back to article Robot drills hole on Moon, employs robot arm to clean up mess to bring home

China has released video of its Chang’e 5 probe successfully … erm … probing the moon. After landing successfully on Tuesday, the probe spent a day or so preparing to drill into the satellite in order to unsettle enough Moon-stuff to offer terrestrial scientists useful insights into Luna’s composition. Late on Wednesday night …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Terminator

    sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

    Now that's an interesting turn of phrase... I know what they meant but I'm having difficulty visualising including nothing...

    The slight change in orbital distance of the moon is probably caused by Robert Heinlein spinning in his grave.

    1. Little Mouse Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

      Moon dust swaps hands for a small fortune. How much is moon vacuum worth?

      How much vacuum are they bringing back?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

        I have a few jars of Lunar vacuum for sale at €20K each, if you open one however, the guarantee on content and quality will be null and void.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

          However under controlled lab conditions a container of Lunar vacuum can be opened and used to fill containers containing only boring earth vacuum. Pretty much endlessly!

          1. Tony W

            Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

            Thinking about it, although semantically all vacuums ought to be equal, in practice they are not. But it's a very odd way to say what they did, which is simply to get a good enough seal to prevent comtamination.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

              I guess it was sealed on the moon and will come back like that. I wonder if it will make the same popping sound that vacuum tubes make when you throw them on a hard surface.

              1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum. - Atmosphere actually

                From the NASA web site:

                "Until recently, most everyone accepted the conventional wisdom that the moon has virtually no atmosphere. Just as the discovery of water on the moon transformed our textbook knowledge of Earth's nearest celestial neighbor, recent studies confirm that

                our moon does indeed have an atmosphere

                consisting of some unusual gases, including sodium and potassium, which are not found in the atmospheres of Earth, Mars or Venus. It's an infinitesimal amount of air when compared to Earth's atmosphere. At sea level on Earth, we breathe in an atmosphere where each cubic centimeter contains 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules; by comparison the lunar atmosphere has less than 1,000,000 molecules in the same volume. That still sounds like a lot, but it is what we consider to be a very good vacuum on Earth. In fact, the density of the atmosphere at the moon's surface is comparable to the density of the outermost fringes of Earth's atmosphere where the International Space Station orbits."

                https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/news/lunar-atmosphere.html

                1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

                  Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum. - Atmosphere actually

                  > it is what we consider to be a very good vacuum on Earth

                  So not a Dyson?

        2. Steve K Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

          if you open one however, the guarantee on content and quality will be null and void.

          Well that just sucks

          1. vincent himpe

            Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

            vacuum cleaner : the only thing that sucks if it doesn't ...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

              > vacuum cleaner : the only thing that sucks if it doesn't ...

              <insert Grindr joke here>

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well that just sucks

            It sucks on an astronomical scale.

        3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

          What could be canned and marketed/sold is air from the ISS. There's bound to be some suckers with more money than sense willing to buy

      2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

        Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

        Does Moon Vacuum have a use in Chinese medicine?

        Everything else seems to.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

          "Does Moon Vacuum have a use in Chinese medicine?"

          No but it is the ultimate homeopathic cure for lunacy.

    2. Sceptic Tank
      Paris Hilton

      Re: sealed so tight it includes Lunar vacuum.

      It's a type of mechanical cleaning apparatus.

      (Makes me wonder: how are they going to keep the carpets of the moon base dust free if there is no air? The vacuum cleaner is going to be worthless).

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Star Trek?

    Just what is it with these space agencies - that emblem at the top right of the image looks like Star Trek was the inspiration.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Star Trek?

      And the Geek shall inherit the Earth (or at least take over the space agencies of said Earth in the hope that they can at least inherit Mars, or maybe the Moon... at least for a while...)

      -- from the forgotten books of the Dead Sea Tablets (the less famous cousins of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as in the end, everyone decided that Tablets were so last year and this new fangled ink and paper stuff was really the way of the future.

      (or perhaps not...)

    2. Jim Mitchell

      Re: Star Trek?

      I wonder if Star Trek is banned in China. The ideals don't seem compatible with the CCP.

  3. DJO Silver badge

    Impressed

    Not with the mission, that goes without saying but with the Reg editor who somehow managed to resist using "Chinese Takeaway" as the strapline.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Impressed

      They'll be wanting to go back for more before long

    2. Atomic Duetto

      Re: Impressed

      Take away is the following missions, where Regolith delivery (always containing too much onion) is outsourced to Uber eats.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge

    Is that it?

    I was 12 months old when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. I have it on good authority that I was woken to watch.

    In terms of manned exploration we've barely advanced in over 50 years. My parents would have expected me to be holidaying on Mars by now.

    1. Elledan

      Re: Is that it?

      To be fair, China has only been developing its space program since the 1990s. Since that time they have done space walks, space stations, a few Moon missions including a first-time-ever mission to the far side of the Moon. At their current pace they'll have a permanent Moon colony and a manned mission to Mars before NASA can get SLS beyond LEO.

      Some have said that only SpaceX is really competing with China's space program at this point in terms of ambition and speed of development.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Is that it?

      Apollo 11 launched just after my 4th birthday. I remember asking my mother how they got the pictures if there wasn't anyone else to hold the camera.

      I had a ton of posters in my room depicting the spacecraft and the flights they would take to Mars, Venus, and the Outer Planets (not my capitalization)

      I also had large posters of the complex Lunar and Martian bases we would build.

      Sigh.

      1. Dr Gerard Bulger

        Re: Is that it?

        Well I was on Long Island, one part of one of the 13 rebellious colonies when when man landed on the moon, watching on B&W TV... my landlords went to bed. 40 years later I watched the anniversary celebrations and footage from the penal colony aka Australia (Cairns in fact)

        I am OLD

    3. druck Silver badge

      Re: Is that it?

      I was 15 months old, and being bathed on the living room table while my parents watched man set foot on the moon. A few months before was the first flight of Concorde, the engines of which my father worked on. It's 48 years since humans since humans left the moon and 17 years since the end of supersonic passenger flights.

      I grew up with those dreams of space travel and that anything was possible, I really don't know what my children have got to inspire them.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Alien

    I saw the "video"

    It looks like they're using an earlier version of Kerbal Space Program

  7. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Fake fake fakety-fake

    This is clearly a fake of epic proportions. There's no sound of the actual drilling taking place!

    1. Spherical Cow

      Re: Fake fake fakety-fake

      Everyone knows the speed of sound is much slower than the speed of light: we have the video, but the audio hasn't reached Earth yet.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022