Warning: Don’t jump in Cheer and Happiness – this is only partly good news
Quite some months ago the Chinese send their first satellite called Chang’e to the moon to create a modern moon map. A lot of people had expectations towards this mission, but once again the result is causing dizziness at best. The results so far a totally not exiting.
Before the launch it was stated, this mission would bring humankind ahead.
After the launch it was stated all Chinese nationals can have access to Chang’e's data.
Now at the latest release the data will be proceeded to ESA and all authorized individuals and entities.
Sometime late in 2008 CNSA, the Chinese National Space Agency, finally released a map of the moon to the public, on the 12th of November Xinhua finally brought this map to the waiting masses. However it was not the same map that CNSA originally released. In fact it was heavily scaled down, the realsize map was only seen on a photo behind some government officials.
Stop telling me boring news, I want to see the real map
Okay guys, You won’t see the full size thing, but I could get my hands on a much bigger than Xinhua version of the Chinese moon map.
So what is that map? It is bigger than the Xinhua version, however it is still smaller than what the officials have in their hands. Will the Chinese government someday release the full size map? Well… why should day. They disrespect their own people anyways. So why spend 1000 元 uploading this file somewhere on the Internet and spread knowledge to humanity, when some fat guy could make a visit to the local Chicken nest instead? So far the Indians perform better.
The Chinese moon south pole picture
There is another picture that should give us a glimpse of what Chang’e is really capable of. As advertised, the Chang’e moon mission should have a maximum resolution of 100 m/px (Meters per Pixel). This matches about the old US Clementine mission. So here are two pictures of the moon’s south pole for comparison.
Comparrison pictures created by Svetoslav Alexandrov, originals can be found on the Unmannedspaceflight Forums
The pictures look pretty equal in resolution. There are only 3 differences.
- The Clementine data is available to the public…
- …since more than 10 years, when the Chinese didn’t even have a real space program…
- … for the whole moon, not only selected parts.
What’s left to say about the promises of the officials for the Chinese moon program? Not much for the moment. So I mentioned ESA. Well to those of You who are not familiar with ESA, just give up Your hopes. ESA sees PR and releasing data just as waste of money and the public is dumb anyway in their eyes, so why bother. No wonder they work together with the Chinese. I have to say, that ESA is indeed better than CNSA, but they are still light years behind NASA. I will keep You updated if I can find anything.