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Chinese moon map from Chang’e released

December 9, 2008 – 1:13 am

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.

Click for the full size reduced size 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.

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  1. 7 Responses to “Chinese moon map from Chang’e released”

  2. IIt’s interestring that you say the PR of ESA was far behind the one of NASA – when watching a live rocket lunch of boths agencies, I found ESA gives far more background information and is censoring less than the American counterpart – the US NASA just communicates more actively what could be possible if… in order to get money – ESA publishes what they REALLY do.
    Also, it is important to distinguish between the space agencies and the universities. Be aware that most scientific publications are much more simplified in the US in order to show the common people: “hey, we’re part of you, we help you!”, whilst in Europe, scientists are more elitist.
    This fact, again, is based on the diffrent ways governments allocate ressources to scientists: In USA, the money goes to the hippest sciences – in Europe, budgets are much more continous.
    Both systems have their advantages and features – but I am quite sure that ESA hands out any publication you’re intrested in if you ask them – aslong as it is not secret, of course.

    By Aremonus on Dec 10, 2008

  3. They offer a calendar for free there on the NASA website. The printing costs are on us, of course. That’s no realtime, but it seems that you can spot the ISS in the sky once in a while…

    By justrecently on Dec 13, 2008

  4. ESA has a long tradition of non-information. Yes they broadcast their Ariane launches on the evening news quite often and give out flashy booklets, however when it comes to returned science data of their missions they are quite lacking.

    For planetary missions, NASA releases all incoming pictures into science archives, even the bad pictures, which are out of focus. They publish every single one.

    The ESA Mission VenusExpress to Venus was the opposite. When Venus was reached, ESA had a press conference and a press kit. The there was 1 year of total silence from that mission. Under the pressure of the public they finally opend their archives.

    The Cassini mission to Saturn is super successful. It’s a NASA ESA cooperation. Yet ESA only gave out some limited flashy brochures. NASA instead is publishing every single image, even navigational images.

    The list could be continued endless.

    If You can read German, check here for the reasons, read the comments (long):

    By Hendrik on Dec 13, 2008

  5. Why didn’t you create your own comparison images? Why did you have to take the images from

    And why did you remove the name and the website?

    I spent almost a hour to make the comparison and to add the explaination to the images.

    By Svetoslav Alexandrov on Jan 3, 2009

  6. Sorry, I had to change the picture to make it fit on the blog given the limited width, link to the unmannedspaceflight forum added.

    By Hendrik on Jan 3, 2009

  7. OK, thank you. Now it’s much better! I allow my images to be used if a hyperlink is placed and a credit line is given.

    By Svetoslav Alexandrov on Jan 3, 2009

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