I was just thinking about the new Chinese mission to the moon. This means that there is a new country that could dominate space. America do not control space anymore. The Russians were the first people into space and landed the Venera probes on Venus. That hellish planet with an extremely dense atmosphere and temperatures of 450 degrees Celsius is a heck of a place to land a probe, but they did it. The Russians were the first into space with Yuri Gargarin orbiting the earth in a space capsule. Then the Americans caught up and went into orbit as well. Then they landed on the moon in 1969 and became the first nation to land on another body in the solar system. Jules Verne wrote about a mission to the moon using a 300 meter long cannon filled 100 feet with gun-cotton, and a hollow metal projectile placed on top containing three men and two dogs that would be fired out of the cannon at 12,000 yards per second to allow the projectile to reach the moon. But in reality; the immense g forces would have squashed the living beings inside the projectile into the metal of the floor and the projectile would have burned up on passing through the atmosphere. But this was a good book though. The fact that rocketry has been around for centuries provided a realistic option for space travel. The Iranians are even planning a space mission. But I am awaiting the high-resolution photos from the Chinese rover. They are in color, so this is a welcome change from the monochrome colors of NASA. This is a great time. This might revitalise interest in space travel.
Modern rocketry was born out of World War II. Werner Von Braun had a slave labour base where he built V2 rockets to fire at London. When he was brought to America to work for the allies, he developed the Saturn IV rocket that sent men to the moon. This is an incredible irony. That a weapon of war was used to reach the moon. The Saturn IV rocket was 111 meters or 364 feet tall. This rocket towers over the much shorter space shuttle. But China have managed this feat as well, we have better technology now than in 1969. This makes a manned moon mission a possibility sooner rather than later. I am hoping that China will go to the moon and land men there. They should take high-resolution photographs of the lunar lander and the other discarded equipment on the surface of the moon. That will satisfy everyone that the landing really did happen. If I went to the moon, I would have a look inside the lander and see how it has fared in all of the time if has been on the moon. Has it been hit by micrometeorites or affected by radiation from the sun? We need to know this. This is a chance to place more equipment on the moon to perform more studies of space. A radio telescope on the far side of the moon would be shielded from the earth and would be able to pick up faint signals from far away in the Universe. The only problem is that the further away they are the more garbled they become. This is due to interference from interstellar radiation and the background noise from the big bang.
But the benefits outweigh the risks. Having a permanent base on the moon would allow great scientific advances.