Friday, July 18, 2008

China to the Moon

China before USA to The Moon

Illustration: Lockheed Martin Corp

NASAs Orion

I have no doubt that the Chinese will beat the Americans in the Moon race. Not because the Chinese is better people or more clever than the Americans, but simply because the funding situation in the US is inadequate.

I have seen with my own eyes the technology the Chinese have and I have met the highly competent people working on the program. Shanghai Astronomical Observatory runs parts of the Moon program and space geodesy is included in it. That is why I was there a couple of years ago. The radio antennas called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) are used both for geodetic purposes ( maintaining a stable and accurate reference frame or coordinate system) and astronomical studies. On the photo below you see me with the Director of the division responsible for geodesy and the manager of the data processing center. Let me tell you, they are very clever - and nice people. :-)

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

Photo: Xiuhua Zhang

Stellare visiting Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.

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