evidence"? I've always found there to be suspiciously little good or hard evidence. You're not referring to those silly photos are you?'

    [Putting my geologist hat on]

    That'd be the rock samples brought back by Apollo which are profoundly different from rocks on Earth; heavily depleted in volatile elements, relatively enriched in refractory elements, radio dates way different from those on Earth, zero water content, enriched in helium 3....

    None of these results were expected before Apollo landed on the Moon, and were confirmed by the Luna sample return missions performed by the Soviet Union.

  13. Joe Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    @Anonymous Coward

    Well no, actually I just specifically said that photos are easily fakeable and nobody believes them anyway.

    Here's a quote: "A photo of the landing site would be the single worst piece of evidence you could possibly get. It's 100% fakeable."

    The fact that you're making fun of me for implying that photos are the good hard evidence makes me think you're some sort of monumental dumbass. So I chose the Paris Hilton icon.

    Anyway, I was actually refering to the rocks which to geologist are pretty solid and are not easy to fake.

    And before anyone mentions lunar meteorites, remember that lunar meteorites were discovered in 1982.

    Here is a link to a website that talks a lot about them and even goes into some of the differences between the lunar origin meteorites and lunar sample returns:

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Mike Richards

    NASA sent a mission to Antarctica for those in 1967. Two years before they brought them back from the moon!

    Seriously though, samples are hardly evidence anyone a man on the moon. I don't think anyone seriously questions whether NASA have sent UNMANNED probes to the moon. Why couldn't the samples have been brought back by such missions? That is, after all, how the Russians got their lunar samples.

    Now where's that PROOF?

  15. Joe Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    Unmanned missions

    "I don't think anyone seriously questions whether NASA have sent UNMANNED probes to the moon."

    Actually, I have. Have you? because you clearly have no idea what a man with a shovel is capable of compared to a robot in 1969.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Calm down Joe

    I wasn't making fun of anyone, except perhaps the people behind "those silly photos" which are supposed to show people on the moon. Let's not start calling each other names!

    As for "lunar meteorites were discovered in 1982", even nasa admit they have been known and collected since the 60s, although (naturally) they attribute the discovery to a Japanese expedition mounted two years after their own.

    If you like you can confirm that here:

    I do wish people would look into things before making their minds up and getting all shouty.

    You're American aren't you?

    Regarding the similarities and/or differences between samples collected on Antarctica and those brought directly from the moon, some reputable sources have found significant differences while other equally reputable sources have found samples to be identical. Presumably it depends on the individual samples, how and where the material to be analysed was extracted from them etc. All very interesting of course but PROOF of nothing.

    Anyway, there's plenty of this sort of stuff all over the 'net, no point re-arguing the same old debates here. All I meant was that I haven't found any compelling evidence yet (much as I'd like to clear up my curiosity on the whole did they / didn't they debate) and much of what is presented has an air of snake oil about it. eg. what I referred to as "those silly photos" are the pictures supposedly produced by the early Apollo missions.

    Perhaps, if there really existed this perceived abundance of "good hard evidence", there might be fewer people who think the whole thing was a hoax.

  17. BitTwister

    @Anonymous Coward

    > Now where's that PROOF?

    Well, duh... Just curious - what *would* you consider acceptable proof for the manned lunar missions - a personal tour of the landing sites on the Moon, perhaps? Probably not - it would likely get dismissed as being caused by something "they" put in the coffee/implanted in your head.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @new crater


    If you'd actually bothered to read the linked New Scientist article, it explains (and demonstrates visually) that the extra crater is simply 2 images of the same crater which were incorrectly stitched together in the composite image.

  19. Joe Cooper


    Yes, I've seen that. Read closer.

    Tt says they knew there were meteorites that might have come from other planets. I'm aware that the existence of the extraterrestrial meteorites was known, but here's the thing: they didn't know their origin or how to tell yet.

    The discovery of some meteorite's ~lunar origin~ was discovered in 1982.

    Basically, if they just grabbed a bunch of random meteorites, they would be finding non-Lunar meteorites and possibly even Martian meteorites which would be a dead giveaway because meteorites of different sources are chemically different.

    For this to work, NASA would either have to:

    *Manage to cherry pick 380 kilograms of them without making any mistakes, without actually knowing how to identify a lunar meteorite yet. They are identifiable by chemicle analysis, and these samples were sent all over the world.

    They would also have to get rid of any evidence of erosion or fusion crusts without leaving evidence of tampering. And this wouldn't have to just be passable to layman, it would have to be passable to real geologists all over the world.

    *OR, they could build a robot that can travel around on the moon, identify and pick up absolutely massive rocks, something that isn't even remotely on the radar for any space agency even ~now~.

    Bare in mind that this robot would need a good power source that works in space. It's not like it'd be plugged into our power grid.

    Basically we have a huge pile of samples that obviously aren't faked, and the easiest, most plausible way to get them would be to simply send men to the moon.

    If anyone is going to insist that they had a magical robot capable of this in 1969, or that they can fool every geologist on Earth with random meteorites they dug up in Antarctica, I'm going to need to see some PROOF.

    Anyone have some proof?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ultimate Proof

    As a kid in the 60's and 70's I saw the astronauts walk on the moon!

    It was on TV, check your local guide for more information.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    I used to watch those too... and when they weren't frolicking gayley on far away planets they were performing mind melds with silicon based life forms. Scary stuff.

  22. Brian
    Thumb Up

    I see your moonrocks.....

    and raise you a powertrain developer for the lunar lander.

    My neighbor of about the first 20-odd years of my life was an unassuming gentleman by the name of Mr. Hoy. He owned a small farm down the street, which i visited frequently (probably much to his annoyance). By that time he had been retired for close to 20 years. Anyhow, the topic of what he used to do for a living came up. He was a meachanical engineer who worked for one of the subsidiary companies for program development under NASA. One night at a bar in Southern Florida, he was asked for ideas about a drivetrain design for a rover that was to operate under lunar conditions while being light enough and compact enough to stay within allowances for weight. The story goes that Mr. Hoy sketched out a design on a cocktail napkin while the other gentleman stuck to his promise to buy him another double-scotch.

    From what I was told, the design was adopted virtually unchanged...presumably because the materials were readily available, the specs were maintained, and the rover development team was fast approaching a demonstrational deadline.

    Mr. Hoy retired 2 years later in his mid-50s. So, my guess is that he was handsomely paid for his idea. It gives creedance (to me at least) that the moon landings were legit (any goofball could design a go-cart that could run around on a sound stage at earth-normal gravity and atmo conditions). HE had to observe rather strident power, weight, and envelope considerations, not necessary if they weren't headed for the moon to begin with. Hell, given a 6-pack of Guiness bottles and a hundred pounds of scrap steel, I could build a halfway convincing earth-bound rover for driving around a studio backlot.

    Lunar rover? I will require a FULL case of Guiness, several pounds of unobtanium, and a cocktail napkin from Mr. Hoy.

  23. Taskis


    It's not for me to tell anyone who wants to argue the toss with 'Moon hoax' conspiracy theorists that they can't or shouldn't do so. In fact, it's great that so many people are still willing to do it: the voice of reason *should* be heard in response to the mindless parroting of irrational nonsense.

    But it's worth bearing in mind, as well, that no amount of argument, rational or otherwise, is going to change the conspiracy theorists' minds. Logic can't defeat the irrational: those who believe believe because they *want* to believe. They're hugely emotionally invested in their version of 'The Truth'. It is, in effect, a religion of sorts, and its followers can be as zealous and blinkered as the fanatical fringe of any other faith.

  24. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    it's on TV - it must be true

    I myself saw Captain Picard beaming onto his spaceship just last week.

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